Interview With a Hip-Hop Collective CrossJoint
Today we are going to interview CrossJoint, a hip-hop collective from Newport News, Virginia.
Alright guys, how about you tell us more about yourself?
We are just guys who are trying to make the hip-hop industry a better place.
When did you guys all become friends?
We all met around 2015 at a store our friends owned. It was pretty much the local chill spot, and they had an open mic night on Fridays. We pretty much just started talking about music and how we liked each others style, and it just went from there.
When did you decide on forming a collective? Whose idea was that?
CrossJoint was already a concept before the group as it is now met. It was created by John (Poncho) and our homie John Cruz as more of a media collective idea, but then after we put out some tracks and we got some buzz, we decided to focus on music.
Is it easier to deal with problems as a team and knowing your boys always got your back?
Yeah for sure. We all have different things that we’ve taken on as personal assignments. Rheese (Kaiju) does all the marketing and stuff like that. John (Poncho) does all the engineering and makes our music sound the way it does. Kody (ChodyDa1God) is out in Colorado expanding our reach and playing shows, and Kevin (Key) is learning to engineer too, and definitely puts in work on the personal connection with people at shows and in public situations AND books shows and tours.
Do you all work full-time to keep up with the expenses the art career brings?
We all work full time. It’s a 24/7 grind because we get home from work and talk music and work on that. The music is fun though, and we try to keep it that way. It’s less stressful because we only use loose deadlines at this point.
What keeps you guys motivated? Coming up in this saturated industry is incredibly hard. And a lot of the times you have to put in a lot of work before getting any kind of recognition.
We just love everything about music! Listening to it, making it, and sharing it with other people – music just feels good. The way Poncho put it is “we make music that we wish someone else made so we could hear it” And the best part to Key and Kaiju is the shows. The energy you share with the crowd is something that’s so real, and it’s crazy!
Do you guys record in a professional studio or do you have a nice setup at home?
We record all at home this far. A couple of us have gone out to use some studio time for specific tracks, but it’s not the same as keeping it all in-house. You definitely learn things from working with other people, so it’s not like we don’t like going to other studios, but we all have a certain vibe when it’s time to record, and you can’t recreate that.
What does your setup look like? What equipment are you using?
We use a RODE NT1 mic, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, and Poncho’s computer.
Do you make beats yourselves or buy them?
We do both. We haven’t used any in-house beats yet but we will in early 2019 on Poncho’s solo tape. We also have a few homies that throw us beats from time to time for the love, and we just support the people who support us.
Mixing and mastering are known to take years to become good at. Is there someone in your team that specializes in this?
Poncho does all the engineering at this time. Our first tape was done by the homie Scott Booth though. Always have to give credit to the ones that were there from the start. But after that we all wanted to be able to do it without having to schedule time, so Poncho put in the hours to make sure that happens.
I’ve spoken to a few other musicians from Virginia, and it seemed to me like the music scene is actually quite decent. What do you guys think?
We personally believe that in the 757, and Virginia, it’s more of a community instead of just a scene. It’s just a community full of families that love to support and build up their homies!
Did any of you go to a university or community college after high school?
None of us went to college, but it’s definitely something that you should do if that’s what you want.
Didn’t you have your parents pressure you to get a degree? Or did you decide to take a gap year and it ended up being a lot longer than a year? Lol
What’s your primary audience?
We get a lot of metal fans and underground hip-hop fans. People that’ll go from listening to Turnstile, to Xavier Wulf, then to us all in the same playlist. It’s cool to see how diverse the musical taste is in our supporters is!
How long did it take you to find “your sound”?
It’s forever evolving with us as people. We listen to so much different music and go to so many shows that we just soak up everything and put it out in our own way.
What’s your plan for 2019? Any major projects or releases?
Kaiju just put out his first solo tape before the end of 2018, so that’s pretty recent. Poncho is putting out his first solo tape in January 2019, ChodyDa1God is putting out his first solo tape soon, and Key is working on 3 albums. We all feature on each other’s music even if it’s not a group project, so be on the lookout for those!
How often do you perform live? How important do you think performing live is comparing to only posting on social media?
We play as many shows as we can without over saturating. You want to play live, but you want to leave the crowd asking when they can see you next and build the hype. Key and Kaiju feel like the best promo is personal interaction. It’s way cooler to see someone who’s music you like instead of seeing a couple of comments on Facebook from them.
Do you ever think that maybe you could’ve been a better crew of lawyers, doctors, or engineers rather than musicians?
Nah that’s not for us. But this team could work together on anything for real. It’s the team that matters. You get a good crew, and you can do anything.
Who are your favourite artists as of now?
Bones, Earl Sweatshirt, Slipknot, Lord Infamous, MF DOOM, KEEPMYSECRETS, Sneakyblak, Yung Mutt, Fulmetalparka$, & Vohrtex.
How about a few words to other upcoming artists before we finish everything up here?
Don’t complain if you do not see the results you want to see. For every person that makes art, there’s someone that supports you whether you know it or not. Just keep grinding and your time will come. Our time hasn’t even come yet, and we only use that as fuel to keep progressing and pushing our music to the people we want to reach. You get what you put in, and it’ll show in the end.
How can people reach out to you?
Are you an artist and you have a story to share with the world?
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