GET TO KNOW: Ten Hawkins
After the seminal release of his much-loved LP 'Inspired By You' in 2019, South Carolina-based rapper Ten Hawkins returns with his stunning new studio album 'The Manuel Garcia Chronicles'.
Featuring the previously shared outing 'Pump 3', his latest fifteen-track collection is another progressive jump forward for his vibrant aesthetic to date. With his smooth and impactful flow riding across a diverse and dynamic production throughout, he continues to cement himself as a true innovator on the rise right now.
So with the new LP out now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and influences over the years.
What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?
The first artist I fell in love with was Aaliyah haha. I feel like every young male back then did. Rest in peace to her. But if you mean who got me wanting to rap, then it would be Lil Bow Wow. Beware of the Dog was the first album I personally owned.
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
Yeah, it was called TSB (Tha Saluda Boys), then it went to Frat Club Nation and now it’s RAMgang. We for the most part, we make the same type of music just more lyrical and our songs are a lot more structured with themes instead of just rapping to rap. Back then we’re trying to be like mixtape Lil Wayne and just say the crazy things that came to mind.
What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?
Lately just life. The good, the bad and the ugly. It makes the music a lot more authentic.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
Love Yourz by J. Cole. The message in that song is powerful and can resonate with anyone no matter where they are in life.
If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?
I haven’t reached that point yet. However if I could go back to like 2014 when I had a mixtape called Too Busy Standing Out circulating, I would have capitalised on it. I was in college then and it was a party project. If I knew then what I knew now I would have been at every party playing tracks or performing.
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
My big bro Svnday(Sunday) his energy is crazy when he performs and bro hasn’t even hit his full potential yet. When he does it is gonna be a hell of a site. My other big bro Ghood-Sun (Good Sun) I’ve only heard stories about his performances but when he touches back down it’s gone be a sight to see. Then my boys TooMuch Bomaye and DZ FireFly, there is nothing more rewarding then doing what you love with the people you started with.
And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?
J. Cole, J.I.D, Drake Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and this are going to throw you for a loop. If he was still here, King Von. Our worlds are completely different but he was different with story telling in his music. I think he had the potential to be labelled as one of the greatest to do it.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Five years, I see myself with a solid fan base that is loyal and lets me do what I love without a 9-5 but not crazy levels of stardom and then working behind the scenes helping my guys get to where they want to be or even further. Rap isn’t the end game for me. I just want to get my foot in the door so I can stop it from being shut in my guys, bring them in and then I move on to other things like engineering. I really like sitting and guiding artists during their process. I do engineering now and any artist I work will tell you that I’m the first to say “nah, we gonna redo that until we get it right.” Or “nah, that bar don’t work let’s change it.” A lot of engineers I feel like don’t do that. Which is why I record, mix and master myself. I’m my biggest critic and if I’m working with you I’m going to be yours as well. I am passionate about music and anything I’m involved in. This isn’t just for a check for me.
Ten Hawkins' new album 'The Manuel Garcia Chronicles' is available to stream now. Check it out below.