What’s the science behind your name? Or Is there any?
Matai) A friend of my father’s who was Samoan gave me that nick-name as a child and told me that it meant Big Chief in Samoa.
What do you think of Mainstream Hip Hop?
matai) I love it. I think it’s great that Hip-Hop is so huge Underground and Mainstream and that allot of other Genres of music want to tap into it as well.
How was your upbringing?
It was very,very ruff growing up in a family that was extreamly poor and at times homeless. One of the highlights of my childhood was growing up a neighborhood where it was prodominately black and being the only Puerto Rican family there. Everyone wanted to eat our food and learn spanish. It took a while for many folks to realize that just because we spoke spanish didn’t mean we were Mexican. I grew up pretty hard but one thing my dad always instilled in us was the love of music.
What inspired you to become a hip hop artist?
I grew up listening to the Beastie Boys,LL,Run D Mc,Fat Boy’s just to name a few. They made me feel like I can express my self and have fun at the same time plus have people from all over the world hear me do it.
What other hip hop groups do you listen to?
Jurassic 5, Mystic Journeyman, Beatnuts, Redman, Fat Joe, Cuban Link there’s so many plus I listen to so many other styles as well.
How would you describe your music?
I wouldn’t say straight Hip-Hop but it’s a cross between Pop,R&B,Hip Hop mixed with some Salsa(got to have my roots) I love to explore and try new things with my music.
How would you describe yourself?
Vey calm, patient, hard working and loving to everyone, even if I don’t know you.
What are your future musical plans?
I want to travel the world performing my music and hopefully landing a Major Record Deal. If that doesn’t happen then I will keep on doing this independently and get my music heard as far as it possibly can. I would also love to be able to put other artist out as well. But only god can tell right?
Out of the songs you’ve created, what is your personal favorite, and why?
I have a song called “I’m thru with it” featuring a rapper by the name of Awoll. I love it because it’s a true story that happened to both him and I. The girl is continuously leaving me to cheat and then comes back when she’s done. She always said she loved me and for a long time I believed her and took her back. I gave her pretty much everthing she wanted. Finally I got smart and got rid of her for someone who loves me to death now. (I didn’t cheat though. I waited until I left the girl! Ha!Ha!)
Where can fans listen to some of your music?
Have you ever rocked events, if so, what was your favorite event you rocked?
matai) Yes! Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura Ca., August of 1998. Next and Naughty by Nature where also there. And recently, Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks Ca. March 2001
Have you ever found Jesus?
matai) Most definitely! He always been in my life for as long as I can remember. He’s number 1.
How long have you been rhyming? How do you see hip hop, and you? Do you see Hip Hop as a religion, art, culture, a career, job, or just a hobby?
matai) I’ve been singing since the age of 6 and rhyming since about 8 or 9. I see Hip-Hop being around FOREVER! and me being a part of it for as long as I’m here on this Earth. Hip Hop to me is everything you just asked except for a hobby. Religion, art, culture, career, and job! If it was a hobby then I wouldn’t take it as serious as I do.
Do you have any hip hop quotables that you live by? Any song lyrics ever touched you?
matai) So many songs and lyrics have touched me but I can’t say that I live by any of the quotables I’ve heard. I did hear a very good one from my Pastor that I do live by. I asked him one day ” Pastor Marshall, What’s my talent or gift in life? What does the lord want me to do?”
He replied “What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you wake up in the morning?” I told him my music and he said “That’s your gift in life and that’s exactly what the lords wants you to do. If you love what you do then do what you do as long as you love it”
Do you have any shot outs you would like make?
matai) Yes! To you guy’s for showing me so much love and wanting to help me get out there! One Love…Matai
Interview By HipHopHotSpot.Com