Living in New Jersey but originally from Russia, here is an emcee with a lot to talk about. Brendan Deane asks the questions.
When did you start making music and was there a person or artist that inspired you to start writing songs and hit the studio?
I started writing back in 2000 and in 2001 me and my younger brother St.Rap founded a group called Lazy Bones. So it took us 3 years till we first hit the studio. Can't say that somebody inspired me cuz I always been into music, may be my father did, who often played guitar in the evenings so I just liked it and wanted to be into music.
Let’s talk about your latest project, its sounding really tight. Who features on it, who dealt with the production and how long did it take to make?
If you talk about Tell Me The Way single then it took me like a couple of hours to write the lyrics and nearly 25 minutes to record it in the booth. The engineer mixed it for like an hour I guess. Actually that's a cover song which originally performed by Coma feat. TLC and I just took the beat and sang the same chorus just in a bit different way. I wanted to dedicate this song one girl so I didn't expect that so many people would love it but yeah I’m glad they do. There is no one featured on it but me including the singing part. Right now I’m in the process of making a video for it which is going to be really tight! All fans of Silent Hill, Requiem For A Dream and Alfred Hitchcock are going to like it! Gotta say big thanks to Ole Nicole for starring in it! I don't wanna sound arrogant but this video is going to be really awesome!
How would you describe the music that you make? I know it’s hard to compare yourself to other artists and styles, but what kind of vibe is your music on?
You know, I’m glad you asked this question because it's really hard to define my style or genre. Of course it's hip hop, but I’m more into sad and soothing music. I like when music touches you to the quick. Sure everything depends on mood so lately I dropped many songs that are really aggressive though I don't try to make gangsta music or to be exact I don't try to write gangsta lyrics, only relevant stuff which I had to go through, my experience. You know I always thought that gothic music is kind of hard rock or that type of music but when I had a chance to listen to it I found out that it sounds pretty close to what I compose so man I don't know what to call my music but my music is my emotions and expressions of that invisible world. What do you enjoy the most about the whole process of recording and writing music? Is there something that you absolutely love and is there anything that maybe you don’t like doing as much?
I don't like writing when I don't feel like it but for some reasons I have to. For example if someone invited me to be a featured artist and gave me a deadline, you know. As I said I don't like to invent things in my songs so when I got some stuff to tell about I write lyrics on the fly. I like composing but again I gotta be inspired by something or someone.
Are you releasing your music on your own label or do you have a team that is aiming to help you get signed to a major?
I do my own shit. Been so many years in the game I realized that I gotta be able to do as much as I can in order not to depend on anyone! I don't have lotta money to pay people for services and shit so I had to master things on my own. I learnt web design, video production, composing beats etc you know I’m into getting educated when I need something to be done. So yeah I got my own label SDP Production which is also a video label but I got my friends who run we Movie production so we associate alot in order to help each.
How are you getting your project out there? Do you have a distributor involved or maybe some shops/websites stocking & supporting your music?
Distributing has always been a hard thing. There are some people who try to help me out in it but mainly I gotta solve it myself. I take it to amazon, cdbaby, itunes etc but you know hard copied always meant alot to me but seems like people lost interest in buying them which is really sad. I always buy CD's of those artists whom I like.
Getting radio play can be hard for unsigned Hip-Hop artists, but have you had any radio play and if so what DJ’s and stations have supported you?
Sure thing. First and foremost it's CsR Radio in Providence, Rhode Island where I also used to host a show Live With Struggle da Preacher. Scott, the owner of the radio, is a great man who gave many opportunities for me there. Again, there is Broken Wave Radio in Los Angeles who showed me lotta support and Get Focused Radio in Boston. There are also lotta different stations that played and play my music but I just named the main ones which really meant alot to me.
Do you enjoy playing live? Have you done many gigs and what kind of artists have you supported or played alongside?
Yes sure I have. I've had alot of gigs since I started with my music and some of them are coming next month, going to take place in Moscow, Russia.
Let’s talk image and branding for a minute. Some artists spend lots of money on artwork and other acts aren’t that interested. How important is image, artwork and branding to you?
It's always been important to me since I started and almost nobody could help me out in that or they charged alot the ones who could, so that’s why I had to learn it on my own. It helps to save alot and produce exact shit you want without explaining it to 3rd parties.
What was the last album you brought and apart from Hip-Hop what other genres of music do you listen too?
My last manufactured album was dropped in 2008; right now I’ve been working on one which probably is going to be recorded in Paris, France. I'm into many styles, man. But I tell you mainly I like sad and lyrical songs, ballads and shit.
Have you got any videos on You Tube and have any ever got played on TV Stations?
Oh yeah man, that's what I’ve been focused on lately is my video production. Check my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/struggledapreacher for them video and soon my new video for Tell Me The Way is coming up!
So what does the future hold for you as an artist? Have you got any big plans that you can tell us about before you go?