We featured their track, I Make Records last week on the site and to be honest it only seems fair that we interviewed the duo responsible for the track that was constantly playing in the music HQ of thestreetsavvy. You know we like to allow our readers the chance to familiarize themselves with the folks who make our feet tap and our heads nod.
The Aztext are pretty much a couple of fellas on a mission, having released their recent EP Who Cares If We're Dope Volume 2 (we care by the way or you wouldn't be on here right now) the school friends who have adopted Burlington, Vermont as their home are keen to permeate more than our ears with their sounds. And by the looks of things they are doing a damn good job so far.
We might have put them on the spot with a couple of our questions but hey, have to keep them on their toes, and with their responses their is defintely no pulling the wool over their eyes. Here's to introducing The Aztext.
How did you guys meet?
Learic and I met in high school. At the time, Learic was part of a hip hop crew called Subliminal Messages that was opening for groups like Black Moon, De La Soul, Spearhead and others. We'd freestyle and record onto tapes over industry beats. Following high school, Learic went to NYC and I went to Rhode Island.
Five years later we both opened as solo artists for The Loyalists album release party and we realized that together we could be more successful then on our own. We decided to move back to Vermont and hit the studio hard. Six months later, we put out 'Haven't You Heard?'
Who has influenced you when it comes to your music and why?
We both pull from a lot of influences ranging from The Beatles to Rakim… from James Brown to Jay Z. We both grew up musical. Pro played the drums in punk and hardcore bands, while Learic was the front man in experimental live hip hop groups. We hope to incorporate more and more of our influences in upcoming projects by working with a wide variety of producers.
You come from Vermont, does Vermont have a big Hip-Hop scene?
We actually do not come from Vermont, but we are proud as hell to be here. Learic grew up in Washington DC and I grew up on Montreal. We both moved to Vermont right before high school, left and came back. But, yes, Vermont does have a hip hop scene. There are monthly battles which draw upwards of 25 MCs, and some incredible breakers (Big ups to the Rhythm Riderz!). DJs A-Dog and Nastee have experienced international success for DJing/production, while MCs BurntMD and Fattie B (Belizbeha) have toured the country with many super stars.
Is location important when it comes to progress?
Not really. Before Atmosphere, Minneapolis was not viewed as a hip hop hot spot, but look at it now! Many successful artists rep Minneapolis and are not questioned about their hometowns. You can say that about many cities… St. Louis, Houston, New Orleans etc. They all needed that one group to emerge to expose the rest of the scene. In fact, if anything being in Vermont has helped us. We have opened for Snoop, Lupe Fiasco and many other major label acts that we might not have been able to had we been somewhere else.
What do you look for in a producer when selecting who you want to work with?
We look for someone who works hard and takes their music seriously. One thing we feel our albums have never lacked is dope production. We have had the good fortune of working with some of the most talented producers in hip hop, most of which who have yet to be 'discovered'. With our new Season concept we hope to work with a wide variety of producers, both hip hop and other, so we can take some risks with our sound.
Top 5 dead or alive producers?
Who are you working with on up and coming projects?
Our next two Episodes in Season One feature XPL and Dub Sonata. Next season we have some major surprises in store which include Episodes with Illmind and Shuko.
Aside from our EPs, we will be featured on producer albums for E Train, the Soulslicers and Whatson which will be released over the next few months.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Going crazy. Music is very important to me, and without it I would not have balance in my life. Two years ago we weren't in the studio very much and I began writing a book, and started making beats. Both of these things helped very much, and I have continued working on these side projects.
Has money devalued Hip-Hop music in your opinion?
No, hip hop as a genre was bound to make money, and it's a good thing that hip hop artists can survive off what they love doing. The problem is when MCs/Producers approach hip hop solely for the goal of making money. That is a situation where the music might suffer at the expense of money. While making money would be an incredible side effect for any artist, the goal should be to make great music.
Jon Bon Jovi recently spoke out about Steve Jobs, saying the Apple boss is killing music. Would you agree with that statement or not as Hip-Hop has really suffered with the MP3 boom?
This is a tough question for us, because we grew up buying the 'jackets' (physical albums) that Bon Jovi is talking about, but we have emerged as artists in the MP3 world. Steve Jobs has not killed music, but MP3s have changed the industry a great deal. Music is available in such abundance, and so quickly, to stay relevant takes a whole different strategy. We are experimenting with a balance of staying relevant, while releasing quality EPs on a consistent basis with our new Season concept.
What do you believe it takes to be a successful music artist today?
It depends on how you define success. If success is defined as money and fame, it takes a ton of talent/creativity/hard work or a ton of luck/connections. To rise up organically in 2011 without connections, you have to have something REALLY special to offer your live shows and recordings. If success is defined as making music that you enjoy listening to and are proud of, it takes being honest on your records. That sounds like an easy task, but it is not always easy to find yourself in your art.
This blog is written by The Aztext. We will write about inspiration for past and future tracks, breakdown our own verses, review movies, music, and keep you up to date on what's new! If you would like us to write on any particular topic, please shoot us an email!