Traidmarc: My music is about my lifestyle
For Australia based musician and entrepreneur, McDonald Emiantor better known as Traidmarc, Nigeria is a necessary part of the hip-pop culture.
“The culture in the country is stronger than in most countries apart from the United States,” he said.
The Melbourne-based entertainment executive cum recording artiste explained that his knowledge of hip-hop in Nigeria dates back to the days of the Plantashun Boiz — 2Face, Blackface and Faze.
“I know that Afrobeat is popping in Nigeria and I also know that there are few rappers out there who are doing their thing in terms of the knowledge I have. Shout out to them and shout out to what they are doing right now.
“I had the privilege of meeting with some of the rappers when I came to Nigeria, which was like 13 years ago, and I have been interacting with few people that were in my circle at the time, especially Mode9.”
He, however, stated that the music an artiste makes is a reflection of the kind of music he or she consumes.
“As funny as it may sound, I don’t listen to rap. As an artiste, I filter a lot of stuff that are of outside influences. I stay in my lane and do my own thing, as I am the boss of my lane.
“To be honest, I try not to listen to a whole lot of rappers out there, but when it comes to staying abreast with what is happening in the game, I can tell you that we know what is happening and who is doing what. I cannot remember when last I purchased or downloaded some rappers music just to listen to it,” he revealed.
He continued: “Every now and then, some would pop up in spotify or ichange; if it is hot, I can dig it for a minute, but I am very quick to move away from that as I said. I try not to listen to too many rappers because the last thing you wanted is when you are in the booth recording some of these outside influences (music) you have listened to start impacting the way you are writing and composing your songs because you are trying to keep up with the trend.
“It is something that happens to every artiste. So, I am mindful of the kind of music I listen to. I am an old soul; I listen to people like Jack Johnson, the Everly Brothers, Gladys Knight. Back in the days I listen to music from the past. I stay away from the current trend. If you pick my music, you can tell that my music is coming from the past.”
Though he grew up with hip-hop back in the days, he also listened to some OGs like Eric B, Arrested Development, Fu schnickens, Heavy D, MC Light, Da Brat, KRS 1.
According to him, the hip-pop genre has since changed with a lot of fusion that has occurred overtime. “I actually don’t listen to the trend any more as it is now turning into trap music. I don’t like the way the younger generations are doing it,” he remarked.
On his new album entitled Epilogue, a 24-tracker, which has gained acceptance in 94 countries across the world, the singer said the album is a double and it is his deluxe version, as two tracks off the project — Big Fish and Black Jeff — resonate with some of his fans, especially those in Africa.
“It is a masterpiece and a class act. I say that with all confidence because of the amount of work that went into the project; the efforts, sleepless nights. There were times I never went to bed because I am in the studio working till 4am in the morning and going to bed by 5 or 6am. Sometimes, I’m the studio working and when I come out, it is already daylight. I had worked all night putting my all into the album.
“I have a decade worth of experience that has come into the ‘Epilogue.’ Everything about the album has been my story, my journey. I write about the things I go through. I don’t like writing fictional work; I write factually. My songs are not gangstar stuff…kill you, shoot you, bang, bang, boom, boom, boom – no,” Traidmarc said.
He added, “My music is about my lifestyle and how I live my life as a boss. I have come from nothing to build a multi-million dollar corporation with just minus $20 in my bank account. Everything is authentic…the real struggle.
“Everything I have been through from when I was homeless, sleeping in the car overseas with the issue I had with my brother, being kicked out, moving from place to place, having nowhere to stay,” he added.
Commenting on his sojourn into music, Traidmarc said music has always been part of his family. As a child, having come from broken home, things were hard and music for him was the easy way out.
“I grew up around musicians. My uncle who is a medical doctor plays the piano. At age nine I used to erase my mother’s gospel tape and record my rap music and I always got into serious trouble for it.
“My music wasn’t really brushed up till I have acquired enough life experiences. When I came living overseas and the things that I went through in my life, I started to pull that into my songs. That is the only way I could deal with the things I was dealing with at that point in time.
“Life was hard. A lot of people let me down. Whenever I go through a difficult time and I put it down as a song, I feel a lot better. In Nigeria I did make a few songs. They weren’t serious songs. It was pretty much for fun, passion exercising my skills to where I am now,” he stated.
On his choice of rap, Traidmarc stated that as a kid growing up, he listened to hip-hop music, adding that Tupac Amaru Shakur inspired him. “Shout out to Tupac Amaru Shakur, rest in peace. Rest in Peace, Afeni Shakur.
“1996 was when I decided to start doing hip-hop because at that time, all I listened to was hip-hop. My bigger brothers listen to the likes of Arrested Development, Da Brat, Warren G, Snoop, Dog, Ice T, Ice Cube. These were the people around me when I was growing up. I had the gift of the garb; I could speak fluently and I think it is the only way to express myself.”
Expressing optimism on the acceptance of his music in Nigeria, the singer said, “I already have a lot of fans in Nigeria. My music is out there popping and my fans in Nigeria love it. Shout out to all my fans in Nigeria, you guys know you are the reason we are doing what we are doing, putting Nigeria on the map.
“I want the rest of the world to know that great talents can come out of Nigeria. We went viral way back in 2011. Numbers don’t lie. All my fans in Nigeria can relate to the boss life that I am now living. They love me and I love them likewise.”