Should artists themselves think of themselves as brands?
Every artist is different. Some people are really good at treating themselves as though they're a brand. Somebody told me when you become an artist and…when it becomes your living then you automatically are an entrepreneur and you have people that handle the artistic [side]. You have people that handle the business [side] or you handle both if you can handle that. But if you're just a dude that's doing music for yourself and just to express [yourself] and you don't care about any of that stuff, then you don't have to think of it as a brand or anything like that. Just do whatever makes you feel good. But I got kids to feed. My whole thing is trying to maintain the balance. As much as I want to believe, the hippy vibes and everything, I am a brand and I am a business at the end of the day that a lot of people depend on, including my family. I hire a lot of people that are depending on this business to thrive and to continue to work. So I have to stay inspired, stay healthy and that's all about keeping a good brand as well.
How do you maintain your fan base as you expand your work?
I don't know how I maintain a fan base. I'm just blessed to have one, honestly and they keep getting older, they keep getting younger, they keep getting weirder and I love it. I just love that they're able to trust wherever I go, wherever I'm taking it and they're down to take the journey with me. There are a lot of people that sell a lot of records, but they can't fill up a room and it's really a blessing to have a fan base no matter what they look like.
Speaking of your artistic journey, you have Silk Sonic, DJ Pee .Wee, and your own label now. In terms of your creative process, how do you know when is the right time to branch out into a new venture?
I just take it day by day. With the label, I was really inspired by this group DOMi & JD Beck, and I just wanted to stop everything and help them succeed in any way I could and be a part of their journey. They were one of the few young people that loved hanging with me and I couldn't like get rid of them. I just really believed in them and it really made me want to get going on the whole label thing because I just see so much for them in the future…I just want to have the platform, to be able to make dreams come true and timing is everything. With my team and the people around me, I'm able to have people work on different things when I can't. But I'm really hands-on with everything and honestly I just get bored and I have to keep my mind occupied.
If I'm doing just one thing too much I'm just going to get sick of it. I think that's just naturally how I am. I'm still a kid that's playing drums and singing and rapping at the same time. So even that itself is like doing a lot of different things. Naturally, I want to have my hands in different things and that's where my inspiration comes from, learning stuff from scratch and seeing how I can become better at it.