I recently had a chance to catch up with the incredibly talented Leaf Erikson. Though busy with the recent release of "Hidden Gems" on Fifty Records, he took some time out to share his thoughts, experiences & drop some gems for independent artists to cling to as they flourish in their careers.
Achickwitbeatz: Who is Leaf Erikson?
Leaf Erikson: Who am I? I'm a father, a son, a knowledge seeking man. I'm an emcee. I'm love, life, and a good beer. I'm a huge sports fan. I'm from Detroit...lived in Arkansas for a few years, as well. Came up with my name from the explorer that discovered North America ON PURPOSE almost 500 years before Accidental Columbus. My philosophy on music...let it speak from your soul.
Achickwitbeatz: When did you first discover that you needed music to be a part of your life?
Leaf Erikson: I discovered music needed to be a part of my life when I was a baby. My father used to have all kinds of B.B. King vinyl on the turntable and apparently, I used to scratch them all up. He always told me my first paycheck would go to him for all of his records that I scratched up. He never got that check! Sorry, Dad...rest in paradise, though. I love you. Eternal...
Achickwitbeatz: What is the most valuable thing you've learned since you became an artist?
Leaf Erikson: The most valuable thing I've learned is the more integrity you have, the less relevant you become in the public eye. Outside of doctors, the radio is the world's biggest drug dealer.
Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills that would place an artist on your top 10 list?
Leaf Erikson: Song structure, imagery, creativity, content, delivery. I'm not a fan of lists, though. Tough for me to do a top 10 list for solo cats. I could do a group list much easier
Achickwitbeatz: Conversely, what are 5 attributes that would place an artist at the very bottom of your list?
Leaf Erikson: No attributes. If your shit is wack, that will place you off my radar. Period.
Achickwitbeatz: What advice do you have to offer artists seeking longevity in their careers?
Leaf Erikson: Go with what you got you there but don't be afraid to take chances.
Achickwitbeatz: What's next on the horizon for Leaf Erikson?
Leaf Erikson: Currently working on a proposal for teaching hip hop workshops to kids. Rappin' is fun but seeing the kids learn and grow is so much more satisfying.
Achickwitbeatz: How can people connect with you and stay current with what you have in the works?
Leaf Erikson: People can reach me at https://www.facebook.com/Leaf-Erikson-114930235265275/ or https://soundcloud.com/leaf-erikson
If you're an artist who would like to be interviewed by Achickwitbeatz or would like an album review for your recent project on Achickwitbeatz.com, submit your music for consideration.