Author Archives: Jane

Jane Meet On SoundCloud Premier Partner Hefna Gwap

On SoundCloud Premier Partner Hefna Gwap is a rapper originally from East Palo Alto in the Bay Area. He’s a multi-talented rapper who dabbled in film and co-founded a creative collective called Elegant Caviar while in NYC, where he met his main producer, Lord Plawz. This up-and-coming rapper is now based in Atlanta, pushing his music and the Elegant Caviar sound which he describes as “avant-garde hip-hop.”

He is launching a new content series called WestBlockWednesdays on SoundCloudEvery Wednesday at 12:53pm, Hefna Gwap will post a new track to SoundCloud. A special smokers edition song for 4/20 will kick off the WestBlockWednesdays series, starting next week on April 22.

Hefna Gwap - SoundCloud Blog Photo

Please introduce yourself to the SoundCloud community.

I’m Christopher Sigur Jr. PKA Hefna Gwap. I was born and raised in East Palo Alto, California in the Silicon Valley and I was interested in expressing my story through music at an early age. When my grandmother saw my passion growing, she bought me a karaoke machine and I used to record my earliest raps on Cash Money tape cassettes. Fast forward, my dad Big Chris bought me my first Pro-Tools (telling me he needed to recoup this expense of course haha). While I was teaching myself how to record my own music, I also started a record label with some high school classmates that was meant to keep teenagers off the streets after school and we won a $2,500 grant from BUILD Youth Entrepreneurship program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

But I realized in order to really share my voice with the world, I would need to present who I am visually too. I attended film school in Berkeley and shot a video with my classmates for a song called “Bobo” back in 2012 that I put up on YoutTbe and this video made it to the eyes of producer Lord Plawz–all the way over on the East Coast in Brooklyn, NYC. After Lord Plawz saw my video we began talking of a collaborative relationship that blossomed into me making the move to NYC and founding a creative collective with Plawz called Elegant Caviar. We built up our name in NYC and through our journey ended up working in Atlanta, Georgia. Elegant Caviar is 2053 music. It’s avant-garde hip-hop that owes much to many regions and cultures. We were inspired by groups that created a cult of personality around them like Wu-Tang Clan, Outkast, and No Limit among others. Elegant Caviar is all about tying a look to the music, and I take how our videos, design and merchandise are communicated very seriously. 

How do you use SoundCloud?

I think SoundCloud is a wonderful tool for building community and dialogue among my fans and potential fans. When I release music on SoundCloud, it’s amazing to see what songs get the best crowd response (i.e. comments and reposts) and of course the analytics tools are invaluable. Having instant access to graphics that show which songs are being played the most and where these streams are coming from is a dream come true.

Describe your creative process. What is your set up like?

My current set up is in the Purple Cabinet at Twelve Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s a far cry from the humble beginnings in the kitchens and closets of California and New York. Of course the microphone and the Pro-Tools and my ever present iPad are what I’m on the most. I love working out of here. The vibe is very familial and there’s no telling who might walk through the door any given night of the week. Working at Twelve has already given rise to a lot of awesome collaborations and opportunities.

How have you reached certain goals or steps in your career?

When I moved to NYC, Lord Plawz was an intern at Jonny Shipes’ The Smokers Club. Plawz brought me to The Smokers Club office and I began interning for Creative Control which was a video production company working at the building. I was using my video editing skills I had learned in film school, while Lord Plawz was helping with Shipes’ operations for the record label. When Shipes’ heard our music, I began getting placements on Smokers Club’s SoundCloud and on Smokers Club music releases. We toured with The Smokers Club in 2013 and also attended the 2013 A3C in Atlanta.

At 2014’s SXSW in Austin, I got to perform on SoundCloud’s showcase and that was real honor, when I truly knew SoundCloud cared for their artists. We tirelessly recorded and filmed our own videos from 2012 on and through hard work and dedication, Elegant Caviar received the attention of many top music publications, blogs, clothing brands, and of course talented fellow musicians from NYC to ATL and to many other states and abroad.

When it comes to approaching editorial outlets and music professionals, my answer is simple and I promise you’ve heard it before because it’s the truth: stay humble! Also, I think it’s important to of course to make quality music, but also get those visuals going. And definitely get outside and show your face there’s no telling who you might bump into out there in the world.

What does it feel like to become a Premier Partner? Where do you want to take your career next?

I’m excited and I can’t wait to see the opportunities working with SoundCloud holds for me in the future. It’s a privilege to be included in the Premier Partner program and I hope to be included in SoundCloud’s plans for 2015 and beyond, especially performing on all SoundCloud stages/events!

Who or what is inspiring you creatively? Are there people that you’d like to collaborate or work with?

To be honest I’m inspired a lot by Jim Rohn audiobooks. Any time I listen to Jim Rohn and I think about where I wanted to go, where I have been, and most of all where I’m from, I get inspired to make new music. As far as dream collaborations, I would definitely say Kanye West, The Isley Brothers, George Clinton, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube. But you know for me, music and film go hand in hand so I’d have to say Terrence Howard too. I’d love to work with Snoop and Ice Cube on a movie as well. That would be dope.

Anything else?

I just want to thank the Lord first. My family, my children, my fans of course. And my management! I do this for all of you.

Hear Hefna Gwap’s new track “Pill Machine” which released today.

For more information on our creator partner program On SoundCloud, head over to on.soundcloud.com. To read more interviews from On SoundCloud Premier Partners, click here.

Jane Meet On SoundCloud Premier Partner GoldLink

On SoundCloud Premier Partner GoldLink has been making waves as a rapper out of the DMV area with only only one album The God Complex under his belt. Find out about his favorite instrument and how he uses SoundCloud to learn about his fans and collaborate with other artists.

Image by Rog Walker

Please introduce yourself to the SoundCloud community.

Hi, I’m GoldLink. I’m 21 and I’m based out of the DMV. I’m an artist who creates everything I think of in mind. If you like Tame Impala and Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz, you’d love me.

How do you use SoundCloud?

I use SoundCloud as a main platform source for my music to be heard. The repost feature makes it easier for collaborations with other artists. The most important tool I use from SoundCloud is the statistic and analytical part. It helps me pinpoint fans, strengths and weaknesses very easily.

Describe your creative process. What is your set up like?

I work out of a small studio in my neighborhood. That’s where I feel the most comfortable creating. My creative process is very sacred and it’s consistent within the camp. I want to say my favorite instrument is the electric triangle.

How have you reached certain goals or steps in your career?

SoundCloud was very important in my early success and still is until this day and forever will be. SoundCloud was the platform that allowed me to be creative as far as showing people what I wanted them to see. I learned about my fans from SoundCloud – what they liked, what they loved, what they didn’t like and what they need. SoundCloud help further my career.

What does it feel like to become a Premier Partner? Where do you want to take your career next?

I’m honored. I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits of being a Premier partner of SoundCloud. Sounds amazing!

Who or what is inspiring you creatively? Are there people that you’d like to collaborate or work with?

Something that stuck with me that inspired me to be where I am today was Beck’s “Hell Yes” video. Just an amazing idea that was way ahead of its time. A memorable collaboration I’ve had on SoundCloud would be the Chet Faker collab. Just a great guy and great artist.

GoldLink’s new music video of “Sober Thoughts” is out today. Stream the track below on SoundCloud.

For more information on our creator partner program On SoundCloud, head over to on.soundcloud.com. To read more interviews from On SoundCloud Premier Partners, click here.

Jane Meet On SoundCloud Premier Partner SevnthWonder

On SoundCloud Premier Partner SevnthWonder is electronic music producer Mateus Almeida whose “Future R&B” sound is making waves and who shares how the Repost tool has been fundamental in his growth.

mateus-sevnthwonder

Please introduce yourself to the SoundCloud community.

I’m an electronic music producer currently based out of a small town west of Boston, Massachusetts called Framingham, but originally born and raised in Houston, Texas. I don’t have a defined genre, but I tend to experiment with various form of Electronic and R&B hybrids, dubbing the genre “Future R&B”. I began my journey on SoundCloud in early 2013 and have been putting out music pretty regularly ever since. For a few months, I had a released project dubbed “Sevnth Sundays” that were just a collection of unfinished songs that would release Sunday afternoon.

How do you use SoundCloud?

I’d like to believe that my use of SoundCloud is pretty unconventional. With over a few thousand “likes” on SoundCloud, I’d like to think that I’m a pretty active community member, always looking for new content to share and add to my playlists for sharing out at shows. My favorite feature is definitely the “repost” function. This single tool has totally revolutionized how new music is discovered by letting bigger artists and channels “co-sign” an artist’s song directly. I can personally say that a big portion of my quick growth is because of early support from some of my favorite producers and DJs reposting my music onto their channels.

Describe your creative process. What is your set up like?

My set up has evolved so much from when I first began creating content to now. I used to record myself playing the piano with a handheld camera and then rip the audio and edit it on Audacity, to buying a Yamaha Motif workstation and creating simple loops there, to learning how to use various digital audio workstations (including FL Studio, Ableton, ProTools, and Logic). My current favorite DAW is Ableton and is essential for my creative process. As far as making a song, I always start with the melodies. Since I’ve been playing at the age of 5, I’ve always loved creating harmonies and playing melodies and find myself still enjoying creating music with various chord progressions. My current most used VSTs are Sylenth1, Massive, Predator, and various vintage Arturia synthesizers.

How have you reached certain goals or steps in your career?

I remember looking up bloggers’ personal Facebook addresses and trying to send them my unreleased music because I felt I was always ignored when I used the music submission emails. I spent countless hours writing to so many people, trying to explain my “vision” for my music and why I thought I deserved their support. The biggest key people to push my career forward were DJ Complexion (a DJ and label owner out of London), Nehzuil (one of my favorite producers out of Australia), as well as two of the biggest music channels on YouTube, Majestic Casual and MrSuicideSheep. Advice for aspiring music producers looking to reach out to editorial outlets or music industry professionals: Stay humble and always understand that even though you might get 99 “No”s, that the 1 “Yes” you get can truly make a huge difference.

What does it feel like to become a Premier Partner? Where do you want to take your career next?

Becoming a SoundCloud Premier Partner was one of the most amazing feelings in my career. The feeling of being selected to participate in this program out of so many talented individuals was extremely motivational and humbling. The experience has been amazing and the opportunities that have presented itself have been phenomenal. I’m really looking forward to the sponsored posts and expanding the reach of my music with the help of SoundCloud and their advertising partners.

Who or what is inspiring you creatively? Are there people that you’d like to collaborate or work with?

I have so many inspirations for my music, but most of it comes from personal experiences and the emotions I have felt with them. I admire so many musicians on SoundCloud (and off) that the list would seem endless. Most of the time, the people who truly inspire me to push the boundaries of my music are the fellow producers in my SoundCloud community. For collaborations in the future, i’m hoping to someday make it into the studio with Drake or Noah “40” Shebib, as well as Kanye West, J Cole, or Kid Cudi. Some electronic music producers I’d love to collaborate with would be Hudson Mohawke, Kaytranda, Lido, Mr. Carmack, and Nehzuil.

Any final thoughts?

I just wanted to thank everyone who’s believed in me from the beginning. The one thing they don’t tell you about the music industry is the mountain pile of people who are just in it to take what they can from you, but finding the diamonds amidst the dirt is the thing that keeps me hopeful for the future of this industry. Also, never stop believing in yourself, especially when it seems like you’re the only one. Always push yourself and your musical art to be better than it can be.

Hear SevnthWonder’s newest track “Higher Love” that was released today.

For more information on our creator partner program On SoundCloud, head over to on.soundcloud.com. To read more interviews from On SoundCloud Premier Partners, click here.