Will.i.am needs to watch it: there’s a new kid in town with periods in his stage name, and he’s pretty good too!
OK, admittedly, I have a soft spot for Notrydo.Sincere. He’s a Chicago native getting compared to Common, and having grown up in Illinois myself, I love highlighting a good local artist who works as hard as he performs. When he isn’t at his day job at Ralph Lauren, Notrydo.Sincere is out recording and pushing his music.
Do you follow the local Chicago music scene? Notrydo – a stage name literally referring to “No, try! Do!” grandmotherly advice to follow his dreams – was named the Hip Hop Entertainer of the Year at the 2011 Chicago Music Awards.
Ever attended a Chicago Bull game? Why, you would have seen Notrydo out with his drumline entertaining the crowd. He’s like the “Where’s Waldo?” of Chicagoland: you know you’ve seen him somewhere.
Among your different note points is you’re the first artist to release a mixtape with a USB flash drive. How did this work? Was it expensive providing people with that many flash drives?
How did it work? Well the initial concept was to give the consumer an additional benefit. One day, one of my homies, Jaime, gave me a flashdrive with several albums of Rosetta Stone. I then gave him the flashdrive back with some of my music on it. So, we would often swap music after that. This inspired me.
I’ve always believed in making things practical and useful and now, it would be an added bonus for my music or vice versa even. We worked very hard on the music too.
To answer your other question, yes, it was expensive, but we used a global connect between the US and China to purchase the flashdrives for wholesale. Which made it expensive, but also profitable. It worked well also because I made the flashdrives a fashion accessory. I have a love for fashion. I’ve owned a boutique, and I work at Ralph Lauren, so I knew right away by making it an accessory, it would also be more marketable.
You coined your stage name after something your grandmother said. Was she a big fan of hip hop? Some grandparents are…had to ask!
No, she wasn’t a fan of hip hop. *Laughs*
She was a fan of providing her family with good wisdom. She was known for doing that. Her words gave me encouragement because trying is not doing. She never heard my music, but she knows that I did music and that I was serious about it.
Your story is you had mild interest at Atlantic Records and it didn’t work out. How are you going to regroup and find a major label in time?
My regroup strategy is my strategy overall which is to continue to make artistic, creative projects that people who love hip hop or music will be inspired by. For a little bit of profit, I’ll give it to you now. *Laughs and starts rapping.*
Recently, you did a concert in Iowa. Total country music land! How did you promote your show and work the crowd when there so you wouldn’t have four people show up?
I invested into the show. I put my own money into the promotions. I had my team hit up local newspapers, and I got contacted for an interview. We also did social media promotion. We stayed in direct communication with the promoter and assisted with promoting the show. I believe that assisting with the promotion of the show is how you get more than four people to show up. You have to be willing to financially invest in your own show as well as creatively, mentally and physically. You have to give it your all, and the word will spread.
You’re known for your freestyle rap. So many people would be terrified going freestyle on the mic! For wannabe rappers, what is your advice to keep from going silent on stage? Or worse, acting like Eminem in “8 Mile” and vomiting afterwards?
Rehearsal! You gotta rehearse. You have to rehearse as if you are performing.
You have to visualize yourself performing onstage prior to actually performing.
NASA uses a simulation when teaching their astronauts. DMV uses simulation when teaching people how to drive. So, I have a simple formula that I created and use every time, whether I have a show or not.
For every five minutes that you are on stage, you should have an hour of rehearsal time invested. I have especially used this for preparing to perform at my larger bookings like the African Festival of the Arts, which is in front of thousands. This is especially important for artists like myself who use live bands.
So, it’s decided. A guy succeeds at his first freestyle open mic night. How does someone practice freestyle so he can go in the studio one day and not need notes or anything…and get a great song out of that very session?
I distance myself from bad habits and take a fast right before going to the studio. I allow myself to be clean mentally and physically. I also only listen to good music that inspires me. Every moment during this time is filled with working on my music. I also rehearse aloud while working on my music. So, when I get the studio, it just flows. But it never hurts to make notes.
What other tricks do you have up your sleeve for promoting your music with technology?
Actually, I plan to stay consistent with the current flow of technology. I will allow the majority of my music to remain free for anyone who wants to listen and download it. We are now planning to incorporate tangible art into the presentation of the music, potentially making the art the centerpiece. I’ve always loved things that are multipurpose. The flash drives were just the beginning.
BOOKING INFO: RespectChicago@gmail.com