Metalcore band Etienne Sin ran from 2009 to early 2017. Now defunct, Etienne Sin would be no more, as an upcoming hip hop rock crossover artist would step forward, as Young Rockstar a solo career project. As the time as Eitenne Sin as been ceased to exist, with Young Rockstar to pave the way, he not only wants to continue to create music, as he did before, but he has other arrangements as well. He is an entrepreneur and investor, as well as the proud owner and lead producer at his own record label company The Sin Circle Records or TSCR. But not only does he handle all of this as it were, but is building a liqueur company called Tesce Amaretto, a new line of Amaretto liqueur flavored with numerous materials, that will launch soon enough. Young Rockstar wants to start over from scratch as an artist, building himself from the ground up once again. Hence, with that said, Young Rockstar has gone on to disclose the matters at hand, his time as Eitenne Sin, his other endeavors, to everything planned ahead of time!
1. Introduce yourself, tell me who are you and what is it that you do?
First of all, thank you very much for the interview. You've got to be shown your props for reaching out to me, nothing but respect Natalie!
My name's Young Rockstar, I'm a professional music artist, producer, and entrepreneur. I make music for a living as an artist, that's my main thing and what the fans know me for. In 2018, I plan on becoming the hardest working artist in the industry.
As a producer, I help other artists achieve their dreams and visions for their art, both sonically and visually. I've been producing since I was 16 and I became a professional artist when I turned 19. I'm 27 now, so I'm just looking to ramp up my operation.
As an entrepreneur, I own a few music related businesses such as The Sin Circle Records (TSCR), a Liqueur company called Tesce Amaretto, and I'm also an investor. It's quite a bit that I do, I'd like to think I'm a hard working artist because I always have a bigger vision at play at all times.
2. Since 2009, you have been making music under the namesake Etienne Sin, but on October 13, 2017, you made the announcement that this identity would cease to exist. Why the change of heart?
I made that announcement in 2016, but I keep re-iterating it so that people know what's going on. The change of heart came because I wanted to actually do music I enjoy. With Etienne Sin, I was making Metal songs, but I'd still be listening to Hip Hop on the daily. While I enjoy Metal and I'm good at it, it's really not who I am. I can't express how I really feel through the Metal lens. I grew up on Hip Hop, even when I started making music, I wanted to be a Hip Hop artist with Rock influences. I just got roped into making music with ES because it was making me money at the time.
There's so many other reasons for the name change. To name a few, people don't really know how to say that name since it's French. It's ALWAYS mispronounced because it's not a part of American culture, like the name "Josh" or "Chris" is. "Etienne" is actually my real name, because I have French heritage, but it's not American enough to get into the mainstream, which is what I'm trying to do. Another way to look at it is, ES was so ingrained in the Metalcore culture, that it would be nearly impossible to break out of without pissing everyone off. So restarting just made a whole lot of sense. I know how to build artists and I have the resources to do so. I've been launching new artists since TSCR has been around, so it's familiar ground. I have full faith in the process of starting over from ground zero.
3. Dating back to 2009, you have released a number of releases, including "The Paradox Divide" (2013), "The Tactician" (2014), and "Sinna: Volume 1" (2016), with a number of tracks to include Alexa Lylth. So tell me, is Etienne Sin it's own band or an solo project, and why have Alexa Lylth on so many releases?
It was a bit of both, it had elements of a solo project, but publicly looked like a band. For instance, I would write and record everything myself in studio. Because I'm a record producer, I know how to do that. And the only reason I'm a record producer is because I know how to play a bunch of instruments. I'd also direct and edit all of my own music videos, which is what I still do to this day.
The whole operation was very DIY. But when it came time to tour, I HAD to rely on a band. Even for music videos, a band made the most sense for the sound and look. So it really was a bit of both. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter anymore, because it's all behind me, and all I'm looking forward to is the future. It was a cool moment in time and I learned a lot from the experience.
As for Alexa Lylth, she's my artist, so that's why she's on so many tracks. As I move into Young Rockstar, she will also be featured on many of my tracks. She's a part of TSCR and I'm in the process of building her into her own star. Everything that Alexa does, it's because she's working with the TSCR team. Eventually, I hope she can break away and do her own thing. But right now, I'm just helping to get her to an elevated place in the industry.
4. Besides releasing your own content, you went on creating your own record label The Sin Circle Records (TSCR). Can you tell me about this label, how did it come to be what it is and is it still accepting artists and bands or is it just for your own doing?
As an independent musician, the industry kind of forces you to be your own brand. I like to see myself as a big thinker, someone who builds worlds and has a vision for the future. So building a record label brand made sense as a natural step. I look up to a lot of people that do the same thing. For instance Rick Ross and Maybach Music Group, or Birdman in YMCMB. I'm positioning myself as a leader of a team, that was the whole vision.
I'm always looking for new talent, TSCR isn't just about me, and it never will be. I'm currently building Alexa Lylth & Danny Disastr, who was the lead singer of Live Like Glass. We have a few new producers on board as well, names such as Young Skelter, KB, & Stony Tony. I do have a few other artists and producers as well, but things are currently cooking up and are currently subject to change. I don't want to say anything too early.
5. How would someone go about creating their own record label, if they wanted to take on this approach of the music business?
Open up a corporation, put aside an investment budget, run your numbers, and create a business strategy. It took me years to learn how the industry works and even more years of my life to become decent at music to where other's like it and follow it. So learn as much as you can from books, business speakers, and people like myself who play the game every day. I would recommend to put 110% of your time and energy into this. If you want it to succeed, it's just like any other business, it needs your attention.
I don't recommend working a job to support your income as you're growing, but I understand the bills have to be paid. If that's the case, you need to stay at your job for only as long as you need to. Get out quick. If it's not your passion, you're doing the wrong thing. Too many people use work as a crutch, or personal things as excuses not to pursue their dreams as an artist. I literally talk to people every day about this, people approach me with dreams and reasons why they can't follow them.
I was lucky, my music took a life of it's own early on in 2010. I didn't work a job, because I was just coming out from being homeless. When you're in that mode, you're just figuring out how to get to eat the next day. But when my music did start turning into money, I invested it into my career and into things I knew would help me financially, so I wouldn't HAVE to work a 9 to 5. There isn't anything wrong with a 9 to 5, but again, if it's not what you love doing, it's not what you should be doing.
I went on a bit of a tangent, but to bring it back, always remember to NETWORK! This is a personal problem of mine, I'm always cooped up in the studio at my house and I gloss over networking and how important it is for success.
6. So since that Etienne Sin is no more, and Young Rockstar is taking place, is that what you would call is happening? Is Etienne Sin, Young Rockstar, or are the two totally different projects altogether?
They are two separate things. I'm Young Rockstar, period. Etienne Sin was a project I did from 2009-2017. It's a new era for me as a person in the music industry. Young Rockstar is what will carry my into the future and I plan to be this guy until the day I die. That's the commitment.
7. What should people call you as then Etienne Sin or Young Rockstar or does it not matter to you?
As weird as it might sound, it does matter, because it's who I am. Etienne is still my first name, so it's not farfetched for people to call me that. But even my friends now call me "Rockstar" for short. I'd say only family members call me by my first name nowadays.
8. Aside from this label and music you will be launching a liqueur brand named Tesce, tell me about that, what is it, how did it happen, when it will be available?
Tesce Amaretto is a Liqueur company, rather than a spirit such as a vodka or a tequila. It's classified as a Liqueur, or a cordial, so that's a bit different from what other artists are doing. It came about because I look up to a lot of people in the game, I study what they do, and how they do it. For instance, Diddy has Ciroc Vodka, 50 Cent has Effen Vodka, Drake has Virginia Black, Nicki Minaj has Myx, and Jay-Z has D'usse. So all of these major international artists have connections to their own line of drinks. So I said, "Fuck it, I can do that too." Young Rockstar is a new artist and there isn't any new artist in the world who comes into the industry with his/her own drink right away. It's a differentiator, it'll set me apart early.
It's also a brand move. The industry moves very fast and I look at things 10 steps ahead. I have to be strategical with everything; the strategy breaks down into different tactics that I use to approach my moves. So for instance, in the scenario where I only have 1-2 years of solid music on my first campaign, at least I will have cultural staying power through my brands. I could sit back for a year, let my older music coalesce, and get into the lab to work on the next thing. Meanwhile, Tesce Amaretto will still be a product that's widely available. Let's take a look at an example, just look at Diddy, he hasn't made music in a hot minute. Why is he still relevant to this day? Because he's a cultural mastermind. He positioned himself as a leader of industry in drinks and in clothing. THAT's the idea.
The cool thing is, mixology is a huge hobby of mine. So this whole thing just made sense. Anyone that knows me personally knows that I love drinking and making drinks. My bar is stocked at all times. I've been mixing drinks since I was a teenager and really took it to the next level when I finally turned 21. As a side note, I don't promote underage drinking! My family comes from South America, so the laws in the US on drinking are a bit different from how I was raised at home. Drink responsibly people!
Tesce Amaretto is a recipe of mine that I've refined over the years. It's a apricot & cherry liqueur, infused with cinnamon, vanilla, and other herbs and spices. If you like Disaronno, you will love Tesce. On top of that, it's ridiculously versatile and EASY to mix. ANYONE can successfully mix it with Tea, Coffee, light soda's or dark soda's. That was the whole idea, I wanted to make something that went with everything, not just something that went great with one specific thing.
I hope for it to be available once I get the right investors on board. Ramping up production and getting it to a wholesaler is the current move. Right now, everything is handmade and made in very small batches. I think by the start of 2019, after a solid year of promotional hype, we'll have it hitting the market for the first time.
9. Who is the TSCR family? What does TSCR stand for to those in the unknown?
It's called The Sin Circle Records. People get turned off by the word "Sin," so it's abbreviated for that reason. But what people don't know is, my last name is "Singotiko," so that's where it comes from, the first three letters of my last name. It's just a circle of people that help each other succeed in this music industry. Business wise, it operates as a record label.
Like I mentioned before, we're a collection of artists and producers that will only grow over the next few years. Right now, TSCR is: Young Rockstar, Alexa Lylth, Danny Disaster, Young Skelter, KB, and Stony Tony.
10. Why did you want to go with taking your music into a mainstream sound source, why go mainstream?
I'm a fan first. I'm a huge fan of mainstream hip hop and I've always been heavily involved in the culture. It's the culture of New York, where I'm from and It's what I always wanted to do. I just got roped into Metal because I was homeless in 2008 and wasn't making enough money. When ES music blew up, I was all of a sudden making more money than I knew what to do with. I won't go on another tangent, but reflecting on what happened in my life, music literally saved me from getting roped into doing or selling drugs. Or both, shit, who knows. And what most don't know is, my first band was a Hip Hop & Rock collective. So I wanted to do mainstream music from the start, it just didn't play out that way.
On top of that, I'm a career artist. Underground music doesn't make enough for the visions that I have. It's great money, don't get me wrong, I'm blessed and grateful to even have any platform. It's just simply not enough, with the way I think about my businesses, I need to be dealing with millions rather than hundreds of thousands. I needed to scale up to make my visions for Tesce, TSCR, and Young Rockstar, come to life. It doesn't matter if anyone calls me greedy or egotistical, or worse, a sellout! The truth is, the infrastructure in underground music just isn't there to launch the companies that I aspire to have one day.
11. So then how would you define the sound that you create?
The Young Rockstar sound is dark and has more mature content. It's also way more oriented for fans of Hip Hop, but it still retains a ton of Rock & Metal influence. You'll hear the Rock vibes in the music, after all I am called Young Rockstar for a reason. Overall, it's music that explores dark themes.
I do have something for everyone though, I have more pop-oriented records, slow love ballads, and turn-up party songs. I also have stuff for the Metal fans as well, crossover songs that still have a Metal sound and voice. I'm retaining my versatility, but I am focusing on Hip Hop. There will be those Rock & Metal driven anthems on each release, but it's not the majority of the records. All I can say is, you'll see, I've been working on a ton of music. I have over 100 songs recorded and ready to go and I plan to release a mixtape once every quarter.
12. Where do you take all inspiration from?
For me, music just happens, it doesn't really require any specific inspiration. It's just the lifestyle I lead, it's what I do day in and day out. You can take all my music tools away from me and I'll just wind up beating on a table to make music. There's just no way I can't make music. There comes a time in everyone's life where they fully know who they are and what they want to do with their life. For me, music is why I'm on earth. As far as the themes, I do draw stories from what happens to me and the people in my life. The good and the bad, the weird and the obscene.
13. What are your main musical influences? How huge is their influence in your sound?
Musically, I have a few. Growing up, I idolized Axl Rose. When I finally got to see Guns & Roses live in my early teens, I looked up at Axl and knew what I wanted to do. I just always wanted to be a Rockstar with a unique voice and to me Axl is one of those people. I also look up to artists like Rick Ross, just for the way he put his career together. There's a lot of respect for the business aspect of the art form. And believe it or not, I do listen to people that I would consider peers, like Young Thug, Meek Mill, and Lil Uzi Vert. Just because I feel like these guys capture what I'm trying to say in my own music, but in their own various different ways. Overall, I'm approaching this as a "larger than life" type of character, because that's who Young Rockstar is.
14. How about your songs, the lyrics, what is the story behind your writing style and your songs about then?
You know, I don't really think about it too much. I like interviews for this fact, it makes me think about things I wouldn't normally think about. Writing is just something that I do nonchalantly. I don't have to think too hard about it, so it's a second nature thing. I've been writing songs since I was eight years old, so I don't have to really think about it anymore, I just do.
Though, if I were to break it down to a science, I suppose I try to take a thematic approach, based on the style of the instrumental. If it's a slower song, I'll write about relationship issues. Or a feeling of sadness, or loneliness. If it's a party song with more energy, I'll write about the Rockstar lifestyle, the sex, drugs, and Rock n Roll. It's always about the instrumental for me. Lyrically, I try not to extend the truth too much in my music, but sometimes when you're telling a story through art, you have to take creative license with it.
I rarely write the song first and then find an instrumental to fit the vibe. 95% of the time, the music comes to me first, no matter what kind of writing situation or environment I'm in. It does happen the other way, but it's really rare.
15. What is it that you have planned out for the rest of this year, leading right into this next year?
I really do want to be the hardest working person in the industry. I plan on releasing 4 mixtapes in 2018, including one for the end of this year. My first one is entitled "Moves & Movies," and it releases November 2017. In between that, I'll do smaller releases, just because I do have a ton of music. Including those things, I'm cleared to do visuals for 70% of my music releases. That means music video and photo shoots galore. I also want to get Tesce Amaretto an investment deal, my goal is to get the drink into liquor stores from New York to Cali and from Texas to Montana. Finally, I want to help all of my artists on TSCR get to their own goals.
Here's a quick thought on why I'm doing so much. We're in the era of the "Soundcloud Rapper," where any kid with a beat and a mic can be an artist. The strangest part is, they can get famous too. I might sound like I'm hating, but I'm not. Because the fact is, it's really cool that anyone with a voice is able to compete in the marketplace. The downside is, it makes it harder for career artists to stand out. It creates more noise for fans who are looking for new music. So in order to compete with everybody and their cousin, I have to simply do more than they do. I have to go harder in order to stand out like a purple cow in the field. At the end of the day, the career artist will stick out, because they are just persisting through the eras.
16. Thanks a lot for your time! It is really nice to know more about you. Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers?
Hey thank YOU for the interview. I respect everything you are doing at NataliezWorld.com, it really looks like a great platform. I do hope to work with you again in the future. Matter of fact, if you're inclined, maybe we can get something else going!
I'm planning on taking over the space that I'm heading into, I invite everyone to follow me on this journey! In exchange, I'll give everyone some really dope music to listen to. I hope all of the fans can follow me into the future. "Moves & Movies" coming this November.