December 17, 2007

Q&A With MaGestiK LeGenD

Who exactly is MaGestiK LeGenD ? How'd you arrive at this name that you use?

Magestik Legend, for me, is a goal in itself. I feel like every song I write is another chapter in my story. I feel music is timeless. The music outlives most artist that make it. So when all is said and done and I pass on, my music will still be here speaking for me. That story will be my "majestic" legend.

When you ask artists about what performing in their locale is like often times they have a lot of gripes about their scenes lacking and or the people not being very supportive. What's it like in your neck of the woods? What could be better? What are some of the strong points?

Well, I'll start w/ the strong points. Due to the great amount of good artist in Michigan and the wide range of styles, I feel our music audience has a very experienced taste. They are a good judge of whats good and whats not. So they only support what they REALLY love. Most of the obstacles we experience usually boil down to our economy. A lot of people want to come out and support every show they just don't have the money or transportation. So when you get a big crowd in Michigan, you know they are really there to support You. We deal with unity problems amongst the artist community just like everybody else does. We also have a new trend of promoter/artist that decide to begin rapping over night then begin continuously booking themselves to open up for big acts instead of the many available experienced artist on the scene. We're getting it together though. A lot of artist in Michigan are starting to realize that independence is the key. If you want a show. Book it! If you want a tour. Make it happen! Don't wait for anyone.

A free album as of late seems to be the trend for most artists large and small in visibility. What made you decide to offer one up? What has the response been like thus far and do you feel like its benefiting you at all since making it available?

I didn't know that was quite a trend. I know right after I dropped the "FREE" album I heard about Radiohead and a few other major artist dropping free albums. I guess great minds think alike. The idea of me putting out the "FREE" album came from me wanting to give back to the people who have been supporting for the last 4-5 yrs without me even having an album. Shopping deals and researching distribution avenues takes time so I wanted to make sure I provided the deserving fans with something now to take home, listen to and spread the word about. The response for the "FREE" album has been great! There are people reaching out from all angles talking about possible deals, tours, videos etc. So far the investment is paying off.

When it comes down to show time. Up on stage in front of the crowd what are looking to do? What would you say you do differently that sets you apart from the rest of salivating self appreciating emcees?

My main goal on stage is to magnify the meaning of the songs I'm performing. I like to keep my show high energy and entertaining. I treat the crowd like we have a personal relationship, so they know that we play an equal part in the overall energy level in the venue. What sets me apart from other emcees is simply, Me. There is only one Magestik Legend. So I am not afraid to just be myself on stage. When you come to my show you get all of me, blood sweat and tears. I make sure you can actually FEEL where I coming from. Its not just a practiced act. It's real.

How long have you been producing? Who would you say would be your strongest influences?

I've been producing for about 10 yrs now. My strongest influences come from listening to records like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Bob James etc. As far as actual hip-hop producers, I would say I was influenced by early Rza, Ali Shaheed Muhammed, Organized Noize, Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, Dj Premiere, J Dilla, Dj Quick, Diamond D...I could go on for days! I listened to anything that caught my ear coming up. So I feel my influence is pretty well rounded.

What's the thought process of creating as emcee vs producer? Do you lean more to in either direction as far as what you enjoy more or is it pretty even?

I see myself as an emcee first. I started making beats cause I was too broke to buy beats. I made beats out of necessity but always looked at myself as just an emcee. Even today, if it wasn't for people around me complimenting my production, I would have probably stopped making beats a long time ago. I am still an emcee first. But I'm also starting to really enjoy being a producer. I really have no method to the madness. I just do what I feel. Sometimes I go into a writing zone where I'm writing 5-6 songs a day over any production I can get my hands on. Sometimes I go into a production zone where the writing shuts down and I concentrate on banging out as many quality beats as possible. I don't like forcing anything so when the creative feeling comes I just go with it. Whats dope is when I make a good beat it inspires me to write and vice versa.

Outside of music do you practice any other artistic forms of expression? If so, how do you?

Music is my only artistic outlet. This art consumes most of my time and energy. If I could find time to pick up a hobby one day, it would be photography.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions MaGestiK. Anything you wanna drop that you want the readers to know to wrap this up?

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