Arts & Culture / Mosaic / November 5, 2014

Artist Profile: Hip-Hop Artist Eric Crawford

Senior Eric Crawford’s latest single, “Coma,” was produced in the WVKC studio located on the fourth floor of GDH and released via his Facebook and Soundcloud pages.

Senior Eric Crawford works in the WVKC station Monday, Nov. 3. (Casey Mendoza/TKS)

Senior Eric Crawford works in the WVKC station Monday, Nov. 3. (Casey Mendoza/TKS)

The Knox Student: How did you get started on rapping?

Eric Crawford: Well, I just kind of fell into it, really. In freshman year, a friend and I started playing around, rapping in a dorm room, and I got attached to it. It was so much fun, putting those words together, and I had to keep doing it. But for the first two years, I didn’t take it too seriously, until some of my friends tried telling me I should pursue it. So I worked on it over the summer and got better, and that’s what got me here.

TKS: So it’s a relatively newer thing for you, not something you’ve always been doing?

EC: Yeah, pretty much.

TKS: Okay, so why this particular kind of music? Why hip-hop?

EC: It’s kind of ingrained in me, actually. My dad used to play a lot of hip-hop and classic blues, so I had that growing up. Ray Charles, James Brown, so it’s kind of just natural. It’s what I feel comfortable with.

TKS: What do you feel particularly influenced this song?

EC: I listen to a lot of different kinds of hip-hop, like gospel rap, drill music, Kendrick Lamar (laughs), Lupe Fiasco and a variety of artists within the sub-genres of hip-hop. New and old doesn’t matter, and what I like about that music is the meaning behind it, the awareness for different things it brings. Also, I’ve been listening to a lot of blues and jazz recently, too.

TKS: Have you got more tracks you’re working on?

ES: I do, I’m working on a tape with Griffin [senior Griffin Belzer, producer at the WVKC recording studio], and I’ve got a couple tracks lined up. One was featured in Catch, too, called “Soul Food.”

TKS: What’s your process for that? Do you write and compose the music yourself? Lyrics before beats?

EC: Usually, the instrumental comes first, and I can get the words out, naturally, now. Actually, I don’t play any instruments. So it’s mostly through collaborations with Griffin and a couple friends from back home (Maywood, Chicago suburbs), DJ Dave and DJ One-Time, they help out, too. When I initially started, I didn’t really have my voice as an artist, so it was really just a lot of improv, but it didn’t have much meaning behind it. Now I use my own personal experiences and things I’ve witnessed firsthand in my songs, so sometimes I’ll have a song done anywhere from 30 minutes to after a month, especially if it’s a collaboration.

TKS: What are your plans for your music? Where do you want to go with this?

EC: Well, its my senior year, so after this I’m going to head home, but I will be working on my music and writing, continuing to record. But honestly, after Knox, it’s more where the music takes me. If it was up to me, I’d single-mindedly focus on pursuing music as a career, but there are outside influences that come into play and I will have to work to pay off loans, so maybe not right now.

Artists that would like to be featured in an Artist Profile  can contact: sctorralba@knox.edu

Stefan Torralba
Ayla Mir

Tags:  Artists Crawford Eric hip hop music Profile rap

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