NEW ARTIST INTERVIEW: We Introduce Ragin to the Blog!

independent music marketing

Meet Jersey Watch's Newest 

Featured NJ Indie!

Written by: Amirah Kane-Waheed

We are pleased to introduce South Jersey's very own Ragin. Ragin brings his own twist to hip-hop with his poetic delivery, and the deep-cut topics he artistically covers pull his passion directly from the record into the subconscious soul of his listeners. His latest project Hrtbrk Tp is a melodic montage of odes to the lovers of his past. When he does switch gears into hip-hop, he loads his bars with vivid similes and storytelling. He's new to our platform, but he's been seen collaborating and producing most NJ artists' projects. He never seems to lack the ability to relate to his listeners. In addition to catering to staying true to Jersey culture in his representation, he definitely does well with proving that South Jersey, in particular, has a lot in store for this new year. Ragin and I dig deep to find some gems that might inspire the rest of you NJ Indie writers in this exclusive interview. Enjoy!

Why did you decide to become involved in the music industry?

In all honesty, I’m not sure why I joined the music industry. It goes against who I am as a person. Between the unwanted attention, people placing money over generosity, and fake friends who are only there for their benefit, I try to stay away from that aspect of music as much as possible. I guess just knowing how my music can potentially affect people keeps me here. That trumps all the negativity. 

How would you describe what makes you stand out from other up-and-coming artists in your genre?

What makes me stand out from up-and-coming artists in my genre is being able to tap into different kinds of people’s worlds through my perspective. All while not compromising who I am or lying about what I’m talking about. Also, staying true to the essence of hip-hop through storytelling and lyricism. All in one song, I can communicate to the streets, people who never were in the streets, and others while telling a story, having melodies, and having dope lyrics. I believe my music can appease anyone who likes hip-hop, from the OGs to young kids.

Which artist would you choose if you could collaborate with anyone?

If I could collaborate with any artist, it would be either J. Cole or Billie Eilish. It’s a tie between those 2. Cole is one of my favorite rappers and kills everything, and Billie’s voice is godly. 

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In your opinion, what are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of being an NJ independent?

The biggest advantage of being an independent artist from South Jersey is that once I’m on, I can dictate the market for my area. I can set a quality standard for labels when they’re looking for artists from my area. They know what to expect. The disadvantages are it’s a little harder to get on. It takes more patience and also a realization that I may not “get on,” but I may open the gate for future artists to get on. 

How important is it to you to remain an independent artist, or would you prefer to be signed to a major label? Why?

The importance of remaining independent is what makes the most sense for me as an artist. Ownership of my music means a lot, but I also understand the business. If I don’t have the leverage for ownership, then I can’t expect that to be an option. I’m not opposed to being on a label, but it must make sense. 

How would you rate your best song out of all the ones you've released?

The rating for my best song out of all the ones I released is tricky because it’s great to me, but every time I make new music, it just gets better every time, so I’m the back of my mind, I know my best song that’s out is mid compared to the ones I have in the tuck. 

CDs seem to be endangered artifacts now, but streaming music is on the rise. What do you think? Which era of Rap do you prefer?

Between the CD and streaming eras, I prefer the CD era. While streaming may be easy for the consumer, the CD era made marketing to fans more personal. Artists could connect better with the fans in that era. It meant more knowing a fan took the time out of their day to hop in their car, go to a store, and buy their CD. 

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In your opinion, which is more enjoyable, creating in the studio or performing live on stage?

In my opinion, between creating in the studio and performing on stage, the more enjoyable experience for me would be performing. Nothing compares to performing live in front of fans singing your songs word for word. That feeling is like no other. 

What was the worst experience you've had during your entire career in the music business?

My worst experience in the music business is probably when someone stole a few songs of mine. I know I was supposed to take it as “I’m inspiring someone,” but it felt like a betrayal. 

If you had to pick one memorable moment from your music career, what would it be?

If I had to pick one memorable moment from my music career, I would say it was the second time I toured in LA. The reason I say the second time is cause the first time I went, no one knew me. But the second time I went, people sang my songs word for word. 

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Are there any aspects of the music industry these days that discourage you the most?

An aspect of the music industry that discourages me the most is knowing that 98% of the people in it only care about what benefits them. Very few genuine people in it. 

In your opinion, which of your songs is your favorite? Why?

My favorite song of mine right now is Casual Flex. It comes out on my next album, but that song is infectious. It’s a song that boosts spirits and puts you in a good mood. 

Is there something about the current state of the music industry that inspires you most?

Something about the music industry today that inspires me is seeing how inclusive to cultures music can be. It’s a lot of integration in terms of genres and cultures. Rock has hints of hip-hop. The country has hints of hip-hop. Hip hop has hints of R&B. Etc. 

Suppose you weren't an independent music artist; what would you do instead?

If I weren’t an artist, I would probably be pursuing a law career. I have a knack for debate, and I would love to help my people in urban communities not be railroaded by the government. 

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How would you describe the current music scene in your community?

The current music scene in my community is hungry. A lot of artists are grinding and trying to figure things out. It’s an inspiring thing to be a part of. 

Can you tell me about your latest release and where fans can get it?

My latest release is my single SSB on all streaming platforms. 

What can fans expect from you in 2023?

In 2023, fans can expect a new album loaded with hits and videos to go with the hits. Also, I use different kinds of visuals to promote my brand and album.

Where can fans follow you?

People can follow me @therealragin856 on Instagram and Twitter and Ragin on Facebook.



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