Tunes of the Town: Almost Anonymous
Mary Hamula | 10/22/13 11:06pm
(Photo Credits: Chris Figueroa)
“Tunes of the Town” is a biweekly interview series with local bands and musicians conducted by Mary Hamula. Fill out the contact form below with any questions or interview suggestions. ———————————————————————————————————————————————
Almost Anonymous is a rap group based in New York City, Spencer and Sterling Wadsworth’s hometown. Spencer, an AU sophomore, discusses his music and upcoming events for Almost Anonymous.
Why did you pick your name? How did you start getting into music?
My brother tries to always get credit for picking up the name, but I think it was our mom that came up with Almost Anonymous. She said something like “Oh, it’s like he’s Almost Anonymous,” and we kind of just took it from there.
How did you start getting into music?
Music has always been a part of my life; in elementary school they made us take instruments. I played flute and my friend and I used to pretend to play. When I was in middle school my brother really started rapping, but what really got me into rapping was one night my friends and I decided to make a song. At first I was trying to just yell in the background but in the second song I wrote something that was pretty terrible but good for a 12-year-old, and it just kind of went from there. I started writing on the train and it just never stopped from there. I got into beat-making because I saw this video online that used this thing called an MBC to make a crazy beat and that inspired me to make beats.
What genre of music would you describe your style as?
’90s inspired hip hop with a modern edge to it. It is very ’90s inspired because if you ask me, the ’90s was probably the best time for hip hop but you know, things change. We’re not talking about the same things they talked about in the ’90s now. It’s still hip hop though; hip hop is hip hop. I’m very inspired by jazz and funk and samba. You can definitely hear those types of sound in our music but that’s what hip hop is about: Taking other styles of music and making it your own. We make hip hop for the people that miss hip hop. If we’re ever in like the Top 40, our song is not going to sound like the other 39.
Do you write your own music?
Yeah, every verse that I’ve done is my own. Now and then my brother and I will try to help each other out but it’ll probably happen more in the future. If there’s a song where we go back and forth usually one of us writes the whole verse and then we’ll just memorize the lines that we have to perform.
Who or what would you say has the greatest influence on your musical style?
Probably my parents in all honesty, because they always put me on to the greatest music growing up. My mom loves Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Bob Marley and those were just like the stepping stones to putting me on to really good music. My father would play Mos Def and the Roots in the car, all the old school excellent acts. Because they put me on to really good music to start with, it encouraged me to check out other artists for myself down the line.
What’s your favorite part about being a musician?
I like people’s reactions to the music. I’d feel pretty good when someone tells me that they loved our album or that our beats are great; I really like hearing people reacting positively to our music. I also really like creating it. I really like the process of being in the studio and the whole process of it is really fun to do. It also really helps to get things out. I’m not really emotional in person but whenever I write it will bring all that out to a degree and it’s really fun to do. Performing is also the bomb, too.
What’s your least favorite part about being a musician?
Writer’s block is the worst. I just heard a really good sample that I wanna try to make a beat out of but I don’t know how to chop it up or make something from it. Especially when you know it’s something really good that you can make something great out of.
Where is your favorite place to play in D.C.?
I’ve never played in D.C., but I’d love to play at the 9:30 club. That venue is awesome; I’ve seen shows there.
What is the strangest venue or gig you have ever played?
We opened for Tracy Morgan last year in March at Caroline’s on Broadway. It was great. I’m really happy we did it but it was the first time we performed to a sitting down crowd and the vibe was completely different. They were there for a comedy show, not a rap concert. There was also this really big guy sitting right near the stage who just looked so angry the whole show, and that was really hard to deal with because you’re trying to get the crowd amped. You have to get used to the sitting down crowd.
If you could play a show with any band or musician, who would it be?
Dead or alive, probably J Dilla. He’s a huge inspiration to me especially in terms of beat-making. All of his music, I can just tell that to see it live would be something else. I would just love to rap over his beats or something. Alive though it would probably be Mos Def; he’s probably my favorite artist ever.
Where can people find you and your music on the internet?
Cuzimdopemusic.com, YouTube cuzimdope and thing’s will show up. We just changed our name, we’re trying to make Cuz I’m Dope more like the ad lib, but Almost Anonymous is what we’re really going by.
Is there anything else you would like to share (i.e. merchandise, tours, new releases)?
YouCan’tSitWithUs, our debut tape, just came out August 27. It’s a really great mix, check it out.
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