Ray, how about you tell us more about yourself?
I am just a kid who finds an escape from the problems of the outside world in music.
Did you have any musicians in the family?
No, I’m the only musician in the family. My dad is CEO of a company and at times a financial consultant, mom is a baking teacher.
You’ve mentioned things haven’t always been easy. Would you say your childhood was rough?
When I was one and a half years old, dad and mom broke up and divorced, and it’s my dad who raised me all alone. When I was in first and second grade, there is a bully that just likes to bully people.
At that time I was like the guy who likes to take other classmates out for activities, and he was usually locked inside the classroom by the teacher, so he likes to pick on me. Worst I felt was like a broken bone or something like that in my feet. And when I was in third and fourth grade, the teacher was really strict.
She would write complaints to my father every single day. She can even write complaints like playing in the stairways. So that was when I started to have depression or something like that, complaints became an everyday thing, it turned into something casual. And I need to thank my fifth and sixth-grade teacher a lot, he sort of unlocked the handcuffs for me.
I was still hanging out well in class, but there were a lot of things wrong with me, that I became sort of like a bully to a particular other kid. And it was him, the teacher, who saved me from all this and helped me become a better person. And at junior high, I started listening to rap. It all started from the song ‘Sucker for Pain”, I remember that clearly.
And it is what saved me, and became my drug.
Do you think other kids had it better? Or is it more of “everyone has their own demons” kind of thing?
I think everyone has their issues. Everyone has their demons and something they have to surpass. I feel good and fresh now cause music saved me, literally. And once you exceed that, you’re omnipotent. Find the demon, and then surpass it.
At your age, most guys play their Xbox or PS4. What made you decide to start investing your time into something that is not as much fun but that will pay off long term?
I see myself now as someone who sees the bigger picture, to me I’m at the start of my golden age. I can chase and go whichever route I want, and a skill set is something that can get me very far. I’ve always thought of it this way – if you want something, you take whatever sacrifices you have to make.
I remember myself doing Karate, playing tennis, even doing cybersports and getting paid for a bit. As I grew up, I’ve dropped most of my hobbies. Why do you think you’ll stick to hip-hop?
I’ve tried all sorts of things before, and I end up sticking to two, basketball and rap. Rap is like a channel to express myself, and it has now turned into something else, I can tell stories and have people shaking their heads.
In the song Monster by Eminem, he wrote “I ain’t here to save the fuckin’ children but if one kid out of a hundred million. Who are going through a struggle feels it, and relates, that’s great.” I feel like being that one kid that relates to what some songs are describing.
I don’t think you have to sacrifice anything to pursue your passion just yet. However, it’s not for me to judge. Have you had to cut some people or miss parties to work on your passion?
The sacrifice I have to do is not much, but just cutting out a lot of time for what I love. I could have been hanging out with my friends or doing other things, but I will take this time to write and try to write some bars and do anything I can to be better.
What do you do regarding your brand’s marketing? Do you mostly post a lot on social media and hope to get noticed?
I try to reach out to every single resource I can. It’s quite hard being an upcoming artist with no background. So I always try my best to get more exposure, trying to gain more fans in social media.
I am doing this as a way of showing the journey of mine, from nobody to possibly someone who can make others feel motivated and start working hard. So currently all my work is put into Instagram, but I have a lot of plans for what I could do for more exposure.
Have you been told by your relatives or someone else that you should focus on getting good grades to get into a fancy college instead of doing your “music thing”?
So coming from an Asian family, grades are everything. In the parents’ minds, a great college and some good grades can get you a good job, that is mostly true.
But I am more keen on following my heart and trying to become a rapper, that is why I have my first song as “FuckWhatTheySay.” Stop caring about the hateful comments, and just do you.
You are still full of enthusiasm but have you thought what’s your plan B? Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. I personally learned that the hard way.
My dad is quite a successful businessman, and I have the interest in going the same way. At the end of the day, I would want to have my own company or brand, no matter if I succeed or not.
I am thankful not to have come around with starvation and the issues with money, so I am grateful for that.
That’s awesome that you are determined to “make it.” You have a lot of time to even learn from your own mistakes. Do you get support from your friends or classmates?
I feel like it’s always important to know your own mistakes, you have to know what your good and bad at. I really started doing all this because of my friends in America, shoutout to them. It’s them who gave me the name “Big Chen.” And I can always seek support from my friends and classmates, and I’m grateful for that.
How’s the music scene in your city? I’ve seen you performing at your school and being recorded at a studio. There must be a demand for artists.
The music scene is quite big here, but the rap scene is just on the rise. This is why I’m doing English Rap right now, but I have written Chinese raps too. I am actually better at that.
But so far I’m not signed by any record label (hit me up!), so right now I’m all on my own. And the shows are currently small and only to the people I know, but I have a feeling it’s all going to change in 2019.
Before we wrap up, how about a word of aspiration?
In order to become successful, find what you’re good at, and practice until you’re great.
How can people contact you or see your work?
If you happen to be in Taiwan: 0978631317
If you are in other countries: +886 978631317
(Record Labels or Sponsors, please hit me up)
Instagram is @Bigchenrap.
Check my Youtube channel.
Others should all be created this month.
Previous Interview: Rapper and Entertainer Cody Blade
Next Interview: Rapper and Artist Selym
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