In this interview spotlight, I speak with MTSU alumnus Hibru about his latest project (Tea For Otakus), challenges, motivations and more.
Full Q&A along with links and music below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I’m from Waldorf, Maryland, a little south of D.C and the newly built MGM. If you live in the area or connected with people from here, it’s infamously called the DMV. Both Logic & Wale is from this area to give you an idea.
I primarily create a fusion of Soul, Electronic, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Ambient, Chillout & House. Depending on the album the direction I take anyone of these and fuse them together. Currently I’m producing a mix between Tropical House & Electronic. Think Nicolay mixed with some Bonobo and a sprinkle of FlyLo. Imagine looking at an image on Unsplash.com. Yeah, I got a track for that vibe. Mr. Gibbs hit you with a surprise exam tomorrow? I got your study music.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to keep going?
I always had this idea in mind that people don’t make music to its best ability with their song/production. Instead of complaining though, I decided to actually make my own music back in high school. Years later I put my first EP on digital media and it’s nowhere near my strongest work. There’s so many ideas I’ve been exploring and so many albums I’ve drafted out, I can honestly say theres about 5 albums sitting in my iTunes that haven’t been released. Every time I hear a new artist with creativity like Bonobo, or Fat Jon, Nujabes and the like, the inspiration and jealousy comes flooding in. It gets to the point where I have to make something or I suffer from inferiority. So at this point, it’s all hunger to get better and make something I’m genuinely proud of.
How is this new release different than previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?
This is the first release where I took my years of crafting my sampling style and merged it with my newfound love for synthesis. Normally I would avoid adding real instruments on top of samples because I could never fit them in one song (due to my sampling being somewhat complex in performance). Second, I wanted my song to move and build over time so many of the tracks in the Tea For Otakus EP grow by time you reach the end of the piece. The whole EP is about showing the grassroots of whats going to hit the digital streams in the next couple of years.
Name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you (since we know it does help)?
One of the biggest challenges is the competition. There are some really good producers and artists now exposing themselves. Therefore the catch is to find your fanbase. Is it untapped listeners? Is it sharing fans of the same style? Do you attempt to go Top 40? At this point I’m not sure who or what that fanbase might be but technology is what allowed my music to happen and share in the first place, so I’m not mad about that. It’s due to this technology that I discovered my favorite artist and producers. I mean, I was one of those people who would write rhymes under the 9th Wonder YouTube instrumentals lol.
Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music?
The best place to connect with me is on Twitter and IG. Social talk with me on Twitter and IG, I’m cool peoples Both handles should be @courtesyofhibru. If you want to discover my music, just visit my website at www.courtesyofthebrew.com I’m both a producer and a mix engineer.
Anything else before we sign off?
Just be ready for more music and follow me if you like what you hear. There’s going to be a ton more of it coming. Don’t hesitate to share my music. Eventually it’ll be in a Starbucks near you.