Hailing from Santa Cruz, California, is no other person than SpenDoe fast-rising rap artist, who is rising the ladder of success very quickly. We brief and quick had an interview with the Rare Soul and Brilliant Rap artist, that will help you know more about him.
1.Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
SpenDoe: I’ve always enjoyed music; as far back as I can remember. In regards to songwriting, rapping, and performing, I began to develop this interest at the age of 12. I had a great deal to say then, as I do now. I decided that I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to be a versatile artist. I wanted that International appeal.
I would often associate with people older than I was, and a few of them were already established rap artists in the bay area. I guess you could say I admired certain qualities of those people. They were my influences alongside bigger names in rap music such as Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, DJ Quik, Master P, C-BO, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, etc. I actually began rapping over DJ Quik’s Quik Groove Instrumentals. On each of his albums, DJ Quik would have an Instrumental track. I would freestyle o them and even write songs.
2.Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
SpenDoe: Some years back, I met a guy through a mutual acquaintance. We happened to be sitting in the same car, talking about music and random topics. Little did I know, this guy was a 2x platinum rap artist from the mid-’90s. I remember going home, and trying to find this artist’s music. Sure enough, I knew exactly who he was, only I didn’t know the name of the rapper who made the song. I did know that the song was very popular, as I’d heard the song on the radio and blaring from car stereos in the past. The song was a bit before my time, so that’s why I wasn’t too familiar with it. We continued to keep in contact and kicked it a bit over the years.
More recently, I was contacted by an Australian hip-hop producer to feature on a song he was putting together. I did the feature, but really had no idea who else was going to be on the track with me. It turns out the other feature was Los Angeles rapper Baby S!
3.Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
SpenDoe: While recording my very first song in a recording studio, I said “prefife” instead of “precise.” Everybody in the studio began to laugh uncontrollably. It was actually really funny. Most of the guys laughing had been extremely lifted, so I can see why they were laughing. I was a teenager recording with grown adults. Everybody misses a word here and there or mispronounces something.
4.What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
SpenDoe: I’m presently working on a project titled “Contemporary Vintage” and I’m truly excited about it. In the studio, I’m working with different sounds, and experimenting. I love mixing old with new. I’m young, but many people refer to me as being an “old soul.” I’ve always been drawn to music and styles from previous eras of pop culture. I’m presently working with frequent collaborator Sureet Sandhu who produced “High Tide” and my longtime producer/engineer DJ ULTIM8M. DJ ULTIM8M produced my single “Changing Lanes.” If you listen to those tracks, you might get an idea of where we are headed with the music.
5.Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
SpenDoe: I’ve crossed paths with people from all walks of life. Years back, I met a homeless man who to my surprise had been a famous reggae artist of the ’70s and ’80s. I didn’t have much to offer him, in regards to getting him back on his feet again, permanently. We did go out for breakfast, I gave him a few dollars, and I booked a studio session for us in the south bay. He had an insane story about his life, and all he’d gone through. Despite his situation with being homeless, he was in great spirits considering how his life had been over the years. This man was in his 60’s and was a real Rastafarian. On the way to the studio, he begins to roll a joint in my car. I figured he’d wait until we got to the recording studio. This dude lights up in my car, and there’s a highway patrol driving next to us, side by side.
I’ve also met Won-G the Haiti Boy in Los Angeles. He had a great vibe. The conversation was genuine, and if you needed some direction, he’d tell you to reach out and holler. He was pretty down to earth, and respectful. Coming from a different atmosphere where people weren’t so welcoming, I admit I was taken back by this. He seemed like a great guy, who later ran into my good friend Kaoz at an awards show in Las Vegas, extending his hand as well. I’d love to get back in contact with Won-G when the time is right.
6.Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
SpenDoe: Be yourself, and don’t go chasing every trend that people gravitate towards. Embrace being you. Don’t get discouraged if people in your surrounding area aren’t catching onto your music. Your market might be somewhere else. Don’t get caught up on the “hamster wheel” as you will surely experience burnout. Utilize the internet, as there is so much to learn about the music industry and everything you need to reach some level of success.
7.You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
SpenDoe: Never be afraid to fail. I like to refer to it as “learn, never lose” by taking a loss as a learning experience. Truly, you are gaining something. Look at it this way. Nobody is perfect. Everybody has made some sort of mistake. There is no easy street to get you into the music industry. I strongly believe that the frustration many experiences is actually what keeps them from pressing forward to achieve their goals. That alone can be a deterrent. Some will give up, not realizing how close they are to making it. This alone fuels my desire to reach success.
8.Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices, or treatments that you do to help your body, mind, or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.
SpenDoe: Remove all negativity from your life. Don’t entertain it. If you can’t be around good people, don’t be around anyone. Set boundaries with others in life. Learn to enjoy your own company. Create a balance with everything you do. I grew up a certain way, but that was due to the lack of education my family had about health, and overall wellness. I read a lot, and go around people from different cultures. I now try to consume foods that help the mind, body, and soul. Watch your caffeine intake. Limit alcoholic beverages, if you consume. I’m a big fan of green tea, in moderation. I learned about the health benefits of tea through my travels. I frequent Chinatown, SF, and other places. I embrace the culture. People and negative things can throw off your vibe, ultimately stunting your potential to grow and have that creative spirit.
- What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
SpenDoe: I wish someone would have pulled me aside early on, and explained the music industry to me. I wish someone would have told me about copyrights, publishing, how to get established, and how my recordings were supposed to sound, quality-wise. Feady Crocka at Done Deal Digital says he’s my best sparring partner. He’s right. He uses his knowledge and experience in the entertainment world to help me succeed, and become a better artist. He show’s me things I may not have fully realized had they not been pointed out. Not everybody wants to see you succeed, and will sometimes withhold information from you, or send you in the wrong direction intentionally.
10.Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Dreams without goals remain dreams.” Denzel Washington
You can dream, but you must take action. If you don’t put one foot in front of the other, you will go nowhere. If you want something, go for it. Set an action plan. I have daily goals, weekly goals, and monthly goals. To break things down further, I have hourly goals and minute goals. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I do everything I can, that’s humanly possible to reach my goals. I have deadlines to meet. I have release dates; I have press kits, emails to respond to, social media to manage, etc. Being an independent artist, I don’t have the resources of a major label. I don’t have people to get things done for me. I also have to find my balance and regroup.
11.None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
SpenDoe: First off, GOD put me in a position to do the things I do. The people, who have entered my life at certain points, helped me take things further. I was forced to move around a lot, early on. There is a producer by the name of Shane Roth, who made my very first song ever! There is Maniak, my former producer who passed away. There is my longtime producer/engineer DJ ULTIM8M, and he wears multiple hats in the studio, allowing me to deliver music to the world once he’s done with it. There is Feady Crocka, who gave me step-by-step instructions on securing my music rights and getting in contact with the rights societies to establish myself as a legitimate recording artist.
12.You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
SpenDoe: I would create a movement that genuinely uplifts others, putting people in a position to win, and be successful in life. No strings attached, and no schemes. We should be genuinely helping others, and in return, they invest some of their time to help others, and so forth. Whether it is about music, business, life, etc… Let’s build!
13.We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
SpenDoe: I’d love to be able to sit down with J. Prince of Rap-A-Lot Records one day. I’d love to be able to sit down and learn anything, and everything that man has to offer about music and life.
I look at his position in the music industry. He’s been around for many moons. I see the way he handles himself, and I respect everything he has brought to the table. He is truly a great man and thinks before he speaks.
14 How can our readers follow you online?
SpenDoe: Readers can follow me on all social media/music platforms, literally.
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