FAT TONE - Q&A

Fat Tone (aka Jeptoney) is a hip-hop artist and producer based in Tacoma, Washington. He is one of the most talented and hardworking artist we know in the area and has been involved with our Unilalia Live! event series in the Seattle area. I decided to reach out and get to know a little more about his artistry.

With Carter Wilson 

August 2020

How have you been maneuvering through the pandemic? Any challenges or changes to your process?

Honestly I haven’t been moving around too much, just the necessities - recording music and doing a lot of production.

How did your musical journey begin? Was this something you just woke up and decided to do one day or was it more of a concerted effort to realize the musical intention?

I was hella inspired by 50 Cent’s “Get Rich Or Die Trying “ when I was like 6 and that kind of sparked the flame.

Are you native to this area?

Yee man born and partially raised in Seattle. Tacoma is definitely my home and I’m sure many would label me as an artist from the Tac anyway.

Has it shaped or informed your experience as an artist?

I mean kind of. Washington is a rainy state, not much to do. I almost feel as though it’s always brought out this inspiration of creativity.

What challenges have you faced as a young black artist in the Seattle/Tacoma area?

Ooh being labeled, pre-judged, almost feeling as though I’m playing into a stereotype because of the unfortunate opportunities I was offered.

How has your background influenced and inspired your music?

I speak on the real. I’ve gone through some ugly growing up, emotions were second priority. You had to survive the day.

How would you describe the overall message of your music?

Man I’m just spitting the raw facts, you know the ugly side that we often find ourselves trying to keep in the shadows. I’m not afraid to reveal that and speak on it.

What role do you feel you play as an artist especially during these recent events?

Man I’m just keeping everyone aware and staying in my lane. As an artist I don’t compete with no one and I don’t see no one, it’s tunnel vision.

What is your definition of success as a musician?

Being able to make someone’s day. Being some form of relatable support that others can identify and find comfort with.

How has having a son impacted your process? Do you have a higher sense of urgency to be successful? Does that impact or inform your creativity at all?

It definitely inspires me to make sure I’m working as if it’s all or nothing, especially now that he’s hold enough to understand that I make music. He compliments me and mimicked producer tags. His enthusiasm is the ultimate inspiration. I wanna be someone he’s proud to talk about.

We’ve spoken before about the seriousness of drug abuse especially with young people. How have your experiences informed your desire to make a change?

Just losing influential artists and friends due to drug abuse or overdose. I just feel as though there’s a lot left for me to accomplish and see before I go. I just can’t see myself accidentally taking my life hurting all those around me just for a short lived satisfaction.

What advice would you give to somebody struggling?

UNDERSTAND YOU’RE LOVED AND YOUR LIFE MATTERS. DRUGS ARE A DISTRACTION. THEY CREATE AN ILLUSION THAT EVERYTHING IS GOOD WHEN REALLY YOU’RE PROBABLY IN A DEEPER HOLE THEN YOU REALIZE. DON'T BE AFRAID TO GET HELP OR EXPRESS THAT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM. YOU’LL LOVE YOURSELF FOR IT.

What excites you the most about music? The future?

Making a banger that truly satisfies what I classify as art 

Can you describe your creative process?

Man I’m just keeping everyone aware and staying in my lane. As an artist I don’t compete with no one and I don’t see no one, it’s tunnel vision.

Have psychedelics influenced your work or life/mindset at all?

Oh man it would be a disgrace to say that psychedelics haven’t played a major role in my growth as an artist. They’ve allowed me to be honest about me and my most personal feelings.

Unilalia can be described as a space one enters, like traveling into the abyss, in order to gather new information. Have you ever been to Unilalia in your own process?

Oh definitely. I’ve been there a few times taking myself away from the screen and thriving off creative energy.

Can you talk about your recent “Withdrawn” project? Where did the concept come from?

”Withdrawn” was named based on how happy I was about quarantine. No cars, no people, no nothing and that’s when I realized I’m really detached and hate the human race. “Withdrawn”  is exactly my state of mind. Khris P from I’ll Fight You fully produced it. My girl Makena Lono created a monster for the cover art.

How is this project different and/or similar to your other works?

I was a lot more honest and true to my feelings instead of those thoughts of “oh I need to make a banger “ or anything like that.

Can you talk about your involvement with The Super 6 Club?

Man we got a team of top tier producers that I’m blessed enough to be a part of. I’ve gotten some crazy production from most the team. The Super 6 Club ain’t your average group. There’s some crazy shit going on from the production to Astral Trap’s erratic flow.

Are you the type of artist that needs validation? Do you necessarily need support from your peers in order to reach success?

Lmao fuck no I don’t give a fuck what niggas think in all honesty. I mean for all intents and purposes The Super 6 Club and Unilalia are full of phenomenal talent but I wouldn’t say I NEED them. I think that’s what makes us so great we stand strong on two feet. All of us shine individually so coming together just creates a power house.

What has your experience been like in the underground? Do you feel more of a community sense or is it more competitive? Which do you prefer

I think it’s a popularity contest. Muthafuccas just go with the wave. If everyone in Tacoma is talking about someone, the traction and attention only rises but I think we often neglect true raw talent for Hollywood shit.

You were doing shows pretty much every weekend before the pandemic, how have you been able to shift gears and apply that energy to other aspects of your creative process?

Just overworking myself to death making sure I have content ready for when the time comes to get back in front of the crowd. It’s motivated me more. I want people to be surprised and enjoy the new music when we back on stage.

Can you recall your first experience performing? Compared to your most recent performance do you notice any differences in your approach or overall comfortability?

The first time I performed was 2014 for a benefit food can drive at the Hilltop Community Center. I was a lot more stiff back then and just walking around and rapping. Over the years, I got way more comfortable and understood performing is really about the entertainment side. Your songs can be hard but no energy or engagement with the crowd can really put a damper on your set.

What were some of your favorite albums coming up?

The Massacre” - 50 Cent, T.R.U. REALigion - 2 Chainz, Ridin’ Dirty - UGK, Lil Wayne Sorry For The Wait 2

Who are you listening to now?

A whole bunch of west coast cats usually got my favorite locals in rotation - Carter Wilson, Skullly Vega, Mexijake, Astral Trap, Caesar,The Martyr.

What’s next for Fat Tone?

The Super 6 Club album, Astral Trap vs Fat Tone EP, Skully Vega and I’s duo “Don’t Trip” is working on an album, I got projects from Khris P ,Yvngjumex ,Eeohgee and Expedia sittin’ in the cut as well as a number of singles.

Find Fat Tone here.