It’s a pleasure to have you on the blog Speaker Child. I really enjoyed your performance alongside Moia Bri, opening for Andre Nickatina at The Music Box in San Diego. Please introduce yourself.
[CV] Where are you from?
[SP] I was born and raised in Lake Tahoe Kings Beach, CA and moved to Seattle, WA in 2009
[CV] Your full name?
[SP] Legal Name: Brian Augustine
[CV] What was your upbringing like?
[SP] I grew up in a trailer park across the street from the lake, “you can take the boy out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the boy.” My favorite past time growing up was skateboarding in the summer at the curb with (The Curb Dogs) and snowboarding in the winter. As a child, I was first introduced to music by my mom as she played The Sound of Music on repeat. My Father passed away in a car accident when I was a year old. It’s sad to say that I unfortunately have no memories of him, but I’m told by my family that I am just like him. Growing up, my step-dad and my older brother introduced me to classic rock and my older sister introduced me to hip-hop. I would have to say that is when I truly fell in love and began to develop a passion for the music scene.
[CV] What is the inspiration behind your stage name/alias – Speaker Child?
[SP] I’m a hip-hop emcee and a record producer. I encompass all aspects of hip-hop music, as a producer and as a performer. Speaker Child represents my family lineage to Jazz musician Adeline Anderson, Boston quartet member Frank Anderson and my father saxophone musician Nicholas Augustine. I work with different artists in the industry, Andre Nickatina, Spice 1 are among many. My inner ego is a child that never wants to grow up. I live for the music and speak through the speakers. I’m a student in this game and I am always learning from the original emcees. “I’m just a child” – Speaker Child.
[CV] Have you been rapping for a long time? At what point of your life did you decide to pursue rap seriously?
[SP] I have been rapping on and off for 18 years, I started when I was 12 and I am now 30. I have dedicated my life to be a student and a composer of music; it’s in my blood and this is who I am. Meeting Slick Rick in 2014, opened up my eyes to how much music is a lot about storytelling and really feeling the message of the story, which gave me mad respect for the O.G’s. My goal is to keep the movement alive. When I was much younger I had a dream that I met 2pac at a bus stop and he said “never stop making hip-hop”. That memory has constantly reminded me to never give up on what I believe in!
[CV] What and/or who motivated you to pick up the mic (any particular circumstances of your life)?
[SP] My first tape cassette was Cocktails by Too $hort. I listened to that album on repeat. I was later introduced to 2pac, Can’t C Me ft. George Clinton and that G-Funk instrumental with 2pacs flow along with the melodies of the hook had me blown away.
[CV] Would you consider this your full time job and if so how has this affected the course of your life and people around?
[SP] I would be lying if I said that it has not been difficult to jump back and forth between making music and running my painting contract business. I am a full time owner of Augustine Painting – a house painting company based out of Seattle, WA. I feel very fortunate that I own a successful business, which allows me to fund my music career.
[CV] Would you consider Mind on My Business your debut album?
[SP] Mind On my Business is my debut album. Recorded/Mixed/Mastered by D-Sane of Digital Age Sound. Instrumentals by Roc Phizzle and produced by me, also featuring original artists such as Rappin’ 4-Tay, Spice 1, Dru Down, and Andre Nickatina and many others. I have 19 songs total for my first album Mind On My Business.
[CV] I’ve listened and watched the video for Hot Wing Session joint that you did with Andre Nickatina. Very dope. How did you two link up and ended up touring together for Halloween 2016? And what was it like working with him?
[SP] Andre Nickatina has always been a very cool dude, he calls me “Speak”. It’s been crazy working with an artist that I’ve been a fan of since high school and then working with him on tour, on a music video and in the recording studio. I first met Andre Nickatina at Whiskey Dicks in South Lake Tahoe, CA in September 2015. Billy Drewitz of Late Night Productions had me on the show as tour support for Rappin’ 4-Tay. 4-Tay and I had a music video scheduled the following day for a previously recorded song, but he ended up getting arrested the night of the show! So due to circumstances, I had to figure out a new game plan. After my performance I called my manager Cory Crosby and he said “to figure something out with Nickatina and try to get him on it”. The only thing Nickatina would have to write a hook and a verse in place of 4-Tay, followed by recording the audio and shooting a music video all in one day! Despite the hurdle, Nickatina was down and the next morning we met up at Adberry Studios in Carson City.
Here is how the final project turned out Hot Wing Session ft. Andre Nickatina x Feezable The Germ
Following that project Nickatina asked me to join his mini-Halloween tour in 2015. I was very appreciative and each show was packed! My goal was to continue working with Nickatina and the following year of 2016 I was once again fortunate to be part of his mini-Halloween tour, 2016. The tour kicked off in Los Gatos, CA; then moved to Eugene, OR; Eureka, CA; and San Diego, CA. I’m definitely looking forward to the next annual mini-Halloween tour with Nickatina in 2017.
[CV] In some of your songs you talk about Skaters and Gangsters (crew). Is this a clothing line? What is the story behind the name and how did it come to fruition?
[SP] The name Skaters And Gangsters was coined in a song I wrote called Mexican Neighbors, “I keep it cool with the skaters and the gangsters I used to kick it with my Mexican Neighbors” Skaters and Gangsters brings two street cultures together. Skaters and Gangsters is also clothing line and my soon to be record label.
[CV] Also, given the fact that the rap industry has taken a step back from the whole gangster culture, what kind of lifestyle and message is Skater and Gangsters means to promote?
[SP] That’s what I do, I’m bringing back that real Gangster sound with G-Funk by having all features I could imagine 2pac collaborating with. He’s my main inspiration! Gangster to me is someone who takes care of business, hence Mind On My Business.
[CV] How do you think you separate yourself from other artists?
[SP] I’m self-made. With my fans and my team by my side we can make anything happen. I finance and promote every move straight out of my own pocket. I get to rap with legends (in my eyes) and my music is nothing new. I’m just bringing the G-Funk (Gangster Funk) back to life. My beat producer Roc Phizzle is the son of Marvin Craig (the bass player of the band Lakeside) so I have the real Funk in my music.
I’ve noticed a lot of “mumble rappers” are popular, at the moment, but I strive to do the exact opposite. In my album, the instrumentals are slow tempo and I intentionally rap slow, so you can hear every word I speak. A lot of people say it’s not what you say it’s how you say it; but I disagree, I’m all about what I say and not exactly how I say it. It’s not like I just rap to rap, “would, could, should”. I have a real message and a story to tell in every song. On the other hand, I also like to make some comical raps, much like Too $hort. The song on my album Chubby Girls feat. Lil Nate Dogg (Nate Dogg’s first born son) with Roc Phizzle and Dru Down is meant to be taken with humor. I like to give a taste of the Gangster with a little fun.
In the album, you will also find Once You Go feat. Moia Bri. The songs are about me traveling Europe with just a backpack solo, couch surfing nine countries.
Once You Go feat. Moia Bri
[V] In your own words, what is the underlining message of Mind On My Business? What would you like your fans to get out of your music?
[SP] Mind On My Business is the perfect title for my Album. It describes my whole intent. I grew up simi-broke in trailer park and now I am able to do what I do. I want people to feel that you can do anything you want to; just keep your “Mind On Your Business”. When I was on the road for two months in Europe couch-surfing I wrote the majority of the songs, especially in Croatia. If you keep your “Mind On Your Business” you can do anything you want to! My goal is for everyone to feel the love.
[V] Verge Of a Buzz featuring Killa Cain is FIRE! I’ve definitely played that on loop for some time. First off, I’m in love with the G-funk beat, shout out to your beat producer Roc Phizzle for an amazing work. In fact, you’ve got a few tracks on this album with the G-funk sound. Was this intentional?
[SP] Indeed! Verge of a Buzz is a great song, very smooth groove! It’s a party song. G-Funk is what I’m looking for, no trap, no dub just straight G-Funk baby!
[V] Could you talk about your creative process? How do you cultivate your lyrical content?
[SP] Every single song has a meaning. I’m not the type to freestyle off the top of my head. I need time to take in what I see and gather my thoughts in order to compose a song. I write off of experience, gather mental freestyles and then write a song. I met D-Sane, a recording engineer/producer based out of Seattle, WA (who worked with prominent artist like Ryan Lewis and Macklemore) who really helped me expand and learn the Art Of Rap. He taught me everything I know, much respect! All of my songs vary, a little something for everybody. Whether the song is about eating hot wings with Nickatina or takes a more serious tone such as one of the songs on my album – Letter To My Sister. Letter To My Sister is about bringing family together, getting past grudges and just get along. A lot of feedback from fans say that it changed their mind on keeping distance with their family. That is exactly my goal with the music I make – to move people mentally and physically. The music video is filmed and is now on Youtube. Here is the link Letter To My Sister.
[V] In your fourth track Mobbin’ Since Monday ft. Roc Phizzle Celly Cell and Moia Bri, you say that money changed you, how so?
[SP] It’s like bro… you changed haha. It changed me because I grew up simi-broke but as a result of my hard work I am now able to travel, tour, vacation and link up with other artists. I also get to shoot videos and eat very well! They say money doesn’t make you happy but it definitely makes me happy. Especially when I got to drive a McLaren MP4-12C in the Music video for Mobbin Since Monday ft. Roc Phizzle Celly Cel and Moia Bri, which is coming soon! Stay tuned.
[V] The seventh track Speaker Child also ft. Moia Bri is another one I had on loop. In it, you talk about being on the road a lot and writing for ten years. You must have a lot of music stashed. When can we hear some more?
[SP] Yeah Moia Bri really sings that one. I really like the vibe, it’s all in good spirit. The song is about all you need is your memories. I have a lot of music in the vault. Just like 2pac and Prince did, multiple tracks that can be compiled into albums stashed away and over the years they keep adding up. After death you can keep releasing music, which is awesome! Ultimately, I aspire to be an artist like Andre Nickatina, he has an excellent work ethic! Multiple albums out and has been touring non-stop year after year.
[V] Nonsense was an interesting track. Out of curiosity, what do you really think of the new wave of artist like Yung Thug, Lil Yackty and 21 Savage?
[SP] The new wave is the new wave. I have nothing to do with what those artist do. Especially Lil Yackty who is very disrespectful to the golden age. Why? Because I think it’s a front and he has more haters than fans. And I promise you that all of the artists that you’ve mentioned will not be timeless in hip-hop. They’re only “cool” right now. My advice to the new rappers is that you better pay homage and respect the vets before you open your damn mouth!
[V] Is there a certain height you’d like reach with your music and any artist you’d like to collaborate with?
[SP] My goal is to keep touring and release at least ten albums. Eventually, I hope to gain a strong fan base and sell out shows as the headliner! I’m in it for the long run, this is my passion. Also, I would definitely like to collaborate with Too $hort and Dj Quick.
[V] Finally, is there anything you’d like to add that I’ve missed? Please do.
My goal is to keep this G-Funk alive so follow Speaker Child on all platforms and let’s keep my music moving. I can’t do it without the fans! I love everybody and I’m always down to rock your city, much love Speaker Child.
Connect with Speaker Child on
A couple of my favorite tracks from the album Mind on My Business
Verge of a Buzz ft. Killa Cain
Mobbin’ Since Monday ft. Roc Phizzle, Celly Cel & Moia Bri