The life of a business consultant can be fast paced with a heavy workload. But to add the responsibilities of an emerging rap artists significantly increases the amount of tasks that need to be completed throughout the week. This is something Berkeley based artists Call Me Ace does seamlessly because of his passion for music and his tireless work ethic. I recently had the opportunity to chop it up with the East Coast native on how he balances his work schedule with his music career, as well as what made him pick up the mic again after initially stopping during college.
Where are you from?
My family is from Jamaica, but I was born and raised in Bridgeport, CT. I went to college in New York, and started living in Harlem before coming out to UC Berkeley where I got my master’s in business administration.
When did you first start to take your rap career seriously?
I was rapping when I was younger, but I didn’t start taking it seriously until I was 19 or 20, but then I stopped when I was 21. I just picked it back up not too long ago, and I got serious again when i was 26. There was a five year gap. Back in the day when I was taking it seriously, I thought rap was going to make me rich and famous, and I was going to get all the girls and all this stuff, and that just wasn’t my mindset anymore. So I felt I didn’t have any reason to rap and the things that I thought I would need, I’m about to get. During a conversation with an old friend I came to the realization that I still enjoyed listening to music, as well as making and performing music. I feel all of us were created in God’s image and have a gift, and I feel like the gift to create is a powerful gift, and I have this gift, and just being able to use this gift in a very strong way allows me to be the person that God called me to be. Also, I’m not trying to make foolish music, I’m very mindful of the stuff that I’m saying. So when people are receiving that positively and are being moved by it, and there’s the gift that I receive by other people receiving my music.
Who are some artists that you draw inspiration from ?
In the past Ludacris, Lil’ Wayne, Snoop, Busta Rhymes, Eminem. Currently I don’t really listen to much rap, I would say Cuban music, Buena Vista Social Club, Israel & New Breed. Right now i’m in exploratory phase so I’m going back and listening to blues and jazz just to really expand. I’m not really looking at current artists and feeling like I want to emulate them.
How do you balance both being a young professional with a rap career?
You have to go all in for whatever it is that you’re doing. I think I work better when I have stuff on my plate that’s also calling my attention because it forces me to pay attention to what I have to do in the moment.
I know you are originally from the East Coast, but you’ve been in the Bay for a few years, how have you managed to incorporate the Bay culture into your music?
I’ve had the privilege to work on my upcoming EP with the producer Sean T. Sean T worked with Mistah Fab, Mac Dre, and E-40. He’s been in the game for almost a few years, and just him putting me on some of the work that he’s done and the influence that he’s had in the area. I definitely love deep bass and flow, I think he knew who I was as an artist and was willing to explore that with me.
My First single So Stupid, he produced it and it definitely has a Bay feel. I dropped some Bay references, and if you’re from the Bay and don’t get all the Bay references shame on you. There’s a plethora in there. I’m not going to act like I was born and raised here my entire life, but I definitely want to pay homage.
How would you describe your music to a new listener?
I would say when you listen to my music, you’re gonna hear a flow, you’re going to hear some rhymes but I’m going to try and make it smooth for you so you can hear it all at one time. And if you listen closely I have a message for you, and if you don’t listen closely you still feel a bounce to it.
Do you have any shows or project coming up soon?
I have a project called Misinterpretations that’s an EP coming out December 9th. I’m also going to do a release party for it, and have people hang out. Right now I’m in the process of building more show opportunities.