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Sketchy Waze

Sketchy Waze - "Walk Away" The Pleasantville Killerz - "Make My Money" The Pleasantville Killerz - "Walk Away"

The internet can be a challenging place for an artist to navigate. A computer can do the job that a well equipped studio once did, and social networking sites replace what used to be thankless hours spent distributing flyers and the like. This results in a cacophony of wanna bes screaming for attention. However, there is the occasional artist who maneuvers well in this shoal and connects with a lot of fans. Hopsin is one example of an artist that was able to utilize his talents and experience, and take advantage of the internet to interact on a more direct level with fans and artists.

While not on that scale (yet), Sketchy Waze is another example of talent rising above the chaos. His entry for Don’t Funk Up Our Beats IV was a titular moment, garnering a lot of attention, and getting over 100,000 plays and 1,500 comments. It wasn’t a singular achievement for Sketch Waze though, his videos have had hundreds of thousands of plays on YouTube, and he’s worked with the likes of Jahred Gomes, Potluck, and Whitney Peyton.

Some artists just need a platform, a bit of a spotlight, and then their talent and resourcefulness comes into play. This is clearly the case for Sketchy Waze. I just had to hear one track, and I knew this was a talented and creative artist. The journey of listening to his other work was pleasant, there were no forgettable tracks, no mediocre remnants of an artist that didn’t know what he was doing. Sketchy Waze shines on the mic, but his videos add an extra dimension. They’re creative, and well done. They compliment his music, and each stand alone as a unique creation.

Some artists are notable in their attempts to shine every bit of the spotlight on themselves. I always found this to be counterproductive, the people who were hard to work with, the ones that eschewed cooperation in favor of selfishness. Sketchy Waze doesn’t seem to fall victim to this mentality. Along with his long-time loyalty to his group, Pleasantville Killerz, he’s also taken the additional step of starting MasterMindz Entertainment and using it as more than just a personal imprint.

The result is that Sketchy Waze is more than just an artist. He represents a fragment of the scene itself. His (MasterMindz) Youtube account has 60 videos on it (almost 800K total views). MasterMindz Entertainment has 6 acts, and these are quality acts. He and his cohorts are well worth keeping an eye on.

Here’s the question and answer portion…
Q: How did you get your start in music?
A: I have been writing music for as long as I can remember. I used to record myself singing on my mother’s tape recorder as a little kid, and dreaming about being on stage performing. My brother got me interested in hip-hop at a very early age. I remember listening to rap albums with my bro, and they just blew my mind. And from there I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Q: What is your strongest influence?
A: The strongest influences in my life are the circle of people I surround myself with. I’m really fortunate to work with people who are motivated and driven. They keep me focused and moving forward with my goals. Also, my family is a huge part of what keeps me grounded. I was so crazy growing up, and I think it was partly because I hung out with such crazy people. And I think that if I still hung out with those guys, I could still be crazy. But because the people I hang out with are all about business and becoming successful, it inspires me to be the same way. Musically speaking, it’s hard to pinpoint any particular influence, because I listen to so many different genres of music, and when I get inspired it’s usually as a result of a feeling I get, rather than a particular song or artist.

Q: How did you come up with the name Sketchy Waze?
A: It was actually given to me by a friend in junior high. Like I said, I was really crazy growing up, and my buddy would always say, “you and your sketchy ways,” until eventually it was just “here comes Mr. Sketchy Ways.” Changed up the spelling a little bit, and it just kind of stuck. The name I actually wanted to go by was Lyricidal, but Sketchy Waze seemed to catch on a little more.

Q: You started The Pleasantville Killerz a long time ago, what kept the idea alive?
A: I’ve known Jesse since I was in junior high, and he was one of the first people I ever pursued rapping with. We became really close as kids. But we also got into a lot of trouble, and ended up getting a no-contact court order as teenagers, which basically put everything on hold for quite a while. But we never stopped trying to make it happen. And once we grew up and got out of trouble, we hit the ground running. There’s really no other artist I would rather partner up with over Jesse. Years of rapping has just given me this comfort level when making music with him, like I know if we’re both

Q: What are your plans for MasterMindz Entertainment?
A: My most immediate goal for my label is I want to make MasterMindz Entertainment the hub for Idaho rappers. I know that sounds really small, but I believe in taking things in strides, and my town alone has so many talented artists, who simply don’t have the resources to get any exposure. So I’ve already signed up a few, and plan on signing up even more when resources allow, until I’ve sewn up my city. And if that goes well, maybe we can expand beyond Idaho. The idea is that if I can trickle some of my exposure onto the artists I work with, hopefully we can all make a little money doing something we love. Even if I got signed as an artist, I would still work to nurture our indie label, because I believe in the people I work with. One day I just want to be the fat cat behind the scenes barking orders at other artists and making awesome stuff happen.

Q: How important are your music videos to what you do?
A: Oh, man. Our music videos are so much of what we do. I think if it hadn’t been for music videos, I probably wouldn’t have anywhere near the buzz I have now. I make about a third of my musical income off of YouTube, and a lot of my fans don’t even know a song exists unless we release it as a music video. I think music videos are crucial for any artist that takes their business seriously. They can add so much to how the song itself hits the listener. Adding interesting, compelling visuals just makes a release have that much more of an impact, so I definitely put a lot of stake in our videos.

Q: You’ve worked with a lot of people, including several notable names. What is the key to establishing good connections?
A: I think the biggest piece of advice I can give, whether about making connections or pretty much anything else pertaining to music, is just work hard and don’t give up. It took me years of working at my craft before I sold a single album. And I watched a lot of artists come and go through those years. I think the reason I got further than any of them was that I just stayed consistent with my grind. There are so many artists out there trying to do what I do, and I won’t pretend that I’m the best there is. The biggest difference between myself and most of the artists I see, though, is my work ethic. I force people to look at me through consistently releasing material, and I do everything I can to stay relevant. And if you can do that, and have talent to back it up, eventually you’ll turn some heads.

Q: Anything else?
A: Yeah, I want to thank you guys for being supportive of my career. You guys have been awesome at sharing my videos and helping me out in other ways. Also, I want to thank my fans. You guys are what determines whether I win or lose at this game, and so far you guys have shown me overwhelming support, and I am insanely grateful for the support I’ve received. I hope that I can live up to everyone’s expectations. Whoop motherfuckin’ whoop!

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    Faygoluvers Comments

  1. sketchez

    Comment posted on Friday, September 20th, 2013 06:47 am GMT -5 at 6:47 am

    Hey!! your name is kind of similar to mine – im thinkin you kinda basically jacked it from me! bitch!!

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