As A3C kicked off its nine city Circuit Tour searching for the hottest up and coming artists for a chance to perform at this years event, we caught up with the MDuke, the winner of the Austin, TX showcase. The 19 year-old rhymer is climbing the proverbial latter of hip-hop success with an array of styles, a growing fan base, and an organic and authentic exposure created all on his own. We chopped it up with MDuke about his music, the untapped San Antonio talent, winning the showcase, and how he plans to gain new fans when he touches down in Atlanta.
A3C: Let us start off by congratulating you on winning the A3C Circuit showcase in Austin, TX. Describe the experience and the talent that performed.
MDuke: “Winning A3C was a great experience! I got a chance to entertain, meet, and be entertained by a lot of interesting talent.'
A3C: For anyone who isn't familiar, give some details on your background and when you were first introduced to Hip-Hop.
MDuke: “I'm a 19 year-old artist from San Antonio TX. I produce, engineer, mix and master, direct/edit videos, as well as do graphic design. It all started at age 12 when I produced my first beat and since then it was a wrap. Over the years I've opened for countless big names, performed at countless venues, between San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, California, and Louisiana. I got my music video by the name of "Prince Ali” (Produced by MDuke) on MTV Rapfix last year which really launched my fan base and pushed me into a lot of opportunities.”
A3C: As an up and coming artist, what does a platform like A3C mean to you?
MDuke: “A3C, along with any opportunity I get through my music, means everything to me. As an artist being able to leave your state for your art is already a blessing. On top of that, every stage is a chance to make fans, network, and change your life forever.”
A3C: Give us an overview of the scene in San Antonio. Is there a lot of undiscovered talent there?
MDuke: “San Antonio is the biggest untapped market in the US. Just like ATL, NY, and other cities, there are a million artists who all wanna’ make it. There are artists who are good, some bad, and some with potential. But the level of creativity, production, and originality are definitely eminent. I believe San Antonio will be the new Atlanta in 5 years.”
Alesia Hendley (A3C Rep) - “The Circuit's first stop in Austin was a night to remember. Even through the tornado warning an hurricane like winds and rains, each artist on the line up showed up and showed out for their chance to win our A3C Prize Package. Amongst all the acts, one stood out to our judges, M Duke. Once he stepped foot on The North Door's stage he owned it, and that's exactly what we were looking for. Who would be able to grab the attention of the people? M Duke did just that with his self produced beats and his demanding yet fun delivery. During his performance random attendees were asking "who is this guy?". He kept everyone on the edge and wanting more when he was done. M Duke displayed a perfect example of what type of artists A3C looks to place on their platform of Hip-Hop. I look forward to seeing him again in Atlanta during our 10th year anniversary.”
A3C: What's your main focus leading up to A3C?
MDuke: “My main focus leading up to A3C is getting as much merchandise as possible. This being my first time in Atlanta, I want to make a statement and leave my mark on the entire city.”
A3C: From a networking and exposure perspective, what are your most important objectives in ATL?
MDuke: “My main objective in October will be to get my music into the RIGHT ears. Networking and building my fan base will also be on my list. But I know that when my music gets into the right ears, billions will be made, mark my words.”
A3C: You have many different styles on your project "Budget Cuts." Describe your artistic inspiration.
MDuke: “My artistic inspiration is fueled by what I like. One song may be hard hip- hop, the next may be soft R&B, and the one after that may be country. I'm a different type of artist, I don't do one thing whatsoever. I could write and produce for anyone. So when it comes to my own music I can take it anywhere I want.”
A3C: Aside from "Budget Cuts" what else is in the works? Projects, shows, etc.
Mduke: “My upcoming project is entitled "GOLD The Mixtape" which is hosted by Sway And DJ Wonder from MTV, Shade 45, Rapfix live, and MTV 2.”
A3C: What's the best advice you can offer regarding performing in a showcase style environment like the Circuit Tour?
MDuke: “The best advice I can give to an artist performing in this type of showcase is to be different, be relevant, and be you."
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