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Culture Music

MixedByAli Talks Music and Business Ventures in A Conversation With ONE37pm

MixedByAli is one of the top engineers in the music industry with a loaded resume including work with Kendrick Lamar, the late great Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg, and more. The six-time Grammy nominee and three-time Grammy winner has no intentions of slowing down and caught up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd to talk music, entrepreneurship, and more.

Boyd: I wanted to first talk about you working on ‘What It Feels Like’ from Nipsey and Jay-Z. What was that process like for you?

MixedByAli: Just a full circle moment for me honestly with me doing the work on Victory Lap, and even before that, the relationship Nipsey and I had organically outside the music. It felt good to hear his voice again and continue his legacy. It’s an incredible record—Jay killed it! The soundtrack was amazing. Personally, it was a moment for me with Nip leaving untimely, and to be able to sonically get into it, and give this back to the world.

Boyd: Talk to us about the art of engineering and the process because I know you are working on special songs all the time—maybe not as special as ‘What It Feels Like’ but I feel like you are popping up in all the song credits! What’s that like?

MixedByAli: First of all, it’s just a blessing to be able to have that type of reaction. I’ve always been one of those people that have severe ADHD and didn’t know how to stay still. As a kid, I liked to take things apart and put them back together, and as I grew, I liked how I could do that with music. Something that was never there before is recorded through a microphone, and then it’s timeless at that point. The fact that I can add my two cents to it gives me that same feeling. I can break something apart and put it back together.

Boyd: I’ve been in the studio with you and I notice you use all of the studio tools in the room.

MixedByAli: They’re in the room, so why not use them?! All the gear I need to succeed is behind me, so why not get to it and include that in my workflow? That is one of the major reasons why my music has been the way it is—the analog sound that these tools can offer. That instantly is going to sound better than mixing the song through a computer. It’s a part of my process. If I could put an SSL board on my back, I would!

Boyd: I know you have a daughter and she has a consignment boutique—talk to us about instilling business ideas and work ethic within young children.

MixedByAli: It just goes back to me being a kid. I was always interested in business and infatuated with making money. I realized I needed to show that to my own daughter, and now she won’t even need my help in the future. She’s three-years-old, but she’s excited to do some work! The company is called Aria’s Clubhouse, and it’s to help mothers get clothes for their kids during Covid times where they may not have jobs.

Boyd: You mentioned you’re at the Bishop headquarters—I wanted to talk to you about your entrepreneurship. Tell us why you started your company EngineEars and what it means to you.

MixedByAli: The whole reason why I started EngineEars is that I was a diamond in the ruff—nobody wanted to give me that chance when I was coming up. I had to fight and work for everything I had. I always promised myself that I would give back. It started with a simple Instagram, and through that, the community started moving faster. From there I said let’s take it a step further and create something more tangible. 

I started a workshop, and from that we had organic conversations with the audience. We posted those videos, and we had people all over the world saying to come to their countries and do workshops. So we started an engineering world tour. I realized through conversations that we were all having the same problems, so I wanted to create something that would disrupt the business model. EngineEars provides upcoming engineers with the tools to build their business. I want to create a legacy that my family can be proud of through actions and not words.

Be sure to follow MixedByAli for his latest releases and business updates on both his Instagram and Twitter.

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Culture Music

YSL Artist Unfoonk Is Ready For His Moment

Young Thug has a penchant for spotting and developing new talent, however, he didn’t have to look too far this time around when it came to one of his more recent signings. Meet Unfoonk, a talented young artist who just so happens to be Young Thug’s brother. While it is clear that talent runs in YSL bloodline, Unfoonk is very much his own artist, pulling major collabs with 24 Heavy and Slimelife Shawty on last year’s popular single Mob Ties, further earning respect from industry vets.

Since discovering hip-hop as a teenager, Unfoonk has done his due diligence, steadily writing and honing his craft. Despite the pandemic, the artist has continued releasing music and doing smaller performances setting himself up for a bright future. Checking in from ATL, Unfoonk caught up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd to give an update on what he has been working on.

Boyd: I see you working with Slimelife Shawty, B Slime, Lil Gotit, and Money Game Boo. I also saw where you were bowling with Lil Keed—tell us about the people you are around, and the people you are working with.

Unfoonk: They’re family! It’s cool to be working with these guys—I’m on ten! Everybody’s got good energy and it is all love when we get together. 

Boyd: Everyone is coming up at the same time. It’s a good gang of people because you are all building each other up.

Unfoonk: Yes! Everybody brings that type of energy to the table. It’s amazing working with them especially when Lil Keed gets into the studio—we all just hit and we go!

Boyd: I know this is going to be a big year for you, but for everyone who wants to check you out right now, what song should they start out with to get an intro to who you are?

Unfoonk: ‘Mob Ties!’ That is the hit single and the song is going crazy in Georgia. Everybody is requesting ‘Mob Ties!’ It’s trending right now and I am thankful for every moment!

Boyd: Talk to us about ‘Real.’ I’m excited to hear that song when it drops!

Unfoonk: That song right there is epic! I had already recorded the song, but when Thug came back from L.A., I told him that I had a song that I wanted him to hear. I let him listen to it and he was like “I want to hop on this song—this is your best one!” He took the second verse off, cut some of my verse down, and it came out perfectly. 

Boyd: When does it come out?

Unfoonk: It’s on Slime Language 2, so it is definitely going to drop.

Boyd: What is like being around Thug and working with him?

Unfoonk: It’s just a fresh moment. When we are in the studio together, we just vibe with each other! We catch up on life so that way when we do start recording, we know what has been going on. It’s been like that since we were young. We go in!

Boyd: Last question, outside of Slime Language 2, what should we expect from you this year? 

Unfoonk: I’m dropping my first album called My Pain. I named it that because of my past and what I have been through. I want to bring something different to the table. That is why I feel like I am going to be next! 

With My Pain dropping this year, you won’t want to miss out on all of Unfoonk’s latest releases. Be sure to keep up with him on Instagram.

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Culture Music

The 35 Best Jay-Z Lyrics of All-Time

Hov, Hova, Young Hov, Jigga Man, or Jay-Z, whatever you know him as, there is no denying that Shawn Carter is one of the most legendary and influential rappers of all-time.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jay-Z escaped a life of poverty, crime, and violence to become not just a leader in music but also culture, business, and more. He has cemented his place amongst the all-time greats in music and is responsible for some of the best songs in hip-hop history.

He has dropped 13 solo albums throughout his career, along with five collaborative albums, multiple live albums, and more. While it is nearly impossible to pick what his best lyrics are, we did our best. Here are our picks for Jay-Z’s 35 best lyrics.

1. I sell ice in the winter, I sell fire in hell/I am a hustler, baby, I’ll sell water to a whale -‘U Don’t Know’
“U Don’t Know”

2. We used to fight for building blocks/Now we fight for blocks with buildings that make a killin’/The closest of friends when we first started/But grew apart as the money grew and soon grew black-hearted
“D’evils”

3. Momma ain’t raised no fool/Put me anywhere on God’s green earth, I’ll triple my worth.
“U Don’t Know”

4. Financial freedom my only hope/Fuck livin’ rich and dyin’ broke/I bought some artwork for one million/Two years later, that shit worth two million/Few years later, that shit worth eight million/I can’t wait to give this shit to my children/Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine/But I’m tryin’ to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99
“The Story of O.J.”

5. Look, if I shoot you, I’m brainless/But if you shoot me, then you’re famous
“Streets Is Watching”

6. Nine-to-five is how you survive, I ain’t tryna survive/I’m tryna live it to the limit and love it a lot/Life ills poisoned my body, I used to say fuck mic skills/I never prayed to God, I prayed to Gotti/That’s right, it’s wicked – that’s life, I live it/Ain’t askin’ for forgiveness for my sins, ends
“D’evils”

7. Allow me to re-introduce myself/My name is Hov, OH, H-to-the-O-V/I used to move snowflakes by the O-Z/I guess even back then you can call me/CEO of the R-O-C, Hov!/Fresh out the fryin’ pan into the fire/I be the music biz number one supplier/Flyer than a piece of paper bearin’ my name/Got the hottest chick in the game wearin’ my chain, that’s right, Hov
“Public Service Announcement”

8. Shit, I’m a man with pride, you don’t do shit like that/You don’t just pick up and leave and leave me sick like that/You don’t throw away what we had, just like that/I was just fuckin’ them girls, I was gon’ get right back/They say you can’t turn a bad girl good/But once a good girl’s gone bad, she’s gone forever/I’ll mourn forever/Shit, I’ve got to live with the fact I did you wrong forever
“Song Cry”

9. I’m so far ahead of my time, I’m ’bout to start another life/Look behind you, I’m ’bout to pass you twice
“Hovi Baby”

10. The year is ’94, in my trunk is raw/In my rearview mirror is the motherfuckin’ law/Got two choices, y’all: pull over the car or/Bounce on the devil, put the pedal to the floor/And I ain’t tryin’ to see no highway chase with Jake/Plus I got a few dollars, I can fight the case/So I pull over to the side of the road/I heard, “Son, do you know why I’m stopping you for?”/‘Cause I’m young and I’m black and my hat’s real low?/Do I look like a mind reader, sir? I don’t know
“99 Problems”

11. I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others/I say a B.I.G. verse, I’m only biggin’ up my brother/Biggin’ up my borough, I’m big enough to do it
“What More Can I Say”

12. Today I got my thoroughest girl with me/I’m mashin’ the gas, she’s grabbin’ the wheel, it’s trippy/How hard she rides with me, the new Bobby and Whitney/Only time we don’t speak is during Sex and the City/She gets Carrie fever, but soon as the show’s over/She’s right back to being my soldier/‘Cause mami’s a rider and I’m a roller/Put us together, how they gon’ stop both us?
“’03 Bonnie and Clyde”

13. I’m wondering if a thug’s prayers reach/Is Pious pious ’cause God loves pious?/Socrates asked, whose bias do y’all seek?
“No Church In The Wild”

14. First of all, I wanna thank my connect/The most important person, with all due respect/Thanks to the duffle bag, the brown paper bag/The Nike shoe box for holding all this cash/Boys in blue who put greed before the badge/The first pusher who ever made the stash
“Roc Boys (And The Winner Is…)

15. Yea, yea I’m out that Brooklyn, now I’m down in Tribeca Right next to DeNiro, but I’ll be hood forever
-“Empire State of Mind”

16. At your wake as I peek in, look in your casket Feelin’ sarcastic, ‘Look at him, still sleepin’
“22 Twos”

17. He told 12, “Gimme 12” He told them to go to hell about me
“Drug Dealers Anonymous”

18. Nah, I’m a poster for what happened seein’ your moms Doin’ five dollars worth of work just to get a dime So pardon my disposition Why should I listen to a system that never listened to me?
“Get By (Remix)”

19. People lined up to see the Titanic sinkin’ Instead we rose up from the ash like a phoenix If you’re waitin’ for the end of the Dynasty sign It would seem like forever is a mighty long time
“Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)”

20. Look, I’m on my grind, cousin, ain’t got time for frontin’ Sensitive thugs, y’all all need hugs Damn, little mans, I’m just tryin’ do me If the record’s two mil I’m just tryin’ move three
“Heart of the City”

21. From frustrated youths stuck in they ways Just read a magazine that fucked up my day How you rate music that thugs with nothin relate to it? I helped them see they way through it—NOT YOU.
“Renegade”

22. I’d rather die enormous than live dormant, that’s how we on it.
“Can I Live?”

23. Word life, I dabbled in crazy weight Without rap, I was crazy straight Partner, I’m still spendin money from ’88
“Dead Presidents II”

24. And I got a question: Are you forgiving guys who live just like me? We’ll never know One day I prayed to you and said if I ever blow, I’d let ’em know The stakes, and exactly what takes place in the ghetto Promise fulfilled, still I feel my job ain’t done
“Where I’m From”

25. I got dreams of holding a nine milla to Bob’s killer Asking him “why?” as my eyes fill up These days I can’t wake up with a dry pillow Gone but not forgotten, homes I still feel ya So, curse the day that birthed the bastard Who caused your church mass, reverse the crash Reverse the blast then reverse the car Reverse the day and there you are, Bobalob Lord forgive him, we all have sinned But Bob’s a good dude, please let him in And if you feel in my heart that I long for revenge Please blame it on the son of the morning, thanks again
“Lucifer”

26. Strive for what you believe in, set goals and you can achieve them
“Anything”

27 Can’t be scared to fail, searching for perfection
“On to the Next One”

28. Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week
“Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)”

29. In order to survive, gotta learn to live with regrets
“Regrets”

30. Nobody built like you, you design yourself
“A Dream”

31. A loss ain’t a loss, it’s a lesson
“Smile”

32. Fuck perception, go with what makes sense
“Moment of Clarity”

33. Whoever said illegal was the easy way out / Couldn’t understand the mechanics and the workings of the underworld, granted
“D’evils”

34. I stepped it up another level, meditated like a Buddhist/Recruited lieutenants with ludicrous dreams of gettin’ cream/‘Let’s do this,’ it gets tedious/So I keep one eye open like CBS—you see me stressed, right?
“Can I Live”

35. “One day you’re up, next day you’re down / Long as you stay the same, it’ll come back around”
“Sweet”

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Culture Music

Ramón Vega Releases His Debut Single ‘Contigo Mami’

Ramón Vega has spent the majority of the last year building his fanbase with over half-a-million followers, generating buzz amongst his peers and across social media. Vega is now taking the next step in his career with the release of his debut single and video, ‘Contigo Mami.’ Sampling Roy Orbison’s 1964 legendary hit ‘Pretty Woman,’ Vega croons to a Reggaeton beat, while adding regional Mexican flair, making the song muy caliente. Ecstatic over his debut, Vega chatted with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd.

Boyd: I want to talk about ‘Contigo Mami.’ I saw the music video, and I want to know what the song means to you.

Vega: So everybody knows that this is obviously a cover of ‘Pretty Woman,’ and it all came about because I was at a song camp that actually took place at my brothers house. At the time I wasn’t writing music, and I ended up rooming with one of my really good friends who is a writer. My roommate would play a playlist full of all these older songs, and I happened to notice that I would always fall asleep to ‘Pretty Woman.’ When I went back home and started writing, I noticed I was thinking about that song, and I decided that I wanted to do a cover of it! That was the song that opened up the floodgate to write my own music.

Boyd: And when was that?

Vega: It was May of 2020 when it started happening. That was when I began having conversations with Manny Vallarino from Sony Music—Manny knows my family and that is how I got signed.

Boyd: What do you want people to walk away thinking after they hear the song?

Vega: I want people to love more! This is an ode to women. I want men to dedicate it to all of the women out there, and walk away feeling more in love. 

Boyd: I want to know how many instruments you play. You play the accordion right? Which is your favorite?

Vega: Seven! I feel very torn between the guitar and the accordion because I love those two boxes, but the accordion has a different effect on me. I have a connection with the accordion because I feel like it’s an instrument that I can play to help turn my mood around. I feel like I can fly when I play the accordion!

Boyd: What do you do in the studio to get the mood right?

Vega: The most important thing for me depends on the kind of mood I wake up in. If I wake up in a hyper mood, then I write party-like songs and music. If I wake up sad then that is what I am connecting with. I love the girls very much, and I write songs for the ladies. Once I get to the studio, I drink a lot of coffee, I like American coffee with lactose free milk or a cappuccino, and I always like to keep the lights red or blue.

Boyd: Last question, what’s the plan for 2021?

Vega: What I want to do the most is release my music! I’ve been holding on to all these songs I made in 2020, and I want to share them to the world! The rest is in God’s hands because everything I have done is from the heart, whatever plan he has for me, I leave it in his hands and I go along with it!

You can keep up with Ramón Vega and his latest releases via Instagram.

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Culture Music

SwaVay aka ‘Crazyman Billy’ Is Repping ATL to the Fullest

You know you are a pretty darn good artist when you get from cosigns Metro Boomin, L.A. Reid, and James Blake. SwaVay, aka ‘Crazyman Billy,’ is representing ATL to the fullest with his pen game, lyrical prowess, and harmonies. Songs like ‘One, Two Step’ and ‘2 AM’ are just a few examples of why the young ‘ATLien’ has received praise from some of the most respected names in the music industry, and the artist caught up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd to chat about what he has been working on.

Boyd: I’m a fan of your music, and so is GaryVee. For anyone new to your music, what song should they start with?

SwaVay: I guess I would have to say ‘2 AM!’ Everybody is gravitating towards that song like heck right now. For some reason, this single is doing way more than I thought it was going to do! We just celebrated getting two million streams in November! I’m an independent artist to the fullest, and now I’m about 2,000 streams away from 3 million. It’s crazy! My personal favorite though is a song called ‘YAYA’—I have a video for that too!

Boyd: Why ‘YAYA’? Tell us a little bit more about that.

SwaVay: For me, ‘YAYA’ is when I find that balance between having a modern catchy beat, and punching people in their face with lyricism. For me to do that track with Pyrex, and the song and video to come out the way it did, makes it my favorite song to date. I can’t get tired of this song—and it’s on my album with a guest feature as well. 

Boyd: Shoutout to Pyrex! What’s it like working with him?

SwaVay: Probably the fastest and most creative human being I’ve ever been around in my entire life. He has beat ideas and literally comes up with full beats within minutes. I think one time I watched him, and it took him no longer than 10 minutes! I believe he’s one of the top young producers on the rise, and I’ve known him for like 3 or 4 years. For us to come up at the same time—I love that.

Boyd: Some may not like the making a song in ten minutes, but if you’ve been honing your craft—the sum of what you put into it is the time you’ve spent to get to that point.

SwaVay: I don’t even think that matters honestly . I think music is all feeling. I’ve made songs that have taken me a week to write or record, and then I’ve had songs where I heard the beat, hopped in the booth, and was just like “Yo this is crazy!” As long as you love what you are doing—I don’t think time matters at all.

Boyd: When you are in the studio what do you do to get the vibes right?

SwaVay: When I’m in the studio I have the same format. I make sure to tell my friends to pull up, from there I just listen to what I’m about to work on. Right now I’m doing this thing where I don’t really rap on drums—I’m just rapping on the music and the sample. Then I end up coming back to the drums. A lot of times I start with conversation to get things off my chest and talk about things that have been on my mind. I’ve literally booked studio time where I’ve spent hours talking. The vibe is usually friends, a good conversation, and something on the T.V.—something I can look up at to get inspiration. Oh and I don’t smoke—I’ve never smoked or drank a day in my life. 

Boyd: So you record without the drums, then you put them in and let it go as it falls?

SwaVay: Yeah I’ve been doing this for like a year or two! Sometimes I feel like if you hear a beat with the drums , it can already give you a direction to go in. So to give me more room and space, I’ll be like “take the drums out of it.” That has honestly helped me out so much because drums are everything—especially in rap. I want to be the one making the direction of the music.

Boyd: A lot of people who don’t live in Atlanta know how special it is, but the people who do might not fully understand. What is your view on Atlanta, and how do you make a name for yourself in the scene?

SwaVay: There are other cities where you can make it there and only there. In Atlanta, I feel like if you make it here, you are on—you’ve made it! It’s way easier for an Atlanta artist to crossover, so as far as music, it’s definitely the place to be. It’s something in us where we are always early on the newer styles of music, and now we may be catching up to fashion too. Atlanta is just a place that thrives on forwardness and not being trapped into one way of thinking. You have the 21 Savages, the Young Nudy’s, Lil Baby’s—and then you have the artist’s like myself and Earthgang. So we are just thinking about getting it and making sure Atlanta is represented the right way. With Atlanta, we understand that we didn’t always have a seat on the throne. Also, it’s a small huge city, and I grew up hearing about Savage, Earthgang, and other artists. We all know and support each other.

Boyd: Last question. What’s the plan for 2021?

SwaVay: I’m releasing the album I hold closest to my heart called Almetha’s Son which is my mom’s name. It’s the one project I feel that you can walk away from and know who SwaVay is. It’s very reflective and you get a backstory of me. I’m excited!

You can keep up with all of SwaVay’s latest releases on Instagram and Twitter.

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Culture Music

Fresco Trey: A Memphis-Born Star on the Rise

Fresco Trey is the truth, and it won’t be long before the entire world knows it. Memphis bred, Trey is an emotional artist known for his feel-good vibes and willingness to address love, pain, and everything in between. A trailblazer determined to make his own path, Fresco Trey has gone from a budding artist sliding underneath the radar to working with some of the top artists and producers in the music industry in just two years.

The multi-talented rapper and singer is coming off an eventful three days in Atlanta, where he worked with ATL producing legend Zaytoven on a soon to be released single. Zaytoven, a Grammy award-winning producer, has put together an extensive resume over the past 20 years working with the likes of Gucci Mane, Usher, Drake, and Future, and closed out 2020 with a bang, partnering with Scooter to release a collaborative effort entitled Zaystreet. Zaytoven typically only takes on longer projects but was willing to make a rare exception for Trey, which actually isn’t a total surprise considering the producer has a passion for recognizing and developing young talent (he is credited for producing many of the early hits that took Migos to the next level). Checking in with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd, Trey talked about his time in the studio with Zaytoven, his plans for 2021, and more.

Boyd: During the course of this pandemic, you’ve been in L.A., Miami, and Atlanta working on new music. What’s been the motivation to go so hard?

Trey: I’m from Memphis, where nothing is given, so it teaches us to go hard for everything you want. Plus, I know if you want to be a worldwide artist, you’ve got to move around the globe. We’re just starting!

Boyd: The ‘Feel Good’ video is out now. What does that song and video mean to you?

Trey: In a time of a pandemic, racial tension, and all of the depressing stuff going on in the world, I want my fans to know you can still feel good about life and the possibilities of returning to a fun place in time.

Boyd: You’ve been working with some notable producers as of late, including Zaytoven. What has that been like, and what can we expect musically?

Trey: It’s been a humbling experience to get to work with some of the best. Working with the best in the game right now has caused me to step my own game up. I’m excited and grateful all at once.

MattyShootsFilm
Fresco Trey and Zaytoven

Boyd: What city has been the most fun so far? How have they been different?

Trey: Each city has its own vibe, and I love each one for a different reason. The crazy thing is that I’ve been blessed to, wherever I go, they mess with me and my music. That part has been surreal!

Boyd: What are the main highs and lows from being independent right now?

Trey: I guess the main high for being independent is my team! I have the best team ever, and we came together by the grace of God. They weren’t just people who were thrown on me, but they were handpicked from that real cloth that my dad so often speaks of. The down part is that the world hasn’t heard all of this great music yet. That’s another reason we go so hard—we want the world to hear this heat!

Klews

Boyd: What is the plan for the rest of 2021?

Trey: The plan for 2021 is to release more great music and move around more to introduce our sound to people in every city and every part of the world. We want to try and take the music game by storm and do what we’ve been doing, times 10!

You can watch the video for ‘Feel Good’ here. Be sure to follow Fresco Trey on Instagram and Twitter for all of his latest music releases.

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Culture Music

Big 8 and Robert Lee Discuss Their Plans For 2021

The music industry is a totally different ball game than what it was let’s just say two decades ago. Since social media wasn’t really a ‘thing’ back then, artists pretty much needed a full team from the very beginning of their careers if they wanted to achieve success. Today things are slightly different but one thing remains a constant—artists still need a good manager. This is where the dynamic tandem Big 8 and Robert Lee come into play. With a resume consisting of artists of: Lil Keed, Lil Got It, and Slimelife Shawty, the duo dropped some gems in a conversation with Mike Boyd.

Boyd: Congratulations on everything that happened last year for you guys! I know Corona kind of ruined a lot, but y’all were still going crazy. I saw Keed promoting a song with Playboi Carti…  is that how you guys help artists get their buzz up?

8 & Lee: The main thing is to anticipate. We just try to keep things going and never stop. That is our main thing. Keep going on and keep moving!

Boyd: What is the biggest thing you guys have learned so far from being managers?

8 & Lee: That every artist is different. Everybody works differently, and some you have to be more understanding when dealing with them. 

Boyd: Since you guys have such a large roster when it comes to artists, what is the difference between working with somebody like Slimelife Shawty and an artist like Lil Keed?

8 & Lee: They come from the same background, but they are two totally different people. Keed is more of a ‘people person,’ and Slime is more laid back. You just have to learn your artists. Once you learn your artist, you will know how to work and deal with them. Being a manager means you have to get to know your artist and be there for them.

Boyd: I saw where Lil Keed posted to his story about being in the studio and wanting people to hit you two for features. How busy did you guys get? Does your email start flooding like crazy in situations like that?

8 & Lee: Our inbox is always at capacity which is crazy! The phone never stops ringing—it’s never ending. 

Boyd: Talk to us a little more about that because Atlanta is a different beast, and a lot of people don’t really know how it goes down. What’s your plan of attack?

8 & Lee: Basically we make everybody contact a lawyer first so we can get the paperwork to make sure nobody is playing around. 

Boyd: What is your opinion on when artists should drop projects?

8: My personal opinion is that artists should drop projects fast. I don’t think artists should hold back especially if you have an ear. I think you should drop at least every three or four months. Especially if you have a project that didn’t do as well as you thought it should. Try to come back and win.

Lee: I agree. At least drop something!

Boyd: What should we be on the lookout for 2021?

8 & Lee: The whole team is dropping projects so be on the lookout. Mad Marcc, Slime, Keed, everybody! Oh and we’re dropping a collaboration with all of the artists! It’s a L8TE Ent project. We already started, and we got a lot of big features on there!

Boyd: How do you approach achieving your goals? Do you plan them out?

8: I believe in both short-term and long-term goals. So if it is something that I can accomplish in a month, I will do it, but I believe in long term goals as well. I write everything down. I like to make a checklist, and mark things off. I have a morning routine—I check my missed calls and messages, and then try to get work done for each artist after that. 

Lee: Yeah it depends on what it is. If it’s something quick we will pull it out for sure, but if it’s a project, we’ll make a long-term goal. It’s the same for me.

Boyd: Last question, what is one of the biggest things people may not know about being an artist manager?

8 & Lee: You have to take the time to get to know your artist. It’s a round the clock job, and pretty much have to be their parent! You’re like the additional parent basically—they are going to come to you with their problems! You have to be there for everything. So you have to learn your artist or you are going to have a lot of problems. 

Be sure to keep up with Big 8 and Robert Lee on Instagram.

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Culture Music

All Eyes Are On Slater Davis

Eyes have been on Slater Davis as he continues to blaze his way through the Pop Rock scene with an innovative style that makes you instantly relive legendary 80s and 90s Rock & Roll classics, while effortlessly blending pop and punk. His latest single, 2021, shows an artist maturing into his own. The song has received positive reviews from both fans and critics, who have praised Davis’ growth as an artist, and willingness to unapologetically operate in his own lane. Celebrating the release, the LA Native had a conversation with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd.

Boyd: So let’s talk about the song ‘2021.’ Can you tell us about the song and artwork?

Davis: ‘2021’ is a song that I made with these producers Theo & The Climb, and Matt Crawford—I went to high school with their manager and he approached me about it. Music is something I’ve been doing, but for the last year and a half, I’ve been focusing on it full time. I got on a Zoom call with the producer and they loved the old school millennium  Rock direction because they are my age. Aaron, another producer, got on the guitar and we started harmonizing. The song encapsulates all of the isolation. The video captures that too. For me, I have always been true to myself. Being in L.A., I’ve seen certain people change in different situations, so I talk about that and feeling lonely too. 2021 is going to take a group effort to make changes. This is a song to give hope to people struggling.

Boyd: What song should someone start with to get to know you and your music?

Davis: That’s tough! As far as what I’ve released so far—it’s definitely between ‘Best Friend,’The Girl Out Here,’ and then ‘2021.’ I think ‘2021’ is probably the best one to listen to because as an artist you become attached and you start to nitpick at yourself. ‘The Girl Out Here’ was the first song off the project, and it was inspired by the female perspective of growing up in L.A., and the pressures that they have to deal with. ‘Best Friend’ is a song of all the trials and tribulations that I have gone through with women, and ‘2021’ is the song to get to know me. It’s actually my favorite song that I have released so far. It’s the one to focus on in terms of any promotion or marketing to get people to listen to it. It’s a catchy song that has depth.

Boyd: What’s your approach to TikTok?

Davis: One of my best friends has like a million followers. He started during quarantine and blew up. He tells me to post all the time. It’s hard to capture my personality on Instagram, as well as my engagement not being that great. So it’s hard to get across who I am as an individual and an artist through just a photo. I try to use TikTok because I’m eclectic in terms of my personality. So I try to set a posting schedule. I try to spread love and positivity. That is a big part of my life. I also try to promote my music. There is really no method to my madness when it comes to TikTok. My followers have shown a lot of love for my music. 

Boyd: Final question, what should we expect next from you?

Davis: The music video for ‘2021’ is coming out January 29th! I shot it last week and it is awesome! I also have two music videos out right now for ‘Girl Out Here’ and ‘Bad Boy,’ but this music video is by far my best music video. I can’t wait for people to see it!

You can keep up with all of Slater Davis’ latest releases on both Instagram and Twitter.

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Culture Music

Trends In TikTok: ‘Driver’s License,’ ‘Rasputin,’ and More!

We are continuing our weekly TikTok series where we give you a roundup of the previous week’s most viral TikTok trends. Unlike the past two weeks where we saw makeup challenges and DIY’s dominating the platform, this week’s trends were pretty much all dance-related. These new challenges are all creative and fun, so let’s dive into it!

1. ‘Driver’s License’

Artist: Olivia Rodrigo

‘Driver’s License’ is sitting pretty at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the song is one of the most popular tracks in the world right now. There are no set rules to this challenge—you can do just about anything you want to it. Some have created dance routines, while others have opted to make traveling videos. This is a simple yet fun challenge that you and your friends can get in on.

2. ‘Rasputin’

Artist: Boney M

Remember how we talked about older songs making a reappearance on TikTok? Well ‘Rasputin’ is the latest old school classic to make this list. Originally released in 1978, the ‘Rasputin’ challenge is a dance trend where you have to pretend you are playing the popular game Just Dance. This challenge is super creative, and brings back the glory era of those early Just Dance games. You should try this one if you haven’t already!

3. ‘I Am’

Artist: Young Baby Tate ft. Flo Milli

Released towards the end of 2020, Young Baby’s ‘I Am’ is all about positive attitudes and affirmations. Featuring Flo Milli, the song has quickly become one of the most popular trends on the platform, with millions choosing to put their own spin on the challenge. Some have filmed their videos in front of their mirrors, while others have had written affirmations appearing throughout their TikToks. You can take multiple approaches to this one, but just make sure to keep it positive!

4. ‘Best Ever’

Artist: Polo Frost

‘Best Ever’ was another one of the tracks that was overlooked at the time of its release. However like many underrated songs, the single has come roaring back with the help of innovative TikTokers. There is no specific choreography with this one—all you have to do is dance! You can go solo, or you can pair up with a group of friends. This is a neat challenge to try if you are in a dancing mood.

That’s going to do it for this week, but we will be back next week with another round of TikTok trends. Stay tuned!

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Culture Music

Renowned Producer Kato Is Going In A New Direction

Behind every great song is an equally great producer. Since starting his career in 2006, Kato has produced and worked with many accomplished artists, including Lil Scrappy, Kalena, and Roscoe Dash. His latest production effort, ‘So Pretty,’ has sparked a new challenge on TikTok, and the five-time Billboard charting producer caught up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd to discuss the past, present, and future.

Boyd: The ‘So Pretty’ record is out right now. That song is going up! Tell us a little bit about what it means to you.

Kato: It’s pretty crazy because I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment like this that happened in this particular way in my entire fourteen years of making music. I posted a beat on the internet, and it just started going crazy! Reyanna did a duet to it on TikTok, and it just went viral. Family members that I hadn’t spoken to in years and elementary school friends were reaching out to me. It’s been wild! Reyanna’s version began becoming a trend on TikTok about three weeks ago.

Boyd: I heard Tyga may be jumping on it!

Kato: Yeah we didn’t talk about anything specific, but we’ve definitely got him on some stuff! 

Boyd: Being in the game for a while and having this TikTok moment—I don’t think many people like yourself have those random moments. With everything you’ve been through, what’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from the music industry so far that you can shed some light on?

Kato: There have been so many lessons that I have learned! I think the most important thing is following your own path. It can be super challenging to launch a new music career because of all the uncertainty. There is absolutely nothing in life and in the music industry that is guaranteed. Everything is based on your own internal faith in your journey. There are so many different people doing different things, and they are all winning at what they do best. I know I just have to believe in my own path and work towards that relentlessly. Every waking moment is spent working towards some type of goal for my own journey. That’s something I’ve become very comfortable and proud about. I learned that from GaryVee, and I learned a lot of my hustle from my dad because he was an entrepreneur. So I got that experience early.

Boyd: I wanted to ask you about the importance of video content. Can you talk about what you try to achieve with your videos on social media. A lot of artists don’t know what to do when it comes to video work.

Kato: I used to be that way too! I was probably the most shy and introverted person that I’ve ever met or known in my entire life! The only reason why I was able to break out of that was because I got out of music. I actually started as a rapper and producer, and that forced me to perform and start talking to people. Then once I started working closely with artists, especially when social media became a form of promotion, I realized that these artists were going super hard on social media. I started to lean on the same thing. I wanted to build a community and fanbase around what I was doing—and it’s free! 

Boyd: I wanted to also ask you about time management and how you go about your day when you have five or seven things to get done. Do you have any tips for a busy person going about their life?

Kato: I kind of have my rituals. I wake up and brush my teeth, then I take my dog out and feed her. Just really normal stuff, and then I start with more administrative things like emails, and following up with people. I check my social media and respond to DMs and comments. To be honest with you, I kind of take things day by day because things change so much —especially now with this TikTok stuff. We’ve got labels reaching out, and all kinds of zoom meetings. My schedule is constantly changing, and I tell myself to adapt to it. I just make sure I remain disciplined enough to do it. I remember when I first quit my job to do music full-time—Ihad a white board reminding me of everything to get myself regimented to prepare for what was to come.

Boyd: Last question, what should we expect from you for the rest of the year?

Kato: More music and like I said before, we are in some conversations now that are really going to position us in a different way. I want to continue using my social media platforms to discover new artists, and have more songs blow up on TikTok for all the talent that’s not on Drake level yet. I really pride myself on getting on it early. I’m going to be doing everything I can this year to find new talent and develop them.

Be sure to keep up with all of Kato’s latest releases on Instagram and Twitter.