South Carolina has plenty of rap artists that are trying to put on for the state. Some has the creativity and no budget, while others has the budget and no creativity. I have come across a lot of artists in the Carolinas that do what it takes to get their music pushed. Recently I came across one of those artists through a very close friend of mine. His music speaks volumes and unlike many artists that follow trends, this artist leads the way by being original. C. Clark is the epitome of hustling and grinding in a state that has very little movement and is gaining fans from across the world.
C. Clark born and raised in Greenville, SC has been putting together rhymes for half of his life, and he begin taking his craft seriously in 2009. I had the pleasure of interviewing this artist and here are the Q&As:
HNGB: Who were the first influences on your music and style?
CClark: My influences on music were Biggie, Pac (Tupac), and Nas. I became a student of music because they inspired me. Also Andre 3000 and TI because they are from the south, they had the courage to be themselves.
HNGB: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in hip hop today and why?
CClark: Jay-Z hands down. I respect his success. Looking at how he couldn’t get a record deal, going independent working hard. He drops an album every year which is a hard thing to do and still give the people what they want every time. He is a business man. Jay-Z’s success came from his hard work.
HNGB: Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
CClark: Personally soulful beats is my favorite, but C. Clark has to make music versatile. Versatility allows people to enjoy music from every aspect in hip hop. People enjoy my lyrical flow and content because my songs speaks to the them. My lyrics connect to the people and they can relate to my music. Beats are important to making my lyrics connect to the people I talk to. Must have a hot beat to support my lyrics.
HNGB: Do you make your own beats and write your own lyrics?
CClark: I don’t make my own beats, but it is something that I want to get into so I can produce them myself. I write all my lyrics and sometimes I take suggestions from those I am close with to inspire me to write hot and conscience lyrics.
HNGB: If you don’t produce any of the beats by yourself, how do you get this done?
CClark: I reach out to producers locally and I use the internet to listen to beats from producers all over the country. I also make sure that the beats I used are not rap over beats, my music is original and I want to keep all the contents original.
HNGB: What do you think is most essential in making your sound and style the way it is?
CClark: Being myself, Being original. That what makes me standout. My gimmick is being myself and my personality allows me to lead the my music in the path of success instead of following trends of others.
HNGB: What aspect of the music making process excites you most?
CClark:The aspect of the music making process that excites me the most is the creativity. When you hear a song that you just put together for the first time give me a proud moment. Also doing interviews because that means people are listening to my music.
HNGB: What aspect discourages you the most?
CClark: Manipulations….the music industry is not the cleanest and there is a lot of dirt. Seems like the more fame or notoriety you get, you will get more manipulators that you come in contact with.
HNGB: How involved are you in the recording, producing, mastering, marketing, and other processes needed to make and sell your music?
CClark: I am very hands on with the recording, mastering, producing whereas searching for beats, mastering, and so forth. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my music.
HNGB: Do you outsource any part of these processes?
CClark: Yes I have music on different websites and social media sites such as http://www.legendmixtapes.com and other sites that DJ Disspare from Canada outsource my music.
HNGB: Do you think the advent of internet and all the new technology has helped your music and independent musicians in general, or do you think it just creates a mass of mediocre “copycats” who flood the web, making it difficult to distinguish yourself?
CClark: The internet and all the new technology used to put out your music can be a gift and a curse. As a gift your music will get heard and reach out to a lot of people out there listening. It can be a way to reach out to A&Rs and labels. It is a curse because the new technology it allows today’s society to sell controversy, buy fame (likes, shares, views, and comments), quality of music went down because now everyone is trying to be an artist. It is not like back in the day where you have to perform or submit your music to be heard. I try to get one fan at time, rather than trying to get 30. My reason behind that is that numbers lie. When I have that one fan that I gain at a time, they will be a fan for life. Those fans will support you and your movement. Gaining 30 or more fans at a time are more likely to be bandwagon fans. Those fans are not usually loyal, and soon as another artist come out that is projected to be hotter, most of those 30 if not all will leave you and start supporting the next.
HNGB: In your experience thus far, what is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed? What are some that you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
CClark: The best piece of advice in this business that I still follow is to stay humble and stay hungry. One advice I didn’t follow and I know that I should have is knowing when to brag about your craft or being too nice…..that’s the manipulation factor that I spoke of about this industry.
At this point C. Clark was telling me about something that he wrote on Facebook regarding the South Carolina Music Awards. People took it as a diss or him separating himself from the South Carolina Music Awards to cause a division. He want everyone to know that was not the case.”It is not about win or lose”.
HNGB: Being an independent artist, which is the one factor, above all else, that you currently desire most (increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, more club and live performances etc…)?
CClark: Need more people like you who take time to listen to my music and write about me and my creativity. People like you are platforms to allowing people to get to know me and connect with me through my music.When people show interest in an artist and do something to spread the work of the artist people follow, and that is when people take independent artists serious.
HNGB: Where do you distribute and promote your music?
CClark: I distribute and promote my music on Facebook, YouTube, CD Baby, LengendMixtapes.com, Datfpiff.com and soon all music will be on iTunes.
HNGB: How important do you think video is to your music, and how do you produce your videos?
CClark: Extremely important to have a music video. The plot of the video should display the content of your lyrics. I have a music video for Private Dancer Ft YaYa and JJ Dae that was directed and edited by Russell Double. This video was the most successful one because the story plot takes you to another level.
HNGB: What in your opinion is the biggest barrier an artist like yourself, has to face and overcome, to gain any commercial success?
CClark: This goes back to me being too nice. I have a laid back personality. People tend to stamp me quality because of it. What I mean by “stamp me quietly” is this, I can post music and people will inbox me “Swear man you are the best artist around here” or pull me off to the side. These are people who like what you do, but don’t leave comments where others can see their support. I want people who stamps me and my music quietly to know that openly leaving a comment to show support is not dick riding if you show love on my page or any other artist that you support page.
HNGB: In closing, tell us something about any projects and ideas you have in store or are already working on?
CClark: Just want to thank all my fans, family, and friends for supporting me. Keep rocking with me and continue to support me and my music. I want to thank Big P, and Rena Marie of Hustlez N Grindz Blog Magazine for taking the time out to see what my music is all about. To the state of South Carolina we are getting closer, and I am not in competition with anyone, I just have a competitive spirit.
Check out C. Clark music video Private Dancer Ft YaYa and JJ Dae
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