Staying true to the 813, HMTWN represents Tampa thick and through. His representation of the city is meant to make sure people remember what Tampa has to offer is unique, new and strong in all areas of what society considers culture to be.
Throughout the interview, I had the the opportunity of learning more about him and all he does in his area work in order to further the name of the different areas he represents. As a host for beatsnchill he has been able to create a community where people appreciate the art of creativity, expression and originality. Genuinely his goals are true, he aims to show respect and to show love for all the people that dedicate their life to music. It was honorable how important it was to have him describe the passion and reasons for representing not only his brand but persona as well.
HMTWN gives us the opportunity to learn what has guided him and inspired him to continue a career in the area of Tampa; usually people want to go somewhere else to make their dreams come true but instead HMWTN had manifested into the creation of what true hometown culture really is. “Be the change you want to see”, he claims as we dissect the industry and dynamics of what made him do the work he does.
When & why did you decide to shorten the name Hometown Hero to HMTWN?
I cringe when people would say my original name with the hero at the end lol. Most people just say “hometown” so I went with that and I thought it would look cool without the vowels in it.
What do you believe people think when they hear it?
That I am a true native of Tampa and I represent Tampa in everything I do.
Originally starting as an emcee, what are some songs you grew up listening to that you still play today?
I’ll visit old Wayne tapes on YouTube from time to time. “Lil’Weezyana, Drought 3, Color of Money, Prefix/Suffix” always make me think of summer in Tampa.
What inspired you to leave the studio and become an event curator instead?
Just to let you know I never left the studio lol… but I wanted to put the term “be the change you want to see” into action in my community. I saw a need and wanted to fulfill it.
Are you still interested in making music?
Yes. Absolutely. Producers, send me beats. Lol.
Anything in the works with the BluuZone collective?
Yes. Gat$ has new music, Pat has new music, Jordan stays working with someone on new music, Reily got joints on the low, James, & even myself.
What do you most love about beatsnchill?
The community it has created and the fact that people are genuinely always looking forward to a good time; regardless of who’s playing.
As a host, what is your most difficult task?
Hosting. I’m getting better I think. But discovering talent, booking talent, marketing your brand, designing, financing, etc. it’s really a tedious job.
What message do you aim to provide to listeners of beatsnchill?
Respect and show love to the producers and the vibe controllers.
Can you think of any song that reminds you of the beginning of your career?
Good question.. I would say 2nd Childhood by Nas.
Who have been some of your favorite producers featured thus far?
Tough, but STLNDRMS was amazing.
As the cofounder of Tampa Beat, what did you find most difficult in making sure that people understood the reason behind the weekend?
Everyone is doing festivals for anything and sometimes it just seems like a money grab. I try to go the extra mile in the access and the experience for the people attending without making you break the bank. I want Tampa to be the new hub for music production. TBW will definitely do that.
Have there been any particular DJ’s or producers who you have grown to become a big fan of?
I really like Santiago Purp. I think he’s going to be important. Tyven is super dope to be so young. I low key though need a whole hard drive of beats from my boy Noo$e. Lol
How important do you want this festival to be to Tampa?
I want it to help shift Tampa’s identity in what it also contributes to hip hop and the community of music creators.
Any names from the lineup you can tell us before the official drop?
I wish lol. Just know that we want to make sure Tampa is represented well.
A classic Tampa song that currently describes or fits your mood on how this new year has gone so far?
Not sure if this counts lol but “Encore” by Cheryl Lynn is my mood till summer.