The Honest Hustle interview series highlights some of the amazing artists we have listened to and had the pleasure of supporting. We ask questions that will help people like us, listeners and fans, learn about the artist and discover more about their music.
For this installment we chop it up with Maryland artist Soncier.
LFL: Tell us who Soncier is: Who you are, where you grew up, and anything you feel like sharing with us.
S: Soncier is bold, fearless, blunt, ambitious and intellectual. I grew up in Maryland but am originally from Ohio. I Spent my middle school, and high school years in Suitland, MD. I lived in SE, DC as kid as well. So, I guess you can say I moved around a bit. My parents were separated during my adolescence and got back together during my preteens. Eventually they divorced when I graduated high school. I have two siblings and we are all musically inclined to some degree. My sister and I are more consistent than my older brother, but we are indeed endowed in hip hop.
LFL: When did you get started creating music and why?
S: My brother taught me how to freestyle when I was 10 years old and I recorded my first song at 14 years old. Those were good times. My brother introduced me to east coast rap and I gravitated toward becoming a conscious artist. It didn’t matter if they were a southern artist, midwest or international. As long the artist spoke a message that I can resonate with, I was tuned in. Which explains why my content is predominantly conscious.
LFL: Almost every artist considers themselves a fan of hip hop first. Are there any influences that have stood out to you? If not hip hop, what was your go to’s?
S: Well, a lot of 90’s early 2000’s Hip Hop and R&B influenced my style. However, I gravitate toward anything that is genuine and motivational. I don’t really care for soft pop, but Alternative (Such as Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Nathiel Rateliff, and Macy Gray). I love introspective music period.
LFL: Who are some of the current artists you are listening to? Thoughts on current hip hop landscape?
S: There are a lot of great artist out. I find myself listening to artist on Spotify playlist. It really varies on my mood but mainly Logic, Brent Fiayz, DVSN, Internet, Tee Grizzley, many names I can’t recall. I find myself listening to more 90’s music more than anything.
LFL: What do you feel is the best song you’ve ever released and why?
S: I would say that my song” Shadow” is the best song I ever recorded because it’s timeless. Most of music can be considered timeless. However, the message in the music is very spiritual. I’ve realized the production of a song can be outdated and indicate the generation you recorded. Furthermore, when the content of the song feeds the spirit it will stand the test of time.
LFL: How do you want to be perceived by the people who listen to your music? How can your fans get to know you better?
S: I don’t call them fanatics, I like to refer to my supporters as tribe. I am all about tribe. I would like to be perceived as someone who is human, not perfect, but genuine…Real. My tribe can get to know me simply by watching my content. Whether it’s a role in a movie, music, vlogs, interviews or a performance, I am always expressing my true self. I am an open book.
LFL: As an independent artist, the struggle can be real…From life, to studio time, to work outside music, what’s a week in the life like for Soncier?
S: Well, I am normally working Uber, Instacart, teaching a kindergarten class and brushing up on my real estate education. I raise funds to fund the dream until the dream starts to generate more money.
LFL: What are your biggest challenges as an indie artist?
S: Lack of capital. Not having a large budget. Of course there is other difficulties that arise. However, for me it’s capital.
LFL: What skills/personal attributes do you think are most important to being successful in this industry?
S: Understanding how we get paid such as: royalties, how to read contracts, publishing etc.
LFL: Based on your own journey as an artist, what would you tell a young aspiring artist just getting started?
S: I would tell a young artist to maintain and understand credit. Credit is more important than money.
LFL: From an artist’s perspective, what does social media mean to you? As an artist, do you think there are more pros or cons with it?
S: I feel there is more cons. However, we must fast and stay off of social media as much as we can for psychological reasons. The positives are great: networking, monetizing content, growing your business. The negatives are severe psychological issues, low self -esteem, obsession, insensitivity, hyper sexual compulsive behavior.
LFL: If you were start your own label, what are you looking for in your first artists?
S: I actually have a label. It’s called F.Y.D. Entertainment (Follow your destiny). Yes, I plan to sign artists, but I am currently still on the come up myself. So when I get established I will certainly seek artists.
LFL: What is your songwriting process like?
S: I listen to a production over and over and freestyle a melody and record voice memos. After I play it back and write around the melody. If I have a concept in mind I DON’T waste time, I write the song without the music.
LFL: What does being an artist mean to you?
S: It is the ultimate expression of self.
LFL: Aside from music, what other things are you passionate about?
S: I am passionate about real estate, tech, eating healthy, combat fighting and reading.
LFL: You seem like a man of many talents and interests just based on your Instagram bio. Care to elaborate for us?
S: I am the ultimate communicator with an ability to express myself unapologetically. Therefore, acting comes easy to me as well as being a motivational speaker. I would like to add the fact I am a co-producer and vocalist.
LFL: Shameless plug time…..Tell the people what’s next, what’s coming for Soncier. Where can they find your music? What you have going on? Stage is yours.
S: I just released an EP titled “Now or Neva” so I am working diligently to market and grow the fan base with “DCTOP20.” They have an awesome track record and are responsible for some of the careers of rising stars out of the DMV such as Rico Nasty, IDK, Q DA FOOL, Funsho, Noochie, ADE, and many more.