The underground is full of new fresh faces everyday. But none shine brighter than Trademark. From being the owner of Fresh Fruit to managing the likes of Kevin Kazi and Prettyboiclique, he is someone who is well versed into the scene. Check out what he has to say in this UVC interview.

For the people that don’t know you who are you and what do you do?

I’m Trademark, I’m the founder of Fresh Fruit and manager for Kevin Kazi, Paycheck, Lil 4 and ssgkobe.

How did you get into the position you are in?

I started out as a producer in Forever World in 2016, and after a year of that I realized a lot of the artists I listened to were not being supported like I felt they should. I started Fresh Fruit, but at the time it was just a blog for producers. It picked up faster than I expected so I started covering artists. By that time I had come across Kevin Kazi, He asked me to be his manager and from there I met the rest of Prettyboiclique and the rest is history!

Pretty interesting story on your start! What made you get into music scene?

I started producing back in like 2012 and had used soundcloud, me and lil Coupe and our homie Wes, but I stopped cause I went off to college. But I met back up with Coupe years later and he was telling about what was going on soundcloud. The first song he played me was from Wintertime – on a boat and that shit blew my mind. then I started hearing about Playboi Carti and it’s funny because I used to make those type of beats years before they became popular. That next day I went and installed some software to start producing.

From producer to writer what a change of field. So how did you come about making FreshFruitOnly?

If I had not been on beat block at the time idk if there would be a Fresh Fruit. I couldn’t make music for days so I made a Wix account out of boredom.

Are you glad you had the beat block when you did?

I am, and looking back I wish it happened sooner.

How do you think you have developed as writer do to it?

In some ways I’m better but i still have a long way to go to even sit in the same room with other writers.

Do you think blogs are necessary for the underground or something that’s extra?

They’re important but not necessary because people still look to them for new music and they still help push conversations about music in general.

From there I want to ask about your management services. How did you come about making manager for Kevin Kazi and Prettyboiclique?

I was deep on SoundCloud when I came across Kevin, I got him and Coupe to make a song together, before he was Kevin he went by lil namek. I didn’t know he changed his name and he had dropped the voice pitch, but when I heard “hai” then everything he put out after that I just knew he had something special. so I reached out to him to tell him he needed to get a manager and really take this serious, but he said he didn’t have one and asked if I wanted to take that position. Whyfye was locked up at the time and I had been listening to “daymare” damn near everyday so I already knew about Check as well. I didn’t think they would give me that role but they all welcomed me in from the jump.

So what exactly does a manager do?

Everything and anything I can, the first thing I do everyday is check where we are on streaming, see what’s in my email and dms, then it can be anything for the rest of the day really. setting up shows, setting up merch, working with producers, right now I’m focused on putting funds behind my artists.

When do you think its necessary for an artist to get a manager?

The best teams were started when the manager found the artists and reached out to them so artists shouldn’t worry about management at first, just spend time with your fanbase and focus on the music because that’s what managers want to be apart of, something they can believe in and be #1 fan of.

I was talk a little about you production background, when you first started producing, what made you choose to be a producer over a rapper?

I tried rapping in high school, everyone told me I was pretty good at it but it just didn’t feel like something I could do for a long time and I like to be behind the scene so producing was perfect.

What people have you produced for?

bigbabygucci, lerado, austin skinner, marytheheathen, and komla.

What’s your favorite artist you’ve worked with?

amn that’s hard to say. Between gucci and mary, had the most fun working with them.

As someone who focuses on new acts and making sure they are represented in the underground, who do you think it’s going to blow up year into the mainstream and who do you think will get bigger in the community within the underground?

Tommy Ice is right there, he could break through at any moment, be ready for the Mixed Matches and Endoh wave, and I don’t think people realize what rewindraps is doing right now but they will soon.

What are your favorite artists and producers right now?

For producers I’m really fuckin with brentrambo, nine9, taymasterchef, oscar100 and basedtj.

Do you have any shoutouts you want to give as were wrapping this up?

Joey Walker over at alamo, he was there from the very beginning with chiefers and advice I needed, and my blood brother bigbabygucci.