I met up with local hip-hop artist 6 Cardinal, to chat about jazz, philosophy, and what it’s like trying to get his music out in a sea of pro-tooled artists.
J: What got you started with music?
6C: Well, I started writing poetry when I was 16. When I went to college I was introduced to Fruity Loops… not the cereal, but a music production tool, and started making beats. I would hand out CDs all around campus and by the time I was a Junior people knew who I was. A special moment that sticks out to me was the first time I went to a legit studio. Looking at the sound board and everything, talking to the studio engineer and all made me realize this is what I want to do.
J: Do you remember your first gig?
6C: My first show was at a hookah lounge by school. We got everyone we knew to come out, had about 12-13 songs and just packed the house. It was crazy, the owner was saying people were trying to sneak in to hear us.
J: So you started out as a duo, Untouchables, but now you’re a solo artists going by 6 Cardinal. What happened there.
6C: Untouchables was the duo between me and my friend Alex. We’re still friends and keep in touch, we just drifted apart after I left school and he stayed. I think the separation was my own motivation to do things and take it to the next level.
J:What was the first song you recorded/ studio session?
6C: I couldn’t tell you the first song I ever recorded, but we did a 4 song demo. We had a $25.00 mic and put a sock over it to use as a filter. (Laughs)
J: Have you come a long way since then?
6C: Yes, I think so. The overall quality of my sound, and linking up with 1st take studios who has good equipment has been huge. Besides that, I don’t like to talk myself up, but I think that I’ve gotten better at this. My goals have matured, I’m doing it less for the prospect and more for the music sake. I’m happy with that, now that I have the ability to do it as much as I want.
J: What are your musical influences?
6C: As far as hip hop goes, I was just influenced more by the music coming out of the east coast, like the NY area. In general, I love jazz. If I wasnt doing this I would love to be doing jazz. I’m a big fan of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. A lot of bass lines and drum lines from jazz standards are heard in hip hop music, particularly in the East, and that is what I liked about it. My dad listened to a lot of blues growing up so that was another big thing.
J: Have you sampled anything in your music?
6C: I’ve sampled a lot of piano, its a differnett style so it has to be done in a sensitive matter. I’ve also sampled a lot of 70′s soul.
J: How do you go about writing a song?
6C: Sometimes I’ll make the beats first at home and go to the studio and sit for hours with it, and other times I’ll think of little lyrics while I’m at work and then work a beat around that.
J: What do you like to write about?
6C: I like to write about my life now. The post college lifestyle and whatnot. I also love philosophy and I like to use music as my means of talking about it. It helps me open up about what I feel, and like to think about the world. I love to learn and read so when I’m presented with a new idea I like to talk about it.
J:What are you striving for?
6C: Right now I’m getting my solo album together. It’s probably going to drop in early June. I’d love to be able to tour to perform my music because I think I have a lot of good material that I’d like people to hear.
Hear his music and get more info about 6 Cardinal on his facebook here.
Check out some of his videos on the 1st Take Studio’s site.
Don’t miss his video “The Weekend” – see below!