This past week I had the pleasure of conducting my first artist interview with Virginia-based underground rapper, Vainsmith. A couple months ago, my friend recommended I check out her song, "Everywhere I Look" on SoundCloud. After just one quick listen, I immediately fell in love with her old school like, laid back flow, as well as her impressive and relateable lyrics. This all done over an addictingly smooth old-school beat produced by J1k Beats. I can honestly credit this girl with playing a big part in getting me to make a SoundCloud account. After several other later listens to this track, I noticed that it didn't have nearly as many plays as I would have previously thought. How does good underground hip-hop like this go virtually unnoticed to the masses?
After seeing that I had reposted several of her songs , Ebony Boone (her real name), reached out to me on Twitter to express her appreciation for sharing her music. I was really surprised and excited to see an artist actually take the time to thank their listeners. After talking back and forth with her, I then came to the conclusion that she would be perfect to do a quick little interview with for the site. Check out the brief Q&A below, as well as three songs streaming from her SoundCloud account.
Vainsmith "Unsigned Friday" Interview
1) Who are your biggest influences?
Not to be cliche with my biggest influences but for me these were the artist I grew up watching & observing. These are the artist that I’d want to understand lyrically as I was mouthing the words to their songs as they came on my TV screen or radio. So with that being said my biggest influences were & still are Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Nas, Common, Mc Lyte, Missy Elliott, The Notorious B.I.G. but my taste also expands beyond hip hop with neo soul & jazz being my other inspiration as well.
2) If you could compare yourself to an established artist, who would that be?
As far as current established artist I’d probably say I’m a mixture of Kendrick Lamar, Stalley & Childish Gambino. I name these guys because I feel hints of myself in them when I listen to their music. These are some very relatable guys for different reasons. Kendrick Lamar is rich in history, Stalley is laid back & Childish Gambino is the nerd / cool guy that people want to get to know but also aren’t too sure of. Lyrically they speak a truth that I try to capture in my own music while staying true to who I am at the core.
3) Who is your hero?
I have many heroes in many fields of work but at this very moment I’d have to say that Gordon Parks - a well known African American photographer has changed my perspective of life over the past few years with his body of work. I’ved watched the way he’s painted life with a lens & created a history that we can reflect on today. He’s been an inspiration for my music as well because I want to leave behind my own mark. In general my heroes are those who’ve made a change while using themselves to do so.
4) What do you think your listeners will get out of your music?
My listeners with find hints of my life, their lives & many other elements in my music. I just truly hope that they feel where I’m coming from as an individual just striving to get by.
5) What made you want to start rapping?
I’ve had this fascination with art forms even as a child. It started with sketching, painting, writing short stories & poetry to me taking it a step further and actually writing to beats. I started in the beginning doing it just because I knew I could or maybe even as a challenge because others were doing it but I also feel as though I’ve always had a passion & love for music. Ultimately I do it now because I hope to reach people in a positive way.
6) What do you hope to do with your music?
As far as the future goes I hope to perform for small or large crowds & really interact with people. I hope to collaborate with many artist ranging from painters, poets, beat makers & etc to create a platform unlike any other platform currently out right now. I just want it to continue to spread from person to person until people know who vainsmith is.
For any fans of good underground rap, and readers looking to support talented independent artists, I definitely recommend giving Vainsmith's SoundCloud account, a follow. I think the future of this young, female up and comer is very bright. I'm excited to see what she's got in store for 2014. Let's help spread, share, and grow good hip hop. Show the girl some love.
Connect with Vainsmith: SoundCloud | Twitter | Youtube | Website