IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
NYCEST EMCEE: I was born in Chicago, Illinois. I lived there until the 7th grade and then we moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My mom’s marriage started to fall apart right before my 18th birthday and so we moved to Raleigh, North Carolina halfway through my senior year of high school. Although I go back to Chicago VERY frequently (that will always be home), I have lived here in North Carolina ever since.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
NYCEST EMCEE: I am the third child out of four children. My oldest brother is a big fan of hip-hop music so with me being five years younger, I was introduced to it at a very young age. I have been rapping as long as I can remember. My dad is a big fan of jazz music and my grandfather is a big fan of blues. I grew up with an appreciation for various genres of music.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
NYCEST EMCEE: No one can possibly know me better than me. I like to have some say over what is going to be released as a representation for me both as an artist and as a person. It is also easier to be a little more daring with your music when you are the only person you have to answer to. With that being said, I am always open to constructive criticism.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
NYCEST EMCEE: My songs are about LIFE- all of it. My songs are about pain, love, sex, hate, sympathy, retaliation; anything that life is about. I don’t categorize myself and that allows me the freedom to do what I want musically.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
NYCEST EMCEE: There are way too many people and things to name. My brother was the first musical influence. From there I was captivated by the creativity and showmanship of Michael Jackson, the honesty and powerful presence of 2Pac, and the lyrical ability and flexibility of Eminem. I have many influences but these are some of the most important ones.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
NYCEST EMCEE: I would describe my music as educational. A lot of my music comes with a lesson to learn. I would describe it as loving. My songs are made with love for my fellow man. I am always trying to help people in any way that I can…what better way to do it than through music? Finally, I would describe my music as thought provoking. Most people leave my music with something to think about; a self evaluation in some instances.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes your music stand out from other artists?
NYCEST EMCEE: I have a more traditional style with very modern lyrical content. I make songs based on real life events, not the typical superficial kingpin crap that the market is flooded with. Not many hip-hop artists make songs about their children or their marriage. I don’t use profanity so most of my music does not need to be edited in any type of way.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Tell us one of the hardest challenges you’ve had to face in your music career and how did you overcome it?
NYCEST EMCEE: One of the hardest challenges would probably be becoming more independent. I used to think other people had my best interest in mind so I was trusting and faithful to them. I came to understand that no one is going to put your needs first like you will. Once I understood this I was able to move accordingly. Now I don’t let others dictate the path of my career.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
NYCEST EMCEE: I just released a video for the song “Oh Baby” off of my album “Arrival N Departure.” I’ve reached out to an entirely new group of musicians to add more diversity in my future projects. I have a couple of songs featured on the upcoming “Monsters Among Men” mix-tape being released by DJ Chase-Murda. I’m in talks to start filming another video for a brand new song that I just released a week ago. I also may be working on a new album. Stay tuned.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
NYCEST EMCEE: My goal is to touch people and inspire them to be better; better musicians and better people. I know that doesn’t seem like something tangible to most, but I think it is. People tell me every day that my music inspires them and makes them want to re-evaluate some of their choices. In 10 years I can see myself being a writer for other artists. I have a talent that lends itself to many artists in this genre and other genres of music.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can fans contact you and access your music?
NYCEST EMCEE: My album “Arrival N Departure” is available on iTunes, Amazon MP3, Spotify, and various other places. It features Royce Da 5’9″, Rah Digga, K Slack, and many other very talented artists. The mix-tape “The DJ DecaNE Mix-Tape” is available on Soundcloud and at nycestemcee.bandcamp.com. It features artists from the UK, Philippines, and Germany as well as the U.S. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Reverbnation, and just about any social media platform that you can think of.