SneakerBox Chock, a rapper from Camden, New Jersey, has used music to get through tough times. And it’s been those tough times, together with many other life experiences, that have served to nourish his musical creations. Read on to learn about his collaborative process with Bueller Da Don, their brand new release, and to what he attributes his many digital store placements.
Without using the words “hip hop,” “rap,” or “alternative,” describe your sound.
As crazy as it may sound, I’m not sure how to describe my “sound.” I make music based on my life experiences and emotions. One day I may be in a reflective state and need to vent, so I’ll write a record that mirrors that mood. The next day, I may be in a celebratory state and make a record that mirrors that. And so forth… All in all, I would say it’s a “Chock Sound”…
Do you have usually have a set marketing plan in place when you release new albums or singles?
I always have some kind of short-term and long-term goal for each record/project that is released. How effective it is, is the question (chuckles). Without a lot of marketing dollars, there’s only so much I can do. So, I set some realistic things that I would like to see happen as well as some unrealistic things. The unrealistic things just provide motivation for me, as if I’m saying to myself, “If I can make this one happen! I’m handling my business!” Most of the time the unrealistic thing doesn’t happen, but when I look back, I’ll notice that I pushed myself further/harder because of it.
What’s your “team” like? (management/publicity/marketing…?)
I have a small team that is missing a lot key titles, but we are very effective and utilize what we have. I am currently in between managers (so managers get at me!) and I don’t have a publicist. I have two mentors, me, and my Screwface World Music camp. We beat the internet up as much as we can, hit the streets with CD’s, perform any and everywhere that we can, network to the best of our abilities.
How do you engage with your fans?
A couple ways. The internet is a very helpful tool because it allows me to communicate with people all over the world who listen to SneakerBox Chock’s music. Twitter (@SneakerBoxChock), Facebook (SneakerBox Chock), my website (www.sneakerboxchock.com) and email. Also, being out and about. I love interacting with fans before and after my performances. That lets them see me as a person and connect with me, which I think draws them in to my music more. At the end of the day, we are all the same and at times face the same adversities, so when people can connect with you on a personal level, your music has more meaning because it’s now relatable.
You have several singles featuring Bueller Da Don. What’s your collaboration process like?
We are both out of the Screwface World Music camp, so we would always be in the studio while we were recording or other artists out of the camp were. We would always say, “we gotta collab on something” to each other. Buell was finishing up his Baggage Claim EP and had this record “Jet Lag” that he wanted me to rock on. That was basically the start of it. We got a good response and decided to do a few more joints. Got an even better response after that and just kept recording.
As an independent artist, how have you been securing features on websites like iTunes?
Some people say that I am a walking four-leaf clover. A lot of good things happen to me and I have no idea how they happen. I would like to think that my music is that dope, that it’s being heard and appreciated. Hard work. Up late nights writing. TuneCore. Internet. A lot of hours spent passing out music. These are the things I accredit that to.
Describe some of the challenges you’ve faced as an independent artist. How have you handled those challenges?
Having no marketing or promo budget would be my biggest challenge. As an independent artist, I don’t get the super big video budget, the promo ads/commercials, radio advertisements, etc… It’s all grass roots work. I’ve handled it by accepting that I don’t have it and to not let the worries of not having it keep me from acting as I do. A good record is a good record, whether you hear it on the radio, MTV, your laptop, in the garage, from a CD handed to you by a guy in the street, or live in person. I just strive to make the best records possible and hope they get heard.
Got any projects in the works?
Yes. I actually have a collaborative project w/ Bueller Da Don that just dropped this week called “Audio Mall.” I’m currently working on a solo project called “Lucky For Me” which is going to embody that walking four-leaf clover thing. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my life and to be in the space that I’m in today, I would say it’s “Lucky For Me.” I’m going to drop a small series of freestyles before that project drops called “Quiet Noise.” Then after that, I hope to be working on my first album under a major label. We’ll see how that goes.