Interview with Tha Advocate

Posted: February 18, 2009 in Interviews
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With a slew of mixtape CDs under his belt, collaborations with underground superstars, and a new album being released this summer, New Jersey native Tha Advocate shows how dedication, hard work, and reciprocation can bring success for an independent hip hop artist.

DIO:  Tell us a little about how you got started making music.

Advo:  I always been a fan of music period. But, I am one of those people who can’t sit back and watch someone do something without trying it myself. I am naturally competitive. I just started rhyming for fun, then writing it down, then getting in cyphers in the street, then started hitting studios and the rest is history. Same thing with producing.

DIO:  What upcoming projects are you currently promoting?

Advo:  My personal mixtape, Barmaggedon, and Digital Dynasty 5 with Crooked I. Digital Dynasty is my mixtape series alliance with Ballerstatus.com. To date I have worked with Crooked I, Chamillionaire, Stat Quo, Alchemist, Willy Northpole, Hot Rod, Sly Boogy, Domination, Killah Priest, and more. I am dropping my mixtape in March alongside our Crooked I release. My album will be coming in the summer – it’s called Designed To Be Signed. Right now I have a few features like Big Lou, Stat Quo, Killah Priest, Sha Stimuli and more. The main single is “Where I Rep”.

DIO:  In some of your songs, you say that you’re bringing substance back into music. What is your take on the state of hip hop and the music industry today?

Advo:  I think all the best music isn’t on the radio. The very few good songs that get leaked to radio are so played out you can’t even enjoy them. That’s why with my music I challenge myself. When you hear “Trading Places”,”Soldya Muzik” or “9678” you will see. “9678” is really that important. I recapped 1996, 1997, and 1998, when music was in the golden age.

DIO:  As you mentioned earlier, you have some pretty big names in hip hop all over your mixtapes. How did you get hooked up with guys like that?

Advo:  Just grinding, man. I do more then just spit. I do a lot of behind the scenes stuff. I am in a position where I can help those artists with their music or mixtapes, and they can help me with mine. Over the years, if you keep grinding you will make good industry relationships. Again it depends on how your work ethic is.

DIO:  Other than being a lyricist and a solo artist, you also do work as a producer. Do you find it hard to balance both sides of the creative process?

Advo:  When I am working on my music… no. When I am working with other artists and I have a lot on my plate already… yes. That’s why now I am just working with Shawn Blayze, Sketch Architec, and J.D Artist. I don’t want to get overwhelmed. Once I finish my projects, I will focus a lot more on the production.

DIO:  Has the internet helped your career as an artist?

Advo:  Oh yeah. I think it is the strongest thing in a hip hop artist’s journey. Back in the day it was doing a show or passing your demo tape. Now it’s all about the net. It’s all about traffic and getting your stuff heard.

DIO:  Are you looking to get signed to a major label, or would you rather stay independent?soldyamuzik5

Advo:  See, the funny thing is I had labels contact me through the years that were major. Things just never fell in place. Now with these two CDs I am working on… I am hoping they will notice that it’s “DESIGNED TO BE SIGNED”. As for a preference, I would take anything that lets me make my Soldya Muzik without compromising my character.

DIO:  You’ve come a long way on your own terms and undoubtedly learned a lot of lessons. Do you have any advice for other upcoming artists?

Advo:  Yeah… scared money don’t make money. Also, watch who you bring around you. I have moved myself away from a lot of so called “friends” over the years. Real talk, the industry is full of scammers and con artists.

DIO:  What are your plans for the coming months, going into the summer?

Advo:  Releasing this mixtape. Releasing my song with Big Lou, Mr. Probz, and Stat Quo. Promoting the hell out of my shit. Shows. Videos. And making more contacts. ‘09 is so mine. Thank you again for the interview. Keep up your hard work too!

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