The Come Up: MidlowHigh
Making his first appearance on the IAHHM.com platform is an upcoming artist from New Jersey by the name of MIDlowHIGH. One of the most patient and humble artist I've come across, MidlowHIGH grew up listening to James Brown and the Golden age of hip hop(the 80s-90s) by way of his stepfather who he considers to be one of his biggest inspirations. Being a military child he frequently made trips from Upstate New York to Jersey and Oklahoma. During his first trip to visit his biological father, a former salsa turned reggaeton musician, A young Mid low would soon realize what he wants to do in life. “During my first visit to his basement apartment in Newark, Nj, I saw him working on a beat and from that very first day I got hooked and every time I stayed with him I spent the entire weekend making beats on fruity loops and he would critique my music to and from his house.” From there Midlow would eventually develop his natural ear for music and taught himself how to play piano using various different tools of inspiration to drive his musical pursuit.
I almost gave up music because I saw my father was “ok” with his 9-5 and apartment. I thought well, he's happy maybe it's not so bad to never accomplish your dreams. Then I thought of my future child's face and cringed. I can never allow him to look at me and be able to fathom the same thought…and give up…I have to lead by example. This is all I ever really wanted since I was a boy, to live off my music and to impact others.
Having a producing background and being able to mix and master your own music will take you a long way, but MidlowHIGH always had a plan B. Up until late 2017 he was enrolled in college making straight A's in his Architecture major. However like all hungry artists, there comes a chance to drop certain things and pursue your passion with all your energy, so now he pursues music full time. Using Logic software mostly, Midlow receives a tremendous amount of joy each and every time he records a new song. “It's like a drug. It's the best feeling in the world when you playback your song and hear all the elements you've integrated into a record. I can lose sleep mixing my voice and not even notice. That's how I know this is what I'm meant to do if you can do it for over 12 hours and not even realize an hour went by that means it's natural. Time becomes non-existent when I make music.” Aiming to take his career further Midlow represent Jersey and hopes to be a part of the new wave spreading good energy and actually supporting. “There's a lot of toxic here, Things have to change”. In some ways, Midlow compares himself or wants to be an extension of Toronto artist Drake, by being the blood of hip hop, adding more substance to his music than the current drug wave that's killing hip hop. Currently, MidlowHigh is flooding the streets with quality music and is focusing on weekly singles that you can check back here and peep as they are released. With the energy and drive along with the backing of IAHHM, MidlowHIGH is poised for a big 2018 and we will be here pushing him and supporting him along the way. Connect with MidlowHIGH and check back here for more new music very soon.
Where are you from?
My entire family is from New Jersey (mother, father, stepfather) and I'm a bit of a nomad. I've lived in Paterson, Newark, Elizabeth, and I finished High School in Plainfield. Either way, I represent Jersey and I hope to be part of the new wave coming from my state spreading positivity and actually support my constituents instead of shi**ing on everybody else that's from where I'm from like today's status quo. There's a lot of toxic here. Things have to change.
-When and how did you get into music
As a kid my step-father used to play James Brown and 80s-90s hip hop on our long road trips to and from Jersey; I was a military brat so we made trips from upstate New York to Jersey and Oklahoma to Jersey. I hate saying stepfather because it’s total disrespect to what that man has done for my life. It takes a real man to raise someone else's child. I grew up on Jackson 5 albums on Christmas and Motown blasted every Saturday morning on the radio letting us know it was time to get the hell up and start our chores. Through my step-father, I grew an appreciation for the roots of hip-hop and soul.
I was 10 When my mom and step-father divorced and we moved from Oklahoma back to Jersey where I officially met my biological father and established a relationship during our bi-weekends together. During my first visit to his basement apartment in Newark, Nj, I saw him working on a beat (he was originally an aspiring salsa artist and made the transition to reggaeton around ‘04 when it started becoming more prevalent). From that very first day I got hooked and every time I stayed with him I spent the entire weekend making beats on fruity loops and he would critique my music to and from his house. That's how we became friends and that's when I discovered I had a natural ear for music as I taught myself how to play piano and started composing music with no musical training.
-How did you choose your rap name?
Having a producer background I grew up manipulating frequencies (lows, mids, and highs) I also love fighting games and they typically have a low, mid, and high hitbox, and I have suffered from depression so it also represents my emotional status.
I spent an entire day with a pad and a pen and wrote down a bunch of names looking for something aesthetically pleasing to stare at. I eventually came across mid, low, and high and liked the way they looked together and began finessing with it. It stuck to me not only because it looked good but also because it represented who I was as a person. I have all these emotions that ultimately makeup who I am and my music is the manifestation of all my emotions compacted into a record. I can be happy and sad and angry at the same time and so can my music.
-What is your motivation
My motivation is my past and my future, my biological father's failure to pursue his musical endeavors and my unborn children's dreams. How can I look my child in the eyes and tell them they can be anything they want to be if they work hard enough if I never did it or tried it myself. I almost gave up music because I saw my father was “ok” with his 9-5 and apartment. I thought well, he's happy maybe it's not so bad to never accomplish your dreams. Then I thought of my future child's face and cringed. I can never allow him to look at me and be able to fathom the same thought…and give up…I have to lead by example. This is all I ever really wanted since I was a boy, to live off my music and to impact others.
-Has there been any time in your journey where you felt like pursuing something else instead of music
I've always had a plan B. That's why my music career took so long to start. I should have listened to Will Smith when he said as soon as you make a plan b your plan failed. (paraphrasing) I was always afraid of being poor again that I played things safe. I never wanted to be anything else but a musician but I started losing hope cause I needed money NOW and I'm still trying so hard to stay away from dirty money. Up until two months ago I was making straight A's in college for Architecture, was top of my class, and was extremely comfortable. I'm great at architecture so I thought maybe that's what I should do, but every time I would hear new music and new artist I would get upset because I knew that deep down I'm capable of shifting the culture. It reminded me that I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do. Music is the only thing in my life that is always on my mind To make a long story short I never actually wanted to do anything else but music, the problem is there's nowhere you can sign an application to become an artist, so I got wrapped up and playing it safe. Not anymore, I've decided to take a leap of faith, believe in my talents, gamble on myself, drop out of school, and pursue music full time. #seeyouthere #wecantstopbro
-Tell me some of your biggest and/or most enjoyable moments so far?
The most enjoyable moments happen every time I make a new song. It's like a drug. It's the best feeling in the world when you playback your song and hear all the elements you've integrated into a record. I can lose sleep mixing my voice and not even notice. That's how I know this is what I'm meant to do if you can do it for over 12 hours and not even realize an hour went by that means it's natural. Time becomes non-existent when I make music.
-What equipment and software do you use to record/produce
I currently use logic to record, mix and master myself.
-Name 3 things that make you unique as an artist
I started my musical career as a producer so my art is an extension of that. I don't just rap, I make music. I fill the beat with what it needs and every single beat needs something different. If I need to rap I'll rap, sing I'll sing, if I need to scream or make a rediculous adlib, well I do what has to be done to make a beautiful record.
My songs sound like MID ft low ft HIGH. I try to make every record a nonstop super engaging roller coaster that's completely evolved from the beginning to the end. You shouldn't be able to predict my next four bars, my rhyme scheme, or how I'm going to say it. Cadence and flow are key and I like to throw more than one voice on everything I do.
Last and most importantly you will never hear what MIDlowHIGH doesn't do. My philosophy is once you say what you won't do as an artist you've already stopped being an artist. I shouldn't have an idea of what I'm going to sound like in a year. Again I'm not a rapper I'm an artist who can rap his ass off and utilizes that skillset when necessary. I Will literally try and do and say anything on a record if it translates to a beautiful sound. I'm not afraid of sounding stupid if it means doing something new and different. I listen to all genres of music and am able to adopt elements that I find important and infuse them with today's sound. I try to b a musical chef.
-Where do you see yourself going with this?
What are your big plans?
I see myself replacing Drake as the blood of hip-hop, not because I'm better than him, but because I think I know the direction in which hip hop should go as he eventually exits. We need the vibes of today, but with some substance. IDK when being a drug addict became the status quo. I'm not with that because these kids are actually starting drugs they would have never heard otherwise because they heard it in a song. I cant relate to a third of what's out anymore. My big plans are using my music to change the way we think in a positive way.
-Any projects in the works?
As of right now, I'm working on flooding the streets with quality quantity. I'm focused on weekly singles at this moment and will make a project when it's time. It's non-stop from here on out.
-What are your rates for features?
Right now rates depend on the artist and who's doing what with the record.
-What's the best way to get in contact with you if we need work done?
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