[Kids Corner] Spice On The Track
I can’t really call this young producer a kid, yeah he’s younger than I am and could be my nephew or little cousin, but he’s so much more than “just a kid.” Here at Straight Official Mag, we wanted to highlight kids 9-17 doing extraordinary things, and I can say that Spice definitely amazed me when we hopped on the phone. He was very articulate and well mannered. He kinda made me feel old. What I could sense from him was that he was a young man just looking for a shot in an industry that can be hard to so many. He amazed me with his positive attitude and readiness to succeed that I was absolutely floored. Before I knew it he was sending me music that blew me away. Not only does he rap, but he produces some of the best tracks that I have ever heard.
Tell me about yourself how did you get your stage name, where are you from, etc?
My name is Derek, but I got by SpiceOnTheTrack. I’m a 17-year-old producer and rapper from that was born and raised in Detroit. My original stage name was Tjdaspice and it was given to me by my mom. Eventually, I changed my name to SpiceOnTheTrack because it sounded better to me. I currently reside in North Carolina with my brother.
Why did you decide to become an Artist/ Entertainer?
I started making music 9 years ago because I loved how complex a production was. I loved everything from the drums to the way that the vocals were layered. I was never the popular kid and I was picked on when I was younger. I wasn’t good at any sports and I wanted to have something that I was good at, so I picked music. It came so naturally to me and I spent hours on hours watching tutorials on YouTube, learning how to make beats.
Who and/or what motivates you?
My mom lost her job 3 years ago and then she took to drugs. The drugs changed her physically, mentally and emotionally forever. I can’t even remember the last time she called to ask me how I was without asking me for money. Seeing her like this destroys me on the inside and I want the best for her and for her to see me graduate high school and college, as well as see me succeed. I want to give her the life she never had and get her the help she needs. Also, I want to be a role model for all the kids that feel restricted because of their circumstances. I never really had much, so to make it big and succeed would mean so much to me. In the future, I want to build a mentoring program where I take youth in and teach them the arts, as well as give them a home and someone to look up to. So much of our youth grow up without direction and end up another statistic. I want to prevent that.
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment to date is committing to play football and continue my education at Oberlin College. Granted that I come from nothing and I chose to move to North Carolina for better opportunities, I would have never thought that I’d come this far. I made my whole family and a huge chunk of my friends and coaches proud. Also, my football team was TERRIBLE, so it is blessing that I was able to continue my football career onto college.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I am focusing on singles and trying to perfect my song craft. I do have a mixtape entitled “Who?” that I am working on, but I want to wait until my name gets bigger and then I will drop it. A mixtape has a shelf life of about a couple of days and then the buzz dies unless you’re a Drake, Meek or J. Cole. Because of this, I want to build as much buzz as possible so that the tape isn’t skipped over.
What changes would you like to see made in the music/entertainment industry?
I would like people to be more open to sharing their connections. I also want labels to sign people based on talent and potential as opposed to someone who isn’t going to be in the game for more than a year.
What makes you different or sets you apart?
To be honest, there are millions of people who do what I do, which makes it really hard to stand out. However, I am always focused on making the BEST product possible. My ceiling is really high as far as my potential and I am a go getter. I make something from nothing, completely on my own. I walked 24 miles just to go network at a studio and then 14 miles to the mall to pass out cards with my social media info and a snippet of some of my songs. I have spent my whole life preparing for that one moment to show people what I have got and when that time comes, I will perform better than anybody who has ever gotten that chance. The best right now is Drake, and I plan to be better than Drake in every way, with or without help. I have so much in store for years to come. The biggest thing for me when I make it, will be my ability to give back to those who don’t have much. Once I make it, I will open doors for others who have never had that chance.
What crews or companies are you a part of?
I created my own label called GRIT. It stands for GRind Invalidates Talent. It currently consists of me and my little cousin, another aspiring artist. I also own a clothing line called Live Life Limitless. As far as crews, I am synonymous with Do Something Entertainment, based out of Detroit and XFMS Entertainment, also based out of Detroit.
What type of equipment do you use, what other skills/talent do you have?
I just use a Shure MXL 770 and my computer inside of my room in my apartment. I am also learning how to mix AND master and I have been getting better at it. People say it is professional quality that I am producing. I do everything out of FL Studio also. I am a self-taught piano and drum player as well. Outside of music, I also play 4 sports for my high school in Chapel Hill.
What do you do in your free time? Any Hobbies?
I spend ALL my free time either making music or fantasizing about my moment. I also like to play basketball and meet new people.
Anything else you want to add/ Any Shoutouts? What’s your Social Media?
I want to give a HUGE shoutout to my grandmother and eldest brother. To my eldest brother, none of this would be possible without him. He took me into his home and assumed responsibility for me when my mom couldn’t ever since I was a baby. He is who I live with now. My grandma has always been my rock and she is always there when I need her. I hope to one day show them that all their hard work has paid off dividends. To anybody who is going to take that chance on me in the future, it’ll be the best investment you have ever made and it will pay off for years to come. I also want to shout out my fans. All the people who consistently listen to my music. My career would not be possible without them. Lastly, to Straight Official, DJ Sunflower, and Aaron from Fleet Djs for giving me this wonderful opportunity!
PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THIS TALENTED YOUNG MAN SPICEONTHETRACK