DMVisionaries Part 2: Interview with Ace Reign

Ace ReignPic

Rapper-songwriter and producer, Ace Reign speaks on  the inspiration behind her music, and her experience with working with platinum artists and producers, Josh Gabriel, and Sander Kleinenberg.

Check out her music on: http://www.reverbnation.com/acereign her upcoming mixtape, “When it Reigns, It Pours” Vol. 2 will soon be released.

Who is Ace Reign in three words?

Intelligent, Humble, and Savvy

 What led you to pursue music?

Writing has always been a passion of mine and music is a way that I express my feelings. So it was only natural to put the two together. I started writing poems at the age of 9.  By age 15 my oldest brother, his girlfriend and I had formed a rap group called Lacosta Nostra. After recording our first song “If I Should Die Tomorrow”, and listening to it play back through the speakers, I was overwhelmed with excitement. The feeling was so amazing that I knew I had to continue writing and recording. Hearing myself only intensified my passion to make music.

 “I think the DMV has great talent that hasn’t been seen or heard enough of. I feel we’re showing a lot of progress and improvement. I am a local artist that will always uplift and support my fellow artists.”-Ace Reign

Describe your childhood and first time experience as a producer/songwriter/rap artist from Washington, DC.

I am the only girl out of 4 children. I was raised by my mother, and grandmother in N.E. and S.E. DC. We weren’t born with a silver spoon, but we always had what we needed and I’m grateful for that. 

My first production experience was in 2007 upon meeting my friend Rob Stern. He taught me the basics of engineering, and arranging. My first song (arranged, mixed and mastered) was the original version of “Candy Coated Whip”. (2008)

 

In three words, how would you describe the content/style of your music?

Controversial, Real life, and Relatable

With the barriers of upcoming female artists, what would you say to all of the female artists out there who feel that they should make one certain type of music?

First & foremost…Always be yourself! Have your own identity…If you don’t know who you are, you can’t expect other people to know! It’s OK to be different. If things were always the same you’d eventually lose interest. Also, educate yourself on business and become your own business. And last but not least, always remember if you believe in yourself, then anything is possible.

Your talent, passion, and ambition has led you to work with mainstream artists and producers like Rob Stern, Sander Kleinenberg, and Josh Gabriel. Describe that experience and which songs did they collaborate with you on?

I met Rob Stern working at Teds Montana Grill in Crystal City, VA. He was a server and I was a cook. He overheard me rapping with a co-worker and approached me with a cd. We went to the car, put on his instrumentals, I started rapping and it was a wrap. I met Josh and Sander through Rob. Josh and Rob collabed on the final version of “Candy Coated Whip”. Rob also produced a few other tracks on my mixtape “When it Reigns it Pours”. Josh shared the track we did with his friend Sander who decide to record a track with me. The song is titled “This Love”, which is on his 5K album, released last July.

 

I really enjoyed listening to ‘Da Realest’ and Crazy. Who’s featured on those tracks? Who produced the song, ‘Maria’ and ‘Look Beyond The Surface’?

The beat for Da Realest was made by Superstaro and the guy featured on the chorus is Marko. DJ Corbett made the beat and chorus for Crazy. Maria is a mix-tape track I got from 

Fat Joe album and fell in love with it instantly, but I did the engineering and mastering. Look Beyond the Surface means a lot to me. That beat was given to me years ago by a fellow DC artist T-Bone on a mix cd and honestly I have no clue who made it but it has turned out to be a great mixtape track with a lot of emotion and truth behind it.

What do you think about the current music industry and the upcoming artists in the DMV?

I think the DMV has great talent that hasn’t been seen or heard enough of. I feel we’re showing a lot of progress and improvement. I am a local artist that will always uplift and support my fellow artists. The current industry still has some great artists, but let me be honest by saying we are in a very commercial state. In my opinion, a lot of the great artists that once inspired the world with meaningful music seem to be long gone. I really miss hearing songs like “Keep your Head Up” by Tupac “Juicy” by Biggie Smalls, even “Cross Roads” by Bone Thugs and Harmony“. I wish that we can go back to mixing it up sometimes with something different other then partying, how many bodies you got, money, guns, and females. Don’t get me wrong I’m not judging it’s just my opinion.

Which artists have inspired you to pursue your music and why?

Tupac, Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Mc Lyte, Missy Elliot, just to name a few, because they were and are entrepreneurs.They’ve made great, timeless, inspirational music, and they all worked really hard to earn their success even when it seemed like the odds where against them.

 

Which artists are you currently listening to?

I always like to have a variety of music playing, but my cd with the most plays is Miguel’s “Kaleidoscope”. It may seem a lil cheesey but hip-hop artists like r&b too lol!

 

What message would you give to the young people aspiring to pursue their dreams?

It’s so important to follow your dreams. Don’t give up, and always believe in yourself. Even Jesus was ridiculed! So don’t let anyone steal your joy, and always remember…anything worth having is worth fighting for. Educate yourself on your craft, work hard, and the sky is the limit!

Do you have any upcoming projects or events?

I am one of the artists selected for a national show “Street Jams” that will air sometime in 2013. I’m currently working on vol 2 of “When it Reigns it Pours” which will be released by spring 2013. I’m also currently working on my first album “In My Own Words”.

 

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