Cali’s very own
Bryan Harper is an up and coming California musician who is working on a new project called “Roses to bare your soul.” Gritty Vibes caught up with him to talk about life, and the industry.
Where are you from? What was it like for you coming up?
I’m from the Inland Empire. I Spent most of my life in San Bernardino and Rialto,Ca… we struggled growing up.. My mom was a single mom.. worked two jobs most of the time.. I moved around a lot because I was always getting kicked out of the house or just leaving because I wanted to do things my way. I had a lot of friends get killed at a young age or go to jail for along time. I been in a lot of situations that I shouldn’t have made it out of. Luckily I had people around me that didn’t want me to fail. My highschool Coach took me in when I was in Highschool so that really changed me a lot at the time. I feel like I became more mature and more appreciative of the things I have in life.
How do you feel about the whole label vs independent thing? Which one are you leaning towards if the opportunity presents itself?
Honestly I don’t know. Of course the plan is stay independent for as long as possible. But I don’t necessarily dislike record labels. At the end of the day I would never make a move with a label without having leverage. By that I mean having a legit fan base that will support me no matter what. It’s all about having a solid foundation. I’ve already invested 15 thousand into this. And I’m willing to put in the work that it takes to have an impact in music. A lot of people want to be independent , but they don’t have work ethic and they’re not willing to make sacrifices to achieve their goals. For me it’s just about being remaining true to yourself. I would never sign if my creativity as an Artist was being compromised. It would have to be the right situation. I’m not one of these thirsty artist trying to get on. At the end of the day I just enjoy making music.
The rap game seems to be more about popularity than talent these days. Do you think platforms like The Source and XXL are necessary to make it as an artist?
I don’t think artist need blogs at all. At the end of the day, we have the Internet. With stuff like Twitter, IG etc, you don’t need anybody to put you on. Your supporters are the ones that put you on. With that being said, I’m not against blogs. I think they still have a place in the culture forsure, I just don’t think artists need them to be successful. Of course every new artist should try to get on these platforms, but don’t be discouraged if they blow you off. They don’t determine your success.
Where does your inspiration come from creatively?
My inspirations comes from 90’s hip hop and the things I’m going through or been through in life. I can’t talk about having a million dollars and having bentlys because that’s just not true. I don’t go smoke, drink or pop pills, so I can’t make that type of music. I can only make music that is true to me. A lot of my inspiration lately has come from God. I’ve been trying to serve God in everything I do, including music. So I can’t be a hypocrite. My pops used to say ‘Don’t talk about it, be about it’. So that’s what I try to do. Music has helped me find out a lot about myself. It’s taught me to be transparent. It’s taught me the importance of words and the affect they can have on somebody.
What’s your opinion on the state of rap and namely, mumble rap?
I personally don’t have an issue with mumble rap. I just choose not to listen to it. But I respect what they are doing and I definitely believe that there is a lane for it in today’s music industry. If people don’t like it, don’t listen to it. But don’t try to mess up people’s livelihood by bashing them. Don’t mess up the way they take care of themselves or their Fam. Most of them are like 18 or 19.. I’m not gonna hate on them at all. I’m just happy to see the culture being pushed forward. I just don’t want HipHop to become over saturated with that type of music.
Interview conducted by Travion January