• Our new site, name and branding is coming soon. Sorry we've been busy building somethin' fresh for you guys. Stay tuned for the switch! 2010-09-27
  • More updates...

Exclusive Interview with Shawn Chrystopher + EP Preview

To be honest with you, with the type of music that I'm making, and other artists who are doing things different, the radio isn't for us.

In 2003, at the age of 16, Shawn was awarded a 4 1/2 year scholarship to the University of Southern California, where he would study Political Science. While in school, Shawn learned the necessary skills of business and networking that would help him conduct himself in a professional manner whenever he was not in ‘entertainer’ mode. These skills were nothing more but mere additions to Shawn Chrystoper’s already ‘micro-manager’ demeanor. More than just a rapper, Chrystopher is known to do everything himself—and if he cant do it, he asks to have the final decision on anything made regarding him or else he wants no part of it. Shawn writes, performs, produces, mixes, and masters all of his own music; something he sees being a necessity in the music industry if longevity is to be achieved.

We had the pleasure to sit down with Shawn post his I.W.G mixtape and to speak with him about his new EP entitled "No One Knows You" , which we give you a preview of throughout this interview, and tons of other stuff. Enjoy.

Arize: So whats going on with you homie?

Shawn Chrystopher : A lot right now...I'm actually putting together some tracks for the LRG 10 Anniversary Mixtape right now with 9th wonder, Wale, and Kid Cudi. I got some stuff up my sleeve for that, so its gonna be really crazy

Arize: Cool so how does it feel being amongst the artists who are considered the "new school"? You obviously fit into that category, does that make you work even harder to push your sound?

I love it because I feel people recognize that I am doing something different. There have been other artists from my area that have come out, that are also in their 20's but havent gotten that "new school" title because they still talk that gangsta stuff like we living in the 'Death Row' era still. So for me to come from California, get the "new school" title, and get love and respect from the "new school" fans is a blessing. I'm just happy that people feel my music

But I think everyone has to prove themselves to the east coast they have to prove that they are hip hop and California is going through it right now especially because we're doing something different.

Arize: Seems like Cali artists are being put under a microscope to determine how good they are. Why is it that people are so uncompromising when it comes to the Cali sound and emerging artists?

I think the south went through the same thing when they had their huge surge on the scene around 2004-2005 and the midwest as well when Nelly dropped I think its just because the Mecca of hip hop is New York, the east coast.

Arize: Please don't mention Nelly! lol

Hahaha, my bad about that. But I think everyone has to prove themselves to the east coast they have to prove that they are hip hop and California is going through it right now especially because we're doing something different. It's similar to a kid who goes off to college to be a doctor, and after his first year he comes home and tells his parents that he wants to major in music now instead, the parents are going to be like "what the hell is he talking about" so he has to prove that he knows what he's doing.

Us out here in California, we're doing something different. We went off to rap college, and said we were gonna be this gangsta rap area and we were for so long now we come back home to our parents, NY, and say "we're done with the gangsta stuff, we want to do other types of rap" and no one really knows how to accept it yet, so we just have to prove that we know what we're doing.

Shawn Chrystopher-Flyer Than
No One Knows You EP

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"This is a song I made that I can call a timestamp in my process, because it's exactly how I felt at the time. Everyone has that moment where they feel like no one is flyer than them. No one's hair is better, no on'es outfit is better; sure you may not feel like that 24/7 but there's always that one day where you feel no can touch you, and that happened to be my day. So I worked on the melody first, then everything else fell into place. Music is to be made so people can relate, and I think a lot of people can relate to this song. A song doesn't have to be "deep" and "political" to say it reaches people because not everyone is "deep" and "political" every day of their lives." -Shawn Chrystopher

Click HERE to listen to our ONLINE AUDIO PLAYER

Arize: With your "I Wear Glasses" philosophy and mindset and with more major artists selling out their sound just to make money and profit, do you see yourself compromising your sound just to step over to major deals?

No, that's one thing I won't do. I don't see myself compromising anything for major deals. I say that primarily because music has changed. The digital age now has made the relationship between the artist and the listener a lot closer. Through blogs and other things of that nature, listeners feel like they can somehow reach out and touch the artist; like, they understand that they are real people now, and not some factory made machine. So, since there's that personal relationship now between us, it's going to be obvious when an artist isn't being themselves. When their work is fabricated. So with me, I'm going to continue to do "Shawn" because if I don't, people are going to be able to tell.

Arize: Right, and with the same shit played on the radio there is no way that all rappers go through the same exact experiences as the previous, be it project living, drug dealing, multiple kids etc etc

To be honest with you, with the type of music that I'm making, and other artists who are doing things different, the radio isn't for us.

Arize: EXACTLY

Our fans don't really turn on the radio or turn on MTV to see us. Not to say that we aren't on there, but that's not where our fans flock to. So since we have this internet, this internet with no boundaries, we can become as creative as we want. We can make videos that television stations would be afraid to play, and people can flock to youtube to watch it. We can make songs that radio's would edit to death until the meaning is gone, we can release it on our blogs. So since there is nothing to no longer compromise, you'll see a lot more artists being themselves, and it's great

I think the EP (No One Knows You) is a real defining moment in my career thus far. It solidifies who I am and my place in hip hop; where I belong. It's also a great beginning...

Arize: With that said, you speak about blogs a lot in your latest I.W.G mixtape, whats your opinion on a good blog? and how have blogs helped you get your sound out?

Blogs are a gift and a curse when it comes to music, every artist knows that; you just have to find a way to use it to your advantage. In the past, when an artist does a mixtape, the first thing they do is spend money to get the CD duplicated, get artwork done, and then go hand them out. Then when the listener gets their music, puts it in their computer they get: "Track 1" "Track 2" "Track 3" as song titles. And no one feels like plugging in the names themselves, IF they know the names of them.

With blogs, artists are able to submit a full package with song names, artwork, and everything. So their ideal vision of the project is still intact when it leaves their possession. So blogs have helped out the game, especially the "new school". But to me, I think a good blog is one that is open to new sounds and new ideas. There so many blogs that start everyday, and the first thing they do is go to other blogs and look for the exclusive freestyles, or exclusive interviews, and don't take the time to sit and think "what could I do to make my blog personal to me?" So their blog starts to look like every other blog on the net.

Shawn Chrystopher-My House feat. Prolific Thought
No One Knows You EP

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

"This is a song that I did to basically just make some noise, honestly. When i started the beat, the first thing I selected was an 808 because I knew I wanted the drums to grab attention and at the same time, make people listen to what I was trying to say. Then the chorus came to me, and from that moment on, the rest of the song just kind of came out without me over-thinking it. I think a lot of artists need to realize that when you over think music sometimes, the songs sounds forced and your message isn't conveyed as you have wished." -Shawn Chrystopher

Click HERE to listen to our ONLINE AUDIO PLAYER

Arize: Right, which is why here at Arize we dig deep to get our own exclusive content and new music.

And that is awesome. That's how it should be.

Arize: Alot of hard work but well worth it when it comes to building a reputation. Which isn't much different than a artist like yourself

Thanks. I try to work as hard as I can, as often as I can. That's the only way to be successful, in anything.

I think it takes a good rapper to make a mixtape full of freestyles worth listening to, but it takes a real artist to create an actual project from scratch that is as thought provoking as it is entertaining.

Arize: So you got the new EP entitled "No One Knows You" out now. Where would you say the EP stands in you building your own catalogue of music?

I think the EP is a real defining moment in my career thus far. It solidifies who I am and my place in hip hop; where I belong. It's also a great beginning; I've never worked harder on anything in my entire life. I wrote, produced, mixed, and mastered everything because I don't think anyone would understand where I wanted to go with certain songs, so I had to do it myself.

I did IWG to show people that I can rhyme, but "No One Knows You" proves that I can make songs. So many rappers are stuck in the mixtape culture forever, and it kills then when its album time. I wanted to get that "but do you think he can make an album?" doubts over and done with early.

Arize: You definitely proved with your EP that its a big difference between rapping and actually composing music and songs

Thank you. I think it takes a good rapper to make a mixtape full of freestyles worth listening to, but it takes a real artist to create an actual project from scratch that is as thought provoking as it is entertaining.

Arize: Thanks for sitting down with us Shawn

No problem man. Appreciate you even giving me the opportunity to speak my mind it means a lot.

www.myspace.com/shawnchrystopher

http://shawnchrystopher.bigcartel.com/product/no-one-knows-you-ep

Click HERE to listen to our ONLINE AUDIO PLAYER



Tagged as: ,
Leave A Comment:

Comments

  • Spearboxxx said:

    ILL....i like dude music...Interview made me like him as a person

    good stuff

    Reply

  • Tanesha M. said:

    I know Shawn will go far in his music career and anything that he does, he is a very perservering and determined young man....I'm staying on top off all interviews, mixtapes, and cd's he put out.... He was brilliant in H.S and I know there are good things to become of him.... Music is dope, and I stay playing songs to my wife like "babe listen my friend shawn has another song out!" lol.... Keep it up s.c.g

    Reply

  • M. thats it! said:

    Good interview and good tracks from Shawn too. I'm feelin the work so far from this guy

    Reply


If you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar!


Arize Magazine Copyright © 2014 , New Pyro Media, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
About | Advertise | Contribute | Facebook | Twitter | Author Login