The music scene is always buzzing with new and young talent. Someone who’s been of interest in the last few years is Memphis born singer, songwriter and music producer Ralph Leon Mabone aka Northside or “Northside2x”. He’s been turning heads since he was 13 years old, and gave the Memphis music scene a flaming addition in 2017 when he paired up with rapper MoneyBagg Yo. We met up with Northside to hear his story until now.
Tell us what’s the origin of your success?
“I’m pretty laid back, but when it comes to my work I make sure I always give more than what is needed. I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and found solace in music. At age 13 I started producing and making music on FI Studio. I mean it wasn’t the best, but I quickly learned the ropes,” shared Northside.
Although many may think he got lucky after connecting with American rapper MoneyBagg Yo in 2012, he states that his friends and family have always been supportive in his career. “Back in 2012, I met up with MoneyBagg Yo via a mutual friend, and it helped me advance my career,” says Northside. The 25-year-old music producer was born on 26 January 1995 and has gotten influence from personal events that’ve unfolded through the decades.
What was your latest project like?
In 2019, Northside managed to gain more mainstream popularity after completing two tracks for the album ‘It’s Crazy But It’s True’. He shares some insight on what the process was like, “I don’t think people will always understand the great things that come from putting your passion first. Last year I worked with YSL and Alamo recording artist Lil GotIt on the album ‘It’s Crazy But It’s True’, and the amount of positive feedback we got from fans just showed me we were doing something great.”
He co-produced two tracks on the album (#8 and #16) with Dun Deal, Western Weiss and Chriz Beatz independently. The network of producers he’s managed to create has given him the chance to learn, grow and understand the industry better. “I mean, Dun Deal has been around since 2003 and have signed and worked with many talented people. The same goes for Weiss and Chriz Beats, both talented artists who helped me understand music better,” he says.
How have you found the response from your fans?
“Well, it’s difficult, as many people will either like my music, or not enjoy it at all. I tend to listen to the negative as this allows me to improve and adapt. My fans are incredible, without them this wouldn’t be possible,” tells Northside.
For anyone who works in the music industry, they know how tough it can be to please millions of listeners with better and newer content. Although Northside is based out in America, his music is quickly reaching global charts, as streaming and downloading are becoming easier.
Who would you say is some of your biggest inspiration?
“That’s not easy to answer,” he says jokingly. “I mean, we’re all out here just trying to make great music, shape rap music and establish a name for ourselves,” answers Northside. Although it might be difficult to simply name one individual who can be of inspiration many well-established artists such as Tory Lanez, Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T and Offset were all dubbed as the top ten rappers for 2019.
“My influence comes from people I can associate with, I enjoy the work they do, but I simply enjoy the work everyone in the industry is doing,” he says.
What are some of the best work you’ve done in your career?
Any artist will tell you that having your name featured on various records is how you become famous. Northside had a different, more modest approach. His work roots back to 2012 and rallies up to 2019, but his grind between those years shouldn’t go unknown.
“If I have to choose 5, I’d regret it, because none of my work is better than the other, but rather an improvement of the previous. My work with Ceo Lil Kenny on ‘Ceo Status’ in 2015 and ‘Nightmare On The Northside’ in 2016 were projects I approached with a sceptical mind, but the results were amazing. Obviously can’t forget work such as ‘MoneyBagg Yo Presents: NLESS x Bread Gang, that’s a project that changed my perspective,” tells Northside.
You already have plenty of celebrities reaching out to you, as I gathered from the media. Want to tell us what is up with film star Bianca Banks and ex-miss universe contestant Andrea Piecuch?
Well I collaborate with many people on issues we care about. But these women I do admire for their philanthropic efforts. Bianca Banks really cares about issues such as homelessness and child welfare and Andrea Piecuch uses her influence for good causes whenever they arise. I’d certainly track their efforts going forward. It is my dream to be able to do more to help people in need and to give back.
Anything you want to tell your fans?
“Thank you for the support, and if you’re starting your career in the music industry never give up. Work hard, and trust yourself – you’ll get there!” Northside is making waves, and has given the industry a younger and more refreshed energy.
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