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Post  WWW.CONGLOMERATEFANS.COM on Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:56 pm

Back in May, hundreds of up-and-coming MCs flaunted their freestyle rapping skills in Radio One’s “Bust It Like Busta” contest. While the competition was fierce, only one entrant would be selected for the grand prize mentoring session with Busta Rhymes and executives at Universal/Motown along with a Busta concert performance. In the end, Houston’s Blaze Burna earned the once-in-a-lifetime meeting with the industry superstar. Blaze made quite an impression with “Houston We Have a Problem”— the spit that landed him the Number 1 spot in the channel as determined by fan judging. We had a chance to talk with Blaze after informing him of his big win:

"Bust It Like Busta" Contest Winner Blaze Burna
Q: What would you like to take away from your mentoring session with Busta and the execs at Universal/Motown?

A: The advice of someone that’s more experienced on the business side. I’ve been making music since I was 8 so I know a thing or two about that, but I’m hoping to take away some guidance on how to take my career further than where it already is.

Q: You’ve been doing freestyle contests for awhile, do you think you’ve evolved as an artist by participating in battles?

A: I know I’ve evolved! It’s because every competition is different. You can’t walk in there expecting you’re going to win. One thing I thought I’d never do was commercial music because of all the restrictions — but with each different freestyle competition there ends up being some rules you have to follow. I’ve learned you’ve got to be able to step outside your comfort zone with your own brand of music.

Q: I read that your mixtape, The Nomination, is selling like hotcakes around Houston; do you have any plans to put another release out any time soon?

I’m going to drop a mixtape on my birthday, September 16th. I was also thinking about dropping another project I’ve been working on around September 11th called “State of Emergency.”

Q: One of the artists on OurStage, Stephen Scott of The Petticoat Junkies, wanted to know more about different local music scenes across the US. While the Internet is a powerful tool to artists getting their music out there, location tends to play a huge factor in how an artist develops. How would you describe the Houston music scene? Would you recommend it to emerging artists looking to relocate?

A: It’s an excellent scene to be a part of—there’s so much diversity down here that a lot of people don’t get a chance to see. I think relocating would be a good decision if you’re in a smaller market city that just isn’t working out for you. For lesser known artists Houston is a great place to build a fan base — the people are willing to listen to new music if you market yourself right. For me, selling two dollar mixtapes has worked really well. The thing is, it’s a large city and it has a need for underground [independent] music right now. When a lot of Houston artists and labels go mainstream, they tend to ignore the the local scene. OurStage is one of those sites that tends to bridge that gap between mainstream and underground —it’s where local artists can get some exposure.

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