[ INTERVIEW] @MikeBaggz Talks Challenges, Accomplishments, And Future Goals

Mike Baggz is the fresh face to the music scene. After dropping features on over 600 mixtape compilations (including DJ Whiteowl, DJ Smalls, DJ Kool Kid and many more), Mike Baggz had finally gotten the recognition that he deserved.

Of course his success didn’t come overnight, this promising emcee endured some struggles along the way. Even though his childhood memories wasn’t the fondest, Mike decided to pursue music and choose a more positive route. Now with over a million plays and hundreds of thousands of downloads under his belt, a hot single, “Late Nights” in heavy rotation, and an upcoming project, Mike Baggz is definitely an artist on the rise.
I talked to Mike Baggz about his challenges in life and music, his musical influences, and his opportunity of landing a single on MTV and VH1.

How did you discover music?

I grew up listening to R&B and rap. My favorite era of music has always been the 90′s and early 2000′s, not taking anything away from the new era of music today.
I was bought up on Juvenile Master P, Project Pat, Mase, Diddy, Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, the “old” Lil Wayne and Big Punisher.
My father was always heavy into reggae music as well as my older brother, who actually is a reggae DJ here in New York known as DJ Blacka. Ever since I was young my family put a heavy emphasis on music, listening to all genres from old to present , so me getting into music was an inevitability in my opinion. Life growing up wasn’t easy for me because I was in and out of foster care and had tremendous behavioral problems trying to cope with the situations going on around me.
I would listen to music as an outlet, even today each song I consider my favorite has some kind of history to it, because I can always remember exactly what I was doing during that time a song came out.

How did you get your start in the music industry?

I started by selling my mixtapes in school and creating a local buzz. I participated in many cyphers all over New York, but let’s take it back to the beginning, the day I started writing. I picked up a pen was the day Christopher Rios also know as Big Punisher died, he was an inspiration to me and was one of the first hardcore lyricist I actually payed attention too, so he was the direct reason why I started pursuing music.
My first big break came when a deejay known as DJ Deal$ put me on his mixtape series called It’s Afficial and during this time Deal$ & his team was running the mixtape circuit so being on his tapes opened up the doors for me to get on various other tapes.

I didn’t know Deal$ and he didn’t know me but he respected my grind and what I was trying to do. To date I’ve been featured on over 600 to 700 mixtapes. In mid 2000 and before that the only way to be known is to hit the mixtape scene and I did it with a vengeance.
My latest release was titled Catch 22 which did over 20,000 downloads to date, the hard part was actually transitioning from a mixtape artist to being an well-rounded artist.
I found myself as an artist and as a person, and because of that and that correlation music has been going fairly good if not for me.

Talk about your single “Late Nights”. It has been featured on many networks like VH1 and MTV. How did that opportunity come about?

My single “Late Nights” is a favorite among many radio stations across the country. I officially released it on iTunes Dec. 25th. I wanted to make a song everybody can relate too or understand, that had great lyrics and a great beat (produced by K-Ronik). With the help of  my radio campaign team, it’s been playing on MTV Radio, VH1 Radio as well as AOL and Yahoo radio, which are great starting outlets because at any time they have thousands of listeners. I have to give the credit to my radio team for all the spins it’s receiving via online and FM radio. So shout out to Kathryn and the rest of her team!

What is some advice that you have for other independent artists? How can they properly brand themselves, their music and maintain their own identities?

Work hard and grind 25/8, create goals for yourself and don’t be afraid to invest in your career because in this industry money talks. Branding yourself is the easy part, putting in the work takes time and effort, no matter how much these artist make it look easy, there was a lot of blood sweat and tears put into what they have accomplished now. I’m living proof of that because Lord knows it’s not an easy journey. My motto for any artist I run into is “while your sleeping the next artist is out there working hard.”

What are some of your future goals?

What’s next for me is making it onto BillBoard’s Top 100. That’s a goal I would like to reach very soon.  Also I’m going to experiment with new music outside the rap genre, so be on the lookout for my new singles which at anytime you can look me up on iTunes. I’m shooting the video for “Late Nights,” which will be directed by MoneyMarv, who worked with many other artist like Jim Jones, Busta Rhymes, Maino, and etc.

" Hell No"  Watch the official video below

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Lion Dream Records

is an independent label created by an artist to better produce and promote other artists. With the lack of publishers to help talented local artists to broadcast their music, it was important that some one take the first step and lead the way to a new generartion of self made artists.

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