Mir Fontane is an up and comer out of Jersey with a passion for storytelling. We sat down with him before his show last Friday at the Schine Underground in order to figure out the man behind the music.
So Mir, what are some of the tracks that people should be looking out for both on your Soundcloud and during your live performances?
I would say “Pam”, which was one of the first singles that actually broke. It actually has a video that was shot here in Syracuse with some students. Also “Wanni Wag.”
Is there anything about these particular tracks that you think makes them stand out from your entire body of work?
I don’t really think so. I approach each track differently to avoid having all of my stuff sound the same.
Do you do the production yourself or do you have someone producing for you?
I have a couple of people who do production for me, but sometimes I’ll have an idea for a beat in my head and I’ll take it over to one of them and they’ll do it up for me.
How long have you been doing this for?
I’ve been doing this for about five years now. I was in high school listening to Lil’ Wayne and I thought “what if I make a mixtape?” like, who would listen to it? So I made the tape and I was like “whatever happens happens.” I was trying to get the attention of this girl anyways. So I ended up just selling CDs in school and it was just cool to see people actually give feedback on something that I made. I just thought it was cool and ran with that, the fact that I could tell stories and my wordplay would just carry me along.
So you dropped “Ride or Die” about a week ago, can you tell me a little bit about that?
So “Ride or Die” was just a track that me and Tsu Surf put together, kind of like a back and forth. Since we’re both storytellers I thought it would be cool to do a storytelling track together, and it kind of worked out as a North Jersey/South Jersey kind of connection. Me and Jon (manager) drove up to the studio and knocked it out.
You mentioned that you’re a storyteller. What kind of stories do you like to tell?
I like to tell any type of story. I get pleasure out of being able to captivate an audience, having people actually listening to every word like an “I wanna hear what happens next.” type of thing. That’s how I got into writing stories and I thought it was dope to do that over a beat. Ever since I started going to school I was always fascinated with English and the whole playing on words thing, so it was second nature for me to work stories into my music. I have a couple of stories that I haven’t gotten to tell yet, it’s all about finding the right beat. Most of the stories I tell are from real life experiences, and I’m waiting on some of them to play out before I can use them for my music.
If you had to pick some of your contemporaries to work with, who would you pick?
I’ve always had a thing for Kanye West, Frank Ocean too. I think they’re critical thinkers in the way that they approach their music. I think that I could do some good MC to MC stuff with J Cole or Kendrick. Underground, I’ve always thought that I could do something with Dizzy Wright or J-Rock. I like “substance” rappers.
Is this your first time in Syracuse?
I played the Westcott in 2013. I was in a different place back then as far as my career and my music go. It was definitely an experience. I enjoyed it, but I think there will definitely be better shows to come. First time I was here I was trying to get used to developing a stage presence and as an artist. Last time I came I hadn’t done a lot of shows. That was like two or three years ago, and I think there’ll be better shows to come.