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Name: Adam Bernard
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About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Prozack Turner
Monday, February 25, 2008

As a veteran of the music industry Prozack Turner knows the highs and lows that come with being an artist. The highs for him have included negotiating to sign deals with the likes of Grand Royal and Dreamworks Records. The lows have included both of those labels going under before he could do anything with them. Fed up with the way things were going the Cali native started his own label, Hunger Strike, and in 2006 he released a solo album, Bangathon!, to critical acclaim. Since it’s been nearly two years since that release I caught up with Prozack this week to find out how leading a double life as an artist and a label owner is treating him, what kind of impact he feels independent labels can make in today’s music industry, and the startling conclusion to his tale involving adult film star Adriana Sage.

Adam Bernard: How has playing the dual role as both artist and label head of Hunger Strike affected your life? Are there days when you think “I wish I could just get in the studio, but I have all these other responsibilities going on?”
Prozack Turner: It's very time consuming. I am essentially a one man label. I do everything myself. I run out of time returning emails, stuffing envelopes, maintaining contact with fans, going back and forth with graphic designers, getting videos made, pricing manufacturing, talking to publicists, etc. and it takes time from creating in the studio. I would love to only focus on making the music, but for whatever reason that's not the case right now. If I don't do it myself, then it doesn't get done. One thing I've learned is that no one is going to "put you on" in this music industry, especially in this age. At least I know that I will get there doing it myself. It might take longer, but the shortest route isn't always the best route. Not to mention that I don't have the money or resources to do it the fast way.

Adam Bernard: Knowing that you have fewer resources, what kind of impact do you feel your label, and smaller indie labels in general, can make in the music world?
Prozack Turner: I think that at one time it was next to impossible to compete with the majors labels. Now I realize that there is no competition because major labels really only put out pop music, be it hip hop-pop, pop rock, or whatever. If it's on mainstream radio, it's pop. What I do is a far cry from that market and the consumers who listen to those pop groups are a completely different market than the one I'm trying to reach. One can achieve success in the independent market, but it's a very long and arduous journey if you don't have the resources to get it out there, i.e. magazine advertising, web banners, a good publicist or two, and constant touring. All these things take lots of time and money, and when you are essentially selling a product that has become for the most part free due to downloading one has to ask themselves if they have the stamina to get through the storm. I'm a music junkie, as are millions of people, in the same way that someone is addicted to heroin and fiends for it daily, except the only thing is that the heroin in this case is completely available for free to the junkie. Nobody wants to part with their money, especially a junkie. Some might feel kinda bad, but they will still download it and the quality of music is definitely suffering.

Adam Bernard: Other than the downloading explosion, in what ways do you feel has the music scene has changed since you first got involved as a member of Foreign Legion?
Prozack Turner: I think the music scene is changing globally. When Foreign Legion came out in ‘99 there were really only a handful of independent Hip-Hop groups releasing music and most of it was really quality stuff because in order to make it you had to love it. It wasn't an easy process to make Hip-Hop. An artist would have to have to save up cash and book studio time, which was expensive, and really have to work. There was no CDBaby, MySpace, ProTools, Reason, etc. There are so many music programs now that anybody can make an average sounding song. Now it's all consistently lukewarm to me. There are literally thousands upon thousands of "D students" in the game. On the other hand, I know that many of these cats will quit when it gets tough. The ship might be sinking, but the ones who will make it are the ones that can hold their breath the longest.

Adam Bernard: Being an artist who has proven themselves able to swim, where do you see yourself going next with your work?
Prozack Turner: It's a journey. I love making music and touching folks around the globe. My fans and I connect in a special way and as long as I continue to be honest and share my experiences with these people through my music I'll be happy. There are no accidents and all of this is happening exactly how I want it to. You have to love your pain, it’s what makes you a bad motherfucker.

Adam Bernard: You can love the pain, but what type of affect do you hope your work has on your listeners?
Prozack Turner: I have had the opportunity to tour all over the place and meet people that my music has touched in positive ways. I try to write songs about life, be they funny, sad, poignant, political, whatever. I had a person in Utah who was in a wheelchair due to a horrible snowboarding accident come up to me after a show and tell me that my songs have motivated him and helped him get through his ordeal. That meant a lot to me.

Adam Bernard: Finally, you know one of my favorite songs off of Bangathon! was “The Ballad of Adriana Sage,” your ode to the gorgeous adult film actress, so I have to ask, how are things with you and Ms. Sage? Any chance you could slip her my number?
Prozack Turner: Nah, she found out about me and Lily Thai and dumped me.

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/prozackturner
RapReviews: Interview w/ Prozack Turner - April '06


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:49 AM  
  • At 10:03 PM, Blogger Mandeep Sethi said…

    yo man much respect. ill ass article.
    if you get a chance. peep some music

    thanks brotha


    repping it for those who don't get repped.

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