1.When did you first start getting into music from a perspective of this is what i really want to do, and who were your major influences?
Me getting into music was just a very natural thing. I never saw myself actually becoming a rapper. it was something that I did alone on my room or did with my really close friends in my neighborhood. It wasn’t until I was in middle school and people would ask me to freestyle about them and stuff that I realized it was an actual talent and not just something I loved doing. As a kid I spent a lot of time alone. My mother is a hairstylist so I would spend countless hours in the back of her salon with a radio so I would bring cds to her job as entertainment. I loved listening to michael jackson, jay-z, but I honestly didnt see myself as a rapper until Kanye came around 2002. Those have always been my greatest influences.
2. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from many random things. My number one inspiration is my hometown of Richmond, Virginia and what i am going through in my life at the moment. As far as musicians are concerned I am Michael Jackson’s biggest fan, and always will be. I love how he not only created amazing songs but made the songs actually come to life through dance and video. I am also a huge fan of John Mayer. I love Jay-Z and Kanye West. These two rappers single handedly made me believe that i could pursue a career as a rapper.
3. What is some of your favorite thing(s) about performing on stage?
My number one thing in the world to do is perform. Being on stage is where I am the most comfortable and happy being. I love writing songs, but I write songs with the intention of performing them live. I love bringing a song to life and connecting with the fans.
4.How do you go about preparing yourself for the studio, recording, and producing?
I wouldn’t say there’s a special ritual of anything that I do in the studio. I mainly go into the studio already having about two or three songs perfectly memorized so that I know exactly how I want to the songs to be. I don’t usually bring a bunch of people with me. mostly i go by myself or with my band mates who will give me some creative ideas once i am in there. I love bringing my best friend and band mate Brad Doggett. The kid is a total beast in the studio and gives great advice.
5.What is the theme of this mixtape? What can listeners expect from this mixtape, how do you want people to feel or think when they listen to it?
The theme of this mixtape is to pretty much give the listeners a taste of who i am as a person and how that is expressed musically. I didnt want to be defined or put into a box musically. with this mixtape I want people to know out the gate that I am involved in three different projects. All with a distinct sound and different influences.
Earthtone allows me to be apart of something that is very non-traditional for a rapper. John Mayer has always been one of my greatest musical influences, so working with an artist like Brad Doggett for me is a dream come true. Being in Earthtone gives me a chance to write non hip hop songs. It allows me to step out of my natural comfort zone. It also allows me to reach fans what ordinarily would not consider themselves to be hip hop fans.
Score One for the Little Guy is a rap group that I am in with my best friend from Richmond Brad Oblivion. Brad O makes the beats for Score One and its something that is a very special part of me. Score One is how I got my start in the game, and it displays my love for hip hop and the culture.
The last part of the mixtape is my solo material allows me to 100% be me and not compromise. I want to let people to understand where I am in my life on a personal level. I want to give people the opportunity to get to know me, and after listening feel like were friends in a since.
6.Do you feel that since you’ve started on this musical journey per say, has it been what you expected?
My musical journey so far as exceeded every expectation imaginable. Growing up in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia you never think of yourself as actually having a legit chance in making as an artist. I started recording material when I was 18 and since then my career has done amazing things and I am so grateful for every listener and fan. I have been very fortunate to open up for Jay-Z, Sheryl Crow, N.E.R.D., Jack Johnson, and countless other big name acts and I feel like I am living a dream. Though it hasn’t amounted to a lot of money, my career as a rapper is something that I love doing and will never stop. Earthtone is going to make its big New York City debut at Manhattans top night club, Greenhouse, on Saturday October 24th and I am very excited! I am living a dream right now. Thats all i can say…Im extremely greateful.
8.What direction will you go after his mixtape, more mixtapes, more work with Earth Tone etc?
After this mixtape I want to release a full album with Earthtone, and create a full mixtape for myself and Score One for the Little Guy very soon. Hopefully releasing this mixtape will increase our opportunities to perform outside of the East Coast and I will have the opportunity to bring all the projects on the road together.
9.What does the future hold for Corey Smith, have any label’s shown interest in you or approached you or Earth Tone?
Honestly, I have no idea, but what I do know is that it is going to be absolutely amazing. I haven’t had any label looks yet but I am hoping after this mixtape that will come. Me and the guys are just starting to making a big name for ourselves in New York and looking forward to making new music and working very hard on perfecting our live show. Ultimately, just taking it one day, one song, and one show at a time. As long as we continue to get better opportunities will come our way I know.