Standing out with hip-hop duo F14

F14 are a hip-hop duo that consists of Abe Alem and Wayne Valentine and they have just released their EP “The Prequel”. The 7-track effort offers an intimate glimpse inside the mind of an eclectic artist from the Midwest, heavily influenced by the late 90's through early 2000's hip-hop era. 

We chat to Abe about what it’s like working with his best friend, what makes them an odd duo and why not fitting in makes it easier to stand out. Margaret Tra writes.

You guys have been best friends for a very long time, what's it like to create music with your best mate?

The workflow is smoother than someone you don't know as well. It feels more natural making music with a friend.

What makes you guys an odd duo?

I am probably more of the odd one. Things that I was interested in growing up made me develop differently. It made it difficult to fit in back then but I am grateful for it now because not fitting in makes it a lot easier to stand out. 

What does F14 stand for?

It's a metaphor that represents us and our way of life. The literal meaning is in the music.

Tell us about the EP, what can we expect?

It's a raw collection of thoughts and feelings that I've collected and translated into music.

Do you guys have a science in the way you create music?

It's hard to have a science for an art form like music. I try to work on things when I feel inspired. I don't try to force it.

Who influences you guys?

I think the appeal of our music is reliability among other things. What influences me to make music is more than the "who," it's the "who" plus the "what, where, when, why and WTF" of life. 

You guys also produced for aspiring artists' how important to you is it to support musicians coming out into the scene?

Very important. I tell artist, that are willing to listen, that we can go further by working together, but I've had little success. It's been more of a parasitic than a mutual, beneficial relationship.

What Stimulates Your Soul?

Inspiring people. It's one of the best feelings in the world.