Interview with ‘Genuine Music’ group members; Antoine Saunders, Forest, and Ace
Even though your group is located in New York. Where are you guys originally from and what cultural backgrounds do you guys represent?
Forest: I grew up in Cleveland, and ancestry says I’m Nigerian.
Antoine: Brooklyn, you heard!
Ace: I’m from Brooklyn, born and raised as far as I know, but I grew up all over the city from both doing plays in the park to my own personal reasons. I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from not only the people in my neighborhood but even as far out as the heights and I’d like to say it all influenced my culture and how I perceive and react to things.
What motivated the name of your group?
Antoine: What motivated the name for the group to me was the genuine feeling and emotions that we put into our lyrics; we stay true to our roots and we keep everything as genuine as we can.
What roles do each of you play?
Antoine: I’m a jack of all trades. I play the role of a musician, producer, videographer, and head of A&R.
Ace: I play the artist roll, and anything art related. We have never had anyone make our cover art or our videos, my brother shoots and I make the cover art and short visuals. We all try to learn a little bit of everything because you never know what you need to know.
Forest: We all do some stuff, and accept each other’s input. I feel like we’re influenced everyday by the people around us and the songs we make convey our experiences as people.
What as a group have you guys struggled with the most?
Ace: Honestly the most stressful part was never making the music but finding the right outlet to drop it with. I’ve always been with listening to my own stuff in my own headphones but recently, I’ve come to realize that my music can not only motivates and inspires the next generation to make more profound stuff, but it let’s people see a side of me that I rarely talk about.
What Weakness and strengths you realized as a unit?
Ace: One weakness we have definitely I would say is time management and trying to be focused on getting something done by a certain time. We are so free going with the music that we don’t really put anything on a time table, so our drops can be a bit random at times but they are always great to listen to.
Antoine: I believe the hardest part is putting our ideas from a vision to a complete work of art. To be able to put a concept into reality takes a multitude of factors and it only becomes more intricate the more collaborators there are. Being able to equally collaborate on project with such a vast variety of characters can be challenging at times but the elegance of our group is how we manage to pull it off smoothly every time.
How do you guys cope or get to a resolution after a disagreement if there is any. What is a simple argument you guys would have?
Forest: Communication, things can get heated really quick. We’re all pretty hard headed and once we want something we need convincing of why, that’s not what we need to do or why something doesn’t sound good.
Ace: A lot of our arguments are minimal in nature as we know the bigger goal at hand and we all sort of see things in the same light, recently I would say our disagreements have been more video based and how we all want something shot from a certain angles.
Antoine: All you really gotta do is chop it up and if everybody on the same mind set, then we usually find a way to get busy. A common thing we argue about is cover art mainly because our stylistic differences but it isn’t nothing that a few words and a blunt can’t fix.
I admire the synchronization on your songs. Is there news of more projects your bout to drop and when?
Forest: Always working on new stuff so you never know, but of course that’s always the goal to be working on more, doing more, finding more sounds.
Ace: Yeah, as a group we’ve been working on a couple videos and tracks like always, but now more than ever we are working to build on a larger project to release to the world. As for me for though I have an E.P coming out on the 23rd of August called, “House of Mirrors”. Just a small 7 track piece of some of my most cherished artworks that give a little introspective into my life.
Do you have an outline of what you want to get out of this career and if so what?
Forest: I wanna be remembered as long as possible. So hopefully through my art that will happen.
Antoine: I just want to release music and people rock with the vibes I put out; recognition is cool and all but I would rather have the respect of being a real true artist that people will become a die hard fan for because I put a lot of time into the melodies and need them to be presented and recognized as such.
As an independent group, how in turn would you like to influence the mainstream culture of music?
Forest: I’d love for the mainstream artists to be on their toes from the abundance of independent talent.
Ace: As long as they respect what I’m doing and are willing to even give it a try [that] is all the influence I need.
Any words of encouragement or advice each of you have to give for upcoming artists like you?
Forest: I’d say just keep it up!
Ace: Be you, but don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and find out what is and what isn’t. The game is very dicey and it’s really easy to get deterred from your original or even your natural calling, but you gotta be open-minded enough and willing enough to do what you need to do to be the best you. Nothing is easy, everything is hard, so embrace that shit. Live old and die young.
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