Viewing entries tagged

9/18/18 - Special Guest: Marielle Kraft

This week on DC Music Rocks, Marielle Kraft, a singer-songwriter who laces honest stories together through clever lyrics with catchy melodies, stops by for a chat with host Brian Nelson-Palmer.  The episode also features great tracks by Fellowcraft ft Ardamus, Virginia Man, Mackenzie Fisher, and Heather Mae.

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, TuneInPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your other podcast app of choice.

Tell Siri, Alexa, or Google Home "Play the podcast DC Music Rocks"!

Marielle Kraft

Marielle Kraft Bio/Links:

Marielle Kraft is a singer-songwriter who laces honest stories together through clever lyrics with catchy melodies, drawing influence from artists like Shawn Mendes, Taylor Swift, and John Mayer. Since 18, her songs have been known to bring together a room of strangers through laughter, reflection, and maybe a few welcome tears. Her latest powerful single, Test Drive, was just released in late August.

We found out this week on the show that Marielle gave a TedX Talk?!?! We went and found the link, check it out!

Brave Like Us
Marielle Kraft

Email Signup Link
For those who don't already conveniently get all this via email!



  1. That’s That, by Fellowcraft (feat. Ardamus) (Hard Rock, Blues Rock)

  2. Test Drive, by Marielle Kraft (Pop, Singer-Songwriter Pop)

  3. ***Desire, by Virginia Man (Rock, Pop Rock)

  4. ***Picture Man, by Mackenzie Fisher (Indie, Singer-Songwriter)

  5. I Am Enough, by Heather Mae (Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

***The first time we've played this artist for you on the show, & a new artist profile added to our DC Artist Database!  There's new artists every week!

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


It's the fall fund drive at WERA 96.7 FM and Arlington Independent Media. This is the station which the live version of our show is broadcast on! You tax deductible donation goes to support community radio which in turn supports our community!

Could you skip a Starbucks this week and send that money to the station instead? Do a picnic date instead of a dinner out and share that amount? Has the station touched your life in a positive way? Click below or visit the station's website at to send your support!


Music  (There’s links to their profile which will take you to their iTunes/Spotify links so you can listen, and Website/Facebook for more info)

  • Fellowcraft - Three
     **Your host Brian’s band!**
     (9 Song Full Grunge/Blues Album - RIYL Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden

  • The Meer - Shed
     (15 Song Indie Album - RIYL amplified guitar, RIYL PJ Harvey, Queens of the Stone Age, The Cranberries)

  • Babbling April - Country House
     (Indie Single - RIYL Yo La Tengo, Built To Spill, Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

  • Color Palette - Sunburn
     (Indie Electro Pop Single - RIYL Depeche Mode, The Smiths, M83)

  • Den-Mate - XOSO
     (Indie Rock Single - RIYL Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Portishead)

  • Teddy Chipouras - Prior To Rain
     (Folk Single - RIYL The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, Dawes, Mumford and Sons)

  • AkinG Kalld Pedro - Zoe Saldana - Bonus Track
    (Hip Hop Single - Bonus Track I’ve been digging on a commentary Afro-brazil album just released, RIYL Esperanza Spalding, Janelle Monae)



Here’s just a few highlights for the coming week, be sure to check out the calendar for the full list of all the upcoming shows! Check details before you go in case something changed/canceled!

Sep 21 - Fri
Bumper Jacksons @ The Soundry in Columbia, MD (Country/Folk)

Sep 22 - Sat
MILO in the Doldrums @ Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington, DC (Rock)
Justin Trawick and The Common Good @ Pearl Street Warehouse in Washington, DC (Bluegrass)

Sep 25 - Tue
Lavender @ DC9 Nightclub in Washington, DC (Rock)

Sep 27 - Thu
Lauren Calve @ Pearl Street Warehouse in Washington, DC


Do you like what we're doing?  Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  There’s little give aways, but for us to evolve this online platform to cover even more we really need funds and support. We're giving away shirts, and more too!  Please help if you can!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **M4TR**

We're Looking For Advertisers/Sponsors

We're looking for local businesses to spread the word about with our more than 12,000 followers.  Know One?  Would you introduce us to them?

November 29, 2016 - Special Guest: Gordon Sterling



  • The Riverbreaks - Wylder - Bearcat Wildcat @ Gypsy Sally's on Saturday December 3.

  • Menage a Garage released a new EP, “Throw my doubts on the Fire”.  Punk fans, hope you’ll see their profile linked here and check it out!

  • Stations in the DC area like 96.7FM have Specifically DC Music segments.  If you know about music by DC Artists on other stations in the DC area, reach out to me, I want to know about them!

    To get music added the station library at WERA 96.7FM:  
    Email your CLEAN LYRIC VERSION/RADIO EDIT song files as attachments to  

    Subject should be: "Local Music Submission by Local Artist: _____".  

    Email message body should include your top 3 track names and "Recommended if you like" reference to big name artists you sound similar to.

    1) Send the final released versions of the song files, like the ones people get when the purchase your music online with all ID3/MetaData filled in (artist, album, title, etc).  
    2) Files can be in MP3 or WAV format.
    3) No cursing, lyrics must be absolutely clean.  
    4) a good guideline is emails with less than about 10mb in attachments.  Break it up into multiple emails if necessary.
    5) Don’t send all your songs, they'll only pick a few to play, that's why your top 3 tracks are helpful to focus their listening efforts when they’re previewing your tracks.


  1. Bring Back Hippy Jesus - Abu Jibran (Indie/Alternative)
  2. Poison Ivy - Den-Mate (Indie/Darkwave)
  3. Honest Abe - Milo in the Doldrums (Rock/Indie Rock)
  4. Angle It - Nappy Riddem (Funk/Reggae)
  5. Tread Lightly - Drop Electric (Indie/Shoegaze)
  6. Sentimiento Latino - Empresarios (Latin/Rap)
  7. Boat Party - Ryan Lucas, Ardamus, Reel (Hip Hop/Rap
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

Gordon Sterling - Guitarist/Singer - Nappy Riddem



Gordon Sterling Nappy Riddem dc music rocks

Gordon Sterling is a DC based singer/guitarist. He started his career in 1996 as a founding member of the DC area jam band, The Ordinary Way. The Ordinary Way made a name for itself nationality playing many festivals, headlining clubs and theaters and opening for such acts as Blues Traveler, Derek Trucks, Warren Hanes, Rusted Root, and Ratdog among many others. After The Ordinary Way disbanded in 2006, he cofounded the progressive hip hop/rock band Future. That group quickly became a fan favorite in the DMV area and went on to influence many of the young and upcoming bands in the area at the time while touring the east coast. Gordon was, also, a cofounder of the short lived, but potent DC trip hop/rock band Crystal Youth. Gordon is currently in the DC reggae powerhouse, Nappy Riddem. Nappy Riddem is signed to Fort Know Recording and tours the nation sharing bills with such acts as Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Junior Marvin, De La Soul, The English Beat, and The Movement just to name a few. Nappy Riddem is releasing a brand new album in 2017. Sterling is, also, currently working on his first solo album. That album will be released in 2017, as well. Gordon hosts an open jam at IOTA Club and Cafe every Tuesday along with DMV are producer, Sean Gotkin. Providing a creative and down right fun atmosphere for musicians of all styles and stages of their respective careers to collaborate and bond. He has been a staple in the DC scene for many years. And, he strives to bring people of all walks of life together through music.


Brian:   Gordon Sterling. He is a DC-based singer and guitarist. He started his career in 1996, as a founding member of DC .... The DC area jam band, The Ordinary Way. Which made a name for itself nationally, playing many festivals. Headlining clubs and theater and opening for such acts as Blues Traveler, Derek Trucks, Ron Haynes, Rusted Root and RatDog, among many others. After The Ordinary Way disbanded in 2006, he co-founded the progressive hip-hop rock band, Future. Gordon was also the co-founder of a short-lived but potent DC trip-hop rock band, called Crystal Youth, which we had here on the show as well. We featured their music. He is currently in the DC reggae powerhouse band, Nappy Riddem, which you just heard. Which is signed to Fort Knox Recording and tours the nation, sharing bills with such acts as Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Junior Marvin, De La Soul, The English Beat, and The Movement, just to name a few.

 Nappy Riddem is releasing a brand new album in 2017. Gordon is also currently working on his first solo album, which he's planning to release in 2017 as well. Gordon also hosts an open jam at Iota Club and Café in Arlington, Virginia every Tuesday. After the live taping of this show, he's over there. If you like live jam sessions, this is it. He co-hosts with DMV area producer Sean Gotkin, who also was a guest on this show a few weeks ago. It's providing a creative and fun atmosphere for musicians of all styles and stages of their respective careers, to collaborate and bond. He's been a staple in the DC music scene for years. I am honored to have him here with me today and with us today. I heard about Gordon. He's been on my screen for a while. It is such a treat to have the man here with me. With that, listeners, it's with great pleasure that I introduce Gordon Sterling. Thank you so much for being here, man.

Gordon:   You’re welcome. You're welcome. Very, very welcome.

Brian:   One more time. Say it in the microphone. I have to turn on your microphone now. There we go. Hey you guys. So now ... So tell us about the first track was Angle It, and that's by the group Nappy Riddem. Tell up about Nappy Riddem and what's going on there.

Gordon:   Well Nappy Riddem, that song, is off of the first EP, One World Sovereignty. It actually was done in a different format back then. The two leaders of our group were Mustafa Akbar and Rex Riddem. At the time, it was them with different members, like Hash, the bass player from Thievery Corporation, is on that track, and a lot of different people. Now, we for the last couple of years, have been a full on live act. We're in the middle of recording our first full band album right now. It's going well. It's going well.

Brian:   That's amazing.

Gordon:   I can't wait to get it out, actually. I'm really excited about it .. 

Brian:   Yeah. I mean, that ...

Gordon:   We're really heavily behind it.

Brian:   When you say touring, are there places you love to tour? Is that a national tour? What do you have in mind when you say touring?

Gordon:   We'll be touring nationally.

Brian:   Okay.

Gordon:   We'll probably do the country in stages. You know? I love going to the West Coast.

Brian:   Got it, Okay.

Gordon:   I love going to the West Coast because, let's just say things are freer there. You know what I mean?

Brian:   Got it.

Gordon:   It's nice. It's a lot of fun. The crowds are really great. I love DC too. Don't get me wrong. I love my East Coast. I'm from New York, originally.

Brian:   Got it.

Gordon:   I'm looking forward to going out West. We will be definitely hitting both coasts for sure. As far as what we're doing in the middle of the country, we're going to figure that out as we go along. As it gets closer to the release.

Brian:   How many pieces does Nappy Riddem ... That you're recording with now? What does the band consist of?

Gordon:   Six.

Brian:   Okay.

Gordon:   There's Mustafa Akbar, who is our lead singer. Rex Rex Riddem, who also plays a baritone uke.

Brian:   Really?

Gordon:   It's an interesting thing. You got to check it out.

Brian:   Yeah.

Gordon:   It's pretty cool, yeah. He also sings. I sing a bit, and play guitar. Then we have Patrick Cheng, our bass player. Charles Flye, or my brother in stage right, doing keys. Right now, we've gone through a bunch of different drummers. Right now, our most steady one has been Paul Dudley.

Brian:   Got it.

Gordon:   He's recording on a record with another guy named [inaudible 00:04:32], who currently plays with CI. Also plays with Junior Marvin. He did a couple songs on our record, too. There will be other guests, but I can't say it because [crosstalk 00:04:42] 

Brian:   Okay. Fair enough. Keep those under wraps. What about the name? Where does Nappy Riddem the name come from?

Gordon:   Okay. It's Riddem of that Wicked Wickedness. Rid-dem of that wickedness, that's why it's spelled that way. Right? R-I-D-D-E-M

Brian:   Got it. Okay.

Gordon:   Rex Riddem, that was his DJ name.

Brian:   Sure. 

Gordon:   He along with Mu, like I said, are the leaders of the group. Rex basically made it his namesake.

Brian:   So Nappy Riddem was his DJ name also?

Gordon:   No. No. Well ... Rex Riddem was the DJ name.

Brian:   Right. Rex Riddem. Okay. Got it.

Gordon:   Nappy Riddem is Nappy Head's Rhythm of that wickedness.

Brian:   I get it now.

Gordon:   It's a lot to ... Yeah.

Brian:   I see. This is why we have you on this show. To find out these amazing things.

Gordon:   [inaudible 00:05:25] information you want to hear.

Brian:   Yes. Absolutely. Speaking about information, tell us about ... Information about you. When you're not playing amazing guitar and doing these musical things, what else is there? What else is there to you, Gordon?

Gordon:   Not much more, dude. That's really simple. I love playing guitar. I love playing guitar. It's my favorite thing. My daughter [inaudible 00:05:46], also ... She's 13. She'll be 14 actually, in January. She has taken up music as well, and theater. She's been playing bass for like 6 years. Now, she's moving more into musical theater and [inaudible 00:05:59].

Brian:   Yeah.

Gordon:   Honestly, my existence, as for the last year, I've lived in the studio. I went from record to record to record. All of them have been with Sean, which is funny.

Gordon:   Sean Gotkin.

Brian:   Sean Gotkin. I say, we heard about the Blue Hippo recording. He does some great work out there.

Gordon:   He does. He does.

Gordon:   He's recording the Nappy Riddem record and my solo record too.

Brian:   Wow. A lot of recording.

Gordon:   Lots. Music has been my entire life for a while.

Brian:   Just ... That means daily just going out to the studio and coming back. Also, spending time with your daughter when you can.

Gordon:   Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And writing. It's funny, she is better than me, man. She's like ... She can play ... I don't read music, right? I just can play it. She like, can sight read Mozart and play it and have a conversation with me.

Brian:   Holy smokes.

Gordon:   She's like, "Dad, can you do this?" I'm like, "Dude?!" So yeah.

Brian:   Tell us about the best show you've ever had. What comes to mind?

Gordon:   Off the top of my head, I've ... There's been a few. Joshua Tree. Going up there ... I've played Joshua Tree a couple times. My favorite time playing it was with Nappy Riddem. It was with Nappy Riddem and it was while we were on tour with Junior Marvin. We toured with him for the better part of a year. We went out there ... His band toured with us on the East Coast. Out West, we did a little differently for, you know, cutting costs and all that. We went up there as the opener and we also played as his backing band, when it was time for him to play.

Brian:   Wow. Okay.

Gordon:   We did two sets out there. We did our Nappy Riddem set. We did his set. My parents are Jamaican, so we did Redemption Song. There was about 7,000 people. I want to say about 7,000 people. Something like that. I was on stage with him. We were playing Redemption Song and the whole crowd was singing it back. I'm not going to lie, I teared up. It was crazy. It was really a beautiful moment.

Brian:   7,000 people. Holy smokes.

Gordon:   Yeah. I don't know if that's my favorite show, but it's probably my favorite moment.

Brian:   That's amazing.

Gordon:   I got a few.

Brian:   All right. What about ... Tell us a time that you tried and failed.

Gordon:   Other than that?

Brian:   There's a lot of laughter there. That means this is going to be good. Okay.

Gordon:   Wow. A time I've tried and failed. That happens a lot actually. I think, in the writing process, I try and fail a lot, before something gets out. I don't mind failing. It doesn't bother me. I don't ... Some people are afraid to fail. I think you learn a lot from failing.

Brian:   Absolutely. Would you say ...

Gordon:   I just remembered one time I was playing football, I was coming to sack a quarterback, and I wasn't watching myself, and got crushed.

Gordon:   That sucked. I know, you're talking about music though. As far as music, I would say ... Actually I got a good story with that. With Nappy Riddem, I've never actually talked about this in public before. This is ... I'm going out on a limb with this one. With Nappy Riddem, when I first joined, I was really used to kind of getting by on my talent. I know that's really obnoxious for me to say, but I'm just being honest. It was ... I had always been a front man. I had always been a band leader.

Brian:   Okay.

Gordon:   I never had to live up to the expectations of a band leader. When I joined Nappy Riddem, I kind of was just coasting. It's a longer story than I have time to tell now, but there was a point ... Literally, it lasted an hour, no joke. They were like, "Man, I think we're going to go in a different direction." I was like, "Oh. Okay." It was a weird thing to deal with. I never had to deal with not making the cut before.

Brian:   Right.

Gordon:   That never happened to me.

Gordon:   When it happened, I ... I really had kind of like a come to Jesus moment with myself. I was just like, "Yo. Do you" ... I was like, no. I really want this. I actually love this group of guys. I love playing this music. I want to do this. It made me, for the first time in my career, have to fight hard for my position. You know?

Gordon:   I wanted to fight hard for my band, but not for my position in a band.

Gordon:   It absolutely brought out the best in me. That was years ago. Now, we're killing it. It's ... 

Brian:   I was going to say, and you guys are killing it. Good gracious. The music's just amazing. One other thing I'd love to ask to kind of bring it to a ... One of the last questions that I'd like to ask is: what's one piece of advice you would offer? 

Gordon:   Stay persistent.

Gordon:   Don't get kicked down. If you do, don't stay down. 

Brian:   What does that mean? Say more.

Gordon:   Keep fighting in this industry. This industry is designed to use your talent, and suck you dry, and throw you away. You know what I mean? It really is.

Brian:   Yeah, it is. Yeah.

Gordon:   It's not even ... It's not made in such a way that musicians can really make money, unless you're at a certain level. It's not designed where you can, necessarily express what you want to say. You have some A&R telling you what to do, or somebody ... If somebody is financing you, then they get a say. You know. Sometimes it's hard to ... If you believe in yourself and believe in an idea, sometimes it's really easy to get deterred from that idea or that notion.

Brian:   That's right.

Gordon:   That's true for anything in life. I would say my best advice in the music industry, and also in life, is to just keep going. If you believe in something, and you believe in yourself, don't settle. You know what I mean? Don't let anyone tell you you can't do it. Stay true to yourself, and learn. Keep an open mind and learn. Don't think you always know everything, but learn as much as you can every day and keep pushing, every day.

Brian:   Wow. If folks want to find out ... Follow you and find out more about you. I think you mentioned there's a ... Something you're excited ... Something coming up that you're excited about that you wanted to share. Tell us that part. Where do we find you and what's coming up for you?

Gordon:   You can find us at If you just type in, it'll go to our site, which is connected to our record label, which is Fort Knox Recordings. Shoutout, what's up guys!

Brian:   Got it. If your checking it out, it's Nappy Riddem. N-A-P-P-Y R-I-D-D-E-M. 

Gordon:   Yes. Yes. Yes. 

Brian:   That's

Gordon:   On that ... Nappy Riddem is also on Facebook and also on twitter. You can find me through Facebook. Just Gordon Sterling. G-O-R-D-O-N S-T-E-R-L-I-N-G.

Brian:   Got it. Okay. 

Gordon:   It is me that will talk back to you.

Gordon:   I had to deal with fans and stuff, and artists that I think I'm talking to them. I really did. Then to find out, "Oh, that was my manager." I was like, "Oh. Wow."

Brian:   Amazing. What's at Baltimore Sound Stage?

Gordon:   That's right. I was going to say. Baltimore Sound Stage on December 8th. We will be there with The Movement and The Holdup. It is going to be explosive. That show is going to be awesome. If you like reggae music and American reggae music specifically, please come check it out. Baltimore Sound Stage, December 8th. I'll point the camera. Baltimore Sound Stage.

Brian:   Yeah. I got it on video too. If you want to check out Gordon on video later, I got this whole thing on video. Check him out, because he's a good-looking man, I got to say.

Gordon:   Wow. Thank you. Thank you very, very much.

October 4, 2016 - Special Guest: Ardamus

^^Episode Is Live Now - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if issue)^^

National Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. DC Artists can submit their projects for consideration for the Wammies (Washington Area Music Awards).


  1. Outstanding - II D'Extreme (Hip Hop)
  2. How Sexy Can You Get (feat. Jas Funk) Rare Essence (R&B/GoGo)
  3. Devil Needs a Bodyguard - Nappy Riddem (Funk/Reggae)
  4. Live Your Life (feat. Kokayi) - Ardamus (Hip Hop/Trip Hop)
  5. I'm Not The One - Ardamus & C Royal (Hip Hop/Trip Hop)
  6. Quite Fresh (feat. Chaquis Maliq, RNL, and Fleetwood DeVille - Ardamus & C Royal(Hip Hop/Trip Hop)
  7. Fire Saved The Day - Drive TFC (Rock/Alt-Rock)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-





Hailing from Nashville, TN. to reside in Washington, DC to obtain an undergrad degree at Howard University, Ardamus was honing his skills as a rapper as well. Over the yrars of developing a style of his own from being a part of various open mic movements and battles, Ardamus soon earned a rep for being one the most premiere hip hop artists in the DM area. Known for being part of such groups as FAR EXP, Ingelside Collective, ARDAPLUS, The Lucky So And So’s, DropLockers, and the music-collective/label, Delegation Music, Ardamus has become a DC hip hop visionary and legend. Fresh off of delivering his Philin D. Blanks remix series, Ardamus now delivers his newest solo effort in an album series entitled “I Can’t Replace Me” divided into an EP (Before I Replace You) and a 2-part album (Part 1: Improve and Part 2: Develop) via Delegation Music. The project consists of production from Ardamus himself as well production from Kev Brown, Hezekiah, Oddisee, Vherbal of Anno Domini, Tom Delay, Slimkat78, Chase Moore, and many others. The album features appearances by labelmates RNL and Prowess as well as Open Mike Eagle, Kokayi, Seez Mics, Chee Malabar, Poem-cees, and a hosts of other guests.


Brian mentioned remembering a show where Ardamus comes up and freestyles at a Fellowcraft show.  Toward the end of the video, you can watch it here.

Interview Transcript

Note: Transcription is not 100% accurate with artist names referred to.  Please reference video for actual pronunciation, and reference artists connected with Ardamus to find those who are referred to.

Brian:  Let's meet you. Introduce yourself personally. Who's Ardamus the person and then tell us about Ardamus the artist.

Ardamus:  Ardamus the person is very complicated. Yeah, me as a person, I'm very laid back, chill. I try to help out as many people as I can and [crosstalk 00:00:23].

Brian:  When did you get up to DC? You said you came up to DC from Tennessee, right?

Ardamus:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm from the South, from Nashville, Tennessee. I was born and raised there and I decided to move here for college. Just had a lot of energy to get out. Down South at the time I felt like I couldn't, so I came to DC just for a challenge, man. I loved it here and decided to stay.

Brian:  Where did Ardamus the artist, the musician, the rapper, where did he come from? When did that happen?

Ardamus: That happened actually when I was back in Nashville. When I was around eight, I actually wrote this ... I was in church and I wrote this battle rap for some reason. I can't remember what it was for. It was for a talent show thing and I wrote this rap for me and these other two kids. We were just battling. By then, I was introduced to a lot of the rap's greatest hits that were out, like Roxanne Shanté, UTFO, and Run DMC. From then, I think I want to say around when I was thirteen, I got serious about it because I would listen to Cypress Hill's first album. I got really into that. I got into Masta Ace's second album SlaughtaHouse, Ice Cube's Death Certificate. A lot of those albums kind of just started influencing me.

Brian:  It started as a rap battle in church and then it turned into, "I'm going to keep doing this" and then it never stopped?

Ardamus:  Yeah, pretty much. It kept me out of trouble, to be honest with you. Out of everything. That's funny. Out of everything that could keep you out of trouble, doing hip-hop. 

Brian:  Hip-hop and rap keeps you out of trouble. I dig it.

Ardamus:  Yeah. It got me into some other trouble, but it wasn't like that. It was good trouble, it was good trouble.

Brian:  In the songs, they always talk about how it seems to get you into trouble, so it's great to hear that it also kept you out of trouble. I like that, man.

Ardamus:  It's crazy.

Brian:  One of the fun questions I like to ask is what do you love and/or appreciate about the DC music scene?

Ardamus:  Oh, the DC music scene is actually always bubbling with a lot of talent. There's always people creating, always trying to make their maneuvers. Whether it's in a solo effort or a group effort, a lot of people just are driven here to do that. I think it gets slept on wholeheartedly because there are not a ton of commercial outlets. I think that feeds the hunger for a lot of people to want to do more.

Ardamus:  I think that's one of the main things I like about it. It made me focus on doing that myself along with other people within my circle or even outside of that.

Brian:  Was there somebody, was it one person or a few people in particular that kind of pushed you to keep going and record and more albums and this latest series?

Ardamus:  There were a lot of people. I actually got to shout out quite a few people. The homies [Poe MCs 00:03:19], actually. If you know about [Poe MCs 00:03:22], they were on Def Poetry Jam, two of the dopest brothers I had seen on the mic. They actually inspired me because they were just so different from a lot of people I had heard. I actually ended up doing some production for them later on on their last project that came out, but they inspired me. Asheru, who is part of Unspoken Heard. Shout out to Asheru and Blue Black. They was doing their thing. Amphibians, Infinite Loop.

Brian:  There's a lot of great ... It came from a group. It wasn't one person, it was a lot of people that have pulled you and pushed you along and helped you?

Ardamus: Yeah, I mean, Miscellaneous Flux. I could keep going.

Ardamus:  All of them influence me.

Brian:  Yeah. Tell me the story about the best show you've played. What was it? Where was it? 

Ardamus:  There are a lot of shows that have stuck out to me. I could say in particular one of the best shows, I actually got two. They're tied. They're both and Rock and Roll Hotel.

Ardamus:  One show was when I opened up with the homie DJ Metaphysical, shout outs to him actually, for this group called Das Racist. 

Ardamus:  For those who don't know who Das Racist is, it's D-A-S R-A-C-I-S-T. They are actually a three person group. They broke up now but they were very big a couple years ago and they have solo careers now. From what I remember they sold out the venue and that was the first time I got to play a sold out show.

Ardamus:  It was a crazy show.

Ardamus:  They sparked a lot of controversy too with a lot of the topics they covered with racism and everything.

Ardamus:  That was a dope show. Then actually Souls of Mischief, they were on their tour for the 93 'til Infinity celebration of just having that classic album out for years. Shout outs to my [farks-p 05:31] homies. We opened up for that show and it was an amazing show. Those are two of the most ...

Brian:  When you say amazing shows, is it because the fans are really into it or is it because you nailed the performance or all of the above? What makes it an amazing show?

Ardamus:  Just everything. The experience, the atmosphere, the people. I'm seeing people that I haven't seen in years up there.

Ardamus:  People who don't even come out to the shows that I do on the rag. They're coming out now, "Hey, didn't know you were doing a show." It's like, "I told you I was doing a show."

Brian:  "I told you I was going to be here." Wow, okay.

Ardamus:  I got to say, making new fans too. That's another thing that trips me out because for a while doing music I never thought about it. I was just like, "Yeah, I'm just going to do this. I'm going to put it out there, I'll just see what happens."

Ardamus:  I out here like I don't know what it is, it wasn't like I was tripping on just gaining new fans. I just thought, "Well, I'm going to put this as an ethereal, what I'm feeling, and put this on a beat and see what happens." People come to me like, "Hey man, what you did, that one song, da da da, it was good." I cherish that each time whether it's a group effort or a solo effort.

Brian:  Shout out to the fans who do that, too. Us as artists, I can't say we've talked about it before on the show but it's truly appreciated whether it's a comment on a video or you reach out on Facebook or you see us after the show, come up and shake Ardamus' hand and say, "Dude, I really loved that one thing you did." Hearing that stuff is such a cool thing. Thank you to you fans who do that. Thank you guys so much for doing that.

Ardamus:  Yes.

Brian:  Ardamus, what's the future look like for you? Where you headed?

Ardamus:  Okay, shout outs to my man Arnelle and Edward As Is, we just dropped out project droplockers. Beat Breaking Volume 1. For more information check it out at our website Droplockers

Ardamus:  We're actually doing a show with Henri Osborne and Rob Sonic, Upgrade and Kid Raphael, Vigilantics, I hope I got his name right, and DJ Zone. They're on a tour right now, we're going to be doing a show with them on October 14th at Velvet Lounge.

Ardamus:  Some of y'all in the indy hip-hop game, if you'll all know about Henri Osborne, you already know he's on his tour for his Duo album along with Rob Sonic. He's down with the Rhymesayers Crew. He's down with the Rhymesayers Crew, he's in Hail Mary Mallon with Aesop Rock. Check that out. October 15th I am dropping the last series of my Can't Replace Me album series, After I Replace You. I dropped a teaser single "Almost There" produced by the Homie Hezekiah who's worked with The Roots and Mohamed Dia. That's going to come out October 15th.  In December, actually, this is how much stuff I'm doing I guess I can say. I'm putting out a Freecember project with this label called Fake Four. Fake Four is out of Connecticut if you know about [chess-kee 09:06], Ronald, shout outs to him. He runs the label. I've been good friends with him for a while and he's creating a buzz. I'm actually going to be working on that for the next two months.

Brian:  Wow, so there's a lot of exciting things coming forward for Ardamus. No brakes, all gas. We're hitting the gas on this thing, keep it going.

Ardamus:  There's more stuff, I don't want to take up to much time.

Brian:  Wow, I appreciate it. I want to get to the tracks you brought.

Ardamus:  Yes, yes, exactly.

Brian:  Also, I got two last things that I want to ask.

Ardamus:  Go.

Brian:  One is, if you have a piece of advice that you would offer musicians what would that be?

Ardamus:  Not everybody is an A & R. Always consider this. Trust people ...

Brian:  When you say A & R, what's A & R?

Ardamus:  Artists and what is it? Artists and representation? I can't remember what it is. I just remember that it's A & R, people try to mold artists all the time.

Brian:  Oh, I see.

Ardamus:  You know what I'm saying? Yeah, right.

Ardamus:  I always forget, it's been so long since I've heard that term. I just think about this to my old days. Basically trust yourself as an artist but always know that what you say can have its rewards or it can have its consequences, but the thing is you take the risk, you take the risk. You got to stand up for what you say.

Brian:  Oh, yes. Don't let other people dictate what you're doing? Be you and at by the same token follow through on what you do and stand up for what you did.

Ardamus:  Yeah, take advice as constructive.

Ardamus:  That's kind of what I mean.

Brian:  Okay.

Ardamus:  I think that's the most important thing for any artist. Anything that's good that can build you up you take that, if it builds it down don't even bother with it.

Brian:  Yeah, okay. Last one. Special message you have for the fans, talk to them. 

Ardamus:  Shoot. Just be ready for more to come. That's all I could say. I wish I could say more but there's a lot of collaborations that are coming up aside just from the stuff that I'm doing. Just be ready for that. That's all I can say. Yeah.

Brian:  Just lots of love. He's got lots of love. Man, I'm looking forward to these things. Next up, what this next track you've got for us, it looks like "I'm Not the One."

Ardamus:  Yeah.

Brian:  Run this one through real quick.

Ardamus:  Actually this is a song off a project called The Glass is Half Full album that I did with my homeboy Scottie Royal, used to be known as C Royal, shout outs to him. The single is called "I'm Not the One" featuring Andrew Bucket. Let's just get into it. 

Brian:  Video, you guys rock. Ardamus. Yeah. Thanks guys.