10 Questions with Doc Proto
-written by Nat Richmond
In the Erie area, people are always on the hunt for something new, fresh, invigorating, and real. Hip Hop's music scene has always had a way of bringing all of those elements to the surface when they're present in a talented artist who's not afraid to be themselves...unapologetically. Meet Doc Proto, an eccentric music producer, songwriter, and emcee who's been an epicenter within the music culture. His willingness to be experimental, avant garde, and at times downright raw has kept his name circulating for many years. A consistent performer, and impassioned creator, Doc takes great pride in his works. His record label, Roswell Enterprises, has ushered in many underground emcees and the "alien" is known amongst the community for his versatile style. In this interview, we explored his foundation and what continues to inspire him to continue bringing forth the fresh, ear-bending sound that he's known for.
How were you first introduced to music? In what ways did that introduction shape your perception of music?
Well...I was first introduced to music very young..by family in my household, everyone in my family had their own taste in music so my spectrum was really broad...I feel like that help me be open and accepting to very different genres of music as well as what is considered popular. I developed a real eccentric taste for music.
Name an artist that pushed you to think outside of the box.
that's a tough question...it's not really just one artist for me..and I would say it's certain projects or songs by a few different artist. But, if having to chose just one..I will say Big Boi from OutKast some times he presents a certain cadence with his flow or he selects some beats that are real obscure to me, but he seems to make it work.
How would you say your environment shaped the music that you would grow to create?
Well that tends to very I guess. Being in the city of Erie this place definitely hones my skills overall as an artist and performer this place certainly disciplines ones craft. Just being around other colleagues that do music and progress it seems like everyday makes me feel productive because my circle of artist I am friends with are productive with their creativity.
Describe the perfect setup. What does it take to creatively get you in the best headspace?
Something nice to sip on, a video game system to play (lol), some dope art to look at, and preferably the night time...I am a night owl for sure.
How do you feel the music scene in Erie has changed in the last 20 years?
Well, it feels like Hip-Hop is a bit more accepted amongst musicians of other genres here now...and there are more people attempting to create and try their hand at being an artist. There a bunch of new faces I see starting to emerge.
Your favorite Hip Hop album? And why?
I really don't have just one favorite hip-hop album...yet. There's a quite a few I like.
Name your most ambitious project to date, and why?
Well my most ambitious project to date is not really a music project. However, when it comes to something pertaining to Art and recording, I would say producing the spoken word album "Infinity Gems" by Bigg Wash and doing the music with my homey Jona Kue for the 1000 documentary also by Bigg Wash and Tom Weber.
How do you hope to positively affect your fans thru your music and words?
Hopefully teach with some of my songs, enlighten with a different perspective, and entertain. If I can make someone feel good then my job is done.
Describe the Roswell sound. Whats coming next for you in the coming years?
You can't quite put your finger on it..it feels familiar at times, but it's different...as for what's coming next, the aim is all good things but I don't want to get too ahead of myself (lol).
hmm I guess that pretty much sums everything up. Lol