His love for music began when he was just in middle school, however, Eddie Bennett,28, (aka “E”) has made sure that what was just the enjoyment of music has turned into a career that includes not only becoming a recording artist but owning his own studio as well. With two years of college behind him, this Jackson native has worked with local artists such as Jewman and David Banner as well as national ones such as Nappy Roots, Petey Pablo, Timbaland and Grade A.
In spite of ups and downs when it comes to the music industry, his journey has come full circle with new music and a positive outlook on life. Confident, grounded and ready to take on the world, E is here to stay---and eager to show others what it takes to have a career in the industry.
(Rapper/Producer E seen here will be performing at the "1st Hiphop & Books Youth Rally" that will take place in Jackson, MS on Saturday, April 26, 2008. Details can be found at http://www.hiphopandbooks.com)
When did your interest in music began?
It began when I was young and in middle school. I wanted to be in the band real bad because I always loved music. But being from a lower middle class family education is the most important thing and finances were really tied up for bills. So from there I always had a passion for music.
Who were some of your earliest musical influences?
Outkast, Leaders of the new School, Dr Dre, Timbaland, DJ Premier, You know, the legends.
A lot of times recording artists will say that the music they make has to do with the lives that they live or have seen. Is that true with you?
Yes for the most case. I always try to go outside the box also with my music to show others that I can do other things like tell a good story or inspire you with struggle or even just make something crazy and catchy. You have to be able to do all things with the music that you do.
When it comes to music, is there any genre that you like that might surprise your fan base?
I will just put it to you this way. The only genre I haven’t really gotten into yet is country. But its coming. Believe me.
Tell us about the making of your first cd or compilation that you were a part of. What was the name of it, walk us through the process of it coming together and if you were pleased with the finished project?
The first Cd I actually made was for one of my firsts artist when I was living in North Carolina. His name was GAME. It was funny to me too when the new one came out. But the process was fulfilling. It was just a bunch of hungry individuals wanting to do something they loved so much and didn’t care what anyone else felt or thought about it. I was pleased with the outcome of it because it was my first one. So just to complete it was accomplishing alone. But from there I realized that I had a long way to go. But I was determined to do it because its just something about music that I cannot walk away from right now.
When we last tallked in 2006 you were releasing your second mixtape. What have you been working on since then?
Working my self to death trying to get where im comfortable with my music and in the industry. Formed a new prodoction team, got a lot of new work going on and its just one big ole bag of blessings coming to me right now. At the same time I am working on a new mixtape due to be released this summer. All original production on this one.
Do you think the music scene in Mississippi has changed much since your last release?
Yes it has changed dramatically. The crab in a bucket syndrome is slowly dwindeling away from the inner city music and the networking and get money by all means legally necessary attitude has been picking up in a lot of people and areas in the state.
Do you think we are really as behind on the music side as people seem to think we are?
Are we behind? Not by a long shot. material we have has always been taken and reworked by others outside of our state lines. We have what it takes. The door is just closed to us right now.
Who would you say your music most appeals to?
My music appeals to people who think about the other things that go on in the streets. You have your story livers and your story tellers. I am a little bit of both and the people it appeals to most are the one who can not only relate but can also say they know someone that it has happened to and they have lived it through them.
Living in Mississippi, there are so many cliché when it come to what people like. Is it your goal to cross over to appeal to a larger demographic?
The Ultimate goal is to just get noticed on a national level. As long as you keep your music true to yourself and the people who it relates to where you are from, I fell everything else will be handled in the turmoil. Because believe me with success, comes turmoil.
Mississippi has produced some bright stars and there are many more trying to get to the top. what advice would you give new performers as they begin their career.
If you value sleep and rest and no stress. Do not get into this game. You will lose sleep if you want to make it. It is a must. It is not possible to do it a few hours a day and make it happen. This is a life and a lifestyle for some people around here. It pays my bills and keeps me very comfortable. I put in over 80 hours a week on just music alone. At the same time persuing a degree. Success comes in a lot of forms. I just don't know which mine will be in yet.(laughs). So I will try them all and see which fits me best.
There has been much discussion as to the affect of hiphop music on today's youth. What is your take on it?
Do you think that the music a young person listens to influences what they do in their lives? Kind of. I don’t think it really does the complete job of influencing the youth but it does a little. Some more than others though depending on the demographic of where you are. Because not everyone feels the same when they hear music that they like. Or don’t like.
It's one thing to be an artist, but you have also taken an active role in the production of music as well. Talk to us about the process you went through to begin Causin' Drama Entertainment and who was it created for?
Causin’ Drama Entertainment was created for myself and a group of friends that I began with. It was a rough process and people lost a lot of things and gained a lot of things. Hell I lost my whole studio and had to build it all back from scratch. But the process was ongoing. Even today the process is not complete but it moves a lot more smoothly than what it used to and you can see the history of things that I have completed with Causin’ Drama Entertainment. From production, to engineering I have had a hand in more than 50 percent of not only my own artists music, but a lot of the music that the city of Jackson hears right now.
What do you want people to know about the music that you choose to make?
I make what I know works, not only for me but for a vast amount of people. Most live outside of Mississippi though. But that’s cool with me.
Since we are in a political season I have to ask you about the politics of the music industry. Do you think it is really so much about talent today as it is about generated hype?
Its really a little bit of both. Just look at the presidential elections. Its just April and you wouldn't know it the way they are marketing the new elections. (laughs) Same thing applies in music. Just in a different concept. Its strange but true . Not everyone is made to be marketed. Some people just have to rely on talent and prayer. And some slide right through the door selling their sole and publishing in the process.
When it comes to you, how do you remain relevent on the scene while maintaining your integrity?
By looking at myself and looking at my life. I havent made it yet. But I am happy. And I try to pass that on. My reputation for having a super hard work ethic has preceded me for many years. Now its to the point where I have to keep focus and eliminate negative people away from me and out of my life. That is how you stay relevant. Surround yourself with people just like you. And you will gain ground and prosper. When I am on the scene, I am the man that gets the job done. Whatever you need I will facilitate you or try to with the best of my ability and supplies. But when I clock out and go home, I change into my natural self: laid back and open minded looking for the next big thing. Its just a big dream to me. I never knew what I would accomplish last year. And I dont let my gaining ground go to my head. I stay grounded. I remain a regular person. Just like everyone else. Thats what people want. To feel like you are just like them. And I am.
Visit E at www.causin-drama-entertainment.com