Gran Centennial was born and raised in Philadelphia were he started his career in music. Hindered by the code of the streets he found himself doing what the streets led him to believe was surviving. His inspiration, growing up, includes Jay Z, Nas, Jadakiss, Biggie, Rakim, Run DMC, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap and the list goes on. Gran Centennial represents what artists should do on the mic. He truly embodies the lost art of old-school glory, with his lyrical skills, the sense of dropping ill metaphors, and clever deliveries. G.C’s ability to write and deliver rhymes is profoundly incredible. Listen to his flow on any song off the “After Work Album”; it’s meticulous, as G.C pronounces every word so clearly. What can you say; this is old school hip hop at its greatest!
- How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?
Gran Centennial: Ive been in the music business since age 15yrs old i use to sit at the cafeteria table in junior high school and bang on the tables and freestyle
- Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Gran Centennial: Grandmaster Flash, Run Dmc, Sugar Hill Gang
- Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
Gran Centennial: Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Drake, Meek Mills, Kendrick Lamar, I would like to collab with practically all of them but mostly Jay Z
- Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ from within the industry, and if so how have you handled that, and how do you handle criticism and haters in general?
Gran Centennial: I constantly suffer resistance due to me getting up there in age, and Djs on the radio not wanting to play new underground music however I get behind God and I know things are going to work itself out. At the end of the day I do me I’m not selling out
- What are your thoughts on visual media and Youtube? Do you use video is a marketing tool for your music, and do you have any videos published for fans to see?
Gran Centennial: Yes I support all avenues of visual media as well as YouTube. Yes I have two videos at the moment on YouTube just google me and everything I’m affiliated with will come up
- Which do you ultimately prefer? Entertaining a live audience or creating songs in a studio setting?
Gran Centennial: both I love creating music however I love the rush and adrenaline of performing in front of a crowded place feeding of the energy
- Tell us something about your lyrics and music production on your releases. Which part of these processes do you handle, and which do you outsource generally?
Gran Centennial: I write my own lyrics. I go hard, I educate, I club, I strictly entertain for my audience. I’m very versatile as an artist, lyricist, and songwriter. I want to learn the art of beat making however I’ve worked with several producers
8. What is the title of your latest music release and where can fans find it?
Gran Centennial: Hands Up is my latest release and you can find it on amazon, iTunes etc., Again just google me and its everywhere.
- Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre thriving with newcomers?
Gran Centennial: I believe I still have the original genre of hip-hop in its truest pure essence. I blend a combination of old and new with the ability to entertain and command a crowd or audience.
- If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
Gran Centennial: I would have to say passion and for that reason my music will continue to be around even when your favor artist has retired. I do it for the love not for the fame. My success is not measured from all the money I make but for the years I will remain true to the game and art of hip-hop. I still make great music which will continue to inspire people even after the evolution of rap evolves again and again.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Gran Centennial: The fact that I’m in control of my creative ability to do what I want release when I want and collab with whom I want. Which discourages me the most if when people see you as independent they think local and sometimes artist are not taken as serious as one who is on a major label. Also it much hard to get your records spun on main stream radio when you’re independent.
- How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?
Gran Centennial: I control everything myself. I market online, blogs, music sites, and other social media. I even get Djs to put my music on several mix tapes
- How do you achieve your sound? Do you work from a private recording environment or do you use a commercial sound studio?
Gran Centennial: I do both considering I work with a great number of producers some that are privately owned and some commercial. I get most of my music built from the ground up. I definitely involved in the making arranging and production of my material.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Gran Centennial: never give up and follow your dream, be your biggest investor, one I didn’t follow was never put off tomorrow what you can do today, and never let someone control your project that has no investment in it.
- If you had the choice which successful producer would you like to work with and why?
Gran Centennial: Timberland, Dre and reason being is because these producers have a track record for making people careers successful
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and independent music in general?
Gran Centennial: yes there are millions of people on the internet and social media sites that could help with promoting your material and spreading the word about me as an artist.
- If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?
Gran Centennial: pure hip-hop, although I feel there is no one word that describes my overall sounds and style because all my music is different, I’m a well rounded artist, with versatility
- Straight off the top of your head, how would you describe the current state of Hip-hop, R&B and Rap?
Gran Centennial: I love music, soooo many styles so I believe it’s doing what it’s expected to do create madness in the culture itself. What I don’t like is that most independent artist trying to get establish doesn’t have the means that majors have due to time on the radios being bought up to sell the majors to the masses. If independent had that same support and avenue then you would definitely see artist of all styles take music to another level rather than constant unnecessary censorship.
- As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires-up your imagination – A Grammy award, Platinum music sales or any other tangible milestone?
Gran Centennial: all of the above. I want to be recognized as an artist of prestige, multi talented, a house hold name and one of the best that every did it.
- What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
Gran Centennial: sell out, compromise my style of music or sell my soul.