Chicago native and 8ShotzMusik owner Brandon Cook talks with Rae Bay about his initiative to bring a music program to schools

Brandon Cook-
Brandon Cook- Owner of 8shotzmusik

While in Chicago this past week, Rae Bay got the chance to speak with Brandon Cook, the creator of 8ShotzMusik a new music company which gives artists the accessibility to record music in the comfort of their own home.

Thanks for meeting with me.

You’re welcome.

Were you born and raised in Chicago?

Yes I am, South side, Southeast side.

Oh ok. So I know that you’re a rapper, where does your passion for music come from?

It was always there as long as I could remember. I guess the earliest memory I can have with wanting to do it was first grade. When my cousin used to kind of rap a little bit and then I was kind of like, ” oh I want to try this”. It kind of grew from there, I just thought that that’s what I wanted to do.

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Are you still pursuing rap as a career, trying to get signed to a major label?

Not as much as I [did], I found out that my passion was actually just creating music, being apart of the creative process. That’s how I got into audio engineering and design.

Speaking of being an audio engineer, you turned your passion for music into your company 8shotzmusik, tell me about it.

Ok, so 8shotzmusik is basically a company that I created to give artists accessibility. One of the biggest things that I fought with no matter where I went [was] I wanted to create music. So my avenue was to create a company that will come to the artist and if they needed to record them they can get it done anywhere no matter where they were.

That’s a really good idea. Where did the name 8Shotzmusik come from?

8shotzmusik came from my rap name, it was 8shotz. But the meaning behind it is if you take the number eight and you turn it sideways it’s the infinity sign. Shotz is the chances, but I wanted to let people know you have an infinite amount of shots to take. You don’t give up on your dreams as long as you pursue it with a certain tenacity you can obtain it.

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You primarily work with underground artists, why was it important for you to help out these unsigned artists?

Because I am one of them. In short it is, all of our voices need to be heard. What’s the best way to get us heard? Mainstream rap is the moneymaker I guess, but there’s a lot of messages of here that people aren’t hearing. A lot of artists feel defeated and you don’t know what this person has to say until you give them an avenue to spread their message. The point is to give back and help everyone have a voice.

You’re trying to get this into Chicago schools as an extra curricular program. I think that’s awesome by the way. Why is it important for you spread the word about music education?

It’s one of the ways that we communicate with each other all throughout history one of the things that all human beings had in common was a love for music, sound, and rhythm. So what we created was an extra curricular recording program where students will have the opportunity to get to experience what it’s like to be a recording artist [and] go through that process. The schools benefit by giving the students subject matter to focus on.

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What schools have you gotten the program in so far?

So far, I’ve piloted it [at] Chicago excel academy in Roseland. I’m looking to revamp and to move into more schools. I’ve been in talks with a couple schools, but nothing is confirmed at this point.

What do you think it will take for you to get the program going?

Help. Belief. Belief that it is possible. Belief that the students can use it and that they can benefit from it. Resources, there’s a lot of hurdles but we’re going to keep pursing it. You’ll hear about it an you’ll be the first person that actually do the interview and it.

Thanks! Do you have any plans to expand 8ShotzMusik?

Yes, not in terms of written down at this very moment but the idea is there that this will become vivid and that I can train people to do exactly what I do. So the idea is there, we’re just waiting for the feedback and the interest to grow.

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So where can people contact you?

I’m on Instagram, [Twitter], and Facebook all of it is 8Shotzmusik. Also I have a website which is www.8shotzmusik.com

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