The Official Website of Y.O.

Interview with Y.O.


We had a minute to sit down with Y.O. and ask him some questions. Check it out…

Q:Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
I am originally from Seattle Washington but grew up in upstate New York. I started “freestyling” with my friends in a group we called the “Crazy 8′s” and my first rap name was “Jackpott”. I was about 15 when we all started to rap for fun and then before we knew it we were making full songs. I’ll fast forward 3 years to my first show which was in front of a pretty good sized crowd in Idaho at the 4th of July show before the fireworks. I made my first album, “Pray for Me” and changed my name to Y.O. at 18 and soon after moved to Seattle where I studied audio engineering and production and worked with a group, “Endangered Rootz”. We made an album called “Bound to Sprout” but the group quickly fell apart. Then, I worked with a group called “Biomecca” and we made an album when I was 21 called, “The Pilgrimage” and we played in front of a crowd of over 2,000 people in the Grand Tetons. I decided to do my own thing and when I was 22 and I made my second solo LP, “Buildin an Army” (Available on ITUNES and Amazon). I’ve done shows in NYC and opened for Cuban Link and continue to pursue my dream as a producer, engineer, and emcee. My newest project is my third album, “My Mission Statement” and today, I am not only an artist myself but I work to help other artists who are looking for a professional look and sound. Today I am not only a rapper/songwriter and producer, but an engineer, photographer, and more.

Q:What are you currently working on and what can we expect to see?
I am finishing up my album titled “I”. I engineered, performed, and produced ever single track on the album… and even did the artwork! I am actually working on my 3rd official music video for the song “I’m Sorry” produced by Mostimproved Beats out of Newburgh, NY. You can expect to see it mid-2012.

Q: Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
I worked under an amazing producer and CEO of Jambox Ent. in Midtown Manhattan, Lee Evans. He produced a long list of songs including the hit single “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and he played the keyboards for “Afrika Bambattaa”at one time. I had a really hard time breaking through as an engineer since I was new to the industry. I started my own company ”Stellar Sound & Media” and wanted to show Lee that I was determined to be one of his right hand men but instead he had me promoting the studio and handing out flyers on the street. So I would have to stay swallowing my pride and doing all the work no one else wants to do was the hardest part of working up to get where I am today. Not to mention the business side of things, I hate contracts and copyright forms but unfortunately nowadays you have to watch your back and protect yourself at all times. Now I am a pretty well established engineer, photographer and video editor in upstate NY, my next move is down to NYC to pursue my dreams.

Q: What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
I went through a really rough couple of months and lost a lot of  people I worked with musically awhile back and it was hard getting back into the swing of things and convincing the following I had that I was really back in the scene. After getting my mind right I basically went back to work and linked up with some well known local heavy hitters from NYC to Minnesota. After being back in the swing of things I unexpectedly dropped an official music video so that was a giant step in the right direction and gave me the confidence to take even bigger steps to outdo my last accomplishment.

Q: What are some things artists need to be careful of?
Be careful what you wish for! Getting signed isn’t the only goal you should have, this industry is full of snakes and an advance is just what it says it is… an ADVANCE! Meaning you have to pay all that back and if your songs flop you still have to pay it back even if it’s out of your own pocket. Be patient and enjoy what your doing and do whatever you can on your own. Showcases are an easy way for establishments to sit back and make the artists work for them and what do you get out of it?…. NOTHING except maybe a an opportunity to be on stage.

Q: What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
My website, Twitter, or Facebook. I love posting a song seconds after making it and getting instant feedback, it’s a great feeling. Second, I would have to say YouTube. Videos are a great way to show your fans what you are all about and what your image and look is. Other than that, shows are a great place to get your name out there and give people something to remember you by.