Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Calvin Crabtree

Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Calvin CrabtreeWhen I first heard his work, I was shocked. I am always being reminded of the talent right here in the Circle City but it is rare for me to have not at least heard of guys this good. He is on the road right now working a new album, and is trying to find his way through this competitive and always changing industry. When I reached out to him, he was quick to respond and provided me with lengthy and detailed answers to my questions. He is a hard worker and will do anything to make it in with his tunes. He knows how to dress too! Take some time to get to know a Hoosier (but not originally from the state of Indiana) by the name of Calvin Crabtree.

Is your name really Calvin Crabtree?

That is indeed my real name.

How long have you been performing?

I have been performing for a long time now. It has been off and on, but still going strong. I am just trying to do it like anyone serious about this stuff as I am.

But I have been hitting it really hard lately. I spoke with some friends and here we are. They told me to give it a shot. They thought it was great for me to be from such a small town in the middle of nowhere and begin rapping. It was different and not so full of hate and negativity, but capturing moments that many have felt or have been threw. I started handing out mix tapes (demos) to my friends and just really anyone I could. I handed them out like a mad man. It seemed that every time I took the stage there would be at least one person in the audience breathless.  I like to give the people something they can take home and share with other people.

Are you originally from Indianapolis?

No, I was born in Heather, Kentucky. It is a small town that actually doesn’t even exist today. I was actually born in the middle of a wheat field. My mother gave birth to me all by herself, and then walked nearly a mile home as my dad was crunching on some corn nuts. He just couldn’t belive it. That’s the story my grandmother always told me anyway. Both of my parents died when I was two years old.

Your new disc is called Trading Love & War Stories. Is it possible that some love stories can also be war stories?

Yeah, they can for most people but im a kind loveing man and tend to do good with the ladys. nothing serious with any of them now, im just choseing to stay single life life and not deal with the dram that most people go threw and when its all over and then i guess i will be there, ya know lol

Thinking of the term war stories makes me think of Tupac Did he inspire that by chance?

Well, if you compare that to the quality of the content and the new beats I’m using from Be The Thriller,  but as far as it gos with the likness and image of Tupac no.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

I love Taylor Swift. I love her music and I think she has pretty friends! I guess she is not realy an influence on my image or songwrigting (or style for that matter) of music but just the good person, fun loving environment that surrounds her and those in to her music.

How are you affiliated with Corporate Records?

As an artist, as a writer, as a producer and as a label representative.

I am not sure I have ever been to Columbus, Indiana. Where is that located?

You should come. It’s nice. It is located in south central Indiana.

Do you write all of your own lyrics?

Yeah, I write them all. I also copyright them all as soon as I am done with a new track.

You recently had a show at Birdy’s Bar & Grill. How did that show go?

It was great. I love it there.

What is your favorite venue?

I don’t really have one right now, but I would love to do a show at an ice rink someday!

What is the biggest crowd you have ever played for?

I played for about 2,000 at a talent show one time.

You have quite the story. Your parents passed away when you were only two years old. How did they pass, if you don’t mind me asking? How have you dealt with that growing up?

My parents die when I was two years old. They were actually being robbed and didn’t want to give up their stuff. They were shot and killed right there. I’m not really sure where I was at at the time, the mystery behind it just gets to me. It’s kinda hard you know because I think and I feel that I would of had a lot more opportunity in life with loving parents by my side. Just to be there and give me that go. I remember one time I was at the park just sitting there on a bench. A mother and her daughter were near and the closeness they shared was amazing. I guess it put me in a trance. I was just dazing, thinking in my head that I felt so cheated. I will never know the feeling of someone who realy truly loved me, being there for the rest of my life, just someone I can always go to throughout the years. I think it gets better as the time passes, growing up I think a lot of people didn’t understand my situation. I don’t realy think I did either. I didn’t have any direction either. Maybe the music is the direction that I should be going. It makes me happy and it is something I just love to do.

Your MySpace picture is solid. Looks like you are in a state of trance. Do you dress like that on stage?

Yes I do. I wanted the picture to look like that because it is not only a picture of me and but is also a work of art.

What would you be doing if you were not rapping?

Nothing at all. That is all I got in me right now.

Do you have a job outside of music?

All I do is try to make people happy. I also try to help kids taken in my the gang life.

Being from Indianapolis I am sure you associate with other rap artists. Have you met Brad Real?

I have not met him. I really don’t know that many people. I mostly sit at home and read.

Who does all your graphic design?

Right now, it’s all me. But soon I will need to hire a graphic designer to do it for me.

Who designed that album cover? Do you know the girl on the cover?

My produce and me came up with the concept. No, I don’t know the girl.

Who is BC the Thriller?

He is my producer.

Is that your house pictured there on the top of your MySpace page? If it is, can I move in? (Laughs)

(Laughs) No, that isn’t my house. It is an attraction in Columbus actually. They are gardens around the property.

Your album has a large parental advisory sticker on it. Do you have a clean copy of the album available?

On the shelves, no. But the words that most people think are vulgar are totally acceptable in the way I use the words. I use them as an expression of anger, not just like some thug doing it because he has no other words to use.

What was the process of the new disc? Was it the first time you had been in the studio like this?

I have actually written over 20,000 songs. They are all floating around in my head, to get them out and mixed to good beats was like a dream come true. It was the first time I had been in the studio for something like this.

Towards the end of your track Society you have a long speech from our commander and chief. Are you a supporter of President Obama?

I agree with some stuff, but him giving back part of Arizona back to the drug dealers in Mexico, no. My feelings are mixed.

What are your thoughts with this initial release? Do you have anyone doing marketing for you trying to sell more copies?

Nope, no marketing behind this release. I am just trying to do my best to get the word out.

You are on MySpace. What about Facebook and Twitter?

Yeah, I am on all of them man! Look me up; I am on nearly every social network out there.

How do you stay so motivated up there on stage?

I just get up there and use my God given talents.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

You know man, I really couldn’t tell you.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?

I want people to remember me for the good times, not the bad. I also want to go major and then start giving back my riches to charity. I would rather help save a life than buy a gold chain for a gold differ to hang on to.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

First off, I would like to than the heavenly father. When I get big I want to get together and write a book about my life. I feel like I have something to say.