From the small town of Kingsport in East Tennessee lies an underground passion of musicof all genres. Personally knowing a lot of these musicians, I know the struggle can be real when it comes to branching out and showing your music to the world.
However, for two brothers, the obstacle is a mere challenge, and they plan to keep it moving across the state and even further. Meet Drew and Justin Hoard, respectively Drawn Up and Deep Cut, who make up The Force Field.
A hip-hop group that blends true talent, passion, catchy beats, and real lyrics all together to make a unique style of music that both old school and new age fans will be sure to enjoy. The Force Field have been making music for a number of years now, extending their reach to radio play in Nashville, and touring through East Tennessee to help promote their new EP, The Solid. I recently caught up with the duo act and had a chance to talk about the music and what helps influence them in their endeavors.
Interview with The Force Field
So let’s dive right in, how did The Force Field form and what was your ambition you had in mind?
Justin: That idea is actually Drew’s brainchild but it all comes down to the idea of persistence and keeping going regardless of the obstacles. You just gotta keep pushing.
Drew: “The Force Field” was a mindset more than anything! The world will throw more than a million things your way to try and alter your flow. It’s up to us to stay disciplined and protected by those many harms. We must also be ourselves through the journey. The Force Field is a symbol and representation of keeping an open but solid mind!
How is it working together as not only musical partners, but as brothers?
Justin: It works pretty smoothly! Both of us have always played music in some fashion for a while now so it’s pretty natural. Our schedules are pretty wild at times and we end up working in two parts a lot so the chemistry is just kind of in there somewhere. Not always peachy but we reconcile pretty quickly.
Drew: It’s a privilege for me because it’s easy to get stuff done. We’ve been making music for so long now that it just kinda makes itself it seems.
What sort of musical influences helped you along the way of creating The Solid EP and your style of music?
Justin: As far as the tape we just wanted something out there quality that’s modern but with a classic vibe. Good beats/good rhymes. It’s a good formula. But definitely jazz and old funk records. Also 90’s indie rock. There are really great drum loops and melody structures in a lot of that and you can dance to them! (See Modest Mouse “Truckers Atlas”).
Drew: All genres influence “TheForceField.” There is no ONE style. I would say, however, for this EP, we wanted doobie burners and a solid hip-hop sound! New, but also show the OG way of things.
The Solid EP has ten really catchy tunes. How is the process of putting together the right beat to the right flow of lyrics?
Justin: I just kind of make whatever and send it to Drew and he kind of feels the vibe of the track and writes what he’s getting from it.
Drew: Beats are usually first, but I have to have ones I can feel! After that I just sit down and let my mind travel. It usually comes together just fine!
One thing I really love about the EP is how deep the lyrics seem to carry on. Were there ever any motives in a track or did the writing just come naturally?
Drew: Writing is why I do it! All the great MC’s (Redmans, Ghostfaces, way too many to name here) that I look up to DESTROY the pen! I set out with the same mission! Context is what makes strong songs. I feel when I “catch a beat” the attitude is fueled to really let me get out what I need to say. So yeah it is def. something I’m not trying to force.
I also noticed that you have lots of pop culture references in your songs from Marvel, Power Rangers, and even wrestling. How big of fans are you guys of these and other franchises?
Justin: We LOVE classic WWE. [laugh] Got the network and we run that up quite a bit. But yeah those are just things we grew up on and appreciate.
Drew: My music is me! When I write it is reflective of things I recognize. I’m really into Street Fighter right now. Don’t be surprised if you hear a few lines relating in the next work.
Last question. What else do you have in the works and what are some of your future goals for The Force Field?
Justin: We’re just going to ride the wave, man! [laugh] There’s a project in the works now called Quills that should be out early 2017. I also play drums in a band Loose Leaves and we have an EP coming out pretty soon looks, like, February 2017, latest! Shout out to the Leaves! What up, Trace/Jacob! I would like to release a compilation album of beats featuring verses of all the Tri-City spitters. We’ll see if we can get some steam going!
Drew: Keep it moving to the K.I.M!!! We finally are releasing “TheSolidEP” on Spotify and iTunes as well as many others! So definitely check that out! Hope to be touring and get the project “Quills” out early 2017! Be on the lookout!
Be sure to follow Drawn Up and Deep Cut on social media for more updates and new music!