Don Canova hails from Baltimore; he’s willing to stand out, be the best and take over the oversaturated music scene with his catchy lyrics and hooks. A keen listener of Southern rap such as No Limit, influenced by some of the greatest artists in the game such as Three 6 Mafia, Outkast and Gucci Mane, Canova is the CEO of Elegant Minds Entertainment and VP of Unskrypted Entertainment. This entrepreneurial business man has already achieved great success with his debut mixtape Confident Of Fulfillment, which dropped in 2012. He speaks to Yo! Raps about his daily grind, future plans for this year and what he would like to accomplish in the next 5 years.
In the beginning, introduce yourself and let the readers know which city you rep.
What’s up world, I am The Great Don Canova hailing from the City of Baltimore, MD, and a special shout out to Yo! Raps for giving me this opportunity! Bless!
Your rap moniker is Don Canova, how did you get this name?
Well, I was always known as “Don C” to friends and family but a lot of underground rappers also called themselves Don C and I wanted to stand out, especially marketing-wise. So I evaluated myself and came to the conclusion that I’m not just an ordinary rapper, I’m an all around artist, and I wanted a name that went perfect with my persona. After that I started to do a little research on a couple great artists and came across an 18th-19th century artist/sculptor by the name of “Antonio Canova”, and since I make great works of art, which is my music, I decided to incorporate “Canova” into my name and that was the birth of my alter ego.
Why did you decide to launch a career as a rapper when the market is so oversaturated right now?
I agree the market is oversaturated right now but I feel as though I have undeniable talent and can take over the whole music scene. It’s all about how hard you work and how well you stand out so when I make my music I make sure it’s a hit because honestly I want to be the best. So the market being oversaturated only means that I’m going to work harder and make better music than everyone.
What is your formula for success?
Well that’s a secret! [Laughs] But it all deals with finding the right beats that fit your style and coming up with great hooks and dope lyrics. I personally find beats that speak to me in the first 30 seconds of playing it, come up with a catchy dope hook and come up with catchy dope lyrics. That’s what works for me and different formulas works for different people, you just have to find it.
You are coming from the DMV area that spawns very talented new rappers like Fat Trel and Black Cobain. Where do you fit in as far as style and sound?
My style is kind of different from most DMV artists because I came up on the South. I didn’t really come up on New York or Northern Hip Hop like a lot of people, all I was mainly listening to growing up was Outkast, Three 6 Mafia, Cash Money and No Limit so my style has that Southern feel to it. I still have a DMV sound but it’s a lot of South in the mix.
Are there any new rappers or major artists that you look up to as influences and why?
Well, reading or hearing about new artists on the scene motivates me to grind even harder because I want to be the scene as well, but other than that, it’s only a few artists that I can really say influence me and that’s Andre 3000, Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy Tell’em. Andre 3000 introduced me to storytelling and I was big on that in my earlier days, Gucci just keep it real and swag out at the same time [laughs] and that’s what I do, and Soulja Boy has great beat selection and makes great hooks and that’s what I’m big on now. Along with that and most of all, the people I grind with influence me because they’re the ones I work with on a daily basis and when I see my team work, I work.
What is your current label situation like?
Right now, I’m signed to an independent record label called Heartless Records and all has been good with them so far. Other than that, I’m CEO of my own camp called Elegant Minds Entertainment and VP of my partner’s camp named Unskrypted Entertainment.
Your debut mixtape, Confident Of Fulfillment (2012), was a great success. What are you working on right now and in 2013 in general?
Yes, Confident Of Fulfillment was a great success, a classic even; but I’m working on many projects for 2013. My next mixtape, Campaign Nova, I’m pushing for sometime in May and I have an album dropping soon as well. I’m also working on a mixtape collaboration with my labelmate Swervin Irv called Moon Men, dropping sometime in August. That’s all I can reveal right now so just stay posted because there’s going to be a lot going on with me this year.
What has been the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?
Well, it’s been an interesting road so far but I’ll have to say that this interview and being listed as a “Next To Blow” artist on www.YoRaps.com is my biggest accomplishment so far, and I’m looking forward to many more great accomplishments throughout my career.
What advice would give to a young artist coming into the game?
Stay focused, stay educated, stay humble, keep it real, be yourself, have fun, go hard, be confident, work hard and never get derailed from your mission. When you make every second successful, everything becomes promising.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
In 5 years I should be enjoying life as a wealthy man. I should be named one of the greatest, if not The Greatest, artist to jump on the scene [laughs]. That’s an experience I’m looking forward to.
Can you tell us your social networking sites where people can find out more about you?
You can follow me on Twitter @DonCanova and check out my YouTube, just search “Don Canova”, to keep up with my video blogs and music. I’m on millions of social networking sites so it’ll be easier to just Google “Don Canova” and everything will pop up.