(October 2005) | Interview By:
Dubcnn.com sat down with Avant to
talk about his new album "Director", him building a house in Cleveland for the
Hurricane Katrina Victims, he told us about his love for the Westcoast,
working with Snoop, he also told us why Bone Thugs are the most talented group
he ever worked with, he went on to speak about his childhood, the times he was
with Magic Johnsons record label, the fact that he wants a westcoast artist on
the remix of his new single and so much more. Please feel free to send any
feedback regarding the interview to :
Huge thanks to Avant for taking time out to answer the questions fans wanted
to know! (Interview was done by phone on October 6th 2005)
Questions Asked By : Yash
Avant Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Entire Interview in Audio:
dubcnn: So what's up, You grew up in
Na, I was raised and grew up in Cleveland , about 16-17 i moved off to Chicago
dubcnn: How was your childhood growing up in Cleveland ?
It was kinda rough, na mean, I was in an apartment area like right around the
corner from the projects, there was a lot of things going on that gave me the
strength to write these love songs
dubcnn: Who was your biggest influences to start singing?
Well actually it started off with my Uncle , he passed away a couple of years
ago, from that point on you know, we used to jam to the Temptations, he was an
old school cat, I was young, real young and it was something I just grew to
dubcnn: So if you could thank one person who has been there through the hard
times and the good times, who would it be?
It would be my Mom's and my Uncle that passed away, they both stuck beside me
and told me I was strong enough to make it in this game, they been there
through the hard times ?
dubcnn: So did you see your friends change when you started to get success?
Yea alot of things changed, friendships change, way I was living changed, a
brother getting in the game for the first time, didn't really know what to do
with finances, just wanna spend money and be the first to get it,
imma buy this imma buy that, but I was blessed enough to have somebody like my
moms and family to say invest in some houses, so that's what I did I invested
in property, so now I got a couple of houses, so like now I'm trying to help
the Hurricane victims, fixing up my properties so i give them a place to rest.
dubcnn: So this album, how does it differ from your other albums?
Oh you know I'm glad you asked that question because I've dealt with different
producers on the last three albums, Steve Hoff, this time I got Rodney
Jerkins, Jermaine Dupri, so I ventured off and they gave me their sound and
vibe, but I wrote every record on the album so you still will get that Avant
sound but just a little different twist to the music, ya feel me?
dubcnn: Yea, so why name the album "Director?"
Well this time around I have dealt with a lot of different situations, last
album I dealt with a different style...alot of people always ask the question
who is Avant, and uh, from the time I started in 2000 i been dealing with
different styles and haven't really had time to sit down and write what Avant
is about and who Avant is because of all the different changes,
I dealt with changes but with the same token i just want to take over my whole
music career, that's' the reason i named the album "Director," I'm directing
me life and I want other young kids to start learning how to direct their life
dubcnn: Do you have any features on the album?
Lil wayne and me and Jermaine Dupri did a song together and uh, Lloyd Banks is
on a song called "Exclusive"
dubcnn: You worked on with Snoop Dogg on the remix to "Read Your Mind"
Oh that was off the chain! Yea he called me like "Yo, like that that there,
don't worry bout it go in drop my verse" it was really cool, he's one of my
idols coming up in the game, i appreciate dude cause he made power moves as
well, with all the stuff at Death Row he saw past all that and became the
superstar that he is today, so that's the whole grind, I respect anybody
that's got a grind, and it was kind of hot too.
dubcnn: So will you do the same, like a west coast rapper do a west coast
version of the new single?
Right now I'm working on a remix, its doing so well on radio, people are
really digging it, like yo, got to hear the record. So imma start on the
remixes I got 3 different producers doing remixes, so yea I will get a west
coast player, I got love for the west coast they always show me love, and I
wanna broaden my fan base so yea I gotta touch the people there.
dubcnn: So how did you hook up with Lil Wayne and do you know how he is doing
since Hurricane Katrina?
Well me and JD was in the studio vibin', we didn't know how we was gonna come
up with the record, like I said I worked with one producer for the past 3-4
years, it was funny dealing with other producers, but we learnt how to make
each other time mesh together and work.
JD was in the studio and I went to So So Def, ??, he got a lot of stuff, a
basketball court, pool tables all type of stuff, so I was in the back room
shooting hoops and JD comes in saying "Yo you gotta check this out this track
crazy!"So I'm like damn this is crazy so he says like "imma give you some time
to sit with it and do what you do" and I sat with it a minute and I came up
with the joint and after finishing it
I said Lil Wayne needs to be on this, I just showed love cause he is talented
and up and coming hot rapper and I wanted him to touch this record. I spoke
with him 2 days ago cause we shot the video, I didn't really wanna deal with
Katrina cause I didn't know how close it might have been to him at this time,
ya know, so we just spoke on music.
dubcnn: How do you think people will receive the new album?
I think they should receive it well because it's for the simple fact...umm
there's a lot of people out there my fans, who ask me questions like "you aint
got such and such on your album," "you aint dealing with "The Underdogs" and
JD" so there's alot of people wanted this to happen and I had to give them
what they wanted, its not nothing new but its brand new cause its me, but I
normally just deal with my producer but the whole thing I think they will
receive it very well.
dubcnn: Who do you still want to work with?
Ah, that's a good question, I've been blessed, I've worked with people like,
Charlie Wilson, The Isley Brothers, Jermaine Dupri, Rodney Jerkins, alot of
different people, out of anybody it would be Michael Jackson, cause that would
be off the chain.
dubcnn: Yea I heard he was doing a Katrina song too?
Yea I'm working on a Katrina joint too right now, just to get it off my heart,
I don't want it to get old, there's a city full of people that don't have
anywhere to go, it seems like they begging but they were hard working citizens
and its hard,
they got things taken away from them, it's hard to live lavish, take a bath or
shower, the small things yet know these people that worked hard cant do that,
so that's why I'm trying to give them a place of residence, it might not be
the best, their house they had but at the same time its a token...
dubcnn: Yea it's a start at least, real good looking out, not many people know
your doing that.
Yea I appreciate you putting it out, its real
dubcnn: Yea I will do that, and the song your doing is lovely..
dubcnn: You worked with Bone Thugs on 2 tracks?
Yea I worked on Bone Thugs on they album and they put a joint on my album, I
got a good relationship with the guys and they're very talented, almost, they
don't get the props that they need because of all the things that go on in
But they still got it and hopefully we can work on something even more, I
really enjoy they're talent and I think it's crazy because everybody is
different, but working with those guys was the best time I ever had because
they were totally different to everybody else in the industry.
dubcnn: So did you do any other tracks with them?
We didn't do anymore, with working on each others albums, but they had solo
albums in the works, I respected that and didn't want to embark on what they
dubcnn: If you made an album with three R&B/Neo-Soul artists who would you
choose and why?
R&B and Neo-Soul artists?
Uh, I respect Usher, he done his thing on R&B, Neo-Soul, I like Floetry, I
also like John Legend, I like these guys, I get chills when I hear a new
artist come into the game that is ready to take over the game so its an
opportunity for everybody. Alot of people ask me about acting right now, but
my focus isn't on acting.
I want to make my mark in the game, I don't want to be a fly by night artist,
but at the same token I want to be stamped in your memory at all times.
dubcnn: So you gonna be in any new movies?
Uh, right now, if something come to me ridiculous then yea, but right now my
main focus is music, I feel I need to make my mark there, i look at all the
successful music people that went on to be successful actors and they have
10-12 years in the game, like the Will Smiths, the LL's, these guys they put
alot of work in what they're first love was and then they became successful
movie stars, so my thing is I should focus on what i do like music first and
then link over to movies.
dubcnn: So you had the deal with Magic Johnson, for your first record, what
happened with that?
Like I said before, I think Magic was venturing off and trying something new
Magic Johnson Music but um he didn't wanna keep that, he's a man of many
thoughts he had a lot of different things at the same time, that's another
reason why people can't connect to myself,
I mean from there to MCA Records to Geffen, people cant get a true connection
cause they never had a staff in there that could really get into me and write
something about me that they would know cause they was popping in and out so
Big ups to Magic, I appreciate for getting me started though, giving me the
opportunity to write my own album and go platinum on the first album and the
second and third album, they helped me but I didn't get the exposure that I
thought I needed.
dubcnn: How would an independent artist get to work with you?
Talk to my management and uh, exchange numbers and I know they is a lot of
cats are hungry and trying to get things done, uh I like talent, I'm trying to
find new talent in Cleveland and any other areas, I love talent it makes me
shiver, if you got the hunger and the voice it can happen, you got to believe
in the lord and it can happen for you
dubcnn: Many people emailed about it trying to work with you!
That's love man, I will make sure you get my number for my management and see
dubcnn: Man thats about it, any words for the fans
I love ya'll! Everybody keep on yellin' "I miss you," I want ya'll to know I
miss ya'll too, I can't wait to get back out on tour and show the love!
Avant Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Entire Interview in Audio: