UA Little Rock has an underground variety of artists around campus. I started the Artist Spotlight column in October of 2019 to showcase some of these artists. February’s Student Artist Q&A focus is on UA Little Rock’s student Tajjon McDaniel. McDaniel is a junior majoring in Media Production. His supporters may also know him by his stage name Perspectiv3.
When did you know you wanted to do music? How old?
Perspectiv3: I knew I wanted to do music at a very young age. I fell in love with music when I was in the womb. My dad said that when my mom was pregnant, he would always play music around the house. My dad just loved playing music out loud in general. I would often bang on pots or tables around the house making beats.
How did you get into producing?
Perspectiv3: My dad plays a huge role in my producing lifestyle. He used to make beats all the time when I was younger and even had friends who did the same thing. Anytime my dad was in the studio, you could find me in the back with him. It’s just something about merging sounds together and coming up with a breathtaking product.
You said you would be in the studio with your dad, was he an artist as well?
Perspectiv3: My dad was an artist and producer, but [he] embraced the producer side more.
What is your process like in the studio?
Perspectiv3: My process is fairly simple. I sing a lot throughout the day and come up with melodies. I often record them on the phone so I don’t forget them. Once I get to the studio, I pull my software up and go straight to the piano. As soon as I touch the keys, I experience a surge of power that’s undeniable. My process varies from day to day.
Why did you decide to come to school instead of solely focusing on your music career?
Perspectiv3: I came to school because it was something that was always instilled in me. My parents wanted to attend college but didn’t really get the chance. I picked up the torch and decided to go. I’m the oldest of three. I had to be that beacon of light and show them that they can do anything and still pursue what they love. I just wanted some more skills under my belt to enhance what I truly love.
How do you juggle being a student and an artist/producer at UA Little Rock?
Perspectiv3: Honestly, it’s quite a lot juggling between being an artist/producer who’s also a full-time student. At the end of the day, it all comes down to prioritizing time and understanding what’s more important during this season. I try to get my work done earlier in the week so that I may have time to do what I love most.
What challenges have you faced?
Perspectiv3: I’ve faced a lot of challenges since coming to college. I lost a very good friend due to a tragic car accident and sickness. He was an inspiration to me and always told me that I was going to make it and do big things in this world. I was just making beats at that point of time, but he always saw more in me. After he passed away, I went into a deep depression, but it made me write more and added power to my passion.
Can you take me through a day’s process of when you have classes and also work in the studio?
Perspectiv3: My day usually starts at 5 a.m most days. It doesn’t happen every day but most of the time. My class schedule is kind of spread out, so I’m usually in the Mass Communications building from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. every day. I have two-hour breaks on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so during those breaks, I go to my room and cook up a quick beat if I have an idea.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you get producer’s block? Do you have any techniques?
Perspectiv3: I get my inspiration from a walk outside, watching other producers produce, talking with friends or even late-night drives.
Was there ever a time where you wanted to focus on school or music more than the other?
Perspectiv3: Most definitely! I often find myself wanting to do the music way more than school, but I know that school is going to benefit me in some areas that I’m not aware of yet. I dropped out of school for a year and worked on my music religiously while working a server job and as a counselor in the summer.
How did your family react to you dropping out since you were the first in the family to attend college?
Perspectiv3: They were very supportive of my decision. They knew that I had a dream and that I wanted to pursue it.
What motivated you to come back?
Perspectiv3: My parents, little siblings and working at Texas Roadhouse as a server. I had a couple of regulars who said that I deserved better and that I was meant to do big things in life. They told me if they saw me in that restaurant in the next couple of months, they were going to get me. They said I was bigger than a restaurant and too bright to be there. That blessed my soul and motivated me even more.
What are your goals after graduating from college?
Perspectiv3: I think about my goals a lot! One of my goals is to travel to different states and see how their music culture is. The big goal is to move to Texas for a little bit and network down there. Texas has a pretty nice music scene that I want to be a part of and then bring that heat back to Arkansas. I will also be traveling to music conferences and pursuing the lifestyle of being a full-time entrepreneur, making a living as a producer, artist, videographer and filmmaker.
After looking at your SoundCloud, I noticed that your uploads go back to four years ago. How has social media helped you grow as a producer?
Perspectiv3: I started uploading music to SoundCloud when I was a senior in high school. That’s when I discovered that I had something to say to the people. Social media has helped me a ton as a producer. Sometimes I would post snippets of my beats and start catching the attention of some local artists. I’m the type of person who pulls up a beat on the spot because I’ve made at least a thousand beats and am proud to show them off. [During] my senior year of high school, I posted a song with a friend of mine by the name of Mary Rachel Rose. [As] soon as we dropped it, our high school went crazy and posted it on their social media. We had a thousand plays in a matter of two days. I thank social media for that.
What school did you attend?
Perspectiv3: Lakeside High School in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Who are some of your favorite producers in the game now?
Perspectiv3: Sounwave, TaeBeast, Noah Shebib, Tay Keith, Sonny Digital, IllMind, Anderson Pak, Big Krit and J. Cole.
I know that you’ve collaborated with UA Little Rock student DeeAyee. How did that collaboration come about?
Perspectiv3: DeeAyee is my brother! I met him when I was a sophomore through a mutual friend. That man has bars that will twist your head in circles. He’s dope in person, but when you listen to his music, you really get an idea of how dope he really is. I love that guy, I’m just glad that I was able to connect and make a brother of a future legend. I always tell him that he is going to be big one day. He simply laughs at me, but his humbleness is going to get him very far. That man has a passionate soul and is always willing to help people.
I know that there are other artists and producers on UA Little Rock’s campus. Are you open to collaborating?
Perspectiv3: I’m always open to collaborating, whether it be making a beat for someone, spitting a 16 on a feature, or even mixing and engineering vocals.
What is one collaboration you would like to get under your belt? Locally and famous?
Perspectiv3: I would someday love to get a collaboration with my guy from Dreamville, J. Cole. I would also love to get on a record with the top dog himself, Kendrick Lamar. First, I need to upgrade my bars to super saiyan mode. As far as locally, I would say Comosaski, Penn Davis, Alexis Ray Parker, Stoney Jackson and more.
Now let’s talk about your personal projects. Tell me about your latest release, “Vein.”
Perspectiv3: In “Vein,” I was coming from a broken place and a self-identifying period. The message was made to give people hope and inspiration. Letting them know that they could conquer any situation thrown at them, no matter the obstacle.
I noticed that it had spoken word flow. Was that the goal?
Perspectiv3: Yes, that was the goal for sure.
How would you categorize your work?
Perspectiv3: I often ask people this question. Most people say that my work is socially conscious and motivating. My whole goal is to inspire and motivate.
As a producer, are you open to delving into other genres?
Perspectiv3: Most definitely! It’s important to be versatile, especially with this generation of music. Music rules this world in every form. It’s the universal language and you have to know it and be willing to advance as it rapidly progresses with time.
How has your musical journey been since you’ve started?
Perspectiv3: I started taking rap seriously a year ago and have loved every part of the journey. It’s something about hearing your voice playing through people’s cars. I was already passionate about making beats, why not get back to my love of writing songs as well? Throughout this journey, I’ve thought about giving up, but every time that happens, people walk up and say, “I listened to your last song, bro, keep on grinding and putting out music. You actually have a lot to say, we need more music like yours.” That gives me so much hope and inspiration, like wow people really rocking with my music. I had someone come up to me a couple of months ago and tell me they loved my music. I honestly didn’t even know this person, but they knew my words. That was real love.
What has been your most memorable memory?
Perspectiv3: My first performance here in Little Rock at Aphrodesia Studios. It was my first show ever since I started releasing music. It was actually on my mom’s birthday. My mom drove from Dallas, Texas, to watch my first performance as an artist. I’ll never forget that moment.
What upcoming projects do you have coming out?
Perspectiv3: I have a lot of projects coming soon. My first real project is going to be a story of my life. I’m going to talk about the things I’ve encountered in my years of going out into the world by myself and entering college.
Perspectiv3 is expecting to put out his first project during the summer of 2020. Listeners can stream his music on all streaming platforms.