Question 1: Where are you from? Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense, and in what way(s)?
I am from a city on the south brim of Chicago, Calumet City. Growing up there in the times that the surroundings were changing shaped me to be able to adapt rapidly and growing up there while the scene was changing from a safe zone to a more dangerous location (maybe even helping this fact along) shaped my rugged, perseverant sound and my willingness to stand toe to toe with the biggest and baddest out there, even males.
Question 2: What did you start doing first, singing or rapping? How did you get started?
I actually began my creative stint with poetry. I knew I wanted to do music at a young age, maybe 8. I was ok with turning poems to songs and even competed in my high school talent shows. My junior year in high school, I was a part of my poetry slam team which traveled to New York to compete in the “Louder Than A Bomb” competition, which we had to win our city-wide competition to go. Mos Def was there and we were able to interact with him. This was when I began to take music seriously and I only began to sing when I decided to write songs for other people and after I had both of my children.
Question 3: At what age did you being creating, and in which mediums?
I began creating in the second grade. I was about 8 when I wrote my first short story. I absolutely love words, even then. Shortly after, I began writing poems and some of them had such a rhythm to them that I felt they were raps. I wrote my first song that I recorded my 8th grade year (I was 13) and recorded it my freshman year of high school. I have had passion for the stage ever since I first performed in my sister’s high school talent show when I was in 8th grade! (Dancing but I was high as soon as the lights came up)
Question 4: If you could be any inanimate object in the world what would it be and why?
Inanimate object? First of all, WHY? Lol just kidding. I believe I would love to be a stage at an award show. The full main stage, including backstage, for the process of the whole show, practice and all. I believe that I will be there one day and I want to know what goes on in every aspect of GAME DAY! I love the thought of organized chaos. (Weird answer for a weird ass question jack!)
Question 5: Where does your influence come from?
It truly depends on which aspect of my life you mean is being influenced. The influence on how I raise my children come from studying the people around me and taking the positives from all of them and putting those things into my children. If you mean where does my influence for music comes from, the answer would be that I am moved by the possibilities of my own music and subconsciously, I think I take from artists like Drake, Tink, Ty Dolla, Shawnna, Chris Brown, Diemond Da Beast, Kochise and Nicki Minaj. If you mean what influences my perseverance, my life and path thus far, and the reward of the risks I have taken. My failed relationships, and my successful ones influence the way that I love, and my best friends set the standard of the time of people I spend time with in my liesure. I can talk about influence all day.
Ok so, I love this question. I stated previously that I first did poetry, which was influenced by early readings of Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare, but not in the way people would say. I was thinking: if these guys got famous off of this stuff, I’m sure I could make a few dollars, ya know? No, seriously, Poe taught me how to set the scenery, the mood, to detail things so throughly that you can smell the scent in the air of whatever setting you were in. Shakespeare taught me the art of story telling, and doing it in what I call, “A beautiful language.” When I transitioned into rap, it was a struggle at first. My brother in law saw this along with a rapper named Diemond Da Beast, who helped me solidify rhyme patterns and annunciation because I have a lisp and those are my humble beginnings with my early influences. Later, listening to people like Lauryn Hill, Da Brat,
Question 6: Do you have anyone that you consider your mentor? How has their help or advice shaped you?
I have several people I consider my mentor, and would be happy to have more. Having likeminded individuals come together for a common purpose or goal is beneficial, and understanding that the goal is for Destanie Barz to have success. I met Chips in about 2006, and back then he taught me that if you want to work with someone influential, you better have the drive. More recently, if you’ve noticed the consistency, the work ethic, the growth this year, that’s under the direction of this mentor. I have learned lots and am still learning. Another mentor I have is Geegee Miller, who takes artist through every step of the licensing process and shows them where to extract their money and how the labels use a team of professionals to do something you can learn to do yourself.This is vital in keeping tabs on your own dollars through music. My last mentor is my videographer and friend, Deejay Vado. (Apart from taking my damn money), this man has stayed on my back about my appearance as an artist and growing with every project that I release.. making every step growth and being sure not to back slide.
Question 7: How long have you been making music now, as Destanie Barz?
I have been making music for a solid decade as Destanie Barz and have stuck with it because I know what I’m doing with my future because I’m laying it out for myself, that’s the Destanie part and well, BARZ….. Come on people you know I crawl all over instrumentals frontwards, backwards and in and out the dimensions.
Question 8: What is one experience in life that, without it, you wouldn’t be the artist you are today?
If I would have never learned to LET THAT NIGGA GO SIS, (OR THAT BITCH), I would not have been able to go through growth processes that made me focus on who I could be. Being content with having the most knowledge about what I wanted to do, or the most drive to advance to a certain level would have only kept me in a box. I needed to dispose of the wrong type of distraction. If I had to narrow it down to ONE experience, it would be having my children. If you listen to my music before I had children (also who I had them with, I can say that he showed me what type of artist I could turn into if I didn’t feed my craft, had no passion for it), there was much aggression and no fucks given at all. My children showed me emotion, balance and separation between the person and the artist. They also showed me there is no other option than winning.
Question 9: Who are your top 3 favorite artists of all time?
My three favorite artists of all time are Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliot and Beyonce, in no specific order. The combination of changing the narrative that Lauryn influenced, the creativity that Missy reeks of, and the entertainment and genuine nature of Beyonce is a concoction that is undeniably successful. All of them have had to make great sacrifice and I believe in all of them.
Question 10: If you could take anyone in the world dead or alive on a date, who would it be?
If I could take anyone on a date, it would be my cousin Generra, not an intimate date or nothing to gay like that. I would love to just see her, and talk to her, and celebrate her discipline to make an impact on the people behind her and share my growth in this music. She was the single most definition of growth in the shortest period of time I ever witnessed in my life.
Question 11: Tell me about the first song you ever made. Was it a success or a failure in your opinion?
The first song I ever made…. WOOOOOW, you really wanna go there? I was in the 6th grade and I wrote a mean letter to this boy explaining how I felt about him and he gave it to the teacher who gave it to the principal. I got a parent - teacher conference for that note song… So I would say it was a success.
Question 12: What haven’t you attempted yet that you hope to?
I haven’t attempted to experiment with fashion and product placement in my videos, but I’m learning the presentation that I need to pull that off. There are many ways to go about this, and there is no set way to go.
Question 13: What is the story behind your song Better?
Better was written on a cold winter day in a state of mind that is unfamiliar to me. I wanted to work things out with someone, I wanted to fix it. I, of course, remained numb until they were no longer around to allow me to make a clear decision on if I needed them in my life.) The feeling only went as far as the song! POW, shots fired!
Question 14: What do you hope to accomplish the rest of the year?
To close the year after having a very successful display of releases this year is to work the singles I have released. I plan to give you guys more of a back story to what I did this year so you could see the moves I made and how they actually panned out. I am hoping to release ONE MORE project for you guys. I’m working on it!
Question 15: What is next for Destanie Barz? What do you want your supporters to know about you?
Next for Destanie Barz is shedding all inconsistent and uncomfortable spaces her life to make room for only the necessary. This includes friends, family, associates, and business partners alike. I have a single dropping this fall, followed by a Christmas Album, and a movie during the winter and the wildly anticipated release of “Bitter Bees”. Lots of photos and small projects along the way to keep you entertained, including a server series entitled, “No Table Manners” which is a view of the restaurant industry from the point of view of the server.