20 TWen is a East Detroit rap prodigy who first made a name for himself in the Michigan hip-hop scene by releasing a series of blazing mixtapes and catchy singles. Coming up, 20 Twen has collaborated with super-producers 9th Wonder, Kajmir Royale (DMX, Bow Wow, De La Soul), and Johnny Juliano (Wiz Khalifa, T-Pain, Rick Ross).
In 2013, 20 Twen released what became a critically acclaimed project, “No Feelings,” receiving praise from hip-hop heavyweight and multi-platinum producer Don Cannon (Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and 50 cent, among others). There is no doubt, 20 Twen is rapidly becoming a sought-after act in today’s oversaturated hip-hop market.
Table of Contents
3:15 – If you had to describe yourself as a band, song, or genre, what would it be?
4:40 – How did you get started in the music business?
6:06 – Looking back at your career, what stands out to you as your proudest moment?
9:23 – What’s been one of your biggest failures, and what lessons did you learn from that moving forward?
14:30 – Three things artists should be doing today to grow their fan-base and move their careers forward
If you had to describe yourself as a band, song, or genre, what would it be?
Hip-hop, through and through. I do all types of things. I try to DJ a little, when I can. It’s something I’ve been picking up. I friends that do graffiti and dance. It’s just hip-hop, through and through for me.
How did you get started in the music business?
I was first in a group called ‘APM.’ It was me and three of my best friends. One of my friends died, he was murdered a few years back. Before that, I had started my solo thing, but since then I’ve been able to kick it in high gear on my own. And that is when I dropped the ‘No Feelings’ mixtape. And then I got my own website going.
Looking back at your career, what stands out to you as your proudest moment?
I had a single on radio last summer. It was in 13 or 14 states, and in each state that it was in, I cracked the top ten. On the hip-hop, R&B, and adult stations.
I’m meticulous about my craft, and especially the work behind it. So what I did was save money for a few years, and then I went and talked to a few radio promoters, and a few video promoters. And I had radio connections after running around for so long, talking to DJs, hanging out with them and stuff like that. So I had previous relationships. And then there was my professional relationships that all came together to make it happen.
What’s been one of your biggest failures, and what lessons did you learn from that moving forward?
I’ve tried and failed many times. But I don’t think of my failures as failures. I think of them as lessons. Sometimes people run off with your money, and it teaches you to be more careful.
Sometimes you have a certain sound to your music that you really like, but others don’t like as much. So you just have to study and let it all come together. It’s not going to come together for everyone, no matter how talented you may be, or how good of a person you are. It requires drive.
Three things artists should be doing today to grow their fan-base and move their careers forward:
- Every artist needs their own website. A home base for not only yourself, but for your fans to be able to come and find everything as a one-stop-shop.
- If you are going to spend any money on advertising, spend it on viral things and mobile technologies.
- It’s important for new artists to develop a strong stage presence. How did I develop my own stage presence? I filmed myself, but mostly I have a lot of smart-mouthed friends and they always let me know how I can be better.
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