Check out the new song from DNA The Genome – Summer Place
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
Well I was born and raised in Boston and we have been undergoing a hip-hop revolution of sorts. Luckily I’ve had a nice group of creative minds to share ideas. I’ve gotten to learn from some of the pioneers of the movement like my boy Supraliminal, who is releasing his new album “Full Script” in the near future. He has been a great mentor of sorts. Also, my cousin Stevie Moy (a local DJ) and my buddy Phil, who sings some of my hooks, have also been very supportive of my music. None of this would be possible without the man behind the music. He goes by the name Nosey Beats, and his ability to express an idea with his sound has inspired my creative eye.
I’ve been writing pretty much my entire life, but rap is relatively new to me. I used to focus more on poetry and prose, turned to spoken word at BC, and eventually realized that hip-hop offered me the outlet that served and sparked my interest. However, there was an adjustment period at the beginning because although they are similar, hip-hop isn’t poetry. But I’ve dedicated long hours to developing my craft and I think I’m just now scratching the surface of my potential. Hopefully I get the opportunity to create more music that people can enjoy.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
The song you are listening to is called Summer Place. It is a fun, summertime song (inspired by the image of this one girl at the beach that is burned in my mind) that I wrote when I heard Nosey’s beat. It’s not supposed to be autobiographical or a template for how you have to live your life when you’re 17 or 18 years old, it’s just something that I thought people could get down with, kind of what you always expected as a younger kid or wish you experienced once the moment has passed. There is something about the summertime that just makes you feel young again, and I think this song captures the essence of a teenager looking to live a dream.
Like the song says “We in that summer place, not a care in the world.” I mean let’s be honest, those years are supposed to be fun! Once you become an adult, you just get piles of shit dumped on you and you forget how carefree you really were in your late teens. I can still have fun, but I like to live vicariously through my lyrics. I think it was Oscar Wilde who wrote “The second rate poet lives the poetry he cannot write. A true poet writes the words he dares not realize.” But he was much smarter than I am.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
Honestly the hardest challenge besides getting exposure and worrying about my conservative, moral parents’ reaction to my lyrics, is getting people to take you seriously. Then once people recognize that the talent is there, you have to figure out how to market yourself because as a friend told me, music is 80% business and 20% talent. Lots of people have talent, but how will you distinguish your sound from the others? I will have some business decisions to make soon, but for the time being I am just enjoying the creative process. I mean I still get a kick out of people telling me they enjoyed a song of mine.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
I wouldn’t exactly say I have a career, but I hope to one day. I am in the very early stages of my development as an artist so I am sure there will be setbacks along the way, but I haven’t been doing this long enough to have a major misstep. But music is drawn from a Dorian-Grayesque examination of your life. It is like a mirror reflecting your life experiences and obviously every journey is going to have its peaks and valleys. But music affords you the opportunity to embellish the peaks with a positive message (check out my song “Kickin’ Back”) and mend the craters (check out my outro called Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood “DLMBM”).
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
I’m still learning myself, but I would say to be careful that you don’t confuse constructive criticism and blatant detraction. Some people truly want to help, others are just going to say things to try to bring you down. But if you dismiss every potential piece of advice as someone trying to “hate” then you risk missing an important part of your development as an artist. See, I don’t hold grudges, but I do hold onto emotions and that was a key to my growth as a lyricist. So if I find a beat that explores a particular feeling, take heartbreak for example, I can access it on demand and express it relative to the beat. I may no longer love that person, but I can remember how I felt when I did.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
If you stay true to who you are and surround yourself with the right people, then you will create opportunities on which you can capitalize. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and pull the proverbial trigger. And have fun of course.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
Haha, well the only way I know how to promote my music is by being really, really, annoying. My producer at Echo Studios, Robie Rowland, does what he can using his connections in the industry and I am proactive sending my music to radio stations and DJs, but I do have a select group of friends I can count on to share my songs. Unfortunately I have to hit people up on Facebook and Twitter to check me out. I’m sure there are some people who straight up ignore a FB chat from me because they probably know I’m trying to promote!
Where can people visit you?
My website is: soundcloud.com/laureate/sets/dna-the-genome-mixtape/
But if you want to visit me in person I will be in Dorchester until July 1st before I make a big move down to Austin, Texas!
Also follow me on Twitter @miniminoe