Georgia rapper 9USER has just returned from a year-long hiatus, and it’s evident from the reception his return has received that his fans have been eagerly waiting his latest drop. ‘Always’ is a killer tune that displays the artist’s personality to its fullest extent, and has made me a fan of 9USER’S music. I had a great time chopping it up with him about the track, as well as the other material he has coming further down the line.
Hey, it’s a pleasure to have you on the blog today. I see that you hail from Georgia, how are things over there at the moment?
Things over here in Georgia at the moment are beginning to pick up. Since March 13th, My school has been closed down, and shortly after that my job, Scoops, closed down. After that, the governor issued a stay at home order that we’re still under. Since then, it’s been a little rough, but Governor Kemp is opening businesses back up this week, so I’ll be able to work again. I’ve used the quarantine to write a lot of lyrics and focus on my music.
Why did you choose the name 9USER? I’d definitely be interested in learning the origin of the moniker.
9USER actually wasn’t my first stage name. My first stage name was “Anziety” because of the Logic song “Anziety” I used that name to publish instrumentals on a free music creating website, SoundTrap, back in 2016, and 2017. A little after that I started using SoundCloud just to listen to music for free. When I created my SoundCloud account, it gave me a basic throwaway username that was “USER 97845…” It was a long number, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it at first. SoundCloud introduced me to a lot of artists that I fell in love with and inspired my music passion. Out of all those artists, two stuck out to me and really inspired me: 6 dogs and XXXTENTACION. Listening to them and hearing their stories made me believe that I too could follow in their footsteps and release music. It was about this time that I decided “Anziety” didn’t fit me. So, I took my username on Soundcloud, since it was where I found my idols, and took the first number, which was 9, and put it in front of USER. I got 9USER. In a way, my stage name is sort of a homage to Soundcloud and my idols. Always reminding me of where I started.
How long have you been making music for, overall? Your skills imply an innate vocal talent and an in-depth knowledge of songwriting and recording.
I’ve loved music my entire life and have always found a way to use it. When I was little I got a friend’s Guitar and started to learn how to play it. In middle school, I joined band to impress a girl, and ended up learning Trumpet, but I ended up hating band. In my Freshman year of high school, I learned the piano, which is my favorite instrument by far. I’ve been learning music my entire life, but it’s only been the past two years that I have been releasing music. When I first started recording and releasing music, I had no idea what I was doing. I had no general knowledge of audio recording, mixing, or mastering, and a lot of my early works reflected that. However, I learned more and more with every song I made. I’ve never taken any kind of vocal training, I’ve always just kind of had a theoretical understanding of how to get my voice to make the notes I want. When it comes to songwriting, I love and hate it. I love to write lyrics that mean something, but I have the hardest time doing it. When they say you are your own worst enemy, they aren’t kidding.
When putting your songs together, do you spend a lot of time in studios? The mixing and mastering on your music is pristine, so I would expect as much.
I’ve made my own home recording studio in an old office in my basement, which I’ve acoustically treated. It serves me well, since 90% of the money I get from my job scooping ice cream goes to my studio. I mix and master everything myself. It’s the most time-consuming part of the song process, but it is vital. I learned how to mix and master on my own through YouTube, books, anything I could get my hands on. But there’s always room to learn more. I spent about three months making sure “ALWAYS” was perfect.
‘Always’ is your newest track, and it’s a great one. I am told that you previously announced a hiatus, why was now the time to release this song?
I never really sat down and decided that now should be a good time to release music again. It kinda came to me, if that makes sense. The one year hiatus wasn’t my choice so I was always eager to get back in the game. I learned so much and improved over that time so I think now is a great time to make a comeback and prove to the people who took me down that I will always get back up.
I’ve read extensively into the background of ‘Always’ myself, but would you share the story with those reading this article that may be able to relate?
Okay so I wrote “ALWAYS” about someone who was closest with and how they hurt me and abandoned me. I was going through the darkest chapter of my life, right before my hiatus, and they decided to leave me when I needed them the most and tried to make me the bad guy. They started hanging out with the wrong people, started making the wrong decisions, and started using drugs. I just remember in that time I kept on thinking about the promise we made each other, that we’d ‘always’ be here for each other. I didn’t write the song immediately after things happened. I was in a state of absolute misery and too depressed to do anything. I spent that summer alone since I lost all my friends in the ordeal. It was a dark place to say the least. Around August of last year was when I found the beat to the song, and it made me feel a different type of way. Like, I have to use this beat, It’s like it was destiny. Then I wrote the lyrics, which took me about a week, I wanted to make sure it was what I felt. There’s a lot of lines in the song that I love and I wonder all the time how I even wrote it. Me and that person are not on bad terms anymore, and I’ve forgiven her. It was one of the hardest things for me to do. Forgiving is difficult. But I realized I was the only one carrying around the bitterness and pain and the only way to let go of it, was to forgive her. While my situation may be different than others, I know everyone can relate to the heartbreak of a broken promise from someone you love.
Will ‘Always’ be succeeded by a full project somewhere down the line? I know that your fans are eager for more content, but you can’t rush perfection.
“ALWAYS” is a song off of my upcoming album, “MIND OF NINE” which I’m hoping I’ll be able to release around September of this year. Making this album is beyond excruciating. It’s battling what I want and what my fans want, it’s battling who I am and who I was. But it’s gonna be good. I’m gonna make sure it is. But you can’t rush perfection.
You distribute your music in multiple ways, fans can stream via Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Youtube and all major streaming services. Which of these platforms would you say is the most effective in terms of gathering an audience for your sound?
Soundcloud, definitely. It’s like my home turf of the music industry and it’s where I get the most engagement. My first 6 months of releasing music I had over 15,000 listeners. As of now, I am at about 30,000 plays in total, and ALWAYS just hit 12,000 plays.
What else can fans expect from you in 2020?
I like to keep my fans on their toes. If I can get my act together and get motivated, they’ll probably get a single in the next month or two.
Is there anything else you’d like to add, or any shoutouts you would like to give? The floor is yours, my friend.
daboyCC for being an amazing supporter and friend who’s made me believe I can make waves
My mom and dad for keeping me grounded and not flying to close to the sun
XXXTENTACION for helping me through my darkest chapter with his music and for being a wonderful person. Rest in peace.
6 Dogs for having a story similar to mine and making me believe that sometimes you have to jump when you’re scared. Man of memes as well.
and finally, shoutout to @ISTJmusic for sticking with me all throughout high school and for the amazing music we’ve made together.
Listen to 9USER on SoundCloud.
Follow him on Twitter.
– Chris (@108mics)