He is named Musiq for a reason!
What is your approach to music?
I don’t really have a special approach. I go about it as I feel it. I approach it as I do.
The one thing I think of when I hear your music is that your music is uncompromising.
I do like to see things from a different perspective. It is a form of compromising. It’s more like I’m simplifying what I’m saying. I’m not really ever willing to compromise. I have a point to make and I stick to that.
Looking at music today, do you enjoy a lot of different styles?
Everyone has a point to make and it has a lot to do with what you are willing to listen to or not. But everyone, no matter the music, has a point to make. If I agree with a point then they’ll get my support.
When did you know you had a voice that could take you places?
I knew I could sing well enough to get attention between the ages of nine and thirteen. Somewhere in that time I just realized it was something I was getting attention for and at sixteen I aspired to make a career out of music. The music business thing didn’t come until I was about twenty-one. But I realized at a young age that I had a gift, and it is that, a gift.
In school did you work on music or singing?
No. I pretty much honed it on my own. I took pointers and advice from those who were good at what they do like singers, writers, and producers. But I really defined my own voice and sound.
When did you start writing?
I was about sixteen. I loved singing other people’s songs, but I knew I had things to say and wanted to sing my own songs. But the process was hard because I’m critical and in the beginning everything I wrote sucked to me. But I kept at it and I worked at it and I started to create my own formula. But then again I think I overshot because it was highly advanced and artistic and according to the music industry way of doing things it was alternative, but I was just expressing myself. So I think it helped to have a writing partner. It was a little hard because I was rebellious at first to have to write with someone. But we eventually clicked and it helped me become better writer.
Do you find yourself taking extra time because you are critical?
I’m not as critical now; I try to just let it go. I do whatever feels right and immediate. I try to fine-tune it later.
What was it like that so many critics and fans embraced your first album?
It was very gratifying especially from the space from which I come from. Being that I was well received it made me feel good about myself and inspired me to want to do more. That is one of the basic reasons why I’m so excited about the new album.
When did you start recording the new album?
Around August and September of last year.
How involved were you in the studio?
I’m the most involved person. I write, produce, and really fine tune.
When you went into the first album had you ever been in a studio?
No, I had no experience. That is what made it so difficult because it fell into itself. But on this project I took the pointers I got from the first project.
How did you get started?
Back in Philly I got a reputation, that’s where I got the nickname Musiq. Everybody knew me for being musically inclined whether it being singing, playing with musicians, beat-boxing with mc’s, being in a music store or whatever. I found my managers at a music store. One of them worked at a record store I went to all the time and learned he wanted to be in the record industry, but more so behind the scenes. So I was hipping him up from my side and he gave me his side and we just decided to work together.
When is the primer for coming up with a song?
Depends on what is on my mind at the time. It might be a melody that I dwell on, it might be a topic, and it might be the idea of something. It might be a track or a song that I have.
Is there any song that you wish you wrote?
Yeah, “If You Want Me To Stay” by Sly & The Family Stone. I wish I wrote that song.
What kind of music do you carry around with you?
I really don’t carry anything around with me but my music, especially now because I’ve been so caught up in recording mode.
Do you try to avoid music so you don’t borrow things?
I used to, but not anymore. I used to think I was so impressionable that things would rub off on me, but it doesn’t really matter because it is all coming from the same space. But you have to be careful that when I’m listening to my music that it isn’t doing the same thing someone else is doing because there are a lot of things to talk about.
When you get your time off what are you doing?
I just sleep. That is all I have time for.
+ charlie craine