Artist Profile: Phixx Cravin
Phixx Cravin has found a balance between the conscious notions of his mind and the catchy sound that mainstream fans adore. An MC with a lot to say, he'll be playing our Arena stage come August 1: in the meantime Electric Love's Racquel delved into Cravin's thoughts on social change, his musical style and how he engages a crowd.
Electric Love: How did you get started in music? What inspired you to get your career going as a rapper?
Phixx Cravin: When I was three my uncle Charles was babysitting me, he was eighteen at the time, my parents got home and found me somewhat unattended, he promptly left (probably due to fear) and forgot the Sugar Hill Gang record at my house. When I was seven I discovered it and thought this is something I can do without the need for vocal talent.. That was my first memory of discovering rap, but I didn't take it serious until Nas' illmatic.
Electric Love: What are some current projects you're working on this summer that you want fans to know about? (Song releases, touring, music videos etc.)
Phixx Cravin: I'm currently working on an album with three very talented producers and some side projects, as well as a video with one of my favorite directors, Matt Leaf. As for shows I'm most excited about Electric Love. On the 29th I'm going to be performing at the Rickshaw. My main focus right now is the album and video release in August.
Electric Love: What do you personally or what does your music bring to the table that sets you apart from the rest out there in the rap scene?
Phixx Cravin: I think what sets me apart from other artists is my detailed storytelling and social awareness. Being a conscious MC isn't for everyone so I put in a mainstream element and don't shy away from catchy beats and simple three/ four chord progressions. Just because it's melodic doesn't means it lacks substance and appealing to the masses isn't always a bad thing.. In fact by definition it's a good thing! that's what makes that discussion funny to me. I'm myself always, and I think that's a rare attribute in a genre so colorful. Music can be ironic what it asks for in a "genuine artist"
Electric Love: What is your message/advice to other musical artists out there today who are hustling to make their mark in this ever-changing and challenging industry that is the music industry?
Phixx Cravin: I think new artist that feel they have to conform to the already cookie-cutter style hip hop, that happens to come in fads and waves, i'd say be yourself but simultaneously stand out.. Innovation is the best way to open eyes and ears, just don't go backwards! The public has issues with something that recently fell out of style. Plus read the small print. And between the lines of the big print. Go viral before seeking a deal. If that fails take what you can get cuz life is short and artist relevance is much shorter.
Electric Love: What is your wildest/most interesting festival, tour, or performance story?
Phixx Cravin: One time a bouncer wouldn't let me into my own show and we got in a yelling match. He later found out that my graphic artist and close personal friend was his boss and let me in one minute before the set and I bombed. It's not a wild story but it stands out in my mind. That guy was a potty trained prick!
Electric Love: What is your secret to engaging a crowd and getting them hyped up at a large festival/show?
Phixx Cravin: Engaging with a single person in the crowd can always get things headed in a positive direction right off the jump. Also people have good innate gauges that tell if somebody's having a good time or not, so if you're not feeling it the crowd's not gonna feel you..
Electric Love: What are you looking forward to the most about the Electric Love Music Festival?
Phixx Cravin: I can't wait to see and feel the crowd's energy. I've only ever done clubs, bars and private shows so I am hyped to perform in the festival rave type setting.
Electric Love: What do you love most about the summer season? What do you like to do in the summer?
Phixx Cravin: I'm an outdoorsy guy, I love nature so nothing beats camping, bonfires with friends and fam and T-shirt, tank top weather at midnight
Electric Love: Who/what are your greatest sources of inspiration?
Phixx Cravin: I have so many different inspirations from so many different facets of life. Musically everything from Curtis Mayfield and Sam Cooke to Paul Simon to Eminem and Jay-Z to Fleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix. Classic rock and 80's pop. But what usually gets me sitting down and writing is a great story. An independent movie or commercial can even get me.
Electric Love: What do you think this world needs more of?
Phixx Cravin: Individuality without the confines of social constructs. Division is the worlds biggest enemy and possible threat. Being divisive is fucking simian! We don't even talk about it let alone create a movement for change. If we thought as individuals there'd be no wars. It's actually a pretty easy fix. Thinking for ourselves is crucial to getting along.