S.M.O.O.T.H. With A Banger – Exclusive Q&A Interview

Smooth 5 - Rude Boy Magazine

Photo: SMOOTH

Check out the interview with S.M.O.O.T.H. exclusively on Rude Boy Lifestyle Magazine.

RB: What is the meaning of S.M.O.O.T.H.? Can you explain this to our readers?
The meaning of S.M.O.O.T.H. can be explained as the meaning of me as an artist and an individual. My name stands for S.oul M.usic O.nly O.ffer T.he H.eart, which is a representation of how I carry myself in my music. In every day life we have the opportunity to try our best no matter the circumstances, or, give your heart throughout the task we are doing at the time. That is one of the morals I was raised on by my parents and I feel your name should also say something about you and who you are. Soul music is what I grew up on. Artists such as Lauren Hill, Jill Scott, D’Angelo, Angie Stone and Remy Shand to name a few, artist such as these influenced my taste in music and the vision of where I see my music going in the future.

What is it like in your hometown? How is the music industry looking like in Southern California?
My hometown is a mixture of many things. It is very diverse and colorful, the pace of the city changes with the day. It is a pretty big city compared to others around it, which allows the diversity to be as it is there. Oxnard is well known for its Strawberries and agriculture, we have a yearly Strawberry Festival which is pretty great. We also have our own Airport and Naval Base to go along with our agriculture.

The music industry in Southern California is booming. Los Angeles and Hollywood are known areas to find all sorts of artist and individuals trying to reach their dreams. There are venues everywhere starting Ventura heading South towards Los Angeles. Music heavily influences many things on this side of the United States. As you know NWA, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Tyga, Kendrick Lamar and Dom Kennedy all came from Southern California. Madlib started out in Oxnard as well, and another up and coming artist by the name of Kyle or some may know him as Super Duper Kyle started out in Venutra. So the music industry is looking promising but somewhat oversaturated due to the amount of people looking to get a foot in the door.

When you first started going into music, how did your family react to your decision?
My family reacted as any loving family would, they have always been behind my choices and endeavors. I remember a conversation I had with my mother and father letting them know that “Music is where I want my Legacy to be.” They both simply said, “Thank you for communicating this to us and we will do what we can to help.” And that’s all they have done, whether it’s a kind word when I’m getting down on myself, or funds to purchase beats or equipment. My father played bass guitar and my mother sang in church choirs throughout her life and my parents are who opened me up to Soul Music and Jazz which are the main influences in my style today. My younger brother is also a lyricist and poet and my other siblings have continued to motivate and encourage me to continue following my dream.

What drove you to do what you do, and what keeps you driven in your music career?
Helping others is really what drives me in my music, not only in music but in my every day life. My family is a big influence is my music as well, my God daughter has always had an influence in my progression and decision making, I look to be a role model for her and an example so when it is her turn to move forward she has a leg up; I always want to make sure that I am my best and I do my best for her. Progression and making a better life for myself is another driving force behind my music. I cannot say that I had a bad life; my parents always did their best to make sure we did not have to experience many hardships but they also instilled in us a work ethic and love for what we do.

Lastly, the knowledge that I can make it just as many other great artists have before me keeps me going. I feel that today I can hold my own on a track with any of the greats, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Wale, Drake or Big Sean. I just need to get there so that I can prove I have what it takes and my word means something. If I plan to build a legacy in music I must first open the door.

What separates yourself from every other hip hop artists on the charts right now?
What separates me other artist in the music industry today is my style, my presence and my mission. Who I am is unlike anyone you have ever seen and my music will be unlike anything you have ever heard. I have a love for music that is all my own and can not be duplicated. And there’s nothing better than the real thing.

What can we see from SMOOTH next year? Any new releases bound to happen?
Within the next year I plan to complete college, I am currently working towards my AA in Music Production/Composition and I will continue my studies after this. I also have the next installment of S.M.O.O.T.H. in the works at the moment. I have gathered a few beats and now I’m making songs in order to see what works and what doesn’t. Along with my solo ventures I will continue work with my group .MaF. We recently completed a project earlier this year called “One Way” which you can check out here (http://www.soundcloud.com/dotmaf).

What do you do outside of music? Any outside hobbies? Any family or children?
Outside of my music I go to church, school, chill with my girl and work full time. I am a Youth Development Specialist at a non profit organization by the name of Casa Pacifica. I currently work with at risk and troubled youths in the system, working to build character, relationships and confidence so that once it is time for them to head out into the real world they have the necessary personal skills to survive.

I love basketball also, I’ve played all my life really, never for a team of any sort but I do enjoy the sport.
I do not have any family of my own at this time. I am in a relationship that I have committed to taking to the next level so in the future that will change.

What are some of your favorite brands right now besides the almighty Rude Boy classic styles?
I really like Diesel Jeans Co, their jeans are a little pricey but their designs and persona are one that I can say are very artistic and outside of the norm. Neff is also another brand that I like a lot. Anything that says “I’m doing me, because I want to do me.” Not a brand that is trying to fit in with the culture but create it’s own culture.

In your vision, where do you see the music industry going? Is there hope for revival or real art?
Honestly if we continue to allow music to go the way its going, we will not have a Hip Hop music industry for very long. Men and Woman are given power and they take it and use it for the glorification of themselves and negative lifestyles. For too long we’ve known that someone can steal your “b*tch” for too long we’ve known that your money is long. I’m ready for something new, something that we can relate to on more than a musical level by saying, “I like how that song sounds.” J Cole and K-Dot do a great job of giving music face value. Tangible face value at that; When you are listening to them you feel as if they are speaking to you now, and the you that may have been, or are going through whatever their songs are about. To Pimp A Butterfly would be a perfect example of artistry and the revival of real art. Kendrick did not short us any portion of himself in order to fit the Hip Hop mold. He expressed what he has gone through, what life has shown him and what it did for him when he returned.

As far as the revival of the arts, we need to regroup and start from the ground up again. Give music the chance to mold itself, outside of making money, getting woman and buying cars. There is a whole world out here and music is life, so lets start understanding what life really is and making music that shows we know more than death, poverty and “a come up”. In turn we can change the whole dynamic of this world we live in simply by changing our focus. We may not always go to the clubs to have a good time because every song wont be made to make you shake your ass. Maybe we can meet at a coffee shop. Talk face to face and not form behind computer screens. By artistry helping us understand the diversity in our world I would hope that it makes an individual want to go out into the world and not just stay in a box.

Where can we connect with SMOOTH and your music? What are your sites?
You can connect with me on Twitter; I am also available on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Music Page. My sites are as follows:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RythmatikTPS
Instagram: https://instagram.com/smooth_maf/
MusicPage: http://www.musicpage.com/smooth

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