Ephect – which is a registered trademark – is an Independent Rap/Hiphop Recording Artist and Music Producer born, raised and currently located in Indianapolis, Indiana (US). He has a string of singles and mixtapes in his catalog, as well as his last album – “The Nphection”.
- How long have you been performing and recording, and when did you first realize that’s what you wanted to do?
Ephect: Been playing around and experimenting with music since a kid. Took a piano class and even participated in some choir in elementary. My mother got me a Casio RapMan keyboard and a Karaoke machine when i was young. I spent numerous hours in my room, playing, imitating others’ music, sounds and whatnot. Just experimenting. Started the actual recording process in late 90s with a Tascam 4 track recorder.
- Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?
Ephect: Some of the 80’s, but mainly the 90’s rappers influenced me. I do remember listening to LL Cool J and Beastie Boys over and over. If I can remember correctly, I think the very first rap Cassette I ever purchased was the “Naughty By Nature” self titled album… But the person who might of influenced me the most in Rap is, Master P… Not that Master P was an amazing lyricist. He still made good songs. It was more of the way he built the No Limit empire and his marketing strategy was so amazing back then. Master P inspired me to want to start my own production company and Independent Record label… which later on, I did with my own previous company “New Method Productions, LLC”
- If any, which current artists do you listen to and respect for their artistic endeavors?
Ephect: I pay attention to a chunk of the New artists. But I don’t really get interested too much in a lot of them. Im a fan of artists who bring more to the table than just trendy music or crazy social media antics. These days, I’ve been diggin what the rapper, Russ has been doing and his story. I am also a big fan of artists who emerge strong through an Independent grind. Something about that really inspires me… But shout out to ALL the artists, rappers and musicians who stay true to their craft, put in hard honest work, and handle their business and personal responsibilities… KEEP GRINDING!!!
- What do you feel are the key elements people should be getting out of your music?
Ephect: Besides the reality rap side which maybe some can relate to… I want to bring a very creative, unique and entertaining flow delivery and sound. Plus I love to play with my music’s production and effects. Try not to keep it so simple and repetitive. Some people might consider some of my material corny or off the wall, but I like to be creative! And another element I feel I want people to get besides my music… is my Story behind the music!
- What do you think separates you from the crowd of young artists emerging right now?
Ephect: My music doesn’t really sound like theirs. This could possibly hurt me in some aspects. But it could also help separate me. Some have told me I have an older sound. Maybe some “Industry” folks might consider this a bad thing, but I believe a lot of music lovers in the middle or older age bracket might appreciate the sound. I also believe my music is somewhat creating its own lane. I do feel like there are some really dope and lyrical artists emerging.
- When writing a new song, where do you usually start – the lyrics or the beat?
Ephect: It usually starts with the beat. And then usually the hook follows after finding the beat… Most of the time I use the beat to set the tone of the concept of the song. Unless I already have a song concept in mind. Then I either find a pre-made beat that matches the current vibe, Or I hop on my computer and keyboard and produce one!
- Do you produce all the beats and write all the lyrics on your songs or do you collaborate with outside sources in any of these cases?
Ephect: Majority of the time I produce a large portion of my beats. Or I reach out to my “Goto Guy” producer Nick J and see what he can cook up for me. I plan on networking and collaborating with other producers in the future… So far, I write all my own song lyrics. I have had thoughts of working with a Ghost-Writer, just for experimental purposes and see what we could do. But have not yet to do that and not really sure if I will take that route.
- What would you consider a successful, proud or high point in your career so far?
Ephect: I have experienced a lot of successful moments. But probably the highest point was when I saved up some money, overcame my fears and excuses, found an attorney and filed for a US Registered Trademark for the “Ephect” brand name… I feel like, anyone who is Serious about their career and name, should do this immediately! When I received the email that my Trademark was approved, then I knew it was Official, then I received the certificate in the mail… this is probably my proudest high point, so far!
- What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music so far?
Ephect: Maybe… trying to build a Team or find a “Manager / Right Hand Man” for the Long term. I’ve came across so many people who want to help. And some have helped. But this grind takes years of hard work and dedication. It does Not happen overnight. Unless you’re just really lucky, but then you probably wont make it far. Because you were not really groomed or prepped for thick skin… I’ve met a lot of bull shitters and short termers. One person can’t do this entirely by himself/herself. You need a solid Team for the long term… And same with Fans & Supporters. Some are only around for the Short-term or for the wrong reasons. We need long term and loyal fans. But this also depends on Me, as well. I need to stay consistent and creative with my content and releases.
- Do you prefer working and creating in a studio environment, or performing live in front of an audience?
Ephect: I do prefer working and creating in the studio. I love creating and experimenting with mixing production and effects… I’ve probably been on stage Live around 20-30 times. I do enjoy that part too. It’s like the audience is yours for the 15-20 minutes while you’re on stage. Live performance is a key essential to gaining fans and interacting with your current fans. But spending hours in the lab and the creative process is more fulfilling to me!
- What’s your view on the role and function of music as cultural, political or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of artistry and entertainment?
Ephect: I prefer the Artistry and Entertainment side. I know a huge portion of people would probably become fans if I catered to those other topics. But I also feel like, I don’t want to create music or material based around that to gain attention or what some would say “Click Baity” I do like some of the music out there from other artists about those topics. Maybe I’ll dibble and dabble in the future…Who knows!
- Which aspect of being an independent artist excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Ephect: The part that excites me is that I can do pretty much whatever I want and when I want. Besides trying to make my own deadlines, I don’t have some corporate executive or A&R hovering over me telling me how to make my records or when it’s going to be released. Any and all money earned is returned directly to me or my team… But NOT having the big chunk of advancement money to live, pay a team and access to the major platform does make it a tougher grind. But I think the freedom control is worth it. To me, All of this stuff is like a roller coaster. One day I feel like I’m going to take over the world… and then the next day, I’m like F@+k this world and the cycle repeats. But those are the emotions and feelings that come with this grind and passion chasing. Gotta fight and work through em!
13 Reaching audiences usually involves exploiting media opportunities, and possibly working with a PR company. What’s your perspective on the promotion opportunities available to indie artists today? And how do you get the job done?
Ephect: I feel like there is a lot of opportunity because of the internet. So many different avenues to get your foot in the door. But honestly, I also feel like it’s more easier to get scammed, because there are so many so called “marketing services” out here promising this and that. And since there are so many artists and musicians getting desperate to get the exposure and promotion they want, they might fall for victim for the BS… Me, it’s basically trial and error. I’ve gained some traction with certain promotion and marketing tactics. But I’ve also lost a lot of money and time experimenting with different ideas. I want all Organic fans, followers, views and listens. I need REAL results and fans. Not an imaginary buzz… Too many FAKE systems out there… Gotta be careful and do your research constantly!
- Are you satisfied about the way digital music platforms like iTunes, Spotify and Tidal work and treat music, or is there something you would like to change?
Ephect: Streaming is cool and more convenient for listeners and fans. For musicians, it’s cheaper for us to distribute our music to the platforms and get it distributed worldwide. Without a Major Label… But as far as making money from streaming, I feel like it’s definitely a lot harder for us to see some Real money from streaming, without using Fake stream bot systems and whatnot… Personally, I miss the CD era! You could definitely make a nice chunk of profit from slangin CDs… If I could time travel, I would go back to when CDs were the thing, put in hella work and try to sell the shit out of CDs and stack up that money. BUT it is what it is… Streaming is the new wave, so us artists and musicians are just going to have to adapt, adjust, make it work and create other avenues for artistry revenue!
- If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?
Ephect: Creative wordplay. Syllable Rhyme patterns. Animated flow. Entertaining content. Reality Rap. Catchy hooks. Motion-Picture production.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?
Ephect: These days, you have to be active on social media and the internet. Unless you’re just making music for yourself and a couple buddies. Social media is a gift and a curse… Gift, because it gives you multiple platforms to help find and build an audience that you couldn’t reach without it. You can interact with new people across the world and try to build a human connection through your phone. I have people on my social media I’ve Never met once in real life, and it almost feels like we really know each other. And some of these people are my biggest fans! If done properly, that’s the power of those tools… it’s a Curse, because it has allowed Everyone to have a platform. So now, people with no real talent are given the chance to gain attention for the wrong reasons. It’s over saturated! But honestly, unless social media platforms just shut down, it’s only going to grow bigger and much harder. But if you find a way to interact with your people as a human online, then you can pop in a music promotion here and there. And chances are, they might pay attention to it. Simply because of the strength of your other content! 🙂
- Could you tell us something about “The Nphection” album and its making? Does it have a specific backstory and message?
Ephect: “The Nphection” is a theme album. From the beginning to the end, it’s pretty much a storyboard. The records are not scattered all around, they’re pretty much categorized together on purpose and the production is structured to kind of morph into one another. I believe this makes the overall project more creative and entertaining. I feel like, if not most, there’s at least 1 song on the project that everyone might like or can relate to. From start to finish, “the Nphection” is pretty much a trip through my mind of the music industry and my personal life. If you like dope production, effects, creative writing, reality raps and entertaining music… then you might dig “the Nphection” project – The album is available on all streaming platforms everywhere! http://Song.Link/Nphection
- What is your relationship with visual media? Do you think videos are important for your music? Do you have a video you could recommend fans checkout so they can get in touch with what you’re doing?
Ephect: Yes, music videos these days ARE A MUST! People’s attention spans are getting shorter by the day. So if you’re not providing them with a visual to your song, then chances are, you might lose them. Plus adding a music visual to your song brings that song to life! We are playing in a game where its pretty much based on Attention. I also have created a youtube series titled “Ephect TV100” which is episodes of interviews, skits, behind the scenes, commercials and more. Another way to interact with people and help build the brand. Currently 3 episodes on youtube and more to come in Winter 2019. As a new, unknown and indie artist you must provide a visual for your music release… I currently now have around 23 music videos on youtube. Plus a couple more before the end of 2019. My most recent and popular video releases are “HINDSIGHT” and “LUV LOSS” on http://youtube.com/EphectMusic
- What is the best piece of advice regarding the music business that you actually followed so far, and what is the advice you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Ephect: Music business is evolving all the time. You have to keep researching and learning. Don’t get lazy or stuck in one way. Make Google and Youtube your best friends and teachers. But weed out the false information or bullshit. Talent is Important. But its 10% talent and 90% Business. So, learn the business side or find/hire someone who will and help you… Keep producing content. Consistency is key! And remember, what worked for some artists, might not work for you. And vice versa!
- Do you have a specific vision prefixed in your mindset that you would like to achieve during your career?
Ephect: I have created a Vision Board years ago full of business endeavors I would like to see manifest. It goes beyond the music with me. Lately, I have thought about dipping into the Film business. But not really as an Actor, more behind the scenes. But maybe I would play small parts. I’ve actually starting scripting my 1st short film, which I would like to put in motion and see what we could do with it near future and handle a lot of the production aspects. So many ideas I have! But sometimes I feel limited on help and resources. But I keep the faith alive and visions in my head. Create plans and schedule. Then I put in work and try to manifest them into reality.