An Exclusive Interview with Big Piph

Could you share the story behind your latest song and what inspired its creation? For Spike Lee I was moved to make something speaking of the importance and influence of Black American culture that often doesn’t get recognized. However, it’s seen across the world. 

How do you approach the process of songwriting, and are there any specific themes or emotions you tend to explore in your music? 

I say I “let the beat talk”. Whenever I come across a track it guides me what to say. Or, I have an idea of a song and form it with my oftentime producer, Ferocious. 

Also, I call it “Black excellence with an edge” music. It’s for any ears that want to hear, but I like making tunes that uplift the culture I’m from. 

As an indie musician, how do you navigate the balance between creative freedom and commercial appeal? 

I don’t really think about it much anymore. I can always make songs and decide not to put them out if they’re not commercially viable. However, since I make most of my music for folks to vibe to, it tends to work out. 

What do you find most challenging about being an independent artist in today’s music industry? 

You have to sometimes be “all the things” because the team is small. (And sometimes just you.) 

Can you talk about your experiences collaborating with other artists or musicians? How does it influence your creative process? 

My main collaborator for my new project is Ferocious. We’re longtime friends and artists who push ourselves to be better. The influence comes because you have to listen and give. It’s no longer from the mind of one soul. 

What role does technology and social media play in promoting your music and connecting with your audience? 

I finally grew comfortable embracing social media as the tool it is. Also, I don’t neglect the older school ways of connection.

Are there any particular artists or genres that have had a significant impact on your musical style? 

I’m an old soul and R&B fan. That still seeps through in my hip hop. 

Indie musicians often have a close relationship with their fanbase. How do you engage with your fans and build a dedicated community around your music? I just communicate with them like people when I can. Whether that’s engaging online, talking at shows, or breaking bread when it makes sense. 

Could you describe a memorable live performance experience or tour that has had a lasting impact on you and your music? 

When I performed in Algeria with my band, Tomorrow Maybe, it was amazing to see that many people rock with us who didn’t even understand all the words. 

In an era of streaming platforms, how do you feel about the changing landscape of music consumption and its impact on independent musicians? 

I actually don’t trip too much about it. Things are forever changing. You either adapt or don’t. Each has its tradeoffs. I just aim to be at peace with the selection.