What's the meaning behind your name?
Around 15, a friend gave me the nickname “A”, short for April. There was one problem. Whenever she yelled out “A”, about 15 more people would answer. Quite confusing! So, I started referring to myself as Ace to separate myself from the rest of the A’s. Reign came about much later. As I got older, it became my aspiration to be someone that people will remember. Regardless if a president is the worst ever or the greatest we ever had, people will remember the impact, the legacy he leaves behind. I want my "reign", my legacy as an artist to be remembered as a positive influence and my music timeless.
How did you get started with all this?
I’ve been writing music since I was a child. As long as I can remember, I love writing poetry. One day after listening to Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and Trina, I decided to try rapping my poems, but they were too soft. Those artists were not rapping about love, which my poem reflected, but their life, respect for women and life on the streets. After studying Queen Latifah’s song, “U.N.I.T.Y” and the vocals of MC Lyte, at age 12, I created my first piece, entitled “Raw”. I knew then I had stumbled onto something.
I become more serious about my artistry about 23, around 2007, when I met Robert “Rob” Stern. At the time, Rob and I worked together at this restaurant. He overheard me freestyling to one of my co-workers. I guess he liked what he heard. He told me he was DJ back in his hometown Ohio and wanted to make me a beat. I was like, alright. The next day he dragged me into his car. I was a little nervous because I didn’t really know this dude, but after I heard his beat, I was liked, “Dude, this is hot.” The rest is history. For a while, we recorded and produced some projects together in our home studio. Rob is doing his own thing and I’m doing mine, but we hook up to make music whenever our schedules allow it.
What's the message to transmit with your music?
Life, life, life. It is important to me that my music is realistic and relatable. I want my listeners to see the value in being yourself, following your dreams, and let negative situations be the motivation to do positive things. When people listen to my music, I want it to inspire them to write if they’re a writer, to draw if they’re an artist and to smile if they’re frowning. I want my music to be the motivation for people to uplift themselves and improve their situation.
What's your method at the time of writing a song?
Going into my studio, closing the door, and listening to one of my favorite songs with my earphones blasting. Then, I put on my favorite instrumental and begin to write. Sometimes I know what I want to write about and other times my pen just moves to express my thoughts. The end results are songs like “Crazy” and “Look Beyond the Surface”.
Who are your music influences?
My musical influences are artists like Tupac, Biggie, Queen Latifah, Mc Lyte, and Nas, just to name a few.
What plans do you guys have for the future?
Kamby Management Group and I have been working very hard in promoting my career within the US boundaries, but it is also our goal to make me into a successful international female rap artist. I have a single coming out in the Netherlands on Little Mountain Records 5K album, entitled “This Love”. They are also releasing my track as a single. So I am really happy about that. Also, we are working with Matthew and Thomas Carter, two brothers who own, Stories of Trace out of the United Kingdom. We are very excited about that project.
It is not only important that I make great music, but that I understand and master the ins/outs of the music business on the business side of things. My manager is always pushing me to think like an executive. I’m working on that. I’m already a triple threat – I write, produce and perform my own music. With the help of KMG, I am also learning to add the final and most essential element to my music – that is learning the administrative side of the business so I can become a successful businesswoman. Outside of that, I don’t want to lose my unique style or myself as I grow in this industry. It is also important to me to share my knowledge and skills with other young artists and further develop their careers. We are also working to make our label / publisher company to be worldwide known. Winning a Grammy or two would be nice and seeing my name appear on the top ten billboard charts is not being too ambition. Hey, lets repeat this interview in about ten years and she where my success had land me, LOL.
What has been the greatest day as a musician?
The greatest day as a musician was when I got a phone call telling me I was flying to California to record one of my songs with Grammy award winning artist, Josh Gabriel. That was one the best high a young artist can achieve and I lived it. It was the first amazing moment that jump started my career. THANKS JOSH!
What has been the funniest prank you guys have been or took part of while on tour or after a show?
I had a live performance in Atlanta, which my manager was suppose to accompany me, but she fell ill about week prior. So, I wasn’t expecting her to attend. I was really feeling nervous about it because she and her partner had been there guiding me through this process and creating some great ideas during my performances to make it more pleasurable for my fans and handling any problems that always do come up before, during and after a performance. Now, I was expecting to do this solo. Throughout the day, leading up to my performance, we called and texted each other – you know, going over last minute details and changes. I was supposed to be at sound check around 4 pm, but because of my taxi driver who didn’t know his way around Atlanta, we got lost. So I was late in getting to my hotel room, where I needed to change for the show and late leaving to be at my sound check. My manager called, “where you?” I have admit, I lied. “I’m, almost there, but I’m running a little behind.” I didn’t know she was standing in the lobby of where I was supposed to perform waiting for me. She asked, “do you need me to call and inform them that you will be late for sound check.” I told her yes. She calls back 20 minutes later, “are you there yet?” Forgetting that I told her I was about 5 minutes from where I was perform, I told her, I’m about to walked in. She calls back about 10 minutes later. I told her the taxi driver was stuck in traffic so I jumped out the cab and I could see the building where my performance was being held. All this time I am unaware she is waiting on me. My manager start yelling in the phone, “you late, where you at?” Once I final got there, I am rushing through the door, not knowing where I needed to head next. All of sudden, I hear this voice saying, “Ace, Ace, Ace! You are late.” To my surprise, there was my management team, standing in the middle of lobby and my manager pointing at her watch. My face was priceless! I was so glad they were there. After a long flight and discombobulated cab drivers, seeing them really brightened my day.
If you guys were stranded in the middle of nowhere after a show or while on tour, and the help is 65 miles away from where you guys are, who would you guys send to look for help? And if while the rest wait, there's no food and the only way to feed yourself is by eating each other, who would you eat first?
Hmmm, my manager Kammi has a great since of direction, but is scared of every crawling thing that exists, so it wouldn’t be her. I can’t even imagine my manager, Deaidre even thinking about walking 65 miles. We would never hear the end of it, not even worth it. They probably stay behind and debate over who’s going to eat the other first. So, that would leave me.
What are your hobbies?
Well outside of making music, I love to cook all sorts of things. I would like to think of myself as an adventurous eater. As long as I’ve been making music I’ve been cooking, I enjoy being creative. I also love comedy shows and plays.
Which country would you guys love to play?
Well we have a single coming out with Dutch recording artist and DJ Sander Kleinenburg and I would love to go to Amsterdam and perform this song live as well as perform in Jamaica.
With which bands would you guys love to share the stage?
It’s so many artist that I love so this is hard cause the list could go on and on. But I would say Mary J Blige, TI, Alicia Keys, Three Doors Down, John Mayer, Eminem, Jay Z and Adam Levine of Maroon 5.
Are you guys happy with the direction the band is going?
I am very happy with the path my career is taking along with my management and the team that is supporting me. I don’t think I could have asked for better individuals on my side. I can truly see Ace Reign being a household name.
Check out more: http://www.myspace.com/aceindabuildin1