Is Trackryder The Underdog?

After a brief hiatus, the chief of upstart Solstice Media Group discusses the direction of the company and the release of new spring project.

Online PR News – 20-February-2011 – – We love the underdog. The reason we all seem to love underdogs is because each of us knows what it feels like to be an underdog, to be a David in a world full of Goliaths.

In the world of hip hop, there are 2 places to be; mainstream, and underground. We all know mainstream artists, your Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, but not all of us know underground artists, your Slaughterhouse, Bump J.

The underground, like the mainstream, is also split into regions; East Coast, Midwest, West Coast, and the South. There are artists that have never heard of artists from another region, and likewise the likewise.

When you have an artist that crosses the regional boundaries, with appeal from multiple areas, it may cause a little stir, a “hey-you-don’t-belong-here” attitude. That same perspective can occur within a region, where there is a popular underground artist or group “owning” that areas fanbase, only to be seemingly dwindling due to a newcomer on the scene.

Either of these may spawn jealousy, and in turn, a rivalry.

It is no different with underground hip hop’s newest to the scene, known as Trackryder to his small circle fans, and Danny to his friends. From the newly born label Solstice Media Group, the tiny company has managed to make a buzz that rivals most midsize underground recording labels; therefore creating unwanted rumor and gossip.

I had the chance to sit down with Trackryder earlier in the week, after his much anticipated conference with press officials, however our schedules wouldn’t allow a proper sitting. After a few phone calls we were able to arrange a meeting, and I was eager to get my 30 minutes of time with the young artist/producer/director (yes, he practically runs Solstice Media Group single-handedly.)

We met at a Starbucks, which was appropriate, seeing he is also known for his caramel macchiato (he boasts about it on his Facebook/Twitter constantly) and after some small talk, I jumped into my questions.

How are you feeling today?
I feel like a champ. The sun is out, it’s a relatively warm day, and I finally got over my cold! So yea, today is a good day, I thank Ice Cube for that song. It is a definite classic.

Good. So no angry feelings will come out in this, will it?
Angry? [laughs] No. I just woke up, and I always wake up with a fresh attitude, new outlook on the future of that particular day. I’m good.

What is the true status of Solstice Media Group?
We are here. We are here to stay. Lots of people are clearly expecting me to falter, which is cool, but that also gives me another facet in goal to succeed as an artist and businessman. SMG is doing well. We make progress every day, in all levels.

What do you mean by, “all levels”?
We operate a little differently than what you call an [underground] label. We put a lot of time an effort into the web, because as an [underground] label you have to work with limited resources. We utilize technology to reach the corners of the earth and back. I don’t consider SMG to be an [underground] label. We are not only present in the streets of our hometown, we have diehard fans listening to us in India, the UK, Brazil, Canada- without even visiting those places. I embrace technology as the next level in marketing music to the masses as if I were a major label.

Do attribute this as the cause of some of the rumor and gossip surrounding you and the company?
A lot of it is jealousy. I don’t even understand, because we are not even in full swing yet. I can’t imagine what will happen then. A lot of it is personal too; people walk around with grudges and toddler vendettas and just don’t make sense. I think a bunch of losers in one city should just form a therapy group and start bonding with each other. [laughs]

Would you like to elaborate on those people?
No. They don’t deserve that sort of attention.

How do you deal with other labels?
I don’t. Nothing concerns me about another crew. I only concern myself with mine. They should follow suit, because they are wasting their time. Why would I concern myself with people that are at a level I am trying to reach? No thanks. I’m too busy focusing my energy on getting to the top.

You are labeled the underdog. What is your take on that?
The underdog label contains two important components: a disadvantaged position versus an adversary and passion and determination to beat the odds. I embrace it. I don’t get offended at all.

Let’s talk about the Live Love Learn album. How is that coming along?
It’s is coming along beautifully. It will be my finest to-date. It has tons of good material touching a lot of different things.

How many tracks will be featured on the project?
Not sure, but I can say between twelve and sixteen tracks. It won’t be a small album; there will be plenty for everybody.

You spoke at a previous press release stating the album will be personal. How so?
The Vault [mixtape] was a bunch of songs I threw together. Everyone loved it, and I am certainly proud of it as a great piece, but L3 [Live Love Learn] is all coming from personal experience. I am giving you a piece of me, and it will be the last time I do it. It will be special for me, because I have never been this intimate with my thoughts, let alone sharing them with you guys.

Will you be speaking on any relationships, past or present?

You knew it was coming. Twitter?
Yes. Twitter. You have to love it, right? I will say that I speak about relationships.

Ok, I will settle for that.
No, just take it. You should never settle. Anything that settles gets stale. I don’t even use the word ‘settle’. That word is [expletive] to me, and so is anyone that represents it.

Well, you are pretty adamant about that. Any reason?
I hope this is your last question, because I must be going after this. One of the meanings of that word is to “descend”, to “drop”, “go to the bottom”. Why would I want that? I represent Solstice, that is when the sun is at its highest peak. My only wish in this industry is to rise. My only wish is to spray paint a picture through good music. Everyone starts at the bottom. That does not mean you have to stay there. Everyone starts off the underdog. After a while, you will just be a loser. So I keep it moving forward. It doesn’t matter how fast or how slow, as long as we make progress, I am achieving what I set out to do.

Contact Information
Laura Swan
New York New York, 10011