interview MIKE ANT (December 2007) | Interview By: Eddie Gurrola

Dubcnn recently sat down with R&B artist Mike Ant for an exclusive video interview. In this feature, we discuss Mike’s undeniable passion for all different types of music, and what he plans to bring to the game. We also talk about current and future collaborations with artists like Bishop Lamont, Taje, and Dae One. Mike also speaks about his upcoming street album “Old School New,” which will feature many of the West Coast’s finest artists. To find out about all of these topics and much more, read or watch this interview.

As always we have both the transcript and the video for you to check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to: eddie@dubcnn.com

Interview was done in December 2007.

Questions Asked By :
Eddie Gurrola

Full Interview In Video For Download : Here (Video: WMV)


Watch The Video Interview (via the Dubcnn Brightcove Channel)
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Dubcnn: What’s up, we’re here with Mike Anthony. How are you doing?

I’m doing well man. I just got back from a Los Angeles Laker game with my boys Ace (of The Bloc Boyz) and Young Bruh. Bruh’s brother – good lookin’ out on the seats homie! We were right behind the scorekeepers, on the floor! It’s major - Kobe was right there! It’s going on Youtube, you know what it is. We got Carmelo [Anthony] ejected from the game. We got in his head. It’s a fact, are we lying?

Dubcnn: All right, we’ve got to watch the recap on “Sportscenter!” Even if our readers don’t know your name yet, they’ve probably heard some of your music before. You’ve been on songs with Bishop Lamont and Taje. When did you start singing?

Ever since I can remember – a long time ago! When I was talking, I was singing, and my love for signing [got] me writing. I started making little songs when I was younger. I’ve always had an affinity for music, and for all things musical.

Dubcnn: How did you originally link up with Bishop Lamont, Taje, and the whole Diocese camp?

I was working at a bank, and that’s how I met Bishop, AKA Phillip. We just talked about music, we bonded on the music tip, and over the years our musical relationship grew to what it is now. He’s a good dude. I met Taje through Dae One and Noni Spitz, whom I met through Bishop. You know how it is – good people meet good people, and everybody works with each other so it’s really good!

Dubcnn: You’ve been on a lot of big-name street albums this year, including “CALTROiT” and “Hot Box 2.” What’s your opinion on dropping free street albums?

I think it’s the way to go right now, because the music industry is [currently] in a revolutionary [state.] It’s nothing to be scared about; it’s just that we’re at the frontier of something major. Everybody doesn’t know what that major thing is. There’s still money to be made – you just have to employ new and creative ways to get money. But it’s out there!

Dubcnn: OK! What have you been working on recently? You’ve got a new street album coming called “Old School New”…

Yeah, I’m working on a mixtape. It’s a surprise; I don’t want to say too much about it. But, it’s to be looked out for, and I’ve got all my West Coast family on it. I’ve got Bishop, I’m reaching out to Mykestro again, I’m trying to get Glasses on it, The Bloc Boyz, Young Bruh, Prime, Chevy Jones, Turie – who I consider my Tammi Terrell because we sound so good together, so wonderful, so magical! I’m forgetting a lot of names – Roccett, Noni Spitz, I don’t know if I can get to Vanessa Marquez, but I’m trying to get to [her] as well. I’m horrible at coming off the top with names, but just everybody that you can think of [will be on it.]

Dubcnn: How would you describe your sound? It seems to me like there’s an old-school type of vibe to it…

A lot of people say that, and I don’t hear that, but if you hear old-school, that’s because I grew up listening to a lot of gospel. My father was a pastor, so I come from a strong gospel background. I think that’s the base right there, the gospel foundation. If there’s anything in my voice that you hear different compared to other singers - because I don’t think I’m necessarily better or worse than anybody, I’m just different – it’s probably that gospel background. But then, I listen to everything else. I listen to hip-hop, I listen to jazz, classical, soul, alternative rock, country music, electronica – whatever’s fly and whatever’s fresh – I’m on it! I listen to everything.

Dubcnn: You were on the “CALTROiT” street album on the song “Not The Way.” Tell us about your experience recording that one…

Bishop came to me and gave me some tracks that he was considering for “CALTROiT.” This was very early on in the whole “CALTROiT” process. I hadn’t even met Black Milk yet! He told me he wanted a song that featured me on it, and it was gonna be kind of like my [own] song. So when I heard that beat by Diverse, it just jumped out at me. This was about a year ago, I had just seen “The Secret,” so my mind was open to new possibilities, and world was just [open.] Literally, the walls fell down. I saw no limits and no boundaries, and that’s what the song is about. If we weren’t taught to think - if we were taught just to be - we could achieve whatever it is in life that we want. That’s where that song came from, and I like how it turned out. It represents me well. I do a lot of sexual stuff in music for the ladies, but I’m not a one-trick pony. I’m deeper; I have layers.

Dubcnn: Another deep track we heard from you was “Butterfly Effect” with Taje…

Uh-huh, that’s another track! We did that at Taje’s studio, and Taje and Bishop were originally supposed to do that song together. Bishop was going to do his verse that night, but it took me so long to come up with what I was going to do that he fell asleep in the living room while they were waiting on me to finish cutting my vocals! They told me that they wanted the original concept to be the butterfly effect, so I had to think.

A lot of times when you’re writing and you have a track and title, sometimes it’s like you’re in a box. It’s like you have to stick with the idea. Sometimes it’s easier to just write with no premise, but a lot of times it’s easier to write when you know what you’re writing about! That particular time, it was kind of in the middle. It was a dope idea, but I wanted to do it as fly as I possibly could, I didn’t just want to come off wack. It took me a minute to do it, but when I finished, everybody was knocked out! It was around noon the next morning when I stopped. We go hard with it! But it turned out good. I like Taje’s verse, and I’m pleased with what I did.

Dubcnn: “Butterfly Effect” got a lot of radio airplay. How does it feel to hear your track on the radio all over the place?

I’m gonna be very real. *long pause* It doesn’t feel how you think it feels, because it’s work. You’re constantly writing songs, and when something comes to radio, it’s like, “Ohh, that’s cool!” I’m not the type of person that gets wrapped up into what I’m doing; I’m always into what I’m doing next. I hear people say, “Stop along the way and smell the roses,” but it’s like I don’t want to smell the roses! I want to keep moving. But it’s a good feeling to be on the radio! I mean, there’s hundreds of artists in L.A. alone that would love to be in the same spot, so I’m very appreciative of it. At the same time, I don’t let it get to my head, but it’s an awesome feeling!

Dubcnn: You worked on the “Tupac Assassination” soundtrack. How did that feel to do something for Pac?

That was incredible. Years ago, I forgot what song it was, but I think it was “I Wonder If Heaven’s Got A Ghetto,” the guitar player Fish had hollered at me about being on that song and being on the hook. But as fate would have it, I had to go to Japan for two or three months to do singing gigs over there. In that time, he got another singer, but it’s all love. I was still working, but I missed out on that opportunity. But [now] I’m on this opportunity, thanks to Bishop, Bright, [and] all the powers that be. Thanks to Focus for killing the track – it’s actually featuring Focus, Warren G, and myself. It’s a banger – I like it!

Dubcnn: You’re going to be on one of the tracks from Bishop Lamont’s “Pope Mobile.” We got to hear that and it’s definitely something different from you, it’s got a unique vibe! Tell us about that…

Bishop brought me up and was like, “I’ve got this hook.” He actually wrote that hook. He said, “I just want [a] fly, lounge singer type of vibe.” So I went in the studio and just did it. It’s a different character for me, but I feel like I can do anything vocally. It surprises some people because they want to put you in a box, but I’ve done a lot of different things. So holla at your boy! Chuuch.

Dubcnn: Some of your work was played on the TV show “Noah’s Arc,” which is on Logo…

Logo is a gay and lesbian network through MTV. They have the first black, [gay,] scripted show, and one of the actors on the show I’ve known for a long time. He’s straight as a matter of fact. He got my CD to the show creator, the show creator heard three songs, loved it, and hollered at me and the producer. [He] chipped us off and [now] the songs are on the show! It’s a blessing because responses to the music on the show have been incredible. [I’ve] got bigger responses from [my music] being on that show than anything else I’ve done so far. I’ve got thousands of people who’ve hit me up on Myspace. They hit me up everyday: “When are you gonna put out an album? I love the music!” So it’s a blessing.

Dubcnn: That’s a totally new fan base for you aside from all of these West Coast projects…

Absolutely! Shouts out to Patrick Ian Pope, who is the show creator. I hear he’s doing a movie now for “Noah’s Arc.”

Dubcnn: Hopefully you’ll get featured on that too!

Man, holla at your boy!

Dubcnn: So what’s next up for you? Are you going to be signing with a label soon?

Actually, I’m on Diocese Entertainment - Bishop Lamont’s label. That’s kind of been on the hush because they’re still mapping out the company and everything. But I’m not looking for a record deal. All I have to do is keep creating my buzz, keep working on projects, keep supporting the giants that are my friends in the industry, and it’s coming to me! I’m patient.

Dubcnn: When can we expect the “Old School New” street album?

Spring ’08. I could say, “Oh, next month.” But Spring ’08, realistically. If it comes before then, that’s cool!

Dubcnn: Is there anything else you want to say to everyone who has been a fan of yours?

Mike Anthony: I just want to say thank you. I appreciate it! It’s hard for me to sit up here like I’ve made it – trust me, I’ve done a lot of stuff but I have so much more to do. Anybody who’s appreciative of what I do, I’m even more appreciative that you appreciate what I do. Anybody who’s fresh and fly that’s in this music movement, get at your boy! It’s not about money all the time – it’s not about free all the time – but get at me and I will give you some tight shit! I want you to pan the camera around so you can see all the pimps in the room. We’ve got Prime over here…

Prime: Bang!

Ace: You’ve got another pimp over here. Free K-Boy!

Young Bruh: What’s goin’ on!

Mike Anthony: Holla at me on MySpace, I’m on there as much as I possibly can be. If there’s some music that you would like to submit to me, [do it!] I get a lot of people that hit me up about how to get started. My best advice is to work with people in your local community. In every community there’s rappers, singers, and producers. Hook up with them and just work.

I got a good piece of advice from an established producer when I was real young in the game. He saw the potential that I had, but he knew I wasn’t quite there. He said, “No matter how good you think you are, there’s always room to improve. So just keep working with everybody, whether they’re good or bad.” So I worked with a lot of producers who had garbage tracks, and I would just work at writing. I learned to write to anything, so [now] I can literally write to any track. I can write without a track! It was good practice, so that’s what I would encourage all young writers, singers, rappers, musicians, producers – whatever. Just perfect your craft and work with everybody who wants to work with you. You’ll get that respect, you’ll get better at what you do, and it’s a learning process that you cannot pay for!



Full Interview In Video For Download : Here (Video: WMV)


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