Counterfeit - INTERVIEW
1. Tell us your rap name and where are you from?
My rap name is Counterfeit and I'm from Anaheim, California.
2. What made you start making music?
I began making music because I wanted to drench my thoughts and feelings in reverb and autotune & release it as a product for everyone to enjoy. If just one person feels better by listening to a song I made then I'm satisfied with myself. To me, writing and recording is like a therapy session where I can say what's on my mind and let it all out. I first got into making music because I wanted to release a diss track aimed at my engineering teacher in high school using the instrumental of Big Sean's "Bounce Back". Although that song was never released, it was what started getting me interested in seriously making music. As time went on, I began to take rapping as less of a joke and more of a career.
3. Who are your influences?
Childish Gambino and Speaker Knockerz are just some of the many artists that have influenced what I say on the mic and how I project myself. I really admire Gambino's introspective rapping style on albums like "Because the Internet" and "Camp". His flows are incredibly smooth and his subject matter can range from uplifting to morbid (a lot like my music). The late Speaker Knockerz is another one of my influences because of how far he managed to go without a label. Aside from that, his autotune-heavy tracks are incredibly infectious and it's a shame he died before he could truly break into the mainstream. So many up-and-coming rappers have stolen his sound without even acknowledging how he paved the way for them. Some other influences of mine are rap pioneers like Kanye West, Eminem, and Lil Wayne.
4. What is your take on the underground rap scene right now?
I have nothing but love for anyone trying to make it in the rap game right now. While old-heads or "purist" rap fans will demean the new generation of up-and-comers by labeling them as "mumble rappers", they simply don't know how much work it takes for a rapper to make a solid record. Just because new-school artists rely on catchy flows over bars with substance doesn't mean their work should be discredited. Ultimately, I applaud any rapper trying to make it whether they are recording in a studio or in their bedroom closet.
5. What are your goals for 2019 regarding music?
2019 was the first year I began officially releasing music on all major platforms. I put out a handful of singles and guest verses from January to May and most-recently released a 7-track album in September entitled 'Damage Control'. As of now, I'm not sure if I'll be releasing anything before the year ends. Nevertheless, I'm hard at work in the studio getting new material recorded. There's a chance I may drop a single or an EP before the decade comes to a close. If not, look for new music from me in early 2020.
6. You have 1 person to thank who would it be?
I would like to thank Becksuses who is the producer I frequently work with. He constantly helps me elevate my sound and has taught me a lot about the music industry. Without him, I probably never would have gotten my music out on all streaming services. He had faith in me as an artist when very few did and now I boast thousands of plays on Spotify, Soundcloud, and Youtube.
7. What is your process for recording music?
Once I have a beat that fits what I'm looking for, I usually start by figuring out the different melodies I want to use. Following that, I write out what I'm currently frustrated or enthused about and go from there. It's a long and messy process and many songs never make it past the writing stage. If the beat is speaking to me and I can feel the vibe, I proceed to lay out the vocals. I generally put out multiple takes so if I don't like how I rapped in one of them I can use another.
8. Any upcoming projects or singles fans should be getting ready for?
I have an EP on the way that is currently slated for late 2019 or early 2020. I have currently recorded two tracks for this project and plan to make some more songs for it. The ones I have already completed are called "Glass House" and "Spaced Out". Both are melodic trap ballads about my past & present struggles. I feel these tracks deviate a good bit from the music I have released this year (in a good way).
9. What is your favorite part about being an artist/musician/rapper?
My favorite part of being a rapper is just being able to put out content that others can enjoy and relate to. I also love how shocked some people are when they find out I make music.
10. What impact do you want to have on the world?
I honestly just want to continue making music that reaches people across the world. Every-time I look at my Spotify statistics and see people listening to my music in different countries, I feel a sense of pride and delight. The fact that what I record in California can be enjoyed by people across the world who don't even know me is something beautiful.
11. What are your ambitions with music is this just a hobby or is this a full blown 24/7 lifestyle your embodying?
At the moment, music is more of a hobby for me. This is only because I'm a college student trying to balance my education with my rap career. As time goes on, I hope rap becomes more of a full-blown lifestyle. I have been rapping for less than a year and already have respectable streaming numbers on all services. I will continue to grow my numbers and plan to rise to a position where my music can pay my bills.
12. Who is your favorite artist in the rap game right now and why?
Currently, my favorite artist in the rap game is Juice Wrld. He consistently puts out music with raw emotion and doesn't hold back on every record he puts out. 'Goodbye and Good Riddance' is an album I always have in rotation even though it's well over a year old. I wish him luck and hope he continues to release some therapeutic cuts.
13. what does the music you create make you feel?
The music I create makes me feel proud of myself. I take pride in everything I put out. I'm sorry if I sound narcissistic but I truly enjoy what I release. It just makes me ecstatic whenever something I recorded is played back and the people around me genuinely like it.
14. why is music so important and dear to your heart?
Music is dear to my heart because I simply love putting pen to paper and creating content. Like everyone, I take pleasure in listening to songs created by other people but it feels so much better to have a musical world of your own that you made from scratch. I want to take part in the game instead of just being a spectator on the bleachers.
15. Taking this as a passion what works best with you for endeavors you may face (regarding to music)?
What works best for me is just pushing out more albums, projects, and features. I want to release until I make it big and then continue to lay out tracks just as good or better.
16. whats your best collaboration experience with another artist or producer?
As stated earlier, working with producer Becksuses has been a great way for me to work on improving my craft. He produces many of my tracks and also records music himself. I featured on his 2019 single 'like that' and it was a blast to put everything together. I also enjoy collaborating with California-based rapper Lil Bitch and singer io.
17. who does all of your cover art or do you make your own?
I have made many of my cover arts but also have had friends and fellow collaborators make them for me for certain tracks. For instance, when I released my single 'Medusa' in April, I enlisted rapper/singer Yung Trappie to craft the cover art. He also featured on the cut.
18. who makes most of your beats or production?
Becksuses makes most of my beats and he also records guest features for a lot of the tracks that I lay vocals on.
19. who is one artist you wish to work on music with and why?
I would love to make a song with Lil Yachty one day. He always has such a laid-back vibe and the music he makes uses incredibly catchy melodies. He seems like one of the coolest people in the rap industry.
20. who is one producer you wish to work with and why?
I wish to work with Memphis producer Tay Keith at some point because his instrumentals have those signature hard 808s with a generally ominous vibe. I'd be interested to see how I could flow on a beat made by him.
21 do you have any upcoming shows in the next couple months?
I performed at a benefit concert in March. I don't have any upcoming shows at the moment but you can follow me on my social media accounts to stay updated on any future shows I perform at. Currently, I am focusing more on putting music out there.
22 for people who havent heard of you what sets you apart from other artists?
What sets me apart is that I always try different styles and am never content with staying in one lane. I can make an incredibly lyrical "fast-rap" track one day and then make a melody-heavy record the next. I also respond to all my fans who DM me about my music.
23 at the end of the day what does music mean to you?
Music is a massive part of my life. To me, it means being able to freely express how you are feeling in a way that makes others want to listen. If I walked up to someone and ranted about how everyone is fake or that I feel paranoid, people would walk away or quickly get annoyed. If I walked up to someone and told them to listen to a song I made discussing those same topics, they'd be more inclined to listen.
24. Any live shows or projects you got coming up? I don't have any live shows right now but I have an EP in the works that is slated for late 2019 or early 2020.
25. Where can the people that checked out this interview find you? You can find me on all major music platforms. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram.
Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/188anzqY38i6X9xLEmciNH Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/counterfeit-320813743 Apple Music - https://music.apple.com/us/album/damage-control/1479207568 Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO9l71aiRxd_v8BTaIWvUnA Twitter - https://twitter.com/CounterfeitRap Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/counterfeit714/