RatedStars Edition: Q&A with HotShot – Upcoming Music Artist & Sound Engineer
Q&A with HotShot – Upcoming Music Artist & Sound Engineer
Where are you from?
I was born Brooklyn, New York, but I was raised in Broward County, Florida. As far as my background, my mom’s side of the family is Guyanese my dad’s side is Jamaican. My family seems to be mixed with everything you can think of.
What was your childhood like growing up?
I had some ups and downs growing up. I don’t know…I taught my mind to block out the negative stuff so it’s hard to think about my past.
But as far as the good stuff, I was popular. I played basketball. Girls loved my sense of humor, personality and looks [smiles].
How did you get into music and rapping?
Well my dad was into music. He was a dancehall/reggae DJ so I’ve been around music all my life. Growing up, we would always be at parties where my dad was playing, or we would be having parties at the house. Then when my mom got divorced from another marriage, we moved to North Carolina when I was in high school. We were bored there so me and my younger brothers started recording rap songs on the old school cassette tapes. My sister was already rapping here in Florida, which also influenced me.
At first rapping was just a hobby, but then when I got the studio equipment I was able to practice all the time. Eventually I got good enough and people started to like it. At first it was sooooo bad [laughs]! I was wack! But funny enough, I got two of my songs played in a Miami party, and people were liking it! I recorded the song using a telemarketing headset. The song had horrible quality. It was bad, but the DJ liked it! That’s what made me take music more seriously. I think the people were just drunk or high [laughs]. You know when people are just drunk, they like anything [laughs].
How did you get into engineering?
One of my good friend’s dad (Mike Vocals from the Commodores) showed me in the beginning. When I started to really notice the quality of the songs on the radio, versus the quality of the music I created by myself, it was matching. It was pretty close to a point that when people got their songs mixed and mastered by me, they told me that it sounded better than all the other local engineers they were going to. Then I figured out which programs and plugins made certain sounds. So that’s how I developed my skills.
I also had a guy in the industry that helped me get a better understanding of all the plugins and what to use. He gave me all the little tricks and tips. A lot of it I learned on my own though. I always had an ear for music.
How did you come up with the name HotShot?
I got the name HotShot from playing basketball. I was doing all the And1 basketball stuff back in the day. I had skills. I used to play basketball by a park near Piper High School in Broward County. The guys at the park started calling me HotShot because they said I liked to show off. DruHa was my original rap name. My uncle gave me that name, but there was a white rapper from back in the 90s with that name so I said scratch that and went with HotShot.
What is your signature, and why?
I have signature ad-libs. You’ll hear it in my music.
What don’t people know about you?
I don’t know. I talk about myself a lot. I don’t really hide anything. When you talk about yourself a lot, people don’t ask too many questions because they are tired of hearing it [laughs].
What would you like people to know about you?
I’m loyal. I’m a very kind-hearted person that loves to see people do better. [Whispers] I’m a Pisces.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I wouldn’t say it’s a hidden talent, but I can draw. I used to draw a lot more when I was younger, but now that I am into music my time has shifted towards that. I drew the tattoo on my arm; it’s a caricature of me holding a microphone with speakers in the background.
If you weren’t rapping, what would you want to do for a living or what would you be doing?
I don’t even know – trapping. I’m just kidding! [laughs] Probably arts or fashion. I’ve been coming up with a lot of ideas for fashion lately. I never really thought about it before. I never really cared about it.
Who is your favorite rapper?
I don’t have a favorite rapper. I’m my favorite rapper. Deep is one of my favorite rappers too.
Deep is one of my favorites, but I listen to myself so much I don’t even know who my favorite is.
Who is the worst rapper?
I don’t want to criticize another artist. To each; its own because I don’t want someone to sit up here and talk about me like that. Keep it to yourself. I don’t like negativity. I try to stay positive.
If you can be featured or get a feature on anyone’s track, who would it be?
Hmmmmm…let me see. I started to like Drake. Who else do I like? Gucci man.
He is crazy, but I like him.
I like Nicki Minaj…I wouldn’t mind Nicki. Who else? I don’t know. I can’t think right now. I don’t care. I would kind of work with anybody who sounds good. You don’t have to have perfect talent.
Where do you see yourself if the next year?
Doing big things with my family.
Anything specific with your family?
Just getting money in general and helping my family.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Hopefully business is booming. I just want to be able to generate money with a company of my own to help out other people trying to make it. I have a plan for when I make it. I have a lot of ideas. I don’t want to say all of them out loud now.
Name three of your tracks you want people to listen to right now.
How can people connect with you to listen to your music, record their music and follow you so they can keep up with all these shows you’ve been doing?
December 7th, 2013