We first got wind of emcee and Penn State senior Crystal Seth last December when we featured his video for “The Labyrinth” as part of our College Radio Countdown hosted by Penn State University’s The Lion 90.7 FM. Since then Seth has been a busy boy and is set to release his second mixtape titled District XXIII tomorrow. The tape features Seth’s trademark brand of sturdy beats layered with orchestral waves, tasty melodies and his mellow flow. To kick things up a notch this time around Seth scored some collab action with not just Chevy Woods but also Action Bronson. Check out the brand new video for “Quite Like Me” featuring Chevy Woods below and find out how the hustling telecom major slash rapper got Action Bronson recording with him in his parents house.
How did the Action Bronson collab happen?
I had the opportunity to open up for Bronson at a place called the Altar Bar in Pittsburgh. After his performance my manager of sorts ran into him while using the rest room. He inquired about a feature and it was all business after that. It was late at night (or early in the morning) and I was trying to get a hold of my engineer so we could get him in the studio. After several failed attempts to reach him we had no choice but to take Action to where my studio was set up at the time which was my parents house, I’m still in college (haha). Him and his camp were super respectful and easy to work with. He continues to show love anytime our people cross paths. We make a effort to support him anytime he is in PA.
You seem to cultivate a distinct mellow vibe in some of your work and there are points like in the beginning of the song “Route XXIII” where the tune has an almost ambient house feel to it. Do you have any EDM influences? What are your influences?
I actually have 0 EDM influences haha. I actually dislike it to be honest. Aside from that, I try not to listen to other music while I’m making a project. When it comes to production, if I receive something I like, I give my best effort to it. Hip-Hop was certainly my main influence to start making music. People like RZA really inspire me (and the rest of Wu-Tang for that matter). My first album was Blackstar. I was introduced to music through my father, who attended the first Woodstock, so music runs deep with me.
I assume you must be pretty productive balancing music with school. Any lifehacker productivity tips you’ve learned that you can share with fellow collegians?
There is no right answer. Time management is definitely the most important thing to execute. Like life in general there is no trick, no catch, you really just have to work your ass off – be just as or almost as passionate about learning as you are passionate about music. For me, quite honestly neither school nor music get the attention that they should no matter how hard I try. I also have a job, so I’m certainly spread thin.
Photo: Courtesy Crystal Seth