His new single "Cuda, Wuda, Shuda", is getting a lot of buzz. We had a chance to get to know more about this talented artist.
What is the hip-hop scene like in Chico, CA?
The Hip-Hop scene in Chico is pretty live & poppin'. Seems like if u want the opportunity to perform here, it's available. There are lots of local artists, and tons of support from the college community as well as the locals. Mostly underground artists around the Chico area. What Chico does lack is a variety of great talent. A lot of the artists around here are just copying what they see on TV. Somewhat annoying, but it is what it is. For the most part, originality has flown right out the window, but I guess thatís what sells now. There are a few artists that I respect and have worked with and/or would like to work with in the near future. Me(Jon hartless) & the #SiCCeSSteam will bring originality & greatness back to Chico and the surrounding communities.
What made you want to get into music?
Well as far back as I can remember, I always loved Hip-Hop music. I remember having a Run DMC tape, a Big Daddy Kane tape, an Ice-T tape, and an EPMD tape. My sister is 8 yrs older than me and she was really into Hip-Hop so thatís what I grew up on. She would give me all her old tapes and my love for music just continued to grow. But honestly it wasnít until I heard some local Sacramento rappers (X-Raided, Brotha Lynch, C-Bo, and Mr. Doc), that I wanted to start writing and rapping. I just felt what they were saying more than anything else I ever heard. I knew right then music would be my life. It's how I release, it keeps me sain. A verse a day keep the stress away.
What type of equipment are you working with now?
Right now weíre on the Pro Tools 9/10 tip. We run the Mojave MA-200 mic, with a Focusrite preamp. We also just built 2 brand new sound proof booths. More upgrades to come soon.
You seem to record a ton of material, do song lyrics come easy to you?
Yes, we do record a ton and Iíve got so much more material that hasnít had a chance to even see the booth yet. Weíve probably recorded over 200 songs so far. I still got twice that much written already. I can just sit down for a few hours and bang out a couple songs, the chorus and everything, just comes natural. I would say writing lyrics comes as easy as breathing air. It's just what I do. Stay tuned for all new material coming very soon.
Is it hard being a father & pursuing a music career?
It's very tough. My oldest son will be 5 in November and Iíve had him full-time since he was 5 months old. I actually havenít recorded any new material since he was born, Iíve just been doin the daddy thing, making sure he grows up right and making sure I donít miss all the cool and new stuff he does and learns everyday. But now I got another son that will b 2 in November, and a 7 year old step-daughter. I love being a father and I pride myself in being a great father. But now that the kids are getting older and I got this whole parent thing down, Iím full force back into the music and wont let anything hold me back or slow me down.
Do you do a lot of live shows?
Iíve done a few live shows and tons of house parties. Iíve had a lot of opportunities to perform, I get asked a lot, Iíve just never took the time to put a set together. Right about the time I was getting ready to start doing some performances is when my first son was born and I just put music on the back burner until about 9 months ago. Iíve always just wrote, recorded, slapped it on cd, and just sold them. But times have changed, thereís no money in selling CDís no more, its all in the shows and internet sales. So thatís the direction weíre headed and what weíre working on now, getting all our music barcoded and online for sale and putting a few sets together for the different audiences weíll be performing in front of so we can blow up the scene. You can trust & bet weíll be rockin' shows all over Cali, and the West Coast real soon.
What inspires you to record?
When I was younger I think the money, cars and fame inspired me. Music was my release so I figured why not capitalize off it. But now that Iím older and been away from the ďmakin music gameĒ for quite some time, I have a new love and respect for music and Hip-Hop. Iíve had an undying urge and pull to get back into music the whole time I was away. I finally accepted my true calling, and got back to work. Writing, rapping, and producing. It's what calms me down, it's what chills me out, it's what hypes me up, it's what makes me happy and brings peace to my life, music soothes my soul. I guess what Iím trying to say is I inspire myself now, I make music for me. I write what I feel when I feel it, I rap to beats that I want. I donít try to please or impress people with my music. I just try to keep it all original and natural. I just do things a little bit different than most. I like to do things my way and have never been big on what the haters and negative Nancyís have to say or have to think about me. But I do love all the support, great feedback and comments that I get from my fans. Makes me feel good that a lot of people do love my music and feel what Iím saying. I will continue to make music for me, and if you are or become a Jon Hartless fan, then please know that your support is greatly appreciated.
What music do you listen to in your private time?
In my personal time, I mostly just listen to instrumentals. There arenít really too many rappers out anymore that I listen to. Most of them turned too commercial for my liking. The only rappers I listen to on a regular basis are X-raided, Canibus, Yukmouth, Eminem, Brotha lynch, Tupac, and C-Bo. And of course I bump my own hits all the time.
Are there any artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?
The artists Iíd most like to work with are X-raided, Canibus, Yukmouth, Eminem, Brotha lynch, C-bo, The Lox, Akon, Royce Da 5'9, and Mc Eiht
What can we expect from you in the future?
In the future you can expect nothing short of greatness. You can expect me to keep it real, keep it original, and you can expect a surprise from time to time. You can expect great music, numerous album releases (multiple genres), videos, movies, documentaries, clothing lines (for kids and adults), shows, fundraisers, interviews, and a plethora of other small companies branching off under our parent company SiCCeSS Inc.
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