17 Jun Welcome to The Sanctuary
Ice The Don. Coming from Tennessee a state that is a melting pot in its right with different sounds flowing from the streets within the cities. Where the poor are directly across the street from the millionaires. Where a dream is right on the horizon, Ice has set out to make his dream a reality. Not only is he an artist but he is also a businessman that has made sacrifices in order to fulfill his dream. I hope you all enjoy his interview. I enjoyed speaking with him. –Mz. Fierce
Fierce: Introduce Ice The Don to the world?
Ice: My name is Ice Man better known as Ice The Don and some people call me Ice for short. I am from Nashville, Tennessee and I have been rapping since I was 14 or 15 so about 13 years now. I do pretty much hip hop, southern rap, gangsta rap for the most part and I do a lot of writing for r&b artist as well and I do flyers. I just do it for my friends to cut cost.
Fierce: How did you get your start in the music business and when did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Ice: I’ve always been into music; music has always been a very big part in my life. There are a lot of singers and writers in my family and my dad used to be a DJ when he was growing up. The moment that I knew I wanted to be an artist I was about 12 or 13 and I saw Notorious B.I.G. video “Warning” and I saw him in the video in the bed with the girl and in the sauna with his shirt off and it hit me that you don’t have to have your shirt off with a 6 pack to be a rapper with the confidence that he had and BIG has always been my favorite rapper. After he passed it was Fat Joe, the confidence and the leadership that they exude let me know that I can do it and I have respect for Fat Joe as an artist and a business man.
Fierce: How would you describe your journey thus far being an independent artist?
Ice: One word would be rocky. It’s been rocky it’s been difficult but it has been worth it. I think now at the age of 29 I think for some reason that everything is starting to come together. I think that every mistake that I have made needed to be taken. I learned to do everything on my own. I think if I was to get a deal it would be hard to give that up but I have learned a lot. It has been rocky but it has been worth it.
Fierce: How much time, effort, money, and sacrifices do you think you have put into this because this just does not happen overnight as some would like to think?
Ice: I have given up and sacrificed a lot and when I say that I do not say that in a resentful manner like it was the wrong thing to do. Has it been monetary yes and time has been the biggest investment and not sleeping and not spending as much time with my kids. I have done some things that I am not proud of to put the money into the music, coming from the streets some people think drug dealers are stupid but they have a business plan, sacrificing freedom and peace of mind I have spent a lot of money in this. I am starting to get money back but you will never get all the money back that you have put into this. One song could clear that whole slate so it will pay off in the long run.
Fierce: When becoming an artist you also have to be a business person as well since there are money and deals involved, do you find it stressful having to be an artist and a businessman all at the same time?
Ice: Yes. Some people don’t find it stressful since some people like to do it all. My father gave me good advice, “to get better at what you are good at” meaning if you are good at rapping or singing be that. Me personally I would kill to have a CPA or an accountant. I don’t like doing it, I feel it takes me away from doing my music you know. I feel like a little kid doing music but it has to be done and plus you know when you have someone do it you can make sure they are doing it right.
Fierce: Now lets talk about your music, describe your music in one word and how being from Tennessee has influenced your music?
Ice: My music in one word is intense. I focus a lot on my delivery and not what I am saying. I feel Tennessee influenced my music because I feel it is pretty broad with the exception of Georgia. I feel you get the look of a new life, you have the hood across the street from the millionaires, its like one side you see money and the other side you see struggle with Tennessee. I did not have to look far for ambition and also being from the south we are pretty much plain spoken people, we tell it how it is and I have plain spoken music. I say how it is and if it sounds soft or emotional or vulgar I apologize but I am a plain spoken individual. I feel Drake is a plain spoken artist from the North with his dad being from Memphis he has that.
Fierce: Do you think it is better being an independent artist versus being signed to a major label?
Ice: I think both of them have their ups and down I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other. It depends on the artist. I think some artist are built for mainstream and others are built for independent. With main stream it is about the record sales and with the independent it is about respect. I think one artist taking a bad turn for going major is French Montana. You can tell by his first week sales that he is the underground artist and you can take Meek Mill for example, his album came out of nowhere. He sold over 200,000 the first week but when you become major you have to still think indie and work with your budget to stay in the black and not the red. Wiz was independent but his message was so broad that he was able to go major and me myself, I think I would be better as independent. If I went major I would try it who doesn’t want to go to the NFL. But I also applaud the majors that house independent labels as well so that an artist can cross over.
Fierce: What upcoming projects does Iceman have on the way?
Ice: Yes I just dropped my newest project on iTunes called “Sanctuary” it is on Rhapsody and Xbox music and it is doing very well. The current single that is being pushed right now is “Tom Parish” and I also have an EP coming out called R.A.M. stands for rapping ass muhfucka because that is what people call me all the time. I will do something unique with the artwork and “Sanctuary” was so fine-tuned, I was focused on coming up with a sound and R.A.M. will have some remixes on there and songs that I could not put on “Sanctuary”. We out here working.
Fierce: Is there anything that you would like to say to your fans or supporters?
Ice: To my fans and supporters I would like to tell them thank you for putting up with my emotional roller coaster. I have had good days or bad days where I have flooded the timelines about my frustrations with what is going on in the industry and there so thank you.