• Interview with Rapper 'Rahat'

    Rahat is an up and coming rapper from The Bronx, New York. He recently finished recording his album "A Seraph's Gift" which is due for release on May 7th, so we caught up and interviewed him, here's what he had to say about his experiences of being an upcoming rapper.

    MUSIC
    Is there a story behind your name Rahat?
    My stage name is my birth name. I used to by other names before, most recently Emcrak. That one came about in a weird way. Back when everyone was using Myspace I had tried making my URL end with mrcr but unfortunately someone else had already taken it. What I ended up doing was just adding an a in there. I was giving out a free EP in high school at the time and someone had commented on how they thought I was trying to be funny naming myself "Emcrak" which is what they thought "mcrac" stood for. A few people started calling me that and I ran with it for a while until eventually I settled with my own name which I think is unique.

    How long have you been rapping?
    I've been rapping since just before I stared high school. So that would be almost running on seven years now. I only just recently really started taking it seriously and as more than just a hobby.

    What first got you interested in becoming a rapper/singer?
    It was a mix of a couple different things. My favorite artist at the time (and still is) Linkin Park had inspired me to get into music in general. A friend of mine, Angel, liked freestyling and I would try to join him sometimes. Eventually we had decided we wanted to become a rap duo. That unfortunately will never happen because sadly he passed away before we could take our music really seriously. I continued it after that in his memory and admittedly as a way to impress my girlfriend.

    What/who inspires your music?
    Life in general, my experiences dealing with the loss of my best friends. As well as experiences that I see some of my friends going through. A lot of my songs are just filled with references to different experiences in our lives.

    Do you see being a rapper as a career, or as a hobby?
    Recently I started seeing it as a possible career. I'm going to college so in the end my rapping career does not yet have my complete undivided attention but I no longer look at it as just a hobby. I do hope to make something out of it.

    What are you trying to do with your music? Do you want to help your community? Are you trying to get rich? What is your goal for your music?
    At the end of the day I wouldn't mind it if I didn't get rich off my music. I just want to be heard and want the messages in my song to be spread. I'd be content with just that.

    Have you ever performed live? How did it feel?
    I have performed live a few times and I have to say it's one of the greatest feelings in the world. Once you get over the initial stage jitters it just feels amazing having a bunch of people paying attention to you and what you're doing. It feels even better when you know they're enjoying themselves.

    Do you have any kind of management, publishing or distribution team behind you? If so what are their responsibilities?
    I am sort of a do it yourself musician. I do have distribution through Island Def Jam but the only thing they really do is get my music on venues like iTunes, Zune, Spotify, etc. It's my job to really promote it. It doesn't matter where your music is unless your actively promoting it.

    What are some accomplishments that you have achieved, and are most proud of?
    Using music as a means of moving on from my past and making a happier life for myself. Especially on my latest album "A Seraph's Gift" which will be available for download on iTunes as well as my bandcamp page on May 7th. The album has a couple of songs that were really emotional for me to right and I see it as a huge accomplishment that I was able to record them and get them out of my system. In the end I think the songs came out great and hope other people agree as well.

    Have you ever made any contact with major artists or other high positioned people in the music industry and do you keep in contact with them?
    I've made contact with a certain artist's management, I won't say who yet. (I don't want to jynx anything). Overall I try to keep a friendly relationship with them and just try to keep connected. Networking is a huge part of getting success as an artist.

    What one tip would you give to other aspiring rappers/singers?
    Always promote like crazy. I'm always looking for places to get a plug in for my music. It doesn't matter how small or how big it is, any type of promotion or plug for your music is absolutely great! Get your music up in as many places as possible.

    What do you see is in the future for the music industry? How do you think it will evolve/change?
    I think more and more artists will slowly be predominantly independent. The big labels seem to be doing less and less now since artists have so many options to promote on their own through non major promotional campaigns.

    INTERNET
    Do you feel like the internet is helping you as an underground artist?
    Absolutely, the Internet gives the power to the independent artist. Before the internet came around you absolutely had to rely on big labels to get your name out. Now you can do it yourself. You have a whole assortment of sites like, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter etc. There's just so many ways to promote and plug your music its crazy.

    How do you think social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have affected the music industry?
    Like I said before they help immensely in promotion. Great way to keep in touch and tap into your fan base and rally up support for your musical endeavours.

    Where can we hear your music online?
    You can hear my music online at http://www.rahatmusic.com and very soon new music on http://rahat.bandcamp.com. You can also find me on Spotify and soon on iHeartRadio as well.

    IN CLOSING
    What projects are you working on at the moment?
    I actually just finished a project my upcoming album "A Seraph's Gift" set for release on May 7th. I'm working on trying to promote it now it will soon be available on iTunes and also as a pay what you want feature on my bandcamp page.

    Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
    I see myself first and foremost as an independent rapper. I see myself as hopefully having some recognition as an underground rapper. Overall I just see myself doing my thing and living my life.

    Do you have any shoutouts you want to give?
    Shout out to Jsoundz at Ebony Lounge. Recorded the album with him and he engineered all my sessions great guy to work with. Shout out also to all the producers on my album, Sinima Beats, Danny Lifted, Tronik, EmotionL Productions, Definite Beats, Life and Death Productions and DJ SOS.

    Thanks again Rahat for doing this interview.
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