One of the Shore’s best young talents has provided us with some insight on his music! Meet $tandard, and see what he has to say about his orgins of music, his influences, what motivates him, and whats next to come for the spitter out of the Jersey Shore.
At what point did you find yourself interested in music? What was the “break out” or realization moment.
As long as I can remember, growing up I’ve been around Music. Between my dad who plays the guitar and my older brother who plays the drums it was impossible for me not to wanna learn how to do something so captivating. To me it always seemed like art. To create something so meaningful to yourself and at the same time effect the life’s of others gives a irreplaceable feeling. When I was younger I would always sing and hum melody’s but I knew I didn’t wanna actually sing. Even with all the rock n roll that was playin in my house, hip hop was something I was always in love with. Something about the way rappers could tell such detailed story’s and make it seem so effortless amazed me. I never thought I wanted to try it myself though until I went to my first concert in 2012. It was my freshman year of highschool, I went to see asap rocky and Joey badass at the pnc art center. Me and the people I went with all got there early and we were sitting on the stage while Joey was preforming. Seeing them up there made me get a uncontrollable feeling of needing to be up there myself one day. That same night I wrote my first rap down in one my school note pads. Still one of my dreams is to preform at pnc.
Who are your top 3 influences and how do you see yourself in them?
Being someone who loves every last thing about hip hop you could imagine all the sub genres within that i listen to. It could be from the 90’s or present day, so much music influences me on a day to day basis. My number one influencer and my favorite artist of all time is 50 cent. Reciting every single word to all his albums straight through, skilled me in finding my rapping flow. He created body’s of work that are timeless and will always be appreciated through the generations, something I strive to be able to do one day. Another one of my top influencers would be young thug. Being a newer rapper it’s hard to be looked at as legendary but I think that’s exactly what he is. I think he personally opened doors for hip hop and made it universally okay to be yourself. He freestyles everything he does and he’s a big reason why I do the same thing myself. I always wondered what it would be like to be on that level. My last influencer but my backbone with everything I do musically would be my producer lord Baha. Me and him started out together and if I ever felt like giving up he’d be there to slap sense back into me. Not only him producing the music for the majority of my songs but being my closet friend helps everything run smooth as can be.
What keeps you motivated, what pushes you through the hard times as an independent artist. What advice would you give someone who’s just starting
I always try to remain super confident with my approach to music. At the same time you have to be humble enough to accept criticism so you can learn. When times seem foggy I have great people around me working reminding me what it is we have to get done and what we’ve already accomplished. If you just starting out you need to be open to working with everyone and obtain as much as you can from them. LISTEN carefully to the people who know what they’re doing. Don’t focus on the bigger picture right now focus on what’s in front of you and how you can be the best in that situation. I think will smith said it best don’t worry about building a house, worry about laying down that first piece of brick so perfectly it couldn’t be done any better. Work your way up.
Rumor on the streets is that you’ve been talking to some management. Is Standard about to blow up in NJ? Any secret debut projects we should be looking out for?
I have a lot of people helping me with the business sides of things. I’m currently not in contract with anyone for management but as my career progresses someone will fill the roll. I have a lot of people on my team right now shooting for the same goal as me so I know very soon you’ll be seeing a lot more of everything. Music, videos, interviews, etc.
Soon I’ll release a project on all platforms composed of my favorite songs I’ve released so far. Currently I’ve been releasing singles every week on my SoundCloud and plan to for many more to come.
What is music to you ?At what point would you feel you made it.
It’s my number one priority, I feel like if i can do good in it then I can put everyone on. Even if it sounds clichè it feels like music gives my life purpose. Its a powerful thing, I was fortunate enough to realize at a early age. When I make it big I’ll know It’s real when everyone around is set up in a position to be successful. Than I’ll be pretty content with what music brought me. Getting signed to a major label one day is something i would like to do as well. The big shows, the big checks, i want all that.
You can catch $tandard Tuesday, May 22nd at Starland Ballroom with 21 Savage and Bloc Boy JB.
Follow $tandard on Instagram and check out his music below: