Few can rock the mic to hardcore and hardstyle with authority, but MastaChief is one of them! We managed to catch him in-between scripting his lyrical delights long enough to get the story behind the "Voyce."
Ok Chief, before we go any further, why don’t you tell us a little bit about where you are from?
Before I say anything, HI HARD DATA! LOVE YOU GUYS 🙂
I am born and raised in NYC. Can’t claim a borough because I’ve moved around too much. The city that never sleeps is known as one of the biggest melting pots in the country. It is this diverse city (see what I did there?) that has helped to cultivate my taste in music. While I grew up around many sounds the one that grabbed my spirit most was Hip Hop, which makes perfect sense as the culture was birthed right here in the Bronx. Through Hip Hop, I found a passion for the art of spoken word/poetry. From there my desire to perform took the forefront. And once I found the Rave Culture, as an event host I had the opportunity to learn how eMCeeing began.
MastaChief will be rocking the Hard Electronic September 8, 2017What’s the story behind your MC Name?
At my second event I was sitting with a group of my friends on the roof. I was speaking to them about how I felt as though we were all united in a tribal celebration. There is no judgment. This is our ritual. Everything and everyone is at peace. I had love for each and every person whether I knew them personally or not. How powerful we are when we come together. And my friend Ameera laughed and responded with “yo you’re like MastaChief right now.” I loved it! Although I didn’t claim it right away because I felt the name was a big responsibility. My mentor, who is a Hip Hop artist by the name of NYOil, once told me that names are not learned, they’re earned. So about a year later I finally found what it took to hold the title of MastaChief. And here I am.
Wow, ok that clears a lot up because we thought it was because maybe you played a lot of Halo or something! So, who or what was responsible for you being the MC you are today?
I was always around music that had some kind of substance. There was a message and a purpose, no matter what the genre. Something that once you listen it would stay with you forever once you hear it even if you didn’t get it right away. As far as electronic music, mixtapes with music from the likes of Josh Wink, Junior Vasquez, and several others were in constant rotation around the house. I have to thank my entire family for not only exposing me to such great music but for raising me to be someone who acts, speaks, and thinks with a purpose as well.
What are you trying to convey with your music?
As with the music of my upbringing, I write for a purpose. There is always a message I am trying to convey. Even if I am writing a party track I still want to include some level of creativity so it’s not a typical 1-2-3 jump formula. With the exception of slight influences here and there, I don’t want to be like anything anyone has ever heard. I read some of the comments on Hard Dance tracks and I see comments all the time about how the track is good but the lyrics are so cheesy. THOSE COMMENTERS ARE MY MARKET! Those people who can go balls to the wall to the production but listen to the track in their headphones later on and actually get something from it. Unfortunately, not a lot of producers see the vision so I often have to dumb it down for lack of a better term. I mean, I’m sure Industrial Strength had its naysayers back in 1991 but here we are 26 years later. Just saying.
What moment do you cherish the most so far in your career as an MC?
I don’t really know if I can speak on a moment yet because in the grand scheme of things I am still very much a new jack and earning the responsibility of carrying the torch. However, I can say in terms of electronic music who I cherish and that is Michael Phase. He was the first DJ that believed in my ability as an MC. He offered me the tips and tricks needed to understand how to perform to an Electronic crowd (because the first time I tried to perform with him I went at it with a rapper attitude and it did not work). Before I rocked stag’s with anyone else, he and I were the pair to look out for. And now he’s about to headline in Australia for Hard Island! We fought for our respective places together for years and it’s good to finally be getting a taste of it.
What specifically are you planning to give to the audience at Hard Electronic?
For a long time I feel like I haven’t been able to be myself when I’m on stage. Yes, I am MastaChief. And MastaChief is me. But there are more layers to my personality than just all out aggression. And due to having to tone myself down in the earlier years of hosting I feel like a lot of my other layers have taken a back seat for the sake of being “professional.” However, I’d like to be able to prove there is an ability to be yourself and be professional as the same time. I want to have fun. And I want everyone to have fun with me and maybe be a bit open minded about me making a few jokes, acting silly, making powerful statements, interacting with the crowd more etc. At the very least I would like this to be a stepping stone in that direction.
What is something you really want to tell the public that we might not have asked about?
I have a scar on the left side of my face and a few people have asked me about it and I’m sure more have wondered. So, I’d like this to be my official statement as to what happened…
Back in July 2011 I was walking into an outlaw that I was supposed to be hosting in Coney Island. While I was walking into the spot it was nearly pitch black and suddenly a light flashed in my eyes and I’m surrounded by anywhere between 6-8 guys all pounding away at my face, head, and body demanding that I give up my belongings. I resisted by holding my footing and demanding a fair fight. It was at that moment in the scuffle I spotted a silver box cutter and I began to see blood spritzing out from the side of my face. I finally gave up my stuff. Once they left I could hear and feel blood spraying from my head so I used my shirt to apply pressure and I ran deeper into the spot to find help from my friend Jesse. She called 911 and walked with me for the entire half mile to the ambulance. When I got there, I discovered I wasn’t the only one who was attacked as there was more than one ambulance. Before being put on the stretcher my head and torso, which was also sliced open, was wrapped up cutting off my vision. It was at that point I began to feel myself fading away. I struggled to hold myself upright as they prepped the stretcher. I could hear Jesse yelling for them. And for just a few seconds I accepted my fate. I was ready to let myself go. Just then I was put on the stretcher and regained full consciousness. Once I got in the ambulance I raised my bloody hands and formed them into a heart as a thank you for Jesse who stood with me until practically the last stitch. As it turns out, I had lost almost 2 liters worth of blood but the laceration had not gone deep enough to reach my jugular. Whoever those individuals are, I do not wish ill on you. I understand why you felt the need to inflict such harm on people and I forgive you. Just know that not only have you created your own karma but you have awakened a beast within me. A beast which I bring to the microphone night after night and Hard Electronic will be no exception.