Coming by way of Orlando, Florida is the multi-talented 40b. Not only a rapper, the rising star makes his mark as a producer, photography and videographer as well. Even as he branches out though you can tell his music is what comes first in his heart by speaking with him and listening to his art.
While it seems often you can only find one particular sound by listening to the radio at any given time, artists like 40b work hard to push the boundaries. Though his music is admittedly not for everyone, I get the sense that public widespread appeal is not 40b’s aim. His music is so personal and unique to the artist you can only feel as though he does what he loves without regard for how people may receive it. This is an admirable trait for a rising musician.
As his music continues to grow we at 1DF wanted to catch up with him for some insight into what goes on in his mind. Fresh off the heels of his “Nothing At All” visual from his “Love Riot” EP, we felt the time was ideal. Follow along for our Q&A session.
So we’ve covered you here on 1stDayFresh quite a few times, but to anyone who may still be getting an introduction tell us more about yourself?
Yes, thanks for having me. So, I am an Orlando based songwriter/composer and I’m also half of Countertop Productions, a video and music production company. As far as my music goes, I usually do everything solo. However, I have been working with the Avengerz for most of my recent work. They produced my EP Love Riot and my latest EP Trapped in the System was produced by Luke Roswell.
When did you make the decision that music was something you wanted to pursue?
I’ve been involved in music my whole life. I was in chorus in elementary school and played violin in middle school. I started taking it seriously when I saw a freestyle battle in ninth grade. I wrote poetry already so it came easy for me.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations? You have a very unique sound so I’m interested to know.
My favorite rapper is Jadakiss but I enjoy an array of musicians including Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Nirvana, Bob Marley, Wu-Tang, The Doors, Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and Jay-Z to name a few. Growing up I listened to Soca and a lot of 70s music and oldies. I hate getting asked this question because I can’t really credit my style to one person or style of music because I pull from many genres.
Overall what do you think separates your music in comparison to most of what we hear lately?
I give it content. I feel like my focus is on telling a story and my music has a lot of personal experience and life lessons within the lyrics. I let the beat tell me what to say rather than force it. I try to let my voice enhance the actual music.
How do you feel about the music scene out in Orlando?
I think it sucks. No one wants to help each other out and it’s like every man for himself. Our radio stations don’t support local artists to say the least.
Your latest music video just dropped, can you tell us more about the process creating it?
Originally, we wanted to shoot most of the video at the Coral Castle since Edward Leedskalnin built it for his wife and we thought it went well with the theme of Nothing at All. When that didn’t work out, we decided to have a darker take on the video. Since the song is more upbeat and has a pop feel to it, we wanted to have a video that contrasted that feeling and showed how love can take you to the bottom.
What made you reach back to this song in particular? It is a good song but I’m just wondering since its been out over a year. It’s rare for artists to do that.
You said it best, it’s a good song. I make diamond music so I feel that years from now the song will evoke the same feeling as it does now. It’s a timeless song and I still don’t think people have really gotten a chance to hear it. I re-released it in hopes that it would reach a broader audience.
The plot for the video could be considered pretty dark by some. Did you want that shock value to it or just felt as though it’s a story that needs to be told?
I feel like it’s reality and it’s appropriate for the song. To some, it may be a stretch but when you really look at it, this is what happens in people’s lives. Shock value? What is than anymore. I think we’ve seen it all at this point. At least I feel like I have.
Is “Nothing At All” inspired by any real life events for you? Or did you draw inspiration elsewhere?
Yea me and my girl got in a serious argument and I got to see how someone can go from being in love to just feeling nothing. It’s crazy how fast it can happen.
Now that the video is out what can people look forward to from you in future?
Well I’m getting ready to release my new single Further so be on the lookout for that. I’ll be shooting a video for it as well. You can stop by my website 40bez.com to stay posted on my work. I will also be producing a lot more, so I will have beats available on the site as well.
When people listen to your music what is the main thing you want them to be able to take away from it?
I want people to be able to hear a song they can relate to and something that expresses the emotions they’re feeling. For me, it’s gratifying when I hear a song that can do that so that’s what I want to give to people.
What is the accomplishment you are most proud of to date and why?
Countertop Productions is my biggest accomplishment. Legalizing my own business is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Having a company for music and video production just brings everything together for me.
What is the biggest obstacle you feel you’ve had to overcome in your life and how did you do it?
Trying to work with other people and getting them to see my vision has been the hardest thing for me. I just started doing things myself and stopped relying on other people to do things for me. I taught myself to do a lot of things like music theory and how to play the piano. Currently, I’m teaching myself how to engineer and mix and master my own tracks.
What do you want your lasting legacy to be?
Timeless music. I don’t really need it all I just want a diamond plaque. Just knowing that my song touched 10 million people is enough of a legacy for me.
Anything else you would like to share before we conclude?
If you’ve got a dream then go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Keep your head down and keep moving. It’s never luck only hard work. That’s all.
Keep up with 40b at 40bez.com and follow on social media