If you’re not tapped in with For The Speakers (FTS), you’re missing out on a legendary underground movement. The team over at FTS took the time to answer a few questions, and further educated me on everything they have going on. Let me tell you it’s so much more than just compilation albums. S/O everyone in the FTS camp, and I hope everyone reading will gain some insight & knowledge after reading this fire interview……and definitely check out FTS’s debut album FOR THE SPEAKERS, Vol. 1, linked below!
DS – What made you want to start this collab project for the underground?
FTS – I’ve always had a passion in putting other people onto new music and making content. When I was about 13 I started to learn those things could go together on Instagram. For a few years I ran a page called asapblonded that got up to 30k followers, and then was taken down by IG. I had to restart with a bigger and better vision, which was For the Speakers. I really wanted to have something special and unique about this page, some project I could continuously use to shine light on the underground. I wanted something like a Lyrical Lemonade video, an instant ticket to fame for artists. After seeing Patrick Cc release his executive produced album, “Launch Sequence,” I decided to make that project be a compilation album that I would do every year. I didn’t want it to be a straight copy of Patrick Cc or DJ Khaled’s idea though, I wanted somewhat different sounds, and other things to go along with the project every year. In the future, I’m hoping to start interviews, more music videos, live reaction & reviews, even a concert with artists featured on the album. I’m trying to take FTS a lot further than just the music.
DS – Where did the name For the Speakers come from?
FTS – I was really just brainstorming Instagram handles after my first page was taken down. This one was perfect for the purpose of the page, “Giving you the music that’s For the Speakers.” That slogan covers the articles, playlists, and my executive production all in one phrase.
DS – Who is the team behind For the Speakers?
FTS – Right now it’s basically just me (@ftscamden) and 3 writers. They all also have their own music pages, @head_was_clean, @mainly.rap.reviews, @kendricks.cereal and @hip.hop.haven_. As I started to expand with FTS, I needed a team to be covering the paid articles for me. My writing and vocabulary is also not comparable to my talented team. However, since the value of getting an FTS article is that you have me reviewing, I still oversee and try to give lots of input, the team works together very well and has helped me start a lot more big picture things.
DS – How long did the project take to put together?
FTS – About a year, mostly due to delays and waiting for things like features, revisions, etc.
DS – Favorite song off the project?
FTS – My personal favorite has got to be “PHASES.” BigBabyGucci is one of my favorite underground artists and this is exactly the type of track I hope to make more like: a notable artist in the underground killing a crazy beat and letting an artist of slightly less stature coming in and impressing soon-to-be-fans.
DS – Where are you based out of?
FTS – I’m based in the Olympic Peninsula, 3 hours outside of Seattle, Washington.
DS – Any helpful hints for people wanting start their own projects?
FTS – Try to be lenient and flexible, but also be a problem solver. A lot of what executive producing comes down to is coming up with creative solutions. That means the plan you have in your head could go haywire, and it’s you’ll have to come up with a backup plan. In general, just think ahead as much as you can.
DS – Hardest part of putting the project together?
FTS – Definitely timeliness. If there was a magical world where every producer sent a beat pack the day you ask for one, every artist sent a feature back within a few days, every engineer sent your mix back the day you sent stems, the underground could be thriving, and I could probably do a few projects every year. That world is magical however, and sadly not at all similar to reality. Getting a team this massive for one project is asking for a lot, and I’ll almost always rather delay something to get it perfect rather than settle.
DS – What’s next? Goals for 2023?
FTS – Right now I’m working on a little EP I hope to put out just to keep my fans engaged until FTS 2, in which I’m hoping for massive improvements and much more exposure. Some goals for 2023 would be to start growing my YouTube up and reach 1k subscribers, break 10k streams on a song from FTS 2, and be able to meet one of my idols/inspirations.