High school is budding with aspiring musicians and upstart bands, from the light to the heavy and from the soulful to the profane. For some, making music is purely recreational, only a hobby. Every so often, though, one encounters a musician who puts all of his time into making music and devotes his every waking hour to his craft: thinking, dreaming, creating. Junior Joseph Anid is one such artist, well-known around the school for his prolific releases of rap and hip-hop music over the Internet. Anid records songs by himself and also frequently collaborates with other aspiring rappers to make songs which he releases free of charge.
The Oracle had the opportunity to sit down with Anid and discuss what makes him stand out as a musician; according to Anid, it’s his passion and the subjects he raps about that set him apart from the pack.
Jake Bittle: I want to know at what point you realized that this was your thing, that this was what you wanted to do.
Joseph Anid: Probably after I tried quitting it. I couldn’t listen to my favorite artists because I’d always want to be one of those people. So I tried to quit, but I couldn’t because I’d have those visions of being in that position.
JB: From what age did you really pursue that? Did you grow up around music like that?
JA: I didn’t grow up around it at all but in 7th grade I got into it and started rapping for fun. I was really bad.
JB: It’s interesting that you criticize the music you’ve made in the past. How do you think you’ve grown?
JA: Well I’m kinda young, so I’m kinda more prone to grow, and when you grow the things you’ve done in the past seem obsolete. It’s not necessarily growth as in switching up your style, it’s growth as in getting better at what you are currently doing.
JB: There are a lot of kids who rap, at this school alone. What do you feel, if anything, separates you from ‘the pack,’as it were.
JA: What separates me from other teen rappers?
JB. Yes, from other kids trying to get in the game.
JA: I don’t do it as a pastime, just to have fun with friends, I do it because it’s what I love to do. I’m actually saying something. I’m also not jacking my favorite rapper, like you hear some kids say they love Wiz Khalifa and rap just like Wiz Khalifa on their songs.
JB: So do you think you have, right now, your own specific style? I know that a lot of artists say their own style is the last thing that they get. How close do you feel you are to that?
JA: Pretty close. (My) flow’s kind of becoming signature and I like to think I have a voice where as soon as it comes on the track you know who it is.
JB: How influenced are you by criticism that you get from your listeners? Do you take that into account or just follow your own path?
JA: Well, it depends on what the criticism is on. If the criticism is on my skills and mechanical stuff like that then I’m gonna take it into full account but if they’re saying ‘No, you shouldn’t rap about this, you should rap about that,’ I’m gonna say no, that’s not what I wanna rap about, and I just do what I wanna do.
JB: How do you plan to pursue this dream, if you’d call it that? Is this the direction you want to take your life in?
JA: Yep. I’m just gonna make music and see what happens, and if it doesn’t work out I’m still trying to do well in school so I can fall back on that.
JB: This is kind of a tangent question, but, could you define what you think are the biggest strengths and weaknesses in your music?
JA: I’d say what I have to work on most is, first I need to get into production and learn how to do my own beats so I can have my own signature sound, and also I need to work on metaphors and lyrics like that, because a lot of my stuff is too literal.
JB: A tagline you’ve used on your blog and elsewhere is ‘Hunger. Personified.’ How do you feel about this?
JA: That’s basically the drive, the motivation. You know, especially the kids who are rapping alongside me in Tampa … I see all these other rappers succeeding and I feel like I can do that, and I can do it better.
JB: Looking at the future through a short-term lens, what’re your plans regarding new music?
JA: I put out a song two nights ago (Sept. 4) called ‘Late Night Vents’ and the response to it has been just as good as any song I’ve ever made. So, what I’m doing is we’re shooting a music video this weekend with Garrett Hilbelink. What I’m going to do is, since the response was so good, I think I’m going to make it the first single off this EP I was planning, called This Perfect Dream: The Prelude. I’m hoping to get that out in 2011.
To listen to Anid’s new song “Late Night Vents”, click here.