Artist Interviews

Here you will find some of the hidden gems in the underground industry. It is not just music artists, but graphic designers, other journalists, painters, producers and so many others. I feel that the world needs to see some of the amazing talent in the world.

Artist Interviews

Prince Hakeem: A Producing Engineer

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As we all know it takes more than just an artist to make a hit. There is so much talent behind the scenes and sometimes they don’t get as much credit as the artist.  Prince Hakeem is a self-taught producer and engineer but you would never be able to tell by the diversity and unique sound that he delivers. He has been doing music for 8 years. Growing up he wanted to be a brain surgeon until one day his uncle introduced him to Fruity Loops. He was intrigued by the program and was immediately hooked.
Prince Hakeem graduated from Flannigan High School in 2009 and then continued his education in Audio Production at the Art Institute of Miami.  He was unable to finish but is currently attending Broward College and will then transfer to Full Sail for his Bachelor’s in Recording Arts.
What is interesting and a little different is his stage names. He has two stage names, Prince Hakeem of course and Frank Love. He compares his situation to that of T.I vs. T.I.P. They are his two alter egos. Prince Hakeem came from one of his middle names. His older brother Ph-Lobby gave him the name one day when they were watching Coming to America. Frank Love is his more loving side. Frank Love is a photographer and a lover.
Prince Hakeem draws his producing inspirations from Prince, Swizz beats, Ryan Leslie, Arab Music, Kanye West and Dr. Dre.  There are a wide range of genres he produces including Reggae, R&B, Hip—hop, Dub Step and is starting to work on electronic music. The types of music that Prince Hakeem listens to are classical, R&B, old school hip-hop, dub step and of course reggae.  His favorite rappers include Jay-z, Nas, Tupac, Biggie, Eminem, Rakim, Eric b, J-ColeCyhi da Prince, Common, Fabulous, Kendrick Lamar, Asap Rocky and A Tribe called Quest. Some R&B singers he listens to are Al b sure, Al green, Andre 3000, Darnel Jones, Erykah Badu, IsleyBrothers, Mary J. Blige, Musiq Souldchild, Sade, and Robin Thicke.
He currently owns and works in a studio in Pembroke Pines, FL. Since he does own his own studio he has several artists he is working with. He is currently working with Ph-Lobby, Avery Futuristic, Young Shadow and Tim the Toolman Taylor on their mix tapes. Aside from music Prince Hakeem is also a photographer and is starting to dabble in videography. He has some current film projects in the work, which include Duffle Bag and a Basketball documentary with Ryan Moore. He is also working with Melly Starz on YouTube shorts. With all his talents and interests you may be wondering what he uses to get things done. The current programs he is using are CS5, Motion, Fruity LoopsStudio (FL Studios), Logic pro, Mainstage, Soundtrack Pro and Pro Tools.
Prince Hakeem eats, breaths and dreams music. He will stay up all night just working on music and learning new things. This is true dedication. In the future his ultimate goal is to own his own company named Thinking Cap Entertainment alongside his brother Ph-Lobby. Their company will include t-shirts, graphics, film, photography, and of course music. He also wants to finish school. He would eventually like to get married and hopes to have four kids with two dogs. That however is in the far future since his main focus right now is finishing school and getting his company off the ground.

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Artist Interviews

Young Shadow: A Truth Spitting Performer

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At the tender age of 8 Young Shadow fell in love with poetry. This later translated into his love of music. He always had an interest in rap but it was never in the forefront of his endeavors. It wasn’t until his brother went to prison that Young Shadow became inspired to really pursue rap. He wanted an outlet for his brother and a way to help support his family. Another thing that his brother had a hand in was his stage name Young Shadow. This name was his brothers originally but he has taken it and made it his own. Young Shadow’s brother of course isn’t overjoyed by it but is still supportive.

Young Shadow is a completely individual artist although he has collaborated with other artists. He is currently working on a joint mix tape with Avery Futuristic titled Loyalty Allegiance. He is also working on his own mix tape titled Dark Hustle Volume 2. He says he has made enough songs to put out Volume 3 as well but he is thinking of holding off on that for a little while. He draws his musical influence from artists such as Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Lil Wayne, Trick Daddy, Nas, Lloyd Banks, Lil Boosie, Young Jeezy and Lupe Fiasco. Young Shadow is also inspired by some R&B artists including, Tyrese, Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind, and Fire. I would have to say that another inspiration that you evidently hear through his music is his pain and struggle. When I heard Dreams and Nightmares I immediately could feel the pain through his lyrics. The way Young Shadow describes himself and his music is, “I’m a party dude but I like to spit the truth.” Young Shadow has another passion, which happens to be performing. He has performed at several open mics. Even though he may always be spotlight ready he is not a battle rapper.

In the near future Young Shadow strives to be the one of the best artists out of Broward County, Florida. In the next few years he sees himself still making music whether it may be rapping, engineering, or producing. When it comes to engineering Young Shadow has only slightly dabbled in it and it is not something that entirely sparks his interest. He has never produced but it is a skill he wants to acquire. In the future he may even try out ghost writing. Overall when it comes to music he wants to know every aspect of it so that if an opportunity arises he is able to take it. In the end when it comes to his future he just wants to take care of his family and live life the right way.

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Artist Interviews

Matt Porche: A laid back Writer and Rapper

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If you take one thing from listening to  Matt Porche’s  music is the pure creativity and passion he has when it comes to word flow. Originally from New Orleans Porche moved to South Florida at a very young age. As a kid he dabbled with writing and poetry always writing things down in a journal. At school he was always freestyling during recess and after school.  As a teen he would still freestyle in the halls but he never took music seriously until he met Op at school. Porche saw how at only 16 Op had such a passion for music and Porche was hooked. This is when he really started getting into the music scene. Porche wanted to be good at it and with everything else he wanted to excel. He started spending more time writing songs for himself as well as other artists. As with everything in life you have to network and Porche was on a roll.  
Around this time is when he joined YungRebels Society , a music group with his friend Op. They wanted to dominate the music scene. The group is still around but they aren’t on top of things like they used to be. The most important thing about YRS is,  “We’re rebels because we don’t make music like everybody else.”  OP and Porche released a mixtape called The Collab back in early 2011.
Porche has continued his passion for writing and music through his continued education and experiences. He studied communications at Broward College from 2008 until 2010. He is currently studying Public relations at Florida International University. Through his public relations studies he has learned how to market and deal with clients. He hopes to use this in order to brand and market himself in the near future. Also during his schooling he has had the opportunity to volunteer at the Everglades Correctional facility. This was a life altering experience in Porche’s life. He realized that it’s nothing like what you see in the media. While he was there he got the opportunity to counsel inmates and help them set up a plan for after they get out. He learned that you can not judge them from their past and if you put in the effort and time you can help someone possibly change their life. During his education at both schools he continued to write for the paper, which was his first passion.
Now back to the music side of things. Matt Porche recently interned at Power 96, a south Florida radio station. He interned in the promotions department. During his time interning he learned the ins and outs of the radio station. This experience gave him some insight on the business side of the music industry. He also learned how stations deal with clients, fans and sponsors.
Matt Porche draws inspiration from many things. He has a passion for writing and he has translated that passion into music. The way he looks at a song is that you can compose a song from an idea. That idea can not only get people’s attention but also inspire and change their outlook. Matt Porche likes soulful music, and music that let’s people have fun. His music influences come from listening to hip-hop and r&b.  He has many musical influences, which on the hip-hop end include, Tupac Shakur, Biggie, Lil Wayne, Jay-z,Young Jeezy and LupeFiasco. Porche likes Young Jeezy because he captures people through his emotion and he doesn’t hesitate to say what’s on his mind through his music. When it comes to r&b, Porche goes a little bit more old school. He listens and captures inspiration from Usher, Brandy, Stevie wonder, Anita Baker, Prince, Baby Face, and of course Michael Jackson. Something that Porche said during our interview about the current artist out there is this, “The way hip hop is going, people need to understand that music can touch people’s lives. Its still ok to make music that makes people think, makes people feel. It’s ok to be creative. Be an individual.”
Porche has released two mixtapes thus far. His latest being titled Free Agent. This was the first time he did everything on his own. He wrote, produced and rapped on this mixtape. His next mixtape should be out in mid January. There is no title as of yet but the music is coming along stupendously. This mixtape is not like his previous work because he is aiming for a more fun approach. With his previous work he was a little bit more serious, but his goal for this mixtape is to give people something they can have fun to. What Porche says about this mixtape is, “I want to show people I can have fun and still be creative.”
In the future Matt Porche sees himself somewhere in the music industry. If he happens to not be on the artist side of things he sees himself on the business side. Maybe as and A&R, business manager or maybe even working in public relations. Regardless of what the future holds for Matt Porche, one thing is for certain he will be around music.

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Artist Interviews

Ph-Lobby: A Humble triple threat

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This is how the interview started with this week’s featured Artist Ph-Lobby.
What means the world to you?
Ph-Lobby responded this question by saying, “It would have to be what Cam’ron said, which is, god, family, richness of life, which is to enjoy life to the fullest.”
 Ph-Lobby is a 29-year old up and coming artist who currently resides in Pembroke Pines, FL, but who is originally from Philadelphia. He is the oldest of four and because of it he has amazing leadership skills. He describes himself as an artist in every sense of the word since he is a triple threat. He is a visual artist as well as a rapper whom also writes poetry. Ph-Lobby graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. One thing that he discovered while in school there was how to hone his artist abilities in literature. He hopes to begin the journey of pursuing his Master’s in Media Design and Technology from Full Sail University starting by the end of this year. He has worked as a substitute teacher and as we know every experience helps us in life. Ph-Lobby says that as a substitute teacher he has learned how to master his stage presence, crowd control and of course vocal projection, as well as, given him added confidence, which are all things that every MC needs.

However, although being an MC requires being the center of attention Ph-Lobby is one of the most humble people you will ever meet. He does not like being the center of attention even though he has a magnetic personality and can easily become the center of attention when he needs to be. When Ph-Lobby performs you cannot help but to focus your full attention on him and become mesmerized by not only him, but his words as well. He draws inspiration from his relationships with women, which is what motivates much of his content. Artists whom he also draws inspiration from both musically and fashion wise would be Jay-Z and Kanye West.

He is currently working on his Trilogy mixtapes, which he hopes to release the first of these sometime around Christmas. The Trilogy Mixtapes will consist of about 15 songs on each disc, which will total out to 45 songs. It sounds like Ph-Lobby has a lot of work on his hands musically. He also currently does album artwork for other hip hop artist in the Miami and Atlanta area. Ph-Lobby is also working on clothing designs, mainly graphic tees for both men and women, for Thinking Cap Entertainment.  Aside from all of that he also does freelance work. He does 2d, 3d, caricature, and painting. You can see all the talent emitting from this young artist. What can’t he do??

As for his five-year plan, Ph-Lobby has high aspirations, which I know without a doubt he will be able to attain. He plans to be in Atlanta furthering his career in the art world. He hopes to open an art museum to showcase local urban artwork. Through his museum, he wishes to give people a place to showcase their talents and abilities as well as inspire other local artists. Even with all his amazing career goals, he also hopes to be married (maybe to his college sweetheart??) with possibly 3 kids. He is an uncle now but does not have any kids of his own and is single but open to a committed relationship. 
Some interesting facts about Ph-Lobby would be that he considers himself an Art impresario and aspires to be a wine oneophilist. He considers himself a weird Leo because he is more of a loner. Ph-Lobby says he normally marches to the beat of his own drum, which is evident in my dealings with him.

If there were anything that sums up Ph-Lobby it would be this:
“I would like to be what Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiet were in the 80s in todays industry.”
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