ARN: It’s been a month since we spoke about righteous imperfection, how is it doing?
Strategos: Honestly, with the way things are going in the music industry, I would say its doing really good! I just released to EP’s in the last two months, and we have caught a lot of traction with Righteous Imperfection laying the ground work for “Rufio,” Which Just released. We currently have a lot of sticks in the fire, Now we have the proper analytics to evaluate the strategies wee plan to implement for the months to come.
ARN: You just released a new Ep titled Rufio, tell us about the concept behind the name?
Strategos: Im not sure if many people are familiar, but there was a movie called “Hook” that released in 1991, starring Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. In the movie the leader of The Lost Boys is Rufio, and he keeps watch over Neverland as the protector. Theres a lot of deep undertones I think a lot of people would miss if they were watching the movie for surface value, but its definitely worth giving it a shot if you are into that sort of thing. It’s in my top five of favorite movies of all time, so you’ll prob see a lot more references along the way when it comes to the music.
ARN: We spoke before hand regarding your album cover being written in Hebrew, will you explain to everyone what it says?
Strategos: The inspiration comes directly from Genesis 1:28. The two words being used are Kabash and Radah. Now Im definitely not a scholar or sound in the Hebrew dialect, but what I gathered from the original translation, is that the two words being used are Kabash and Radah. Kabash means to subdue/bring into bondage, and Radah means to rule, have dominion, dominate. If you look closely to the album cover you will see a map of the world, and FTP symbol and the Hebrew words Kabash and Radah. That all put together leaves message for the fan/viewer to take into their own hands and make of it what they will.
ARN: I’ve been listening to Rufio on repeat, will you tell the people about the song Adios?
Strategos: Thats the anthem! Adios is for anybody whose consistently trying to progress, and during the process find themselves dealing with resistance. In life you notice when people start breaking out of their normal patterns it creates an effect amongst their family and peers. True change being implemented throwing a rock into a still pond. The ripples that rock creates inspire some to same progression, but others to create negative resistance because they liked the lake how it was. Basically some people want to see you shine, others want to see you do good so long as it’s not better than them, and yet still there’s another group that no matter what you do, they’ll never wanna see you win. The song Adios is the answer to anyone who’s not pushing for you, with you, or clapping for your wins.
ARN: The last song on the album Douglasville is really heavy, where did that source of inspiration come from?
Strategos: It was my life for along time. Im sure its that same small town mentality that anyone has faced in their life that comes from a place similar. As I was coming up there was a battle between my faith, morality, and making a salary. With so many examples of what not to do in life, it became hard to see what was the right direction for me. I saw a lot of miserable people who were just settling into bad jobs, bad relationships, and bad habits. The names changed, but the excuses stayed the same. The mentality was, “This is just how it goes in life.” I just always felt in my gut I had to get out. So, I made my mind up, refused to settle or come into agreement with those excuses even still to this day, and trust me when I say that I’ve faced a lot of adversity for it, but it made me grateful. Through all of it, the good and the bad, by learning what I didn’t want, It oddly helped me create a life worth living, by just simply trying to avoid the things I didn’t want to become. Douglasville is my gift to those who helped me along the way intentionally and unintentionally. My hearts desire behind it, is that it will be a source of inspiration for those who are willing to have the courage to make a change.
ARN: Lets review the landscape of music for a minute. I know that streaming has taken a hit due to Covid 19, how is it effecting your overall strategy when it comes to producing music?
Strategos: For me, I believe Covid actually has provided a lot of unique opportunities for independent artist if they have the have the mindset to adapt and overcome. Theres a lot of leverage that can be strategically implemented during these times. Sure, overall a lot of things have happened during these times that could be perceived as negative for musicians as a whole, but you got to press on if this is where you want to be. Through all adversity I move with an opportunist attitude, and a positive mindset that’s driven to stay in the black, hammer out positive results, and refuse to make excuses no matter the terrain we face.
ARN: Care to share some tips that Independent artist can focus on in these times?
Strategos: No, I feel like its a book worth of material, and most artist that have been directly affected in a negative way would probably resonate more with their excuse, or creating a counter point and perspective to whatever I would be able to offer because we don’t have the time go in depth. There is no way a blanket statement can’t cover the intricacies of what it takes to create relative content, increase awareness, and maintain success while continuing to progress in the world of music. I will say that if you don’t have a tight grasp of budget, marketing, and content creation amongst a ton of other things, its probably gonna be tough. Only thing I will say that I think might actually be helpful is if it doesn’t make you money its probably a hobby. The way to know the difference is to either make money, or to set out tangible goals/ business plan within a time frame, and then see if you’re hitting those or at minimum progressing. Find out whats the most important thing to you, is this being a career tangible? If so go all in. If it’s for you and you enjoy making music, create with that purpose in mind, and go find ways to invest your time that will take care of you and your families future. Budget is everything.
ARN: Is there any other projects we can expect to hear from you before the end of the year?
Strategos: Yes, I have several coming down the pipeline. Im unsure as of now what the plan of release will be for 2021, but you can expect another project this year. My main focus at the moment if Rufio for sure, but I have serval unique opportunities lined up with the music, and outside of the music that I believe will be beneficial to the movement as well. Before leading into the new year you can expect to see a couple of other releases that I believe will increase awareness, and solidify brand recognition that will aid in supporting our future endeavors.
ARN: I notice you mention the word “Movement” a lot, is that what you refer to as your fan base?
Strategos: Partially. The Movement is called FTP The Movement. It’s the FTP symbol you have and will continue to see which stands for, “For The People.” The Mission behind FTP is to be a representative of love through action and truth.. Thats means I’m not going to just tell you I love you, I’m gonna show you what love looks like through my actions. The way I do that is by using my time, talent, and resources to help those that are in need. So instead of talking about our beliefs, we display them through our daily actions, and when asked why, we explain what it is we believe, and why, which we will save for another day.
ARN: In closing, do you have anything you want to say to the movement, fans, and readers alike?
Strategos: Thank you. Thanks to God first and foremost, for giving me life, and him working out his will through my life daily. Thanks to my wife, you already know all the reasons, too long to list. Thanks to everyone of you who are sadly miserable, operating in negativity, hate, and slander, you always make me stronger. Thanks to my team and everyone who buys, streams, shares, comments, and likes what it is we do! You would be wildly surprised what a couple comments can do in the grand scheme of things, especially involving social media. Last but not least thanks to nameless, numberless army called FTP, this is just the beginning. Stay tuned to whats coming next!