Skilled Detroit emcee and Hip Hop enthusiast Valid, has a passion for the art that can be "felt" sonically. His love for wordplay, strong work ethic and intense desire to exceed his own goals make him an artist that you should take a moment to get to know. Here's a Q&A session I had with him in which he shares his experiences, inspiration, philosophies and wisdom.
Achickwitbeatz: Who is Valid?
Valid: Valid is a first generation Serbian-American kid from the greater Detroit area that I feel truly embodies the energy of Hip-Hop culture. I lived and went to school in Dearborn Heights just couple blocks outside of Detroit and i rep that, but Detroit means a whole lot to me, my whole family is from Detroit. After they came from what was then Yugoslavia, my mom was from Highland Park and my pop's whole family was from South West. My church I attended growing up was on the east side of Detroit, all my relatives growing up lived in Detroit and I spent a whole lot of nights laying my head to sleep in the D. Detroit feels like home to me, whether it be downtown or the neighborhoods or my neck of the woods which would be like Warren road, from Beechdaly to Southfield freeway, and then to be totally engulfed in the Detroit HipHop scene has molded me and my music more than anything. My philosophy on music is "DO YOU". Be yourself and let it flow out of you naturally. I feel that music, as all art, is coming through you not from you. It's a metaphysical thing. So when creating, you're capturing whats coming through you at that moment and in that space, its coming out of your aura. After the creation process I think is the the time to think about marketing, promoting, which DJ's to shop the record to and what audiences may appreciate it and etc. But to think of these issues during the creation process is poison to what ever beauty you may be able to create and now it has become less art and more of product and commodity. I feel it's awesome to make money off the art you make, that is what were all trying to do. But to make art in order to make money is when you can start telling that the project is tainted and it is not pure energy and expression that came out of one's soul at that moment.
Achickwitbeatz: When did you discover that you needed music to be a part of your life?
Valid: Since I was a little kid I remember falling in love with my Michael Jackson Thriller cassette. I had this beat up a lil' tape player and all day everyday no matter where I went i would listen to it. My brother, who was older than me, had MC Hammer CD's and I just remember being around six years old that rush of energy I got when I heard 2 Legit or Can't Touch This. I know it's funny and corny now to think back at it, but its true. Then once we finally got cable TV it was a wrap! Vh1, Mtv, BET, and even the country channel were the only channels I would care to watch as a kid. The only other thing I would care to watch on TV was wrestling.
Achickwitbeatz: What do you feel is the most rewarding thing about being an independent artist?
Valid: Respect. I think its the same whether you're indie or major, or at least I hope it would be, I never been on a major label yet to tell you the difference, but just knowing people like your music is everything. Also, when there is people in the game that you have a lot of respect for and you look up to them, and they give you your props for what you do it's amazing. I know when I first got on the scene I was not all that great, and a lot of people I have mad respect for and that I have listened to on a regular basis were looking at me like "eh, I dunno about this guy". But over the last few years, a lot of those same people now have been telling me that I'm getting better and better with every project. I've been told that I have come along way and that they never thought I would ever sound and rap as well as I do. That is the most rewarding feeling in the world to win people's respect over, and that is just practice and caring about the craft.
Achickwitbeatz: What can listeners expect from you?
Valid: That's hard because I don't even know what to expect from myself musically. I always want to make sure each project I do has a different vibe than anything I did before, but with that said you can always be sure that what I'm giving you is organic and felt right for me to make it and it was pure.
Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills an artist should have to make your top 10 list?
Valid: 1. Charisma- This is the IT factor that cant be taught or gained with practice. You just have to have that appealing factor that makes you so compelling that people already gave you their attention before you even start performing or even demanded it. It is just your aura. This goes for any one- MCs, dancers, DJ's, comedians, actors, pro-wrestlers, it's just in the way you move, talk, operate that attracts people towards you. You can't turn it on/off, it's just you.
2. Originality- This is the hardest one because there is nothing new under the sun. Any idea you've got has already popped into 1,000 other people's head. But you can do it in a way it's never been done before and put your twist on it. So whether it be flow, content or whatever, it has to be fresh as hell the way the certain individual does it, that it's forever known as their style.
3. Complexity - Show me that you have to be a truly special person to be able to do what you do because it is not simple. Whether you have just a God given talent that makes it easy for you, or you practiced your ass off day in and day out to be as good as you are, show me that not any average person can not do what you do by the fine detail in your art and doing something that has a very high level of difficulty.
4. Simplicity- Making all the stuff I said on number three look easy. Doing the most difficult of task, but doing it with ease and style. Spitting the most complex rhymes without being over the listener's head.
5. Lyrics- I know this is very broad and subjective, but say some witty clever intelligent sh*t that was so well articulated it makes me spazz out and make me wild out.
Achickwitbeatz: Conversely, what are 5 attributes that would put an artist at the very bottom of your list?
Not being able to do the 5 things i said on the last question.
Achickwitbeatz: What's next on the horizon for Valid?
Valid: Well right now I'm still grinding hard and doing shows as the MC half of Beyond Physics. That project is still the focus, me and JMAC have heard nothing but great things about the EP since it was released in November. Might still drop one or two more videos off the EP. While I'm doing that I'm back in the studio to drop my official solo debut album hopefully in the 3rd quarter of 2014. Everything I ever put out has been a mixtape/EP/free download type thing just to build my skills up and a following up. This though, this is the real deal for me. An official album I'm very excited about. I really do feel that this is the artistic result of my first 26 years of life. I have invested just about my whole life and soul into this, school, work, and every thing I do has been based around my music. It always came first and chasing this dream has always been priority number one so this project is like the outcome of everything that is me.
Achickwitbeatz: Where can people listen to your music and connect with you to stay current with what you have in the works?
All my official Valid stuff is:
All the official Beyond Physics pages are:
- Album Reviews
- Beat Blast of the Week
- Conversations & Quotables
- Did You See It?!
- Free Downloads
- Hear Here
- Hip Hop Documentaries
- Hip Hop History
- Independent Labels
- Indie Analysis
- Internet Radio
- Mini Documentaries
- Music Documentaries
- Music History
- Music Humor
- Music News