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Revelation Knowledge: An Interview with Mista Futuristic

Posted By PowWows.com July 8th, 2013 Last Updated on: July 8th, 2013

Q: What's in  a name?  Who is Mista Futuristic? What does your name mean to you?

A: Billy Janis is my birth name. Mista Futuristic is my stage/ artist name. The name Mista Futuristic actually came by accident when I was rappin a verse. I then put meaning of being a leader, an inspiration for other artist in the Native American Rap, Hip-Hop game into the future, hence “Futuristic”.

Q: What is your earliest memory of music? How did music come into your life?
A: My earliest memory of music was when I was 15 and I was listening to the local radio and there was a new sound I never heard, it was rap music. I used to listen to only rock music growing up and wasn't fond of other styles because I knew of only country and rock but only listened to rock music. How music came into my life was actually 2002 when I came back from art school (Institute of American Indian Arts) and starting to rap on a tape and using two mics, one mic pointed to the speaker and the other used for the voice. The mics were connected together and recorded straight into the stereo with the tape on record!! The beats were streamed from the internet. That was way before I knew of or thought about researching recording software. Then I happen to read many positive remarks n comments about “Cool Edit. 2.0.” After then, it was on!! And of course back in 2002 there were 8-9 members in Native Era.

Q: How did you start performing? What are some memories of your earliest
times on stage?
A: Native Era started to perform in 2003 and the first performance that I can remember was ” Wolf Creek School ” for the students n staff. I can still remember reading from lyrics that wrote on paper in front, live. LOL!!!

Q: How have you grown since then?
A: In the beginning, I hadn't known any better, I admit I was off beat, off tune but I didn't think so back then. When we made a song, I wanted to show it to the world because I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. Out of 8-9 members, only two members wanted to record with me. J. King aka Joewalks and Lady Hope gave me the time. What I felt at that time was all the members were better than me and I was intimidated by these artists. Now that I found a lot more versatility within myself, I have excelled much further then much of them. One ex-member J. King, and I still work together till this day and many people do hear we mesh very well. In the beginning it was like ‘let's rhyme and let's rap, yeah this is fun’ type of mode. Now my music is much more conscience, more attention given, serious type. Music with deep meaning.

Q:  What makes your songs unique?
A: My style of music as been described as the sound of Bone Thugs. That midwest sound. Most of my songs do not sound like BTNH, just most of what I promote on the internet does. My hooks do sound way different from all the Native artists you hear presently. I have been told many times that my voice has that presence to stand out. What else makes my songs stand out is that I take much time to give a deeper message to the world. My music is conscience. I'm one of those serious laid back silent types.

Q: You've had some terrific partners in performing. Who has collaborated with you?
A: I have collaborated with so many talented artists across the U.S. I wish I could remember all their names: NIGHTSHIELD (SIOUX FALLS,SD), J.KING AKA JOEWALKS (PINE RIDGE,SD), MIGUELJON (RAPID CITY,SD), DAWN KARIMA (N.CAROLINA), DEAD PEOPLE (MISSION,SD), KARMA (MISSION, SD), N.R.S (PINE RIDGE,SD), BIZZY BONE OF BONE THUGS (COLUMBUS, OH), 7TH SIGN REGIME (COLUMBUS, OH) AELEION EL NINO (COLUMBUS, OH), THIN C of the MO THUGS FAMILY (CLEVELAND, OH), DAN-O (PINE RIDGE,SD) J-DEKAY (ROSEBUD, SD) BENZ (ALBUQUERQUE, NM), NATIVE SOUL (ETHITY, WY), MID-WEST NATIVE (RAPID CITY, SD), KASP OF 7TH GENERATION (CANADA), RECLOUD (CALIFORNIA), MANIAC (SIOUX FALLS, SD) MR. DUBBS (PINE RIDGE, SD), STORM (PINE RIDGE, SD), N.R.S (PINE RIDGE, SD) ARIELLE (RUSHVILLE, NE) SEVERAL ARTIST FROM GERMANY, LIVE IN THE STUDIO (OFFENBACH, GERMANY), CED-DOG (PORCUPINE,SD), EXILE (CANADA), EXILE WOLF (TENNESSEE) There are a lot more artists but like I said, I can't remember all of them, lol.!! Shout to all those who I can't remember at this time. After this interview, I probably am gonna want to add their names. My bad…

Q: What life lessons did you learn from working with other artists?
A: What I have learned from other artists, are the stories they have told of street life. Also the way they work in the studio opposed to the way I work and the similarities. About the business and what and what not to look for. To expect the unexpected. Things don't always turn out the way it's presented, so be prepared. Don't speak before you know for sure but then again it might not happen. Some of the artists, we have become more like friends.

Q: Who do you hope to work with in the future? Why?
A: Well the biggest influence on me and my music is Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Watching a video he was featured in of the Mo Thugs Family, inspired me to change my whole life's image. All through school and half of High School, you probably might have not wanted to be my friend. lol.!! I was worse than geek status. lol!! Other artists I would to collaborate with are “Yela' Wolf, Lil Eazy-E, Tech N9ne, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne”…etc,etc,etc. Basically as many as I can before I give this up. Maybe I can reach out to all of them.

Q: What can audiences expect when they watch you onstage?
A: What they can expect on stage is an array of different beat change ups. I got that slow, medium, fast tempo and hype movement. I explain why I wrote each song and what the motive was for each, and based on that, I tell ‘em my inspiration for doing so. My show is complete with a pro hype d.j. (MiguelJon – www.facebook.com/therealmigueljon) as well as crowd participation.

Q: What inspires you to write? What motivates you to rap?
A: What inspires me to write is the world around me and what's within me. To inspire the world in some way. To reach people from the use of this medium. When I can listen to my verses over and over and then the whole song over and over, that's when I'm feelin' that it's right. If I do a whole song and I don't like a particular part I will work on it for hours so I know it's good. I can drop a 16 bars quick but when I reference it again and again and I don't like it, I will do it over, even if takes several hours to work on just that. Sometimes it may take several days to work on one track. I'm not one of those artists who will just do it and have it done in a few tries, I take time to perfect it until what I feel is right. The music, the beat, instrumental is what speaks on my ideas, my presentation.

Q:  Why do you think Native America has embraced Hip-Hop and Rap so readily?
A: Well honestly what I think, but maybe it isn't necessarily what is but I think is it's how they've grown up and watched what's in the media. Or it could be the way friends have influenced each other in school or that they was cut down in a particular way. Following the trend.

Q:With a name like yours, you must be future-minded. What do you see for your musical career in the future?
A: The direction that I see my music going as of now is collaborative and through that I will reach a wider audience. I push to break another barrier in one's life, that all the music isn't the same. The way I would want my music to be remembered is: “I loved his music and I still love this song” type of hype. I have been told that my music has helped youth change the way they felt about life and that listening to my music helped them to make better changes.

Q: As an Indigenous artist, how do you think that your culture and life on Pine Ridge impacts your music?
A: My culture and the way I see it is that by the beat of the drum, before other people came here to this particular place in the world, was the only means of music as we believe to hear. And that inspires me because when I go out with other artists and we meet, I tell them about my history and our music. Because deep inside I know the truth here in this place. They can argue this and that, but everywhere in the world, truth has had musical significance in any culture.

Q: What topics do you prefer to share in your music? What do you hope audiences will learn from you?
A: The topics that I prefer to share are inspiration, hope, music, believing and succeeding. What I hope the audience will learn is to be inspired in their own lives in some way.

Q: Do you have strong ideas and insights that motivate you? How do your beliefs guide you through your life and career?
A: My people are in struggle because they choose to be and I try to climb every step to get to the top and if my own people are in that route because they choose to be, then I can give a hand to help the next and hoping they do the same for others as well. That they can change what's in their heart and mind.

Q: What other things are you passionate about?
A: I have a passion about my artistic skill in painting and drawing. The lives of my children and their future.

Q: What do you want people to know about you that they may not already know?
A: Well, I don't know really. Everything that goes on in my daily life is usually posted up on FaceBook. LOL!!

Q: Where can folks learn more about you and about your music?
A: www.facebook.com/mistafuturistic www.facebook.com/nativeera also I am in the process of putting up an artist website for myself (Mista Futuristic/ Native Era). They can join my forums and be a part of it if they choose. Be a part of this movement, this voice, the inspiration!!
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Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us.

 

Dr. Dawn Karima Pettigrew (Creek/Cherokee) is the host of A CONVERSATION WITH DAWN KARIMA, a Native American-themed talk show that airs on http://talktainmentradio.com/shows/conversationwithdawnkarima.html . She is the author of two novels, THE WAY WE MAKE SENSE and THE MARRIAGE OF SAINTS. Her NAMMY-winning CD, THE DESIRE OF NATIONS, is available a twww.cdbaby.com/honeydawnkarima .


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