IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
MIKE V: Originally born in Santa Fe, NM, I was raised and spent most of my life in Gallup, NM. I moved to Albuquerque, NM in 2010 and it is where I currently reside. I guess we can just say that I am from NEW MEXICO.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
MIKE V: I was introduced and have been a fan of music since I was a child. My aunt played saxophone in a marching band all thru high school so by the time I came along she was playing drums at our church. The first time I heard her play I fell in love with it. I would sit in on practice days just to listen to the music being played and to watch my aunt beat those drums. It was all so refreshing and uplifting to me to hear actual music being composed right in front of me with all the instruments and the singing it was truly a great experience.
Hip Hop came into my life at an early age as well it was around the age of 4 or 5 and I became an instant fan. I loved everything about hip hop from the words to the beat to the funk. I remember one of the first songs I heard was “Down foe my thang” by Bone Thugs. I swore I knew every word which I probably did not but I always bobbed my head and sang along when that song was on. I fell in love with Hip Hop/Rap after that but it wasn’t until I entered middle school (6th grade) at the age of 11 when I started writing music/Rapping.
The reason why I started rapping was really because of my brother Meezmo, He always had instrumentals bumping and I would just listen to him spit over them I loved it. At the age of 13 he recorded his first song ever titled “blood in blood out”, and after hearing him kill it on the cd he brought home I was hooked. I told myself this is what I want to be doing, I want to make good music for people to listen to and so I began rapping and have been doing so ever since.
I always saw writing music as a form of escaping when in reality it was a form of coping with life and all it has to offer. Unfortunately growing up I did not have the finance or resources to be able to record. It was not until 2011 that I recorded my first song ever (11 years after I began rapping). I had come across an old friend of mine that invited me over to work on music at his home studio and we got to work. We pushed the song titled “Do you wanna roll with me” and once I heard the finished product I knew it was over. I gathered information about what I needed in order to be able to record and within a month I was pushing tracks out left and right.
With no prior knowledge in recording/engineering, I dropped my first mixtape titled “I’m Here” which contained 16 songs in two and a half months, three days before Christmas of 2011. In January of 2012 I was contacted with an offer to perform at an artist showcase in downtown Albuquerque where I performed for the first time in my career. I was nervous because I was always a shy person when it came to speaking in front of crowds but once I saw how the crowd reacted to the music I knew I was exactly where I needed to be and that I was meant to make music. As 2012 went on my brothers Dreamer and Wayne P contacted me saying that they wanted to take part in my music. I figured with so much talent it was best to make a name our state would remember like an old family and so I came up with the name “Small Sity” and founded Small SIty Records.
There are currently 6 artist including myself on the Small Records roster who are each extremely talented, motivated, and dedicated in what they do. It is Meezmo, Dreamer, Wayne P, Zia, Noetic and I don’t just see them as artist’s, each one is like a brother to me and that is why I have a strong team. In 2014 we dropped a 28 song, 2 disc mixtape titled “We In It, Small Sity Mixtape vol.1” and the whole thing is fire hit me up to get your free copy of it. The Small Sity Family has only begun to make our mark. I have no plans on stopping not even at the top. Small Sity all day!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
MIKE V: My songs are about a lot of different things that’s what is so great about my music. There are some that are about personal experiences, break-ups, love, my life growing up, memories both good and bad, the passion and feelings I have about music, and just my feelings in general. But then I also have some funky stuff which is still something to relate to but is mainly something just to have fun with. I like to keep a variety of different songs to choose from so that listeners are not stuck on the same topic when the song changes. I make my music in the prospective of an avid listener. I know for a fact I would dislike hearing the same thing over and over again and that is why I like to switch my song topics up.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
MIKE V: Just one? I love to perform all of them to be honest but one I have been feeling as of lately would have to be my song “Thug Thug” featuring my brother Meezmo. Reason being is really it is just an all around fun track to perform. Everything from the beat, the hook, the verses and bridges are all so fun to perform. There is just something about that song that gets the crowd going and that’s what I love to see is the crowd vibe with the music coming thru the mic and speakers. So I guess if I had to choose just one song it would most definitely be “Thug Thug”.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?
MIKE V: What has surprised me the most in my music career is actually being heard. I come from a very small town in New Mexico where dreams usually remain dreams. It’s such a struggle to get out of town and be successful in pursuing anything such as a music career. One thing that has caught me by surprise is that I was recently contacted by a Grammy nominated producer who goes by the name of K.E on the track saying that he had come across some of the music I posted online and wanted to work with me. He mentioned that I had some “dope shit” and that with his beats, connects and my vocals we couldn’t help but win. And to be honest I really did not know who he was. I was familiar with his work but I was not familiar with the man himself.
I didn’t think too much of it at first, that was until I searched his name on Youtube. I watched a few videos of him and the work he does and that was when I realized how deep in the game this man was. I kept reading the email and watching videos and I was completely blown away thinking of how this mainstream producer had not only listened to but also liked my music and was looking to work with me. I know I promote my music to the best of my knowledge but not once did I think that it was already reaching people of that stature. I’m not saying that I didn’t have faith in my music ever being heard, I just didn’t realize that it was already hitting people the way it has. I mean I see people that have been making music for 10+ years and have yet to catch a break. I have only been recording and pushing music out for 3 years going on 4 now and I have already been heard by a Grammy nominated producer and now this whole thing with I.A.A. It is a bit crazy but I honestly see them as more of a blessing than a surprise.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
MIKE V: I have many musical influences in my life, for instance one is my brother Meezmo. If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have started rapping as early as I did and I wouldn’t be where I am at today lyrically so he plays a major part as far as musical influences go. Another musical influence of mine would have to be my auntie Rachel because if it weren’t for her I would not have fallen in love with all the music that came out of those instruments and the amazing vocals that came out of the singer’s mouth’s at the age that I did. I was convinced all she did was play instruments but the day I heard her sing I was blown away by her voice. To this day she disagrees with me that she has an amazing voice but I think what the real problem is that she is a bit shy. I love her though, she is still my coolest aunt.
MIKE V: My next influence may sound a bit odd coming from me being that my genre is Hip Hop/Rap but I have been highly influenced in my music by a lot of Mexican artists and bands. My family originates from Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua so the love for Mexican music runs in my blood. I honestly listen to more Mexican music than I do Hip Hop because I love how real their music is. I just love the composition of the music they put out. I know that many people consider it clown music or circus music but if the world understood Spanish for just one day they would see how meaningful and beautiful their music really is.
And of course last but not least my family, my Small Sity family, and our fans. These are the people that truly inspire and influence me musically. The love and support they give to me is amazing and it is what keeps me striving for success. Out of everything they give I feel like on my end it is a must that I give something back to them and that’s why I keep working to continue to provide them with good music to listen to. Much love to all y’all. Small Sity all day!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
MIKE V: I would have to say that my music is real and relatable. My music moves and inspires people as real music should. It uplifts and lets the fans relate to average life situations thru my own experiences put in song. Not everyone comes from money and can afford a life of luxury so instead I provide people with the luxury of life thru good music. There really are many different words to describe my music but I prefer to ask that you listen to a few of my songs so that you are able to experience of my music first hand.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
MIKE V: What makes me stand out from other artists is that I don’t act like an artist if that makes sense. The reason why I say this is because growing up I saw a few artist’s and met a few as well and the way they acted towards the fans was very rude and unacceptable in my book. It was almost as if they acted like they were better than the fans because of their success but in the end were all human successful or not. That is why no matter what I have gone thru or what I may go thru I will always remain thankful and humble for the family, fans and talent that god has blessed me with. Oh and I can also make people laugh and I don’t do it intentionally it just tends to happen. I think I have always been a pretty funny guy. I mean people may be laughing with me or at me but ahhh who cares I just love to laugh. But all in all the fact that I am just a normal person who has a passion for making music is what separates me from the rest. I don’t put on a front or have a figure to maintain because I am just a man with a passion for his music so take me as I am because that is the only way to love me.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?
MIKE V: The message delivered to fans. We need more motivational and inspirational music playing on our radios. The type of music that you don’t have to worry about your children singing along to because it’s so graphic. That is what I would like to see changed in today’s industry, save the graphic stuff for albums not radio play. I would also like to see a lot more truly talented artist’s being signed. All I am trying to say is that anyone can sound good with auto tune and just because you have auto tune and rhyme a few words together does not mean you can rap. Sure it may sound good but when you really get to listening to the words none of it makes sense. We really need to step our game up when it comes to lyrics and spitting bars. Start signing people that want to make a difference in the music industry not just live lavish.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
MIKE V: I have quite a few projects in the works. As of right now I am working on a couple songs for my first album titled “How I do ME” which will feature my Small Sity family and a few other artist’s from out of state so stay tuned for that one. I am also working on getting my brother Meezmo, Dreamer and Wayne P’s albums recorded and pushed out. There are a couple of songs that are already finished featuring Zia, and Noetic but there’s a lot more to come that will be featured on the Small Sity Mixtape Vol.2. We all stay working and there is just so much stuff coming your way to name so just be on the lookout for everything that’s dropping because it is all fire, every single one of them. Small Sity all day!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
MIKE V: My main goal is to take my career to the next level and be heard by millions. There are too many people out in the world today that don’t appreciate good music and my goal is to reach those people and change their views on music. I would love to make music and do shows as a full time job, I love what I do it’s my passion and I wouldn’t mind doing what I love and getting paid for doing it.
10 years? That is a pretty good chunk of life and a lot can happen in that time frame. But in 10 years I plan to be on the top charts in the music industry still doing what I do today only 10 times better. I see myself still killing the game with my Small Sity family but being known and loved everywhere across the world. I have big plans for me and my family and I will work even after I reach my goals to ensure success. So the next 10 years better be ready because I came to work and I don’t take lunches.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
MIKE V: Fans can access my music thru my Facebook, Reverbnation, Soundcloud, and Twitter page. I can also be contacted thru each of the pages listed. I constantly check each page so either one works or you can contact me thru my email which I will list as well. I personally reply to everyone that contacts me so you will not have an assistant or a manager reply to you. I like to keep in touch with my fans so drop me a message. Music links are posted below in order.
Much love to everyone that listens to my music you guys make all of this possible for me. I really do appreciate every single one of you. Small Sity all day!
-MIKE V- SMALL SITY
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