Friday, August 3, 2012

Artist Interview with John Sparkz

Hello, everyone - MissTaintedLove here with another artist interview. 

This time, I'll be interviewing John Sparkz, who is an artist from New Jersey. 
 Hope you enjoy the interview!


(Check out the below video, which is John answering some of the questions I had for him)

The name John Sparkz - how did that come about?
Well, realistically I do smoke a lot of uh, cigarettes. So, yeah, that’s really about it. My [first] name is John, too.
How were you first introduced to music in your life? 
My parents like music; they didn’t play instruments or anything, but they love listening to music. So growing up I was always listening to Bruce Springsteen and the Beetles. Then, I started playing guitar and it just all came sort of natural (my ear for music).
At what point in your life was the defining moment that made you realize what you wanted to do, as a musician?  
My life has always had music influenced in it, I played the saxophone and guitar so I always loved it as a hobby. Sports was more of what I wanted to go forth with, weather it was basketball or baseball, that’s what I wanted to do. But when I was a junior in high school, my cousin tragically passed away, and the only thing I could do was write down the feelings I had, and I just keep writing and writing. I was even making beats and I was just recording people so I can mix their records, it was like my safe haven. That’s when I knew I had to just stick with music.
What do you feel sets you apart from the crowd?
Well I guess it's that I’m my own person, really that’s all it boils down to. I make songs from what I feel so I would say im different because of that, I make each song for how I feel. When I sit down and write, I'll find a beat to match how im feeling, most rappers just cop beats because they want to make a “club banger” or a “street anthem”. My music accurately reflects myself.
How do you describe the style/genre of your own music?

How long have you been making music now?
I don’t like to say “since as long as I can remember”. But I’ve been listening to music as a critic/fan easily since I was 5 or 6, but making music on a serious professional level, I would say about 6 years.

What was your first project? How have you grown since then?
I don’t even remember the name of it, it was so whack though. It was a couple freestyles me and my couple friends did over industry beats.  It was such “gangster” ass music! Haha, it was horrible. Since then I have found my lane as far as flow and content go, I’m more concentrated and I am more down to earth and understanding of what my music should be.
What is the inspiration for your music?
Everyday life anything that can make me feel better if I put it in a song. Pain, joy, you know… all that, whatever happens in my life, or whatever I always think of a way I can put it into music.

What type of music/artists have influenced you and your music?
Believe it or not, I actually listen to the 70s/80s station on Pandora a lot. It gives me a good place to put my mind and it just opens up to write good music, but the hip hop from like ’92-2005 really is where my ears are. As far as artists go, I’m my own artist but rappers like 50 played a big influence and like Kanye for his creativity.
If you could describe you and your music in five words, what would they be? 
5 words? I cant even think of 3 words hahha, but nah, 5 words to describe my music…I would say  emotional, powerful, loud, heavy, and the 5th word I would just say art, because music is art.
What do you feel is the best piece of music you've created? Why do you choose this one? 
This is hard to answer; Ive been asked to answer it before. I’ve recorded literally hardrives of songs, I only put out 2 mixtapes but I have so many records on stash. And I don’t know what would make a record “the best” but I did make a song for the New Jersey Devils and it got a lot of love, I actually just spoke to Ken Daneyko (retired Devil) today about it. So it would either be that record (Devil Inside) or my single which is on itunes (My Life’s Like a Movie).

What other artists, musicians, and producers have you worked with?
Aside from rapping, I have a degree (Berklee College of Music) in Audio Engineering. I am producer Harry Fraud’s engineer he produced “Shot Caller” and a lot of other French Montana records, so as far as mixing goes, Ove mixed songs for French and the Cokeboys, Action Bronson, Lil Cease, and a bunch of cats like that.  But for my own music, I have a song coming out with Cease, and another feature - but that’s a surprise!
What type of mindset do you get into before you enter the studio to record? Do you do anything special to prepare yourself?
Coffee is the most important thing, the super large coffee. And the bottle of water. I just go in looking to have fun, that’s the mindset you have to have, I always try to leave any negative feeling or emotion I’m having that day outside!
What can you tell us about your current album? How does it differ from any of your previous projects?
Well my current project I’m working on (Newport Music 3) was originally planned to be dropped before summer, but I really kind of just trashed it and started over, and now I have some features that are gonna be on it that will really set me apart from the crowd. Overall I just worked so much harder on this project.

What are your thoughts of the current state of the music industry? How do you feel you fit into it?
If the music industry was how it was when I first started, my whole team would have been signed. The internet is the most powerful tool for anything and it has helped music so much, but it has also killed the industry. It’s kind of sad but it’s a catch 22 with the music on the web.
Where do you see yourself as an artist five years from now?
Well as an artist, I see myself always working on something with my music - weather it’s more of a hobby in 5 years like a side thing with my mixing, or the other way around I’ll still be making music regardless.

What plans do you have in the near future for music release/recording? What sets this upcoming project apart from your previous ones? 
When my new tape drops (Newport Music 3) that’s the final tape of the Newport Music trilogy. Then after that, I'm going to go straight to work on some fresh material and keep working with that. I have so many different styles, and this new tape I am putting so much effort to I think it is going to blow the other 2 out of the water.

Any upcoming tour plans? 
Uhhh, about that….I actually get very bad stage fright. I hate crowds of people, but you know being on tour, doing shows, its apart of this game and I am actually in the process of talking to this promoter about going on a 5 state 5 college stage tour with some other artists. I have my fingers crossed.

Any words of advice for young/aspiring musicians?
 Everyone says “follow your dreams” “don’t give up” - I think that’s so whack in a sense. YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD. That’s the best advice, just WORK WORK WORK. Between mixing, writing my songs, recording them, promoting - 95% of my day is music. You just really have to work as hard as you can and THEN more! That’s how you get yourself in this industry or whatever profession you are in.

Anything else?
Follow me on twitter @JohnSparkz follow me on Instragram @JohnSparkz and just wait patient for Newport Music 3 it’s going to be a great piece of music!

If you wanna check out music by John Sparkz, you can check him out at the following links. I wanna thank him for the interview, and wish him best of luck with his upcoming release & plans!

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