Beyond The Lens (Music) – One rapper from the state of Connecticut gave us sometime out of his day to share his thoughts, experiences and goals coming up as an independent artist. Hartford is a very familiar known to the music scene in Connecticut and will soon become a familiar name to our hip hop readers in Internet Hollywood.
Hartford Po is an independent artist from Hartford, Connecticut that has been featured on Internet Hollywood four times in the past. His last three features were videos of him repeatedly dropping dope freestyles and him premiering his single from his mix-tape ‘Pain Of A Capricorn’ on Facebook. (Click Here)
Now the musician will be getting his fifth feature after completing his Interview with Internet Hollywood earlier this week. I definitely had a great time interviewing this artist and I look forward to writing more about him in the future. Enjoy the interview!
~*~*Beyond The Lens /w Hartford Po*~*~
Internet Hollywood: What’s up Po? I’m definitely excited to touch down on some things with you. You have been putting in work for years and the trail of memories you leave behind with your music is available for everyone to see. What what is like beginning the first stages of becoming the artist you are now? How did everyone react to you taking music seriously?
Po: Ever since Quirk Middle School lunchroom where I first came out with it as a youngin. The reaction from people would be shocking to me just as me rapping was shocking to them. You knew I would get the “ooohhhs” and the “ahhhhs” but it was just rec rap. As I hung around more n more I saw, felt and experienced more emotions with nobody to talk to so my thoughts and visuals became bottled. So I’m the event of living and holding in a lot. I started writing music expressing myself so would spit it for da block, they would go crazy, then it went to the hallway, from there to high school steps, to open mic shows, and everybody would just be stunned cuz not only the wordplay and I’m Puerto Rican, but I was rapping about stuff at such a young age that old heads would be like “damn, what he know bout dat? lol.” But the reaction was always impressive n unbelievable.
Internet Hollywood: I noticed in a lot of your songs you get really realistic about life and the encounters people have from the eyes of someone living that particular lifestyle. What made you choose that style of music when so many others are following the trends of today?
Po: It’s not a style it’s just life period to me perhaps. Also it seems to accommodate the heart n soul of everyday situations that people become blind or numb too forgetting that the high of the moment we chase eventually fades away n it’s back to reality. So when the people here me talking that **** (reality) with the sound of today they gravitate more towards what is being said then what’s being heard in reference to the beat dats playing.
Internet Hollywood: Do you ever feel putting out a certain type of sound that people are not use to hearing from you would impact your “image” in anyway?
Po: The people actually look forward to hearing a different sound not only to see my capabilities but to see how different I can get, and they wanna hear what flow or what pitch I’ll bring, high or low. I seem to have a unique voice that brings a smooth raspy sound but then I have a style or a way that I put verses together that keep the listeners guessing. I guess it’s the wonder that keeps the image going because I’m unpredictable in a sense of, they know I’m going to do my thing but my image makes them wonder how or what’s next .
Internet Hollywood: What would you say has been the biggest challenge for you being an independent artist?
Po: I would have to say trust. I’ve lost the ability to trust certain things and people in position due to certain past situations, can be a good or bad thing but my guard is up. So I’m cautious on who I let in my circle and that goes for people that would be good investors or people that would be great as far as nurturing and molding my career into the platform artist I know I can become. Maybe if their actions before hand show trust can be exchanged without backlash maybe that would open up some doors I need to see .
Internet Hollywood: Now the underground music scene is well aware of the situation that kept you from doing music for a while. I remember there was times you were pretty much absent for years but put out freestyles here and there while. What change have you noticed in the music industry, as a whole, when you returned? A lot of people seemed frustrated with the mumble rap music that is out now. How about you?
Po: Yeah sad to say, I was away from da music scene since 2012 to summer of 2016. That’s a demon I fight to this day because rap don’t pay the bills my job does. Yeah I’m a working man at the time till rap becomes the provider I gotta do what I gotta do. I got 4 kids, one on da way. So like, let me introduce da PO ya don’t know or what ya not supposed to see. I’m a family man before anything. Real n***a to da ones who know me and loyal to whatever n whoever I love. Now change is always expected because everything must evolve, nothing ever stays the same. Some people just use to settling for less or just for the moment, they scared to move on or adapt to Change. Well with time comes elevation, with that comes growth, with growth comes change, music been changing so it takes a different type of individual to move with time. Some get lost in it so they try to keep up with time so now they sound like this person, that person, cuz they trying to keep up with time instead of growing with it. So i stayed in tune with the radio and who doing what, but nobody sound like they grew as far as time. I kept my pen relevant while in my situation, so I would call home towards the end to show dudes I’m still dat general with the pen n pad, but to come home utilize the sound of today in my own way. The listeners are intrigued by the growth and to see how many people waiting I feel like they were getting robbed by cats from da home base of the music they know they deserve n not to say cats ain’t dropping dat **** cuz man, Hartford grew so much as years went on but they know the difference. lol. I say what dudes can’t put together or dat real argument you just had da other day dat we all have. I’m bringing that to da table. I’m showing everyday problems that we don’t talk about or don’t acknowledge. I’m from da gritty so I’m gon present dat in a picture that everyone relate too.
Internet Hollywood: Why do you think Connecticut musicians has been having a hard time getting the notoriety on a mainstream level like artists in neighboring states?
Po: 1. they don’t think nothing happens out here n da n***** that really can represent the right way either ducking death or task forces or never coming home. The cats that’s trying don’t have structured teams or business savvy people around that’s in for da artists well being, opportunities are slim. Now second opinion results to CT is a music goldmine since early nineties, big shout outs Wu tang (“Real ****** lick shots piece CT”) they know AND they observe. CT bring in da bucks for da up n comers from neighboring states poor as **** , but niggaz buying dat music, so if we feeding the game players back to back now why would they let a ***** From here soak up da revenue. I believe it would clog up veins n passages for dat money flow dats bringing out of state rappers. It’s like lil bruh, big bruh, big bruh know there’s potential but lil bruh keeps him afloat as far as grounded or financially stable. if lil bruh catch dat right opportunity he gon flourish n big bruh gon have to play position which is a no, no. to his way of eating or generating clout or funds not seeing da bigger picture of turning lil bruh into a lifeline asset, but instead keeping em as a generator to keep the people already in position happy cuz it’s flowing for da vault. #WEOUTSHINEANY #REALISREAL
Internet Hollywood: What do you look for in a artist to invest your time in a collaboration?
Po: What I look for in artist when I collab or before I collab is quality and music credentials. It’s times where I know a person really can’t rap but I see he has determination and he really putting his heart into it. I look for that. I never look for the benefit or for personal gain. I like to motivate at times dudes get timid, so I try to show em stay focused no matter who’s around and never look at it as competitive just do you.
Internet Hollywood: How often do you find yourself questioning whether the steps you take in your career is the right one and who is your biggest influence that helps you stay focused?
Po: First off, my kids, family and pain keeps me focused knowing that it’s bigger than me, plus a lot of CT artists starting to unite that’s influential. Yeah, a lot of times I do question my steps. I’m pretty sure every one gets skeptical on ways of reaching goals. Difference is at this moment. I’m using the patience I’ve obtained in gaining the vision oppose to me moving with the moment, so if I question anything thing at this time I fall back n peep my situation before it fluster my visual.
Internet Hollywood: How do you imagine your final chapter being in your career as a musician?
Po: I vision my career definitely very well known, heard, and respected. But most off comfortable in teaching those who need a hand with rhymes, guidance, or right music plugs. I see me as a purposeful asset in da future.
Internet Hollywood: What are some principals that you go by that you feel has worked best for you as an independent artist?
Po: I always showed love and respect to every man craft n creativity but most off, I’m just me. I don’t come to play, I come to work cuz this is my life. It’s a dream, better yet an achievement I’m pursuing, so I’m serious when it comes to music just as I’m serious about my family. I don’t play with neither one. I not only show it but I stand behind it.