Beat Smith is a very talented artist with a different style that includes hip-hop and R&B. Some might see Beat Smith as a rapper, but he is more than that. There is more to his story and his music. With Beat Smith’s latest mixtape, Souled Out, listeners and fans can see a more serious and sexy side to him. Beat Smith writes on personal experiences and tells stories with positive messages. I got a chance to speak with Beat Smith about his mixtape Souled Out, upcoming plans and his future goals.
Lawanda Johnson: What’s the story behind the name Beat Smith?
Beat Smith: “I originally started as a producer so the name is a little more relevant to production. I guess by being an artist, I got the concept of the old school Black Smith. So I kind of got that concept as far as musically by creating my own music from scratch. When I do production, I don’t really use too many samples. Once I started to become an artist, it just kind of developed into itself. So it came from the concept of creating songs and music from scratch. So once I started becoming an artist, the persona kind of developed.”
LJ: What made you decide to do that crossover from being a producer to becoming an artist?
BS: “It was because of a lot of personal choices in my life. My first love is always the production. I always wanted to be a producer. My co-partner of my indie label is El Debarge Jr. I actually started off as doing a lot of production for him. I was the producer and he was the artist. So that’s how it started off. Then we went our separate ways doing different things in music. That’s when I started to get my own style and eventually I was comfortable developing who I was as an artist. Then I went through some personal things that kind of drove me to the next level as an artist.”
LJ: Ok. I have to say that I really enjoyed your mixtape, Souled Out. I love the realness of it and the honest lyrics behind every song. So let’s talk about Souled Out.
BS: “Thank you. Well, it’s a different style of music. For starters, I don’t really consider myself as a rapper. I am an artist. There’s a fine line between the two. I have a style that’s geared to women. I include a lot of R&B influence on my tracks. As far as rap-based, I am more Hip-Hop. With this mixtape, I just wanted to do something different than a usual R&B style that I used to put out there. Souled Out was titled from the meaning that at some point a lot of artists sell out when they are given a certain point of popularity. At the time Souled Out, it’s not about me selling out, but it’s like I’m giving the listeners all of my soul. Like giving all the soul that I have to my fans. That’s the concept of Souled Out. I just wanted it to be strongly hip-hop based also and for the females as well.”
LJ: Why did you choose those prominent people for the interludes such as Maya Angelou and Michael Jordan for an example?
BS: “Those are important messages. The interlude is related to the songs that come after it. I wanted to do a variety of interests people have in society. Some people are more in tune to watch sports. Others are acquired to watch CNN or T.V. Everybody is in their own field. I choose people that stand out and not based on their careers, but as a person. All of these people like Michael Jordan and Maya Angelou inspire me. I look at those interludes in the same way. Basically, the concept of the interludes is to say something that I necessary couldn’t say but it relates to the song and my message in the song.”
LJ: I really liked that. So, Best Trouble Ever has to be one of my favorite tracks on this mixtape. Explain the concept of that song.
BS: “Wow, thank you! I really appreciate that. Well, Best Trouble Ever was actually made for a girl that I was talking to at the time. A lot of artists out here look for inspiration in a variety of things. It could be work, money or sports. That particular song was sort of a inside joke between us. I called her The Best Trouble Ever because she was really an interesting female, but also some trouble. You see the realness of a person and see all their flaws but you are skeptical at times. But you still see the good in that person. You know what I mean (laughs). That was the concept of it. I also found that the Poetic Justice interlude was on there too and that was a perfect fit for that song. Then the Maya Angelou interlude came after and it came all together.”
LJ: (Laughs). I definitely can relate to that. So, Beat Smith, where will you be in the next five years?
BS: “Hopefully on tour. I would love to complete a tour. I want to do national and international as far as touring. I like to go out and see different places. I have a lot of fans that accumulated online. Touring is what I would like to accomplish. As a producer, I always wanted to do production. My goal is to establish a network with other artists and so forth and so forth. Every artist has that one point, where you are like Lil Wayne where you grind really hard for 10 or 15 years or you are that artist where you have that 5-year-shine and then have to move on to something else. I’m not saying that I won’t excel or be eliminated as an artist, but at the same time, I really wanted to fall back on production. That has always been my drive. I think I might go back to production at some point. I will be able to build a connection and network with other artists and producers.”
LJ: That’s great! I wish you the best with that. Have you done any shows lately?
BS: “I have been doing various shows in the L.A area. I just recently got in contact with a promotion company a couple of months ago. I did a show with them; I did a show at the Dragon Fly. Then I did another show at the Plush Lounge (Key Club.) I plan on doing more local shows to get a local fan base. Also, I would like to set up a tour for some opening acts, possibly some college tours. Then expand from local to states to nationwide.”
LJ: Well, I am glad that I did this interview with you, Beat Smith. Good luck and best success!
BS: Thank you. I appreciate it!
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