ClassicHongyB

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                          Exclusive Interview

 

Give us your bio

My name is Steven Hong. I was raised and currently live in Virginia Beach, VA. I produce music and art under the names Hongy and SeaLegs and am affiliated with the FFNR (Fly For No Reason) movement and Classic Empire. I also run a blog called called Oh Thank Heaven For 757 () that focuses on promoting Hip Hop artists, events, clothing/fashion, and culture from the Hampton Roads area and the state of Virginia. My goal with OTHF757 is to provide a platform to promote artists from the 757 and VA area and to inform the public about the events and people in and from the 757 and Virginia that are helping hip hop culture move forward and thrive.

Who are your top 5 influences?

Before I dive into this, I want to say that I am influenced by a wide variety of music and artists, some of whom their influence is not directly heard in my music but can be seen in the actions surrounding my art. I have been active in the DIY Punk, Hardcore, and Ska scenes for years so my ethics are heavily influenced by that. I am also heavily influenced by my peers around me that are working on their art. Dudes like , ClassicMarqB, and Lord Etha are constantly inspiring me to pursue and grow in my art and music. That being said as far as producing and my sound goes, my top 5 influences are Emancipator, Pimp C, J Dilla, Timbaland, and Little People. As far as my top 5 influences in general musically; it would be UGK, The Grateful Dead, Dead Prez, The OC Supertones, and The Neptunes. As I grew up each of the groups heavily affected my musical direction and not necessarily in just a sonic way. The OC Supertones were my favorite band in middle school but they helped introduce me to a lot of musical styles that would affect me dramatically as I grew. You can’t forget where you came from!

When are your new projects coming out?

Right now I am working with ClassicMarqB on an EP that should be dropping sometime in the fall. I will be handling the production and ClassicMarqB will be rapping. I am also working on my first solo mixtape which I am hoping to release in the winter. This mixtape will be featuring mostly my production and features from some Virginia rappers and singers that I’ve been working with over the past few months. I am also working on growing so that I can release a mixtape through the blog featuring local 757 and VA artists in the spring.

What helped you get into music?

My parents are both musically inclined. My mother was a music major and my father sang in choir in college. My family was very involved in our Church when I was growing up, so I would sing with the children’s’ choir and occasionally play instruments in the youth group. I started playing in bands and jamming with friends when I was a teenager. I played mostly in Ska, Reggae, Punk, Hardcore, and Indie bands. Listening to early DIY punk when I was in middle school inspired me to start making music on my own because it was so accessible. I started dabbling in producing after hearing chopped and screwed music and going to some DJ shows. I started taking it more seriously after my last band broke up and I found out some of my friends and neighbors in college could actually rap. I was living next to my friend producer , who was rapping at the time in a group called Flight Class, and he and my friend JJ really inspired me to focus on my production.

What is one thing you would tell your fans? What would I tell my fans?

Where there’s a will there’s a way. The second part to that being that the only cure for the struggle is to hustle. I feel like the two have to go together. If you’re really passionate about something, then there is a way for you to create an opportunity for yourself. But once you make that opportunity, you have to keep pushing and working hard to make that dream or goal a reality. Hustle needs an avenue but an avenue is pointless if you don’t use it.

What are your biggest goals for 2016?

My main focus for 2016 are to grow OTHF757 as a movement that brings pride, unity, and awareness to the 757 area Virginia. My hope is to feature a new artist every two weeks and to post everyday about new videos, music projects, art, or events coming out of Virginia. I really feel that my area needs this right now and my hope is that it will inspire others to pursue their art with even more vigor. My next focus is the EP I am working on with ClassicMarqB. The music we have already is live! I’m mad excited to finish it up and put it out and promote it! It definitely has a fall seasonal vibe to it. Its chill yet turnt up at the same time! After that, its working on my solo mixtape, which I hope to put out in December!


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