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.
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.
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