Spoken Intellekt and the rag tag band of MCs known as The Famm are fast becoming one of the more notable names in the Colorado Springs underground hip-hop scene. After forming in '08, they've worked the local circuit fiercely, and if you've gone to see anyone from People Under The Stairs to Murs, chances are you've also witnessed Intellekt and his crew pushing their potent bars onto your consciousness. We recently spoke with Spoken Intellekt about being based in Colorado Springs and life as an independent hip-hop artist.
Westword (Dominick Ledezma): Being based in Colorado Springs, is that a positive or negative for a hip-hop artist in 2010?
Spoken Intellekt: Being based in Colorado Springs definitely has its pros and cons. There are a lot of talented artists here in the Springs that are very supportive of each other, but the scene itself is a hard market. It's difficult to get people out to live music in a city that doesn't take it's own artists as serious as it should.
Ww: You'r apart of the collective The Famm, and you guys have opened up for quite a few of the hip-hop world's biggest and most respected names all over CO. Who was your fav "big name" to open for, and why?
SI: My personal favorite act that we've opened up for is hip-hop legends and Native Tongue members, Black Sheep. To me, it was the first time I realized that I was doing the same thing that people I had always looked up to were.
Ww: You've listed some of your influences as ranging from reggae to punk and classical -- what kind of music was getting played at your home growing up, and how did you develop such eclectic and diverse tastes?
SI: My diverse taste in music comes from my household growing up. I have a mom that grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, at the peak of the Motown movement. Aside from that, I had older brothers who were into classic rock, reggae, West Coast and East Coast hip-hop.
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Ww: You're an indie artist, and it seems like these days, with the record biz in such broad decline, that's the way to go ... is it? What do you like best about the indie hustle?
SI: I think being an independent artist is the best possible working condition, as you have complete freedom and a control over your money. The difficulty comes from keeping self motivated, developing a following and getting distribution and exposure outside your own scene.
Ww: What's next for you and The Famm? Where are you guys trying to take it in the years to come?
SI: What's next? World domination! Nah, for real, I am moving to Denver to set up shop out there. We have our mixtape, Volume 2, dropping, as well as a pre-album with all original beats. Our next step is getting into the promotion and events side of things, starting with Patrick James hosting on a open mike/grown and sexy night at the V Bar in downtown Colorado Springs.