Sunday, October 16, 2016

Artist Spotlight – Stunna Lorenzana

Walter Lorenzana, better known by his stage name Stunna Lorenzana, is a Latin American rapper and actor from Silver Spring, MD, a suburb of Washington D.C. He is best known for his debut independent album The Silver City Surfer that is set to release in 2016 and his role as a “townie” in the 2017 independent short film Cabin The Story. Stunna started making a name for himself in the underground hip hop scene, releasing various mixtape projects since 2010. As of now he is completely independent and releases his music via his imprint, Empire Lifestyle. His brand of confessional rap mixes current events with his own real life experiences, delivering us his unique blend of hip hop and sharing his perspective of the world we live in with a witty and ironic lyrical flow over beats ranging from classic “boom-bap” hip-hop, to todays Pop, Dance, and R&B.

1.) What’s going on, Walter? Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got the name “Stunna”?
My name is Walter Lorenzana and my stage name is Stunna Lorenzana. I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Silver Spring, MD. I have lived in the Washington D.C. area my whole life and have released music independently since 2010. The name “Stunna” came about when I was in middle school as I used the name “Slim Stunna” as my screen name for the internet way before social media and before I started rapping. The name derived from me being a big fan of Eminem AKA Slim Shady and Cash Money Records, more specifically Baby AKA Stunna at the time. As I started rapping in high school and years after I used the name as my rap moniker. Once I got more serious into developing my brand and sound, I decided to change my name to “Stunna Lorenzana” using my actual last name and dropping “Slim”.

2.) What made you want to do music professionally?
I have always been a big fan of music and more specifically hip hop music since I can remember. My biggest hip hop inspirations growing up were Bad Boy Records, Roc-a-Fella Records, and Cash Money Records. I must say though when I encountered Eminem and his music for the first time it made me really want to record music professionally. It showed me that a hip hop artist can be successful regardless of what others think if you have the determination not to give up. Him being a Caucasian and me being a Latino, I could relate to being a minority in the hip hop industry.

3.) Unfortunately the music industry is full of talented individuals who just don’t get any recognition for their talent and/or work. Is there anything you plan to do to change that?
I really agree with that statement. Once I reach a bigger platform I will definitely help up and coming artists any way I can so more talented artists are recognized by the masses. I know how it feels to not get recognized for the work you put in so I will do my part to change that. More specifically I hope to develop and sign young artists so they will have a platform to release their music.

4.) It seems like you’ve been putting out music for a few years now. What are some things that most people don’t know about being in the music industry?
To be in music industry it takes really tough skin and a lot of failures. I don’t consider myself fully in the music industry yet but I can say that I have learned that a lot of what you see via social media and the internet is an image. The music industry is a business at the end of the day and unfortunately the most talented artist is not always the most successful or popular artist.

5.) You’re independent as of right now, but have you thought about signing to a major? Why or why not?
I have definitely thought about signing to a major label if I had the opportunity, especially when I first started recording music just because major labels have a lot more money behind them so they have a bigger platform to spread your music. Although now I don’t see myself signing to one because I have a better understanding of what it takes to promote my music although the process is a lot slower and it involves investing my own money. I would be open to a partnership with a major label if it was beneficial to both parties.

6.) Do you think that the traditional music industry model as we know it is dead? Why or why not?
I don’t think it is completely dead but I think the model has really changed. It doesn’t take a big record label to break an artist or gain a big fan base anymore. With the access of the internet it is now possible to promote an artist in the manner of a record label with the right resources and connections.

7.) You’re independent and release your music independently through your own imprint, Empire Lifestyle; can you tell us what the meaning behind the name is? Is their any other talent on the label and if so, who are they and what do they do?
Empire Lifestyle is a brand me and a childhood friend created to motivate ourselves and others. It is the name of my independent record label that I hope to one day turn into a bigger platform but more then a record label, it is the brand that represents everything I do. “Empire” derives from building my own empire independently and “Lifestyle” represents the lifestyle that it takes to do it on your own. As of now there are a few young artists affiliated with the label that will be featured on my upcoming project. Once the album is released I will be able to announce if there is any artist officially working with the label.

8.) What were some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered as a professional trying to launch your business and get it off the ground?
The main challenge has been not letting myself get discouraged and staying consistent while trying to launch my music as a business. I have invested a lot of time and money into this but have yet to see a big return on what I have invested. I have faith that I will see a return plus more, but at the end of the day it is really a risk. My passion for my music is what keeps me going and all the mistakes along the way have taught me to become a better business man.

9.) What can you tell all the people out there who want to start their own business but don’t know how or where to start?
You have to find something that you are really passionate about. You will have to invest a lot of time and money and there is a possibility that you will not see anything in return for awhile. If starting your own business is really what you want then you must be prepared to fail but in the end the outcome will be so much more rewarding.

10.) What are you most excited about at the moment? In addition to that, is there anything that we should look forward to from you in the future?
I am really excited about releasing my debut independent album “The Silver City Surfer” which I have been working on for over a year. I feel that this project will be a true reflection of me as an artist and an introduction to the people that have never heard of me. I feel that this project will open doors into taking my business to the next level and taking my brand nationwide. The album will be available by the end of the year on all digital streaming services.

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