Armani Caesar on Her Story, and Being a Strong Woman in the Music Industry
Armani Caesar, the humble, intelligent female rapper is a certified hustler. Hailing from Buffalo, New York, she is strong-minded and tough, and she expresses it through her music. Caesar is the first female rapper signed to Griselda Records. We spoke with her and we can definitely see why she has 265,000 followers on Instagram and a group of passionate fans.
Where are you from, and how did that environment reflect who you are today?
I'm from Buffalo, New York originally, but I moved to North Carolina and I had the best of both worlds when it comes to New York being where I hustled and gained street smarts, and being down South and getting a different lifestyle. North Carolina brought me to where I am right now because of networking and me meeting a lot of my peers. So yeah, it was a good mixture.
Did you always know that you wanted to make music?
I feel like I got it honest. A lot of my family is just involved with music in some way, shape, or form. My dad is just like a hip-hop head, period. My grandparents always loved music. So I was definitely always around it.
At what age did you start making music?
I honestly started when I was about twelve years old. I used to hide it. I would be on my way home from school and have to walk past a group of guys who were selling drugs and all that and that had some effect on it, also my mom used to let me sit on the porch and my guy friends would come around. They would always be rapping. It was super fun because I could rap and I was the only female so they'd be like "ohhhhh" and gasp at me.
Do you think it's easy to be taken away from your true self in the music industry? Have you seen people change up when they started receiving public attention?
When someone gets successful, I personally think that it brings out who they REALLY are. They now have the means and platform to act how they really want to act if you ask me. I think that in some instances people are positive with the clout and do good things with it, but it depends on the person. But if you're not confident or comfortable with who you are at heart, I do think that it can definitely mess you up mentally. But I always give people the real me. I don't even mess with people like that, I need good energy.
On a scale of 1-10, how challenging has it been to brand yourself in the music industry?
Hmmmmm, I think... I would say... I'm still branding myself. I would say it's like an 8 or a 9. I have always been my own cheerleader and I'm self-motivated. I have always done things by myself from taking my own bookings and communicating on feature deals, etc. So with branding, I basically had to do all of that myself as well. It was definitely challenging for me because I didn't have anyone to say "this is what it'll look like," or "this is what you need to do." I had all the creative control, but my self-motivation helped. But, everything is a lesson and stepping stone to me so I enjoy the process of pushing myself and working hard, and that's what you have to do for certain results.
Since you're a strong woman who's doing what she wants in the music industry, what advice would you give to young women who want to get their names out there in a positive manner and do what they want to do, in or out of the industry?
I would tell them to know exactly why they're doing it. Do EVERYTHING with a purpose. That reason alone is what will help keep you dedicated and on track. There will be days where you're not going to feel like doing this or that. There will definitely be days and times where people don't believe in you. You may even lose a little faith in yourself from time to time thinking you aren't getting noticed or recognized for your hard work. But, you have to remember what you're doing it for. Also, the reason can't just be that you want to get paid, it needs to be more substantial than that. You have to love it.
Listen to some of Armani Caesar's music below:
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