Chan has established himself over the years as an emcee with ‘true to the art’ skills, proving his abilities in underground hip hop venues across the country. Now, he embarked on Dynasty Muzik, which is a privately owned and operated business based in South Korea that specializes in urban music marketing and artist management. After almost a decade after his debut LP “Part of the Nation”, we sit down with Snacky Chan to discuss his label overseas, The JAZZ EP, and more. Read below for the full Q&A…
Was it your mission starting out to just be a prolific Asian-American MC, or to be just be recognized as a skilled MC without the nationality barrier?
SC: My initial goal was definitely not to be the best Asian-American MC I could be, it was to be the best period.
Was it hard to be accepted by a multi-audience?
SC: I think it’s difficult for anyone to break into the hip hop market without having some serious backing. If anything, I think it was a good thing that I was different. It helped me stand out and also there was a whole community behind me that was looking for some representation in hip hop.
Is Dynasty Muzik filling a void of Urban Music Marketing in Korea? There doesn’t seem to be a big market there for it. How are your ventures capitalizing on this?
SC: The Korean indie hip hop market is small compared to the U.S., but there are some great artists here, as well as a lot of money to be made. I’m a promoter at heart and I have a soft spot for talented people who have very little resources. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. To me, it’s the ultimate challenge to start your own thing and develop it to the point it makes profit.
In turn, the roster is quite small. How do you keep a good eye for talent while maintaining an organic process?
SC: We’re not really prepared to sign a whole bunch of artists just yet. We’d rather put a lot of attention into the artists we do have and help them achieve their goals first before we move on to other things.
I am REALLY feeling the new Jazz EP. How did that project come about?
SC: Just recording here and there over the last year. I had about eight tracks total but decided to leave some of the lackluster songs out. I’m pretty picky with what material actually gets released.
Were you at all influenced by A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and/or Digable Planets with this record?
SC: Most definitely. I grew up on those three and they helped shape the artist I am today. Wish some of the younger generation could also have experienced hip hop’s golden era first-hand.
What are some of your favorite Asian films or anime?
SC: Anything with Zhang Ziyi, Chow Yun-Fat, or Jet Li.
Even though the tracklist is small, you have some very ecclectic guests from REKS to Carla Waye. How did you decide on who would feature on your album?
SC: Well, I’ve always wanted to make a sequel to my first underground hit ‘Big in Japan.’ It was only right to put Reks on it since he had been on the original. I met EGO way back in Jersey around ’06 so when I came up with the idea to put a Japanese rapper on it, he was the first one I thought of. Nevermind was actually a former co-worker of mine and he let me hear a rough version of ‘Chill.’ It was really dope and I convinced him to let me jump on it. I basically repackaged something that was dope already. As for Carla, I’ve never met her in person. The producer of the track, P.R., was tight with her and he put us together. The final result was lovely.
Whats next for you in 2014?
SC: Well I’m more focused on developing my artists (MSG, Money Maker$, facé). We’ll be making a lot of moves this year. Be on the lookout!
Lastly, any advice for any indie act trying to get signed? Any words of wisdom in terms of hustle?
SC: I would say don’t make getting signed your priority. Do what you have to do and get started. Invest in yourself. If you have no money, get a job. Save up and hit the studio. No one will invest in someone who isn’t willing to invest in him-herself. Before you know it, people will see what you’re doing and want a piece of it.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
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