Ced Linus is a Hip Hop artist from Virginia Beach and the co owner of Pledge Empire Records. He is what most would describe as an old school flow with an indie/soulful style to his music as a whole and an example of this is the new single off his upcoming album Autumn Sessions titled Life Aint Easy. We don’t normally cover US Hip Hop but the crew are playing their only Australian show at Rad Bar in Wollongong on March 26th. Of all the places in OZ the ‘Gong gets the gigs! We find that part hilarious, part awesome. This is what happens when Hip Hop Heads holiday in Australia. We catch up with Ced to find out more about him ahead of his trip downunder.
What’s your Hip Hop background?
I’ve always listened to Hip Hop growing up. It’s our culture and way of life. My cousin, my brother and I used to make songs every weekend just because we thought it was fun. During college after my basketball career was over, my brother Prince Carlton and I starting doing shows and performing again. I was started opening up for local bands until we became headliners in our college area. We moved to a bigger city which is Minneapolis and built Pledge Empire Records from the ground up. We’ve put out albums from myself and also an artist named Sti-Lo Reel. We’ve also completed both national and international tours.
What inspires you to make Hip Hop music?
Hip Hop is my way of life so it comes easy to me like speaking or breathing. It allows me to express myself in full capacity. It feels like this is what I’ve been put on Earth to do. I am mostly influenced by God and the society in which I live in. I try to paint pictures of my surroundings and how we can make our lives better. My music is also spiritual which comes from growing up in the church.
Tell us about your latest project…
My latest project was called Christ Like. It was produced by myself, Rich Lee, and Rodney Ricks Jr. The lead singles were titled Codes, and Moses. There are also videos shot for Chrysler Museum Music and a movie titled Hundred Sheep based off of the song Christ Like.
My upcoming album is Autumn Sessions which should be out in late March. All written and produced by myself. The music sounds like Autumn as the pace of life slows down. There will be a part two called Summer Sessions that will be fast paced.
What is your process for creating music?
Usually I will make a beat and the sounds will trigger certain topics that I want to rap about. I’ll write the lyrics down, record the song at least five or six times. I bounce the song off of a couple people to make sure what I’m saying is getting conveyed properly through the music.
Do you also produce your own beats?
I make my own beats using Reason. As of the past six months I’ve been sampling and building beats around the loops or chops. Usually I’ll hear music that I think would sound good with harder drums. So lately its been old soul music and disco with 70’s rock.
Who are you working with on your project?
On Autumn Sessions, I have a singer by the name of Matthew J featured on a song with pretty much just ad-libs and Alex Tulp from a band called The Friendly Beers has a guitar solo. Matthew J is signed through my record label Pledge Empire Records and Alex plays in my backing band for live shows.
Anything else you want to mention?
Pledge Empire Records is coming to Rad Bar in Wollongong, New South Wales on March 26th. I will be performing a lot of new music and looking forward to meeting the Hip Hop scene in Australia.