There are many upcoming musicians in Atlanta who are trying to make a name for themselves in the music scene. Although many successful artists have come from Atlanta, there is still a big community of artists and creators who have not yet reached that level of fame. VOX Media Cafe teens interviewed four musicians who are trying to make it in the music scene, 404 Villain, a 20 year-old rapper from East Atlanta (whose real name is Marcus Osborne), Joe Alterman, a 29-year-old jazz musician from Sandy Springs, and the team of A.B.B. (Aidan Babuka-Black, a 15-year-old producer living near Little Five Points, and MC Miles, a 17-year-old rapper living in Atlanta’s Lake Claire neighborhood.
A lot of musicians have reasons why they want to make music or who inspire them to make music and help them pursue their passion. These four musicians are no different. 404 villain was inspired by Eminem, Big Baby Dram, Quavo Andre 3000 and Travis Scott. Joe Alterman was inspired by Oscar Peterson, Les McCann, Erroll Garner and Ahmad Jamal. MC Miles was inspired by Andre 3000/Outkast, Eminem and Kyle. A.B.B. was inspired by old-school hip-hop.
Many musicians had to overcome obstacles and face challenges while trying to make a name for themselves in the music industry. “It’s a struggle between if you’re making music for a living, you got to take every gig that you comes your way,” said Alterman.
“It’s hard to get the fans to actually take the chance and listen to what we are saying because we’re not like trap or basic hip-hop. You gotta go deeper and listen to what we are really about,” said A.B.B. and MC Miles.
“Big businesses love young black kids getting into it with each other instead of building up what could be something great,” said 404 Villain. You gotta learn how to overcome obstacles as these four musicians did.
The internet has changed the music industry in many ways. People don’t buy CDs any more because everything is on your device. However, it’s different for up-and-coming musicians. They all are integrating their music to the internet via streaming services such as Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Spinrilla, etc. “Social media changed the way how people feel about music a little bit, I think it’s influence, what rappers talk about, ” said A.B.B.
“It changed things amazingly; it changes the way how people are viewed,” said 404 Villain.
“[Social media] helped and it’s hurt it in some ways, it’s hard for musicians to make money off of records they released but I know it helps them gain visibility,” said Joe Alterman.
These rappers gave a lot of advice to youth. MC Miles said, “If you actually start writing and making music then it will happen.”
“Don’t try to force your music on no one,” said 404 Villain. “Let people feel what you are talking about, don’t let them ride your wave.”
Much of the music industry has changed over the past few years, thanks to the internet and advancements in technology. For some genres of music, this has been a good change because artists can get their music out to the world much easier than before. Although for some artists like Joe Alterman, the internet has taken away some of the mystery surrounding jazz. Overall, the change in the music game could be seen as a positive one, allowing almost any artist to become something great if they are willing to put in the work for it.