Today we continue our collaboration with Columbia College’s AEMMP Hip Hop, which is a completely student run record label. Each week they select one Columbia College student to profile as their featured artist of the week. This week they send us Greg Owens, who took some inspiration from Will Smith and turned into a burgeoning career as a rapper and producer. Check it out below.
RubyHornet: What was your first experience with Hip Hop music?
Greg Owens: My first experience with Hip Hop was probably when I was in elementary school. Back in the day I was only allowed to listen to gospel or clean music. But I remember my mom getting me Will Smith’s Willennium album, and I use to bump that CD all the time (still til this day.) I became a big Will Smith fanatic and would get all of his CD’s when they came out. He’s one of the reason why I make music and also the reason why I don’t curse that much in my music.
RubyHornet: At what point did you start making music?
Greg Owens: Well, I’ve been playing the drums since the age of two, so that kind of started it off. As far as recording music, I started back in ’06 when I was 13. I got this program called Music Maker 10, because at the time I didn’t know where to get instrumentals, so I just started making my own beats. I remember at first recording on a distorted web cam (the struggle haha). Since then I’ve been at it non-stop recording and producing for myself and other artist as well.
RubyHornet: What’s it like balancing college studies with your music career?
Greg Owens: To be honest, it sucks. I don’t think people understand what it’s like to try to balance school and your music career. That’s when the word prioritizing comes in to play. My parents are both educators so both of them (especially my dad) preach about handling my business in school first, and then everything else after. I tend to put music first the majority of the time, but I also remember that almost $40,000 is being invested into a school year.
RubyHornet: What does Columbia give you as far as being an artist?
Greg Owens: Columbia is definitely a great place to network. I’ve met so many talented hip hop artist, singers, videographers, dancers, etc. You pretty much can build a team with people that are in different fields just by attending Columbia. I also got a chance to meet and chop it up with people who are in, or were in, the music industry. You also get to run into people outside of Columbia, especially the rising artists here in Chicago. So from that aspect, the $40,000 is worth it.
RubyHornet: For anyone new checking this article out, what are three things you want them to know about you?
Greg Owens: First, I am a musician, music producer, song writer and recording artist. Right now I’m working on my 10th project Young, Black and Gifted, which should be out early next year. I feel like this project will be “the one.” If any artist needs any production or just wants to collab, don’t be afraid to contact me. Last but not least, visit my website at gregowensmusic.net, follow me on Twitter @gregowens614 and hit me up on facebook as well. Thanks to RubyHornet and AEMMP Records for the opportunity.