HDN Cujo is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter making noise with his unique delivery and style on his newest track “Warzone.” This track brings a deep feeling to it, he expresses his battle to take care of his family and to be on top as an independent artist in the newest release. HDN Cujo’s unique style of music has been separating him from the pack of countless other artists in the Niagara Falls, NY area.
If you aren’t familiar with HDN Cujo Read more in the interview.
Here’s how the interview went:
Welcome to Disrupt, Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Growing up in the church as a drummer and pianist and uncles making music made me want to always be a “famous rapper” someday. I loved listening to Kirk Franklin and gospel rappers such as Lecrae when I attended church and that was the path I wanted to start at being a big believer in God but over time the Hip Hop/ R & B, Pop setting grew on me. As I watched artists like A Boogie, 50 Cent, Michael Jackson, Drake and many other influential artists make a name for themselves it made me catch a dream of becoming someone like them someday. It always felt like a dream until I made it happen.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
The most interesting that that happened to me since I started this career was getting on BET. As a young kid seeing Bow Wow on there it was like if I could get on here someday it would be BIG. Getting my music placed on there was a blessing. I want to give a special thanks to Theodore “Stretch” Travis for making that happen for me and we’re looking forward to many more appearances on BET and other big great music platforms.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistakes I made when first starting out were giving some “influencers” money to promote me and getting scammed and blocked. I learned that just because someone has a big following and is willing to help you grow it doesn’t mean a thing they’re still a regular person just trying to get through life and that may be the only way they’re making a living but I won’t make the mistake of falling for that again.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
The most exciting/ interesting project I’m working on is my debut album as well as a Collab album with another artist from my city who has his name out there. Growing up with him seeing his approach to the music when we started working together I realized his hunger is a different level and we share a passion for music with dreams to take over and be great. Another great project I’m working on is my Zoom song with creative direction to tell a story with my metaphorical and melodic lyrics displayed to paint a vivid picture in the head of a listener.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Calboy, Menice, Koncept – P, and my producer Trill Gates are some of the most interesting people in this industry I’ve interacted with. All of them are humble individuals although becoming popular in today’s age evolves around money these individuals are out here to help people with talent grow and get to the stage they are no matter the sacrifices they would have to make. I speak very highly of these individuals and pray they are blessed highly.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Take your time finding your sound and learning the industry and all business aspects. You don’t want to force anything at all or it will most definitely cause failure. Stay humble and be patient if you wait it will come naturally with hard work and dedication.
You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
Patience with hard work and passion in this industry is essential as well as having a budget to get your art seen or creating great content. It takes time to get far but you will results the harder you work and will definitely accomplish a lot if you stay true to yourself and work hard. Don’t forget where you came from.
Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices, or treatments that you do to help your body, mind, or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.
I pray a lot for being a strong believer in Christ. Healthy eating and a great night’s sleep help a lot. Although sometimes in this industry you may not get rest, some days getting a good sleep keeps the mind intact and helps when focusing on creating your craft.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
- There are people out here sending emails as fake A&R and blog representatives. Starting out when I would hashtag things like saying cheese snd WorldStar or tag labels, many hours later I would get an email saying “We’ve been trying to reach you we love your music” SCAM that’s all I have to say. I would never give them my money or fall for that.
- You can make it Independently. As an artist, I’ve always thought that you NEED a label to blow up or you need a label to become famous. You don’t need a label at all to become a superstar. A label can most definitely help you a lot but you don’t NEED one to be great.
- You’re competing with the artist like Drake and Lil Baby. When starting I honestly to god thought that you’re competing with your people in your city and other underrated artists. At the end of the day, you’re trying to get the top so you have to make music videos, music, content just as you would see a celebrity if that’s where you’re trying to go.
- You need $$$ to invest in yourself, a lot of it. Investing in yourself is very big. If you invest in yourself you will see results, you will be able to achieve more than the person who’s not investing in themselves.
- This is a business rather you like it or not. I’ve learned that this industry is more business than music. Although you’re constantly creating music without knowing the business side you will lose a ton of money as well as lose out on a lot of opportunities.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite life lesson quote is what I have tatted on my right arm “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. This quote means a lot to me because I wake up daily and thank the man above for all that he’s done for me. Although it takes a lot of hard work I know that my God has blessed me with everything I have achieved so far in life with much more to come.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am very grateful to many people that helped me reach this point in my careers such as my fans my family that invest in me and believe in me and other supporters but I specifically went to thank Menice, Trill Gates Production, Drew XL, Dan2thel, and Theodore “Stretch” Travis, Percy (Mr. Prezzydential). These individuals helped mold me into the solid artist I am and great people to have on your team in every aspect. Besides the role they play in the making of records they help me out in all aspects from marketing to business relations building relationships etc. they are there for me to look to if I need guidance and I appreciate them a lot.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
If I could start a movement it would be to help cancer patients and get them the treatments they need. I’ve lost family due to it and know many people battling cancer right now.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
I would love to personally sit down with DJ Khaled. I’d love to personally get his aspect on the music industry and get to know him personally because of how much an impact on the music industry is the icon/legend he is.
How can our readers follow you online?
Instagram – @hdncujo https://www.instagram.com/hdncujo/
Twitter- @hdncujo https://www.twitter.com/hdncujo
YouTube- HDN Cujo https://youtube.com/c/HDNCujo
Google Me – HDN Cujo https://g.co/kgs/RnRRsw