Hello, everyone. MissTaintedLove here bringing you another artist interview.
This time, I'll be interviewing hip-hop artist Oktayne. Oktayne is from California, and describes himself as a "Rapper, CEO, Son, Brother, and Friend" (via FB page). You can visit Oktayne here, and catch the interview below.
MTL: The name Oktayne - how did that come about?I am from a region where we use the term “gassed” which means you killed that track or ripped that beat. Anyways, homie Kev and I were picking out through rap names for me; considering where I am from, and how explosive gas is, my rap name was born.
MTL: When were you first introduced to music in your life?
Oktayne: I was introduced to music by my dad because he used to DJ parties for people of all ages. He had collections of any hot commercial artist you can think of during the 90s. I eventually I found some Jagged Edge, 112, Usher, Brandy, Whitney Houston (R.I.P.), and TLC made me like R&B first.
MTL: How long have you been making music now? When did you begin rapping?
Oktayne: I been making music over half my life but the rapping road was chosen in 2008.
MTL: At what point in your life was the defining moment that made you realize what you wanted to do, as a musician?
Oktayne: When I performed on stage at Club Recess and people came up to me just tell me good job.
MTL: What type of music/artists have influenced you and your music?
Oktayne: LL Cool J, different types of the Chicago sound, Jay-z and R&B Music.
MTL: How do you describe the style/genre of your own music?
Oktayne: The soundtrack to fun having and lady getting situations.
MTL: What was your first project? How have you grown since then?
Oktayne: 'Self-Explanations', I just have an overall better flow and delivery, and my lyrics make more sense.
MTL: What is the inspiration for your music?
Oktayne: The women are the biggest inspiration seeing all the different types of women, from average to drop dead gorgeous.
MTL: If you could describe you and your music in five words, what would they be?
Oktayne: Feel good music for common folks.
MTL: What other artists, musicians, and producers have you worked with?
Oktayne: I worked with Sosa The Champ, Kareless MF’ah, P-lo, Bre, Philly Swain, Circus TK, Mardell Maxwell, Kajmir Royale and Greenlight. A few names I just mentioned don’t do music anymore or took a break from the music industry. Producers were Kajmir Royale, The Invasion, Sap Da Beat Man, G-Funk, Beat Catererz, and Sledgren. I had leased beats from Johnny Juliano, Superstar O, Vybe Beats and The Starist. The Starist produced a song I made about my homie from high school LaJuan Singleton.
MTL: What do you feel sets you apart from the crowd?
Oktayne: My flow is very unique, and different. Some say that I have an uncanny ability to make songs for the ladies. I mastered doing that because I am a poet at heart; I know what women like to hear in songs. To me women usually want to feel good when they are listening to music.
MTL: What do you feel is the best piece of music you've created? Why do you choose this one?
Oktayne: 'Fly Sippin’ because it complements my smooth demeanor. The song is smooth uptempo party song that makes you feel like you drinking and partying with me.
MTL: What can you tell us about "Mindgames"? How does it differ from any of your previous projects?
Oktayne: Mindgames is just a track from my new album Feature Presentation, but Mindgames released last year as well as the video but I didn’t want to put my album out without proper promotion and advertising. Mindgames isn’t anything I am pushing as a song to spin but its for sale on cd baby, and soon Fly Sippin’ will be for sale on CD Baby. Mindgames just shows I got better lyrics than I had in the past.
MTL: What plans do you have in the near future for music release/recording?
Oktayne: Working on a two mixtape series which are very short projects to implement 14 days which are songs as well. Will release the album Feature Presentation this month digitally, and later follow with download cards, and I will press up some physicals as well. I have a team of people who have their material to put out as well as a compilation. The compilation will not be worked on until we are good position to release.
MTL: Any upcoming releases? What sets this upcoming project apart from your previous ones?
Oktayne: I have an album set to release within a couple weeks, and I am working on a mixtape series called Awoke For Seven Days. The current album is way different than my first which is available online and what not. The production of beats which made it stand out a little more than that first album. Self-Explanations was an album that I had released in 2008 with no promotion.
MTL: What type of mindset do you get into before you enter the studio to record? Do you do anything special to prepare yourself?
Oktayne: I get into the mode I’m always in, I’m always in that I got that focused mood going on, my lyrics will be written, and re-written several times. They would be rehearsed and all that. I then would have to get some pre-recording snacks and some hot tea or cocoa. Then go record and knock some tracks out.
MTL: Any upcoming tour plans?
Oktayne: No tour plans as of yet, most likely just local shows until my momentum builds up more.
MTL: What are your thoughts of the current state of the music industry? How do you feel you fit into it?
Oktayne: It’s getting more and more diverse again even though many artist sounds the same as the next. I like that some of the newer guys sound like they self. I would fit more in it if I stay independent, because if I go to a major label then people will say that I’m trying to be like Wale or something.
MTL: Where do you see yourself as an artist five years from now?
Oktayne: In five years from now my team will be a strong force to know about.
MTL: Any words of advice for young/aspiring musicians?
Oktayne: Study the game, know the business, know how to market because you are going to need to have more than just talent. When you drop music, don’t drop music just to drop music, do it to build your brand.
MTL: Anything else?
Oktayne: JULY 25th go to CD Baby, Itunes, Amazon and get Feature Presentation.
Again, everyone - that was Oktayne. Make sure to go check him out!