New Artist Spot Light: eMkay ‘Moving On’ [Video]
Yesterday, Queens based independent artist eMkay released his mixtape “Moving On” and a visual to his lead single. Here is our interview as we discussed his artistry and his newest project.
ThatsEnuff: Introduce yourself to world, Who is Emkay? The artist and the person. Why should the world take notice to your music?
eMkay: eMkay is a 22 year old hip hop artist from Queens, NY. Born and raised in Queens, NY from a Greek/Italian decent. As an artist I give my 110% all to my music. Music to me gives me the ability to vent and let the world know who I am as a person. I dedicate all my time toward my music. I write as well as engineering my records. Music creates a space where I can distant myself from everyday stresses. I feel the world should take notice to my music because I write to relate to others. I’ve been through a lot in my life and know what it’s like growing up around certain conditions.
Thatsenuff: Who were some of your influences? What inspired you to pick up the mic?
eMkay: Hands down, 50 Cent. Back when 50 first came up, my brother was on Jamaica Ave over here in Queens and brought home 50 Cent Is The Future. Since that day, I was truly inspired. I took that mixtape with me every where I went. Listening to 50’s creativity, with punchlines from Banks, and Yayo having so much energy, I can say they molded me into an artist. That tape definitely helped me into taking music to the next level.Aside from that there was always influences from Jay-Z, Eminem, Pac and BIG. I seen that all these artists put their heart and souls into their music. It really showed that if you stay dedicated, you can achieve what you desire. So following those steps made me who I am as an artist.
eMkay performing live at Webster Hall:
Thatsenuff: New York has seen a resurgence in Rap. Fabolous, Banks and Jim Jones are still around A$AP Rocky, French Montana are new mainstream faces and you got Joey Bada$$ on the come up. Gives us your thoughts about the state of NY’s Hip Hop Music scene. What must be done for NYC to stay relevant and poppin on a national scale?
eMkay: First off, all those artists definitely paved their own lanes in the game, all having different styles. New York’s music scene as a whole I feel is somewhat scattered. Nowadays you cant really tell where an artist is from. I know hiphop has molded into something totally different over the years. I feel hiphop has so many sub genres that its tough to clarify what hiphop even is. For NYC to stay relevant on a national scale? I would say NY needs to stick together as a whole. Lyrically Joey Badass has brought ny back to its routes. So we mainly have to focus on our lyrics and be unified.
Thatsenuff: With guys like Mac Miller, Asher Roth, Yelawolf, Action Bronson out there, do you feel like there is any stigmas associated with being a white rapper or is that a thing of the past? Do you face any backlash or feel boxed in or labeled from listeners/media?
eMkay: Stigmas? No, not at all. I think thats something thats in the past. Color should never matter, its really about who the person is on the inside. Especially if the music is good, what does color matter? I dont feel boxed in at all. Everyone in this game faces backlash, I dont think because of one’s skin color but just because of society’s opinion. We all come from different backgrounds and environments. I dont expect everyone to like my music, thats just something unrealistic. I have the same opportunity as every other artist, so I feel just as equal as them when it comes to listeners and media.
Thatsenuff: How important is social media for independent artist like yourself?
eMkay: Extremely important. It’s one of the main ways to get my music heard. Your able to connect with others from different states and countries. So with that being said its amazing how far your voice can travel. Twitter has been great in that sense. Instagram has really given my fans the ability to see pictures on what’s going on in my everyday life. Showing others my work ethic and the people I have around me, helping to make great music.
ThatsEnuff: What are some of your goals with this “Moving on” mixtape? What are your favorite tracks on this project and why? What else do you have planned for 2013?
eMkay: My main goal is to really get my listeners to know who I am as a person and as an artist. I really put my heart and soul into this project and its something the world will be able to tell. My favorite tracks on this project would have to be Hello & Premeditated Part 2. Hello being one favorite because it’s actually the last record I recorded for the mixtape. I feel like it put the finishing touches on the project. Also, Premeditated Part 2, simply because I put all my feelings on the table on that record. I discussed losing my grandparents to a tragedy back in 01′ that really scarred me a person. It gave me the ability to vent certain feelings that were bottled up for too long. The mixtape is truly special, front to back. 2013 is going to a busy year. I’m planning on shooting videos for all 12 tracks that are on the tape. And I also have started working on my next project which I would like to release before the new year. Aside from that, just performing and promoting this great project.
Stream his latest Mixtape “Moving on” below: