Anti is an Alternative Hiphop artist who states that he doesn’t make party music, but rather makes music to get you through the week. He also says that he is not looking to get famous or rich, and just wants to share his music with the world. Now if this doesn’t sound like a different kind of rapper or Hiphop artist, then nothing does! Here Anti gives us a better insight into the kind of artist he is, and what makes him so different, in an exclusive interview with Rick Jamm.
1. How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
Anti: I’ve been writing on and off for about 10 years. It started as just something fun to do and just evolved over the years. I take it a little more seriously now.
2. Who were the first influences on your music and style?
Anti: Music was always around growing up – anything from country to rap to pop music. I think all of those artists influenced me in some way.
3. In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Anti: As far as indie hip hop, a few come to mind. Guys like Joe Budden, Pharaohe Monch, Brother Ali, Tech N9ne and a group like Atmosphere are at the top – at least for me. Tech is probably the most successful in terms of sales and having some mainstream success. What Joe Budden and Brother Ali are saying is probably more influential and relatable though.
4. Which famous song or sound production, best describes what you’d like Anti music productions to ultimately sound like?
Anti: I’m not really a fan of the popular sounds in hip hop. I hope I can eventually carve out my own sound. Not trying to be like everyone else, you know?
5. Do you think your music is enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
Anti: Hopefully content. Always trying to improve my flow and up the production on the beats I make, but I hope people are relating to what is being said.
6. Do you make your own beats and write your own lyrics? Which software and/or equipment do you prefer to use to achieve your sound?
Anti: I absolutely write my own lyrics. Anti music is all about the message so that is what is most important to me. I try to make most of my beats. I’m not the best by any stretch but I found that it was hard to find the type of beat I wanted or needed. I use Fruity Loops and with the help from the Looperman.com community, I can manage to make some decent beats.
7. If you could choose to work with some of today’s established artists or producers, with whom would you like to collaborate and why?
Anti: I absolutely love Norah Jones. Doing something with her would be great. Not a huge fan of collaborating with other rappers but I admire artists like Joe Budden or Brother Ali so I would do something with them given the opportunity. I like doing things with artists that could bring something else to the table besides rapping. So give me a Tom Waits or Jack White collaboration over doing something with any popular rapper. As far as producers, I like Danger Mouse a lot. Ant from Atmosphere is a favorite too.
8. Which of your original compositions is currently your personal favorite, and tell us more about your latest projects?
Anti: I’m really into my song “Look” right now. I made the beat and its subtle but interesting – reflects the content of the song perfectly. I have a EP coming out on February 5th called Blend. It has 5 tracks including “Look.” I’m also releasing a new song every Tuesday (up to the release of Blend),as part of the #newtracktuesday series. After that, I plan to release an album – hopefully sooner than later.
9. Which ingredient do you think is most essential in making your music sound the way it does?
Anti: It may sound cliche but probably passion. No, passion doesn’t make a song good but it can do a world of difference in execution. It also can make you a bit of a perfectionist to have it sound exactly the way you hear it in your head.
10. Do you consider video important to your music and music in general, and how do you handle your video productions?
Anti: Maybe not as important as it used to be. Anyone can have a video out. I haven’t yet but I would like to. There has been thought to do a video for “Look” but that is still in the works. If I ever do, it wont be like a normal hip hop video.
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11. What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
Anti: The writing excites me the most. My music can be very personal and when thoughts come together and make songs, it gives me quite a rush. The most discouraging thing is trying to get the music heard. Fans are critics now and anything different is hard to be accepted. Its not like I’m that much different but most people don’t want to stray from their lane.
12. How involved are you in the recording, producing, mastering and other processes needed to produce and market your music, and do you outsource any part of this process?
Anti: I do everything myself. As time goes on I may look into outsourcing some marketing things. I prefer it this way so I can experiment a little bit before having anyone hear or see it.
13. Do you think the advent of internet and all the new technology, has helped your music and independent musicians in general, or do you think it just creates a mass of mediocre “bedroom artists” who flood the web, making it difficult to distinguish yourself?
Anti: It has helped in getting the music out there but like you said, the net is flooded with a bunch of bs. Makes it a little harder to stand out and you see a lot of people going overboard, going left. I try not to think of everyone else because then I’m not concentrating on the right things.
14. In your long experience, what is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far? And one you didn’t follow, but now know you should have?
Anti: To just make your voice heard and stay true to your message. It is easier said than done though. Cant really think of anything I didn’t heed to but should have.
15. Being an independent artist, which is the one factor you currently desire most (increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, club performances etc…)?
Anti: All I want out of this is to get the music heard. However that may come.
16. Where do you distribute and promote your music (Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, Your own Website, Youtube etc…) and why did you choose that specific platform?
Anti: I use Twitter a lot (@IamAntiMusic). I upload all my music to my Soundcloud page, some to YouTube. I have my own website (IamAntiMusic.com). Social media is where everyone is, so you have to go to the public. When the projects come out, they will be available on Amazon and iTunes for sure – probably more.
17. How do you handle criticism? Who has been your worst critic, if any?
Anti: I try to handle it the best I can. Everything I do is very personal so there is a lot of me in every song, so when someone doesn’t like it or takes shots at it, its hard not to have a reaction to it. As long as the person is respectable, I have no problems. It is music and not all music is for everyone and I understand that. I am my worst critic. I have thrown away a plethora of lyrics, beats, songs ideas because they don’t meet my expectations. I tend to fall in and out of love with my music quite a bit.
18. I read somewhere you’re not in this for the money or fame. Is going platinum or winning a Grammy not important to you? Where would you like to see your career within 5 years?
Anti: A lot of artist go platinum and win Grammys for making nonsensical music with no message. To me, money or fame doesn’t equate success. If I find myself producing high sales numbers or get awards, I will appreciate them and be forever grateful for the recognition. But that is not the goal. The message is more important than the messenger.
19. What in your opinion is the biggest barrier an artist like yourself, has to face and overcome, to gain any commercial success or acquire a massive fan-base?
Anti: Just getting the music heard. Market it in a way that is approachable but maintains integrity.
20. How did the name Anti come about? What do you think, the name Anti should represent to your listeners, fans or even detractors.
Anti: I had a hard time finding a name. One day I was listening to some music and that word was used and I had that ‘ah ha’ moment. The name has a certain power behind it and lets listeners know that the music will be different in some way. The name already reflects a message without someone listening to a single song. They know what I’m about going in.
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