Friday, July 9, 2010

Interview with S.I. MC, Chris "CiG"

Music Interview with Staten Island MC, Chris “CiG” 

With over 13 years of rapping experience under his belt, Cig is finally looking to break through.

After almost getting signed to Warner Brother/Sony in the mid 2000’s with then group “Ghost Town”, CiG went on a brief hiatus, where he occasionally wrote songs, but never performed and sparingly recorded. Now that he is back; he’s gearing up for the 3 years in the making release of his new album “Back against the Wall”.

Band Guy- Where and how did you get your name?
CiG- “When I was younger I had a beard and looked older, so I would buy cigarettes for my friends who weren’t old enough. Another more personal name is “Cigathin”.”

BG- What sparked Hip-Hop in you, and what shaped your skills as an artist?
CiG- “I started in 97 making rap parodies of all my favorite songs. I wasn’t into music until Biggie died. My friends told me I was getting good, so I got more serious. In 2003 I formed Ghost Town with Yosh, Ceza, and J Forms. We started performing and recording and that’s when things took off.”

“My father passing away worked as an outlet to make me focus on music. I lost the feeling for a little while, and then when my mom passed I got re-inspired. I make music to be happy. We live in this iTunes society where we need music just to get through the day.”

BG- What’s the writing process like for “CiG”?
CiG- “Sometimes the beat speaks to me, so I write it down. I’m ready all day. I’m constantly writing, I keep a pen and a notebook at all times. It’s almost like a freestyle process; I go letter by letter and write words down. It also depends on what kind of mood I’m in. If I’m in a party mood I write a party song. If I’m in a serious mood, I write a serious song. I also tend to write in bunches where I’ll write 7 songs in a day. It all just depends.”

BG- How did you record some of your early music and what was the reception like?
CiG- “I recorded my earliest stuff on a PC with a mic, the quality was terrible. Since then I’ve traveled around different studios on the Island and in Jersey.”

“The response was great. I used to battle kids at school for lunch. They all wanted copies of my early demos. At the end of my senior year of High School, my grade wanted me to get up in front of the whole school and freestyle. It was my rock-star moment.”

BG- At what age was CiG at his best, has your style changed with age, and what’s your reputation?
CiG- “I'm better now because I’ve grown up, I have more life experience. My style now is more listener friendly. As I’ve grown, so have my listeners. I guess I have a “good” reputation. On “ I had over 25,000 plays. My friend the other day said “You can tell when it’s a CiG song,” whether that’s good or bad I don’t know, but it’s my style.”

BG- Did you enjoy rap battling and does it make you better or worse?
CiG- “It definitely makes you better. You always have to come bring it or go home.”

BG- Can you tell me a little about Ghost Town and 5th Boro?
CiG- “Ghost Town was what really got me started. We made 3 official albums hosted by some famous DJ’s. We put out a new CD every 4 months or so. We won a talent contest for Wayne Enterprise at the Pyramid near Harlem, and were featured on DVD’s and magazines. We were the only white kids in the whole competition, but we still got our props. Then we were being checked out by Warner Brothers/Sony, but that never fell through. We kind of went our own ways after that.”

“5th Boro was a group I was in with Black Caeza and Tony KZ. We did shows and recorded some stuff, but nothing too big happened.”

BG- What was your favorite and biggest show, and what was your worst moment?
CiG- “My favorite show was when we won the showcase. The biggest was Ghost Town with “the Dead End Kids” at X-Factor. We played in front of 600 people. This was at our peak in Staten Island, and an overall good time for local Hip-Hop.”

“My worst moment was when I choked during a freestyle competition at my first show when I was 14.”

BG- Who are your favorite rappers and what’s your favorite song you have written?
CiG- “Biggie, Pac, Jay-Z, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Joe Budden, and my favorite is Eminem. He raps real life situations. My favorite song I wrote has to be “Take a Look” which is about my father dying of cancer.”

BG- Here’s an important question: Pac or Biggie, Jay-Z or Nas, Eminem or Wayne?
CiG- “Pac but Biggie when I’m in a party. Jay-Z over Nas. Eminem of course wins, but Wayne has being holding it down lately.”

BG- Who are your fans and what can they expect from seeing CiG live?
CiG- “Anyone can be a fan. I make it universal: kids, adults, whatever. As far as performing you’ll enjoy the show and have a good time. There will be something for everyone, and hopefully I’ll beat your expectations.”

BG- Why is CiG different from every other rapper, and what’s the sickest rhyme you ever wrote?
CiG- “I’m versatile. I’m not afraid to talk about my flaws and strengths. I live what I say. I don’t know what my sickest rhyme is, so I guess it hasn’t been written yet.”

BG- Realistically, what are your goals in music and what do you hope to do with it?
CiG- “I want to make it. I want to touch people as well. Unfortunately record labels won’t take a chance on someone like me because I’m not like what’s out there. For now I hope everyone enjoys my music as much as me.”

CiG is truly an awesome dude with a passion for many things. He excels and strives for the best at everything he does. If you spent a few minutes with him you’d see how humble and helping of a person he is. CiG has had a tough life but makes the best out of everything and never gives up. Make sure you go out and support him when his CD “Back against the Wall” drops at the end of this month.

(Sucker Free Freestyle)

(Take a Look)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Finally Whole Again, A SPREAD THE RUMOR Interview

(Photo Credit: Alexa DiMaio)

Spread the Rumor is one of Staten Island's best and brightest upcoming bands in the scene, although it has taken them awhile to get there.
Consisting of five passionate and hardworking girls, STR is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. The lineup goes as follows:

Sabrina Fracchiolla- lead guitar/vocals
Katie Fasulo- Rhythm guitar/vocals
Valerie Bond- Bass/vocals
Hilary Davies- Keyboard/vocals
Terri Caputo- Drums/vocals

The band started in early 2005, when Valerie and Hilary realized that music is what they wanted to do. They started jamming out, eventually adding members along the way. After about three years of shows and hard work, they have reached the place they want be. "It's a coincidence that we are all girls...We want to change everyone's perception on who can play music," says Valerie.
The name "Spread the Rumor" came from the mutual liking of the band "Socratic" who had a song and album titled Spread the Rumors. The band, liking the name, dropped the "s" and the rest is history. And speaking of liking, the band gets its influences from the same sources. Rarely is there ever a band that is so closely knit together. With this being said, STR draws their similar styles from bands like: Greenday, Relient K, Motion City Soundtrack, Paramore, Ben Folds, Evanescense, and even the Beatles.

As far as the song writing process goes, they ususally independently bring ideas to the table and work off each other. Lately however, they've been getting better results jamming as a band. "The newer stuff is more mature," said Hilary. Using their constant self motivation and persevering attitude, STR pushes themselves to the creative limit of their liking.

Although Spread the Rumor considers the fact they are all girls coincidence, there's no doubt that this effects them as a band. "It's like we always have to prove ourselves because people expect us to suck," said Terri. Valerie explains, "Guys with muscles always want to help carry our equipment. We make sure to do it ourselves like everyone else." Often times STR finds themselves blowing away a new audience and far exceeding expectations. They know what they have to offer as musicians, and at the end of the day "We want to please ourselves," as Valerie said. They combat any pressure by going out there and doing their thing.
So far the "exceeding expectations" part is paying off because they have caught the attention of two record producers: J.J. Appleton and Matt Powell. Appleton is a freelancer who has wrote songs for Kei$ha, and was signed in the UK. Powell is an independent producer who has recorded Ingrid Michaelson. In addition to this, Terri just became endorsed by Bess Heads Drums.

It's clear to see why Spread the Rumor would stand out among a crowd. For starters, they are girls doing a "boy" thing by being in a band. Two, well... they're just so good! With so many bands doing the "power pop/pop punk" thing, it's easy to get tired of the same thing. All the bands sound alike, and to be honest, most do not do it well. STR goes above and beyond the standard. "We are more vocally driven," said Katie. If you notice on top where the band is intro'd, you'll see all five members sing. This makes for some amazing harmonies, and an influx of different voices from song to song. Each vocalist adds their own flair to a song, and it's easy to tell how hard they work together to make it sound tight.

So what's on the horizon for this very driven quintet? "We want to finish recording an EP... We now have the lineup we want, and we're heading in the right direction," said Sabrina. In addition to playing more shores, they would love to get off the Island and make this their livelyhood. "In the future, I hope we're not on Staten Island," said Valerie. "I want to be signed by somebody. Any label that helps [its artists]," said Sabrina. Hilary wants to "see the country." While Katie wants "our music to continue to grow." Of course Terri, in all her rockstar glory wants to be "On an air conditioned bus with a hot tub filled with biddies."

Spread the Rumor has come a long way since their self-described "worst show ever" at the Art Cypher. But what else can you expect for a first show with an incomplete band? Now two years later they've got a number of big shows under their belts. They won the Battle of the Bands at Sullivan Hall in November of 2009 playing in front of over 2oo people. STR also made it through the first round of "the Break" contest at the Stony Pony, also playing in front of over 200 people. They've been interviewed for Bamboozle TV, and were also involved in a photoshoot and interview for "What's Good Magazine". Spread the Rumor has a number of shows coming up over the next few months so stop by their page and find out when!

Be sure to stay on the look out for this group of rising and talented individuals. Be sure to check their music out on ( and check out STR videos on SpreadtheRumorTV on Youtube.

Look them up on Facebook and Twitter, and for any questions email them at