The original article was written by Eboni Jazzmine and appears in Immerse Atlanta on May 24, 2016
Embodying the whole city in their music, Goldyard have proven to have potential for success far beyond many of their peers. Their production is a vast mixture of funk, hip-hop, and electronic influences; it’s like they are a chandelier dish filled with Starburst that provides them with the juice to make their flows so clean and colorful. The group has opened up for several big-name acts (Mobb Deep, Cam’ron, Scarface, Waka Flocka), have played SXSW for three years running, are veteran A3C headliners, and have toured with Jarren Benton and Funk Volume. The guys are well on their way to being on the megatrons as a household name. I recently got in touch with A.T. and In-Doe to discuss their identities and how they started blessing audiences with their talents.
“We formed Goldyard in East Atlanta in like 2010 and that’s when we started doing shows on a regular basis. We used to do shows with our friends Cousin Dan, and the band Hello Ocho a lot, so our fan base and the people we played for were more into bands and other styles of music — and so were we — so our sound was influenced by that as well as the hip-hop we were already making.
We make music because it’s what we do. I don’t think there’s a reason behind it besides obsession or habit. We’ve all been in the place where we’ve had nothing, sleeping on couches, and all that, and we’ve also been in positions where we felt like we had everything and have made music through all of it. We just do it because we do it, no other reason.
We just played Inman Park Festival in Atlanta which was cool for us. We were the first rap group to play it in it’s 45 years, so that felt good. A3C is always something exciting for us and Atlanta. We have a few things we’re looking forward to but we don’t like to get ahead of ourselves so when it happens we’ll be sure to let you know. Our influences are from everywhere: Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, the Doors, Jay, Kanye, Redman, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Prince, MJ, Ziggy, Outkast, Led Zeppelin, Jimi, Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, Eminem… everything, we could go all day. We also just get influenced by experiences and conversation with one another. Music is just life, so we’re influenced by it all.
A.T.: I started music when I was like 8. I used to write songs and put melodies to them, and perform songs I already knew for my parents and all that. I had my bro hold the spotlight on me; looking back, it was pretty weird. Then when I turned like 12, I got a karaoke machine and this radio station in North Carolina would always have this time slot where they’d bring in a DJ cutting up songs with no lyrics in them, but I’d already be at school, so I started recording the radio when I left for school and when I got back I’d rap and sing over the music until I made something I liked. Nobody where I’m from rapped at the time, and if they did it wasn’t for real, so I had to really do my own thing.
In-Doe: I started recording music when I was about 8 or 9. My brother and our friend from the neighborhood used to write my raps for me when I was that age they told me I was gonna be the future [laughs], so we would get instrumentals and rap over them on our talk boy or straight into the boombox. I’m from New York so music was always a part of my life. If it wasn’t for Hot 97, I don’t know what my life would be and my moms always having music on around the house. I stopped for awhile in my teens and focused on sports. Then when I moved to North Carolina and met A.T. around 16, I started back up.
We are on our third installment of our Fuck Culture series but we’ll probably change the name for the third one. People don’t really get the message behind it so we figured we’d change it up. The ‘Fuck Culture’ meaning was saying that people get too caught up in culture and what is and isn’t supposed to be, which causes division. We bust down those walls that keep things separate to make it a mixture of everything. A lot of times we say or mean things that other people just don’t get so we end up back tracking for them to catch up.
The production is always different. We switch up our sound a lot. Flick has the majority of our production on the project. Kato from Funk Volume has a track on the project, our boy Cousin Dan has one, and another one of our boys PressPlay in L.A. has one. The sound of our production normally fits what we do. I know most artists go to producers looking for that producer’s signature sound but it’s usually backwards with us.
The message behind our music changes with every song. We have different meanings and feelings for every track. We do like to express freedom and the fact that we will do anything we feel like doing whenever we feel like doing it regardless what’s going on in music at the time. Our main message I guess is that we’re the group Goldyard and we’re not anyone else, nor trying to be anyone else.
A.T.: I was into fashion before I was heavy into music. My first kicks were Jordan 5’s being into sports heavy. I don’t think it really reflects on my artistry as much as confidence and just feeling good. I wear whatever whenever, so if anything it just makes me feel more comfortable doing what I’m doing.
In-Doe: You know all us New York niggas think we’re the freshest thing to every walk planet Earth, but my style isn’t really a style; it’s whatever I wanna wear and feel comfortable and confident in. I’ll wear anything, though; it really depends on how I feel. I’m like the little kid in Big Daddy, the Adam Sandler movie… You wear the clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you [laughs].
We love Atlanta so we can’t really say too much negative about the scene, but a lot of people now do want to sound like everyone else. It’s not just Atlanta, though, there’s a lot of Futures out of nowhere. We saw and heard Future from the beginning so it’s weird hearing so many people trying to imitate that man. There’s a lot of music coming out of the city regardless. There’s definitely a lot of good things happening here. Of course there’s bad, too. We don’t necessarily fit the mold for ‘Atlanta’ music; we just do our own thing and keep moving. Luckily, the city has embraced our sound enough to rock with it. We contribute to the movement with our authenticity; if you come to a show or just come around us I think you could understand it more, but we’re really about that Goldyard life.”