Monday, May 6, 2013

Chase Baker - E.H.M.P.

E.H.M.P: Who were some of your biggest musical influences growing up in Bed Sty?

CHASE BAKER:Growing up in Bed Sty, you automatically have a lot love for the artists from your hood who have had a strong influence on the industry, so in my case, Jay Z, definitely the Notorious B.I.G., Maino, and Fabolous. Other artists who influenced me outside of these artists from my hood are Lupe Fiasco, Nas, KRS 1, TI and Rakim.

E.H.M.P: What position or positions did you play while balling on the collegiate level?
CHASE BAKER: Well in college I played point guard and shooting guard at a Division II school called L.I.U. Southampton. I ran the show, basically controlled the floor and got buckets. When I went on to play pro basketball in Australia, for 8 seasons, it was pretty much the same thing. I was there because of my ability to put the ball in the basket from anywhere on the court.

E.H.M.P: How did you use what you did on the basketball court to becoming a Hip-Hop artist?
CHASE BAKER:Well, in anything you do, you must display a high level of skill, work ethic, and consistency. When I was playing basketball, growing up, I wasn't always the best, but I went the furthest because I had a strong work ethic. When I was focused, I was committed. It's the same with being an artist. I'm constantly writing, working on my craft, paying attention to the grind, actually taking criticism well, making changes, and just being a student of the game. The consistency and work ethic is why I continue to win.

E.H.M.P: What is the Hip – Hop scene like in Australia?
CHASE BAKER: The Hip Hop scene in Australia is dope, it's rapidly growing. There are so many dope artists in Australia, not just in Hip Hop, so I think its going in a good direction. I know Iggy Azeala is doing her thing, that's dope for Australia, but there are artists like Kid Mac, Tessa "Beatrix Kiddo" Cattanach, Hilltop Hoods, GMC, & 360 who all continue to show why Australia has a bright future.

E.H.M.P: Describe your process of picking beats/production and putting a song together?
CHASE BAKER: When I hear a beat, it has to move me in some sort of direction. No matter what kind of beat it is, I have to connect with it. Almost always, the style of beat is what decides my content, and then I paint the picture. Since I consider myself to be a versatile artist, one who can pretty much adjust to almost any beat, I'm lucky that my group of beat makers/producers have everything I need to win. Shout outs to my homie Fresh Beatz, Mike Walker, Onwere, and Joseph "Bub" Adewumi.

E.H.M.P: What was your biggest obstacle in becoming a Hip- Hop artist and a live performer?
CHASE BAKER: My biggest obstacle would have to be gaining acceptance as an artist after being a serious athlete. One thing I learned about hip hop while performing in Australia and going through the open mic circuit in NY, NJ, and Philly is that the fans don't care about your feelings. If they don't like you, or they're not feeling your songs, you'll know. There were a lot of athletes who dipped into the hip hop world who the public didn't really take seriously. So when I get on stage and they know my story, I tell them I played Pro basketball in a couple of countries, I see the look on their faces, it’s like "oh god, here we go, another athlete trying to rap!" But when I finish the say, "oh yeah... You get busy." That lets me know I belong here.

Written by Ife Ekpenuma

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