With over 100,000 social media followers, 1 million+ video views and recent features on Bravo’s First Family Of Hip Hop…the momentum is building for Corey Pieper. Milwaukee Magazine caught up with the talented musician on his day-to-day life, favorite Milwaukee staples and future plans.
How did you get interested in hip-hop?
I had a young mom growing up, and she would always play hip-hop music from artists like the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Tupac. I wrote my first song when I was in 7th grade called “The Gingerbread Man,” and then I went on to pursue it more during high school. After winning Battle of the Bands at a popular school charity event and selling out of shirts and CDs during classes, I realized this is what I wanted to do the rest of my life.
Do you write all your own work?
Up until about a year ago, I wrote all my own music. With a few recent successes, we’ve had a ton of extremely talented writers and producers reach out to us. Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of building some really great relationships and working with other creative people. I have a few new records coming out soon that I did with platinum selling producer/singer/songwriter Devon Golder who wrote “Sweetest Girl” by Wyclef Jean, Akon, and Lil Wayne.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find a lot (if not all) of my inspiration from real life situations that either I or someone I know have gone through. I like to write about real emotions and things or places I’m familiar with.
You have been featured on Bravo recently, correct?
That’s correct! My management had a close relationship with Darnell Robinson who was on MTV’s Sweet 16 back in the day and is also part of the Sugar Hill Gang family. They wrote and produced some of the biggest records ever.
We sent over a song that I had recorded with an open verse and asked if he’d be down for a feature. He’s been super cool since the jump and invited us out to New York to shoot the music video. He then told us that Bravo was filming a TV show about his family, called First Family Of Hip Hop, and that the network had heard the song, loved it, and wanted to include us in the season. The music video for our song (“Style”) just released as well:
Describe your favorite Milwaukee concert you’ve performed.
Summerfest last year was hands down my favorite performance in Milwaukee. I was on the Briggs & Stratton stage; there were around 4,000 people and the energy was amazing. Besides debuting some new music and my new sound, I tried something new and brought out my friends from Chicago who have a Polynesian dance group. I wasn’t sure how the crowd was going to react, but they absolutely loved it. The forecast was calling for rain all day long, but fortunately for me, it didn’t start raining until 5 minutes after I stepped off stage…. and it was downpouring!
What are your favorite Milwaukee hot-spots?
Were you born and raised in the Milwaukee area?
Born and raised in Milwaukee my entire life! I love it here. I also have a ton of family in Hawaii, so I try to make it back there as often as I can.
Where do you see your future taking you in the next five years?
Lately there’s been a ton of momentum, and we’re feeling better than ever before. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been able to build a great team, learn about the industry and business side of things, create and maintain relationships with important people, as well as record and work on crafting my sound. We have a ton of new material and features with big artists coming out soon, so we expect things to only get bigger and better over the next five years. We’re shooting for the stars and have no plans of slowing down!
Would you encourage Millennials to stick around Milwaukee?
Absolutely, I love Milwaukee. The more I travel, the more I realize how great our city is. It has that big-city vibe, but it’s small enough to not feel overwhelming. The restaurants and bars/clubs are amazing. The people are extremely friendly. There are countless activities to do, lots of history. Also, with the new Bucks arena being built, I think it’s going to drive even more traffic to the city, which will only help it continue to grow.
What’s a typical day in your life like?
Every day is slightly different. Although I have an amazing team that works extremely hard, I like to be in the mix and help out with every single task, decision, etc. I love being hands-on and learning the ins and outs of every aspect of the industry. Some of the day-to-day tasks I handle include making graphics, helping write the scripts for my videos, handling the rough editing of all the footage filmed, writing music, recording, performing, working with other business’s/brands for sponsorships and product placements, updating websites, managing all my social media pages and so much more.
There’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes in the entertainment industry than I think most people realize. It’s a good thing I love what I do and am passionate because there’s always something we could be doing every second of the day.
You have hundreds of thousands of views online. How did you get so popular?
Lots of hard work and dedication. Very cliché, I know! The biggest thing my team and I have always focused on is being consistent. In this day and age with social media, you constantly have to be engaging with your fans and staying relevant online. Lucky for me, I love my fans and love social media, so it comes naturally. Aside from social networks, you also have to be consistent in day-to-day grinding. Although some moves don’t always convert into direct income or exposure, every play stacks up to create the overall picture and vision. Always stay true to yourself and do things for the right reasons.
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.
Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we react to it.
If it is important to you, you will find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.