Fresh off of what some would call Cinco's most successful show, he tells us a lot more about who he is and were he is headed. Cinco has had a great year but is ready to hit 2016 with new music, videos, and more shows.
Who is Cinco? How did you come up with the name?
Cinco is the alter-ego of myself, Joe Albert. He's a bit more of a high-energy version of the me you see walking down the street. The name came early on, actually; my full legal name is Joseph William Albert V, so growing up, people would call me Cinco. When it came time to pick a stage name when I started to release music, it was the obvious choice.
Why did you start making music? Have you only made hip-hop?
I've always been in love with music and the idea of the musician lifestyle. Back when I was ten or eleven I used to try and write pop songs (height of boy band shit lol) but when my musical tastes changed to hip-hop, I began writing raps and poems when I should have been taking notes in school. Since finding "my sound", I've experimented with acoustic stuff (Drunk With You) and some rock elements. I want people to not know what to expect with these projects I have coming in 2016.
Who are some of your idols?
My father would have to be #1. His work ethic and his soft-spoken demeanor have molded me into the hard-working, listen-first-react-second type of guy that I am. Musically, Pharrell would have to be up there. His music has always been ahead of the times and his influence in the culture as a whole is just insane. From graphics to fashion, dude does it all.
What do you want your fans to take from your music?
Knowledge of who I am as a person. Plain as that. I don't make music for money or to impress people, I use it as a creative outlet to help work through things in my life. The fact that people other than myself dig it is really a crazy concept to me but it's dope.
What do you hope to accomplish in your career?
I just want to amass a respectable discography that will still be cool to play when my great grandkids throw in a copy of my CD... That, and going on a small tour of some sort.
What is the hip-hop scene like in Milwaukee, WI?
Growing. VERY fast. I feel like the scene has banded together over the past 2 years or so to the point where mostly everyone supports everyone else. The amount of quality art coming out of Milwaukee right now is unparalleled by any other city our size. People are schleepin.
You have been setting up some very unique shows in your region lately. What's the biggest reward and struggle of these events?
The biggest reward was the 313 pounds of food and the $177 we raised for the Hunger Task Force at our last #AtticJams event on December 19th. It was a great turnout with fantastic performances by Cree Myles, CDS, Mic Kellogg, Diaz, Mike Regal, and myself. It went so smoothly that I'd have to say that the biggest struggle with it was the cleanup lol.
What can your fans expect from your new EP? How is it different from FALI?
"Dancing With My Demons" is a bit darker than FALI. 2015 was a tough year for my in my personal life and I think that just projected itself into my music. The 5 songs on the EP really just helped me to kinda put my shit out there in song form and deal with them that way. I really hope people dig it and can feel the real emotions that went into making it.
Will you have any features on the EP? If so, who?
The EP has 3 features on it: my good buddy Abe Stewart sings a hook on a TBA song, CDS also sings a hook and spits a verse on "Gotham" as does Mozaic. Aside from features though, I really want to highlight the production of the album. Four out of the five tracks are produced by Milwaukee talent. Mike Regal on "Gotham", One by Diaz, one by Benjamin Allen, and one by a combination of Benjamin, Diaz, and myself.
Besides new music, what's next for Cinco?
Lots. 2016 is gearing up to be a big year. I'm going to by curating more events, playing more shows, production and graphics, working on multiple music-related business ventures. A lot of it I can't really delve too deep into, but just make sure you keep your eyes peeled.