"On The Come Up" - September Edition
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October 01, 2012

"On The Come Up" - September Edition

Tito Lopez

Tito Lopez

Songwriter Tito Lopez shows “On the Come Up” why his mama would be proud.


Where are you originally from?

Tito Lopez: I am originally from Gulfport, MI – born and raised.

What was your first introduction to the music industry?

TL: It would probably be when I was in high school and I had a manager – not my current manager. We had to go to a conference in 11th grade. It was a huge music conference. Bad Boy, Interscope, and a lot of representatives from these major labels were there. It was in Detroit. He [my former manager] had us doing different shows. It was like, a huge talent show. Before that, it was just burning up CDs and selling them, and making beats on the lunch table.

What differentiates you from other artists?

TL: Well, they call me “voice of the underdogs.” What separates me [from other artists] is the honesty. I know most of these cats out here are lying. You can hear it [my honesty] in my song, “Mama Proud,” my first single. My thing was I just wanted my mama to be proud of me. “My Blues,” which is my second single, is about what I don’t have and what I’m going through. I just feel like, I [would] rather make music that makes you feel like I am the people and not above the people. I’m an ordinary dude with extraordinary skills. I don’t speak about drugs, money, or girls because I was never around that. Rap has become very corny, when it’s supposed to be raw. Corniness is like a sin to me.  What happened to the rawness? It’s not about vulgarity – it’s just about the realness.

What are you currently working on?

TL: I am currently working on my album, The King’s Speech. I’m working on touching more people’s hearts and my brand. And I may drop another mixtape at the end of the year.

What inspires you to create music?

TL: The initial inspiration was me having things to say and I didn’t have many friends. I was picked on for being smart. I just stuck to myself. That’s why people call me, “the voice of the underdogs.” It’s natural for me to rap from that perspective. What inspires me to keep rapping and making it dope is dope rappers, like Lupe and Nas.

Who is your musical mentor and why?

TL: I don’t have a musical mentor. It’s just me, living my life. My mentor would be the things around me. I would just name life as my mentor because it’s giving me my inspiration, my substance, and my content. My mother was putting rap music in my head, because I had young parents, but I wouldn’t really call her my mentor. The only person to ever coach me was Dr. Dre.

What advice do you have for up-and-coming artists?

TL: Stay true to who you are, even though that sounds cliché. Don’t switch up because you’re going to feel like a fool for it later. If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for anything. Own up to it [who you are].

For more information on Tito Lopez, follow him on Twitter at @realtitolopez.




Jay

Jay

Producer Jay chats with “On the Come Up” about not being held back.


Where are you originally from?

Jay: I am originally from Mansfield, OH.

What was your first introduction to the music industry?

J: My first introduction to the music industry was back in 1999, which was when I met Ludacris and road manager, Branden Booker. I [was] invited to Atlanta, where I started working on music and building the relationship.

How did you get the opportunity to work with Rick Ross on “Hold Me Back?” How was your experience working with him?

J: I’m the CEO of Jmanagement LLC, where we provide producer management. I met Rick Ross’ manager and A&R years ago, as they noticed my grind and previous work. We built a relationship over the years, until we got the opportunity to make a record for his latest album – God Forgives, I Don’t – which debuted at #1 and sold over 200k in first week sales, which makes this his highest-selling debut to date. “Hold Me Back” was a good introduction for my debut as a producer.

What are you currently working on?

J: Currently, I’m working on a lot of new material, trying to create a new sound. And I’m working on new records for a lot of major artists.

What inspires you to compose music?

J: I have always had a passion for music. It’s always inspirational for me to hear hit records and just good music overall, which inspires me to create new material. When you have a passion for something, you always find yourself doing just that. I don’t believe that passion will be going anywhere, so I will always be inspired, musically.

Who is your musical mentor and why?

J: I would have to say that I look up to more than one person. I believe the ones that have shown ways to survive in this music industry over many years would be my mentors – people such as Diddy, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Birdman and Lil’ Wayne, to name a few. They all have mentored me in some way from watching their steps. To this day, they find their way onto the Forbes list every year.

What advice do you have for up-and-coming producers?

J: Work hard, pray hard. Make sure you educate yourself on how to mix your tracks to get a more presentable product, which can help your chances because sound plays a big part in your journey to becoming a successful and respected producer. 

For more information on Jay, follow him on Twitter at @jmanagement1.




Jarell Perry

Jarell Perry

Songwriter Jarell Perry talks to “On the Come Up” about creating another round of hits.


Where are you originally from?

Jarell Perry: Anaheim, CA.

What was your first introduction to the music industry?

JP: When I was around 15 years old, I recorded and toured with my church's gospel choir as a featured vocalist. That was my first time being in the studio, seeing an album come together. That's when I knew I wanted to do this for a living.

How did you get the opportunity to work with Fat Joe on “Another Round?” How was your experience working with him?

JP: I got a call from my writing partner who was in the studio with Joe at the time. We knocked some ideas around, I cut the demo at my house really quick, and the next time I heard it – a few later – it was Chris Brown on the hook, instead of me. Needless to say, I didn't have a problem with that.

What are you currently working on?

JP: Right now, I'm working on my own full length project called, Simple Things. It is slated for release in December.

What inspires you to compose music?

JP: I'm inspired by a lot of things: life experiences, the conversations in my head, etc. But I'm most inspired by what I don't hear when I turn on the radio. I see a void and I make it my mission to fill it.

Who is your musical mentor and why?

JP: I wish I could say I had just one that was really close, but I've drawn influences and learned lessons from too many people this year. My team and my peers are the greatest teachers.

What advice do you have for up-and-coming songwriters?

JP: Take advantage of your resources, learn as much as possible on your own, and connect with as many people as you can.

For more information on Jarell, follow him on Twitter at @JarellPerry.