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Updated: Aug 9, 2022

Q: Where are you from originally?

A: I was born in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to Virginia when I was 4.

Q. How did you come up with your stage name?

A: Long story short, I was looking for a name to go by, and I wanted it to be an acronym. A friend of mine gave me some ideas and came up with Ceo, standing for can’t ever outdo. I thought it was fucking stupid, and because of that, people kept calling me it as a joke. And it stuck.

Q: How long have you been making music?

A: 13 years. Being 26, that’s literally half of my life. Wow.

Q: What influences your music? (i.e. musicians, shows, certain art forms)

A: Honestly, my life experiences have the most influence from a songwriting standpoint. Producers influence my music more than artists do. Monte Booker, Downtime, OmarCameUp, Pandi, Skypierr, Jvst X, bsterthegawd, $teev, antikvng, and the list goes on and on.

Q: What's a cool story behind one of your songs?

A: My latest project, Welp, which was a collab album with Ja-P, has a song called Been Before. I love that song because my girlfriend noticed something I didn’t even pay attention to. After my verse, I sang the hook, and I had so much fun with it that you can audibly hear it. I was in a place not too long ago where music wasn’t fun anymore, it just felt like something I had to do to be okay. That song in particular brought me the same joy I felt when I was 13. Writing verses for the first time, making new emails every month when the free trial for my recording software was over, and recording songs with a PS3 headset. Not knowing what I was doing was when I had the most fun doing it. So to have that feeling return after all these years meant everything.

Q: What does creating a song look like for you?

A: Chaos. Sheer chaos. Days of relentless pursuit. Interruptions send me over the edge. Tunnel vision is at an all-time high. Not fully resting until it’s finished. If the song isn’t everything I believe it can be, I throw it the fuck away. I ask for the reactions of people whose ears I trust from a music standpoint, an engineer’s bird’s eye view, or a production perspective. I’m confident in every verse I write, but there can be times when the execution isn’t there. If I feel as if something is missing, replacing that void would only make it seem forced. As you can see, a lot goes into it!

Q: Is there anything you want the world to know? (is there a message behind your music?)

A: My music has a message. There’s always something deeper to what I say. I am not one-dimensional. Maybe that’s what draws people in. Recently, I completely killed my ego, and it’s the best move I have ever made for many reasons. But here’s the most important one. I have people telling me how much my music helps them, and that they relate to what I’ve been through. I appreciate the words, but I don’t find comfort in that. I spent half of my life with music as my only way to cope, which in turn means I never properly healed from anything. So if you find solace, feel understood, represented, and heard in my music because you relate to it; please don’t stop there. Get the help you need.

Q: Is there any upcoming eps/albums/songs/videos you're releasing soon? (also add any recent drops and upcoming events)

A: I am the current RVA Rap Elite Cypher Champion, and I am defending my title on August 21st at Tang & Biscuit. When it comes to singles or projects. I have an idea for an album that I will commit to someday. But I need to do more experimenting with sound, mixing, and production first to give the entire album something new and exciting. I won’t settle for anything less, and that will take me some time.

Q: Goals as an artist?

A: Honestly, I don’t really have any. What I have been doing recently has been working and it’s what keeps me going. Just fucking try shit. Lose all of the egos because that’s what holds most upcoming artists back, and just make music that you want to hear. My entire career. I've competed with myself trying to do better than anything I’ve ever done before. That’s a good mindset, but it can also be very toxic. So finding that balance was my goal, and that’s why I don’t have any.

5 indie artists shoutout: Ja-P, 90 Wyse, HesDandy, Kwallah The God, and OmarTheGroove.

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Stream Ceo.wav here.

Written by Andi

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