DJ, producer, rapper, former Fat Beats store intern turned manager. Wisconsin born, but New York primed Audible Doctor shares all of these titles, plus many more. After dropping the highly praised EP The Summer Tape, the man behind it all sat down with Takin’ Mines as we spoke about his beginnings in the game, the value of an internship, and the nostalgic return of cassettes. Read on down below…
It’s the hunger I have to succeed and to put out some good, quality music in a world of a lot of sh*t. -Audible Doctor
Q: The Summer Tape EP was pretty cool; what did you think about how well received within the blogs and the general public?
A: Thank you man. I was really happy with how it was received and it was probably one of the best received projects that I’ve done. I wasn’t really expecting it to be that well received but it just kind of turned out that way with the support of a lot of sites, bloggers and fans and I just think it’s dope cause I feel like that’s the closest to where I am artistically right now, so I’m happy a lot of people loved it.
Q: Where did the whole idea behind the use of seasons come from? You had The Winter Tape that came out back in January.
A: (laughs) Honestly, the seasons theme has been done before and I wasn’t trying to copy anybody, but the inspiration came from when I was back home in Wisconsin for Christmas and I took a picture and posted it on Instagram. It came out really dope and a friend of mine was like “yo, you should use that for an album cover” and that was it. After that it just snowballed; I’m a weird artist where like if I get a small idea, I’ll just run with it until snowballs into something. It turned out into this 4 EP series. Honestly, it was Instagram that started the whole idea.
Q: You have a few songs where you talk about dropping out of college to pursue music. Would you mind elaborating on that? I know that now more than ever, a lot of students are questioning whether or not to even go and waste their time with the direction of the economy, and the saturation within the job market.
A: I never really liked school. I graduated high school and got into college and I decided to go cause my family and the people around me pushed me to go. You finish high school then you go to college; that’s just how things go. I went to college with no idea of what I wanted to do, so I spent my first year taking the pre requisite courses and looking what kind of classes would interest me.
I found nothing. There were litterally two courses that involved music, one was a broadcasting course, while the other was a music marketing type course. At that point I asked myself “Why am I even here and why am I paying all this money if nothing here interests me? I always knew I wanted to make music and be involved in it, so what’s the point of spending all of this money that doesn’t even help me with what I’m trying to do with my life?
I pretty much just messed around the whole year by partying and did pretty horrible, grades wise. At the end of the year, I had no reason to go back. After moving to New York, I ended up going to a little technical school that was based around engineering and sound design, which also was kind of a waste, but it got me out here and I’ve just been making music ever since. With college kids now, there’s a lot of people that’ve been in school for years who go for 4 or 6 years to school because they don’t really want to enter the real world. It’s messed up cause you’re gonna end up with a lot of college loans and the job market’s horrible, so what are you really working towards? If you have a specific field you’re trying to get into, go for it with 100%, but if you’re just doing it to do it, it’s not worth the money. You can always go back if it doesn’t work out, it’s not you’re only chance.
Q: I hear ya. So you did the internship at the Fat Beats Records store after that? How important do you think they were?
A: Yeah, so I graduated from the technical school and immediately started looking for internships at a label called Tuff City Records, and then I got one at Fat Beats during the same time.
I think they [internships] were incredibly important. I really learned almost everything that I know and use today in the independent Hip-Hop scene, like how labels and distributors function, how A&R work is done, and just the Hip-Hop and the music market in general works. On top of learning from them, I met a lot of my idols and a lot of the cats I work with, including my group the Brown Bag All Stars. I would not even be close to where I am artistically or career wise if I was not at that store.
Q: Your catalogue is tremendous. How do you attest to that? Is it your work ethic? Your love of the music?
A: It’s a combination of the love of the music and my work ethic and my hunger. It started I’d say about 2 years ago, where I really just started cranking out stuff, and it really got me seeing how the industry is going and seeing what other artists are doing, versus me knowing that I can do better and it’s me trying to gain my ground. It’s the hunger I have to succeed and to put out some good, quality music in a world of a lot of sh*t.
Q: I’ve noticed that with a lot of your tracks, you’re cool with putting out some free tunes and making mixtapes. Do you think that artists need to do that in a world where everything is so free and accessible?
A: I don’t think you necessarily need to do it, but I think it depends on your fan base and your following. With me, I do that because in the beginning, I didn’t have a base of fans and I was trying to gain ground, so that’s why I put out so much free material. A lot of labels and artists were telling me that I was doing too much of it, but I didn’t feel comfortable with that. I still wanted to give people free stuff so they can see who I am as an artist and see what I do, and then if they’re interested, they can get the paid stuff.
There’s certain artists that I would say would never need to put out anything for free, ever. They could drop a digital single or a project or whatever and they’re still gonna have their fan base eating it up. It’s just really a matter of where you are career wise, fan base, and following wise, and that dictates what you need to do as an artist to continue to progress.
Q: What do you think about the sudden re-emergence of cassettes coming back?
A: I think it’s dope and I felt weird about jumping on the bandwagon for the cassette thing, but it just fits so perfectly with it the concept of The Summer Tape and The Winter Tape and all that, so I had to do it. As far as fans buying stuff go, CD’s are pretty much dead. In my mind, things like clothing, vinyl, and cassettes are dope cause they have that nostalgic collectors type fan base and even though you’re not gonna bust out your Walkman and listen to it, it’s something unique that makes a fan interested in supporting you. You get the download card with the mp3s anyways so you still get to hear it.
Q: You produce, DJ, and rap. How do you go about balancing the three? Which one do you prefer?
A: I started DJ’ing before anything else, but I was doing everything all around the same time. Basicially what happened was I started DJ’ing with my friends in my room and we would have these little freestyle sessions. When I got to a point of doing it after X amount of time, I was like “lemme try and make some beats and record some stuff.” And that was the evolution of my experiences from DJ’ing, to rapping to producing. I think I’m most well known for my production and I think it’s because it comes most naturally and most easily to me. When I write, it takes me a lot longer to do that than to make a beat, so I’m able to get out a lot more production than raps.
DJ’ing is something that I’ve always loved to do, but it’s not a forefront in my artistry. I used to DJ a bunch of radio shows and spin at parties, but I’m more drawn to the writing and producing more than anything. I always thought I was a rapper before I was a producer, but people saw the production first so I think everyone sees me as a producer before a rapper. There’s no real need to balance it, since I just do whatever I feel at the moment and because I do all three, it makes it easier because I don’t have to go to any outside sources to help me with anything.
Q: What’s your opinion on the current state of Hip-Hop? With the rise of the Internet, people all over the world can find your music, but at the same time you’ve got certain people running their mouths and voicing their opinions.
A: It’s something I’ve been going back and forth with for a while. Like you said it has both a positive and a negative side, any artist is able to get their music out and gain fans all over the world and be heard, but at the same time, any artist is able to get their music out and gain fans all over the world and be heard (laughs). I kind of look at it as this is where we are and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can complain, but that won’t fix anything about it, so you have to evolve and adjust to the way things are now. You have to put out a record and expect it to leak and download illegally and the people who are gonna buy it will buy it. It’s just a matter of focusing on the actual fans who do support and pay and cater to them.
The Audible Doctor (feat. Sene) – “A Chance To Say”
Q: Are there any artists you’d like to work with?
A: I would have to say Pharoahe Monche, Ghostface Killah, and I know this is weird but Gladys Knight
Q: That’s cool man. Do you think there’s any slept on artists that we should be checking out?
A: It’s hard to say. There’s a lot of really dope artists out there. Most people nowadays have their respected fan bases, so it’s hard to say who’s slept on and who isn’t. I’m a slept on artist, but the artists out right now that I really appreciate are Homeboy Sandman and Brown Bag All Stars. It’s tough to say whether someone is really slept on, but on a commerical level, no one’s really gaining the fan base they need.
Q: Any advice for the up and comers trying to get in the game?
A: My only advice is develop a strong work ethic, work all the time, keep releasing quality music that’s consistent and just don’t stop. It’s a long road and it takes a long time to really get to a point where you get some traction. It’s about persistence and consistency.
Q: We’re now past the half way mark of the year. What can we expect from you in the near future?
A: Yeah, the thing is I always have stuff in the works. Me and Fredro Starr have an EP coming called Made In the Streets and it’s coming on the 15th of August. After that, I have a track with Maticulous (Automatic) which is coming out sometime in late August, and then I’m working on another project that may or may not be out later this year.
Excellent! I appreciate you taking the time to sit down with us for the interview
Likewise man, thanks a lot..