WORDS BY SHANNON ROSENBERG
VIDEO BY CYPRESS BAI AND VEKUNDA LUANGAPHAY
Local hip-hop artist Seth Dollar spills the story behind his short but exciting career in music and beyond. This is 20 Questions with 20 Watts.
1. What is your name?
Seth Daniel Colton
2. How old are you?
I am 20-years-old.
3. What is your rap name?
4. Where did the name come from?
Originally I didn’t have a rap name. I was Seth, Seth raps. But someone I used to work with closely gave me the idea of using Seth Dollar. Because at the time, I was a G-Unit fan, you know 50 Cent. I didn’t get that (Seth Dollar) from being a fan of G-Unit, by no means. I don’t want them to take that credit. I didn’t take that name, I mean obviously no one can name me. But I took it into consideration and put my own coin on that. Everyone loves a dollar. No matter what kind of dollar that is. So I’m just a type of dollar. And my favorite color is green (laughs).
5. Where are you from?
I was born in Syracuse here. But when I was seven, my mother moved me and my family to Miami, which is where she is from. So I spent a lot of my life in Miami and Syracuse.
6. When did you start rapping?
I was more of a writer than a rapper. 10-11 was when I started writing in whatever journal I could find. And then by the age of 14 I afforded my first studio session. They were like $25 an hour.
7. What inspired you to have your own music career?
I was inspired from music deeply from my grandfather, who played keyboard in KC and The Sunshine Band. It is a family rumor that he helped write that song “Play That Funky Music White Boy.”
8. Did anyone you listen to in particular influence your style?
I was also deeply inspired by the G-unit movement, more so the rapper Lloyd Banks.
9. What do you pull your lyrics from?
I consider my music contemporary rap and R&B. So whatever I’m going through in my current state of life that’s what I pull my lyrics from.
10. What is your main goal for your music?
I want people to know that this is realistic. I don’t want to just make songs that last for that moment in time, but more so the moments in time.
11. What do you hope to see happen with your music in the future?
I pull a lot of it (lyrics) from just wanting my music to be here when I’m not here. Because I’m not going to live forever but my music will.
12. What message do you want your music to convey?
When people listen to the music, its not like I’m just making something to make it. But when you hear it and you think of the person I am you don’t just hear it, you feel it; like you know me when you hear it.
13. What are you focused on in life right now?
I am a student. I am in my junior year and I will be transferring in to SU under the VPA program.
14. What hobbies do you have outside of your music career?
I play tennis when I can, I’m getting into soccer and I run a brand too Children of the Summer.
15. How did you get the name Children of the Summer for your brand?
Well I was born in the summer. I was born June 23, and a lot of my friends were born in the summer. The meaning got a lot deeper once I started thinking about the topic of what is a child of the summer. I started thinking you have the fall, winter, and spring to learn and then the summer you take everything you learned and you grow. And in that way we’re all like Children of the Summer.
16. Can you tell us a little more about Children of the Summer?
Well, Children of the Summer started the summer of 2011, that’s when I got out of high school. Me and a few friends of mine who are now colleagues, we started coming to Newhouse. It started as a movement, and still is a movement. It’s an umbrella for the music as well. We have been working with J. Michaels and actually have our product in the store.
17. Are you working on anything in particular right now?
I’m currently working on a project (next album) called It’s Only Right. It captures the moments of me entering college up until now. It captures the whole feeling of change and the title its only right coincides with change.
18. When will this next album be debuting?
It will be out in November. We’re not giving it a date yet. You can download it for free at my website Children of the Summer.
19. How will listeners be able to download it?
You can download it for free at my website the childrenofthesummer.com.
20. What is the hardest thing you face as a rapper?
This is going to come as a shocker. The hardest thing I face is trying to know what to spend your time on. That’s the toughest thing. Learning to balance things.
Special thanks to Seth Dollar