Capture the Creative w/ FAIR
A natural born writer and descriptive story teller, Derek Fair aka FAIR puts together rhymes and even editorials to captivate his audience. Growing up in a musically inclined household with no pressure to pursue music, FAIR finds that music and writing are the best ways to express himself. FAIR has the knowhow to not only create the music but to navigate the waters of promotion as well as he is armed with a marketing degree.
FAIR scoops me up on the West End of Richmond to drive out to where he grew up. The perfect setting for our photos. This area represents his roots and he wanted to display that in the photoshoot. We chatted about our similar childhoods growing up in the sticks and things that kept us occupied and out of “trouble” before heading back to town for his shift. FAIR has other creative projects up his sleeves so keep and eye out for those along with more music coming your way. Meet FAIR.
STUDIGS: Thanks for being apart of the #CTC series my dude. Introduce yourself and let the people know what you do.
FAIR: My name is Fair and I’m just a regular guy trying to tell my story through music.
Growing up in Goochland VA, a more rural area, how do you think the country side has influenced your musical career?
It’s given me roots, for sure. Not many rappers are out here truly representing where they were raised, if you know what I mean. A lot of folks portray a different upbringing for the sake of popular music. I can’t relate to that ideology. Growing up in the countryside made me embrace the genuineness of those around me and gave me a sense of self. There was never much to do, so I would always daydream of becoming someone with a much more entertaining life – hints why I started rapping.
Music is it.
You said your parents/grandparents are heavy into music. Was there any pressure growing up to find an instrument and play in a band or did they allow you to discover the love of music on your own?
Rest in peace to my grandpa, Robert “Pop” Fair. Him, my grandma and a few uncles played in a Gospel band together – The Barker Family. I remember sitting in their kitchen on this wooden bench, watching them piece together songs while my grandma would cook up a meal and my grandpa would pick on his steel guitar. At such a young age, I truthfully wasn’t too captured by Gospel music, but they definitely 100% inspired me to tell my truths through records just as they were doing. And nothing was ever forced. I mean…they didn’t even know I rapped. I would always just make hints that I was writing my own music. If anything, I was too scared to even admit the genre since there had never been a Hip-Hop artist with a similar background/story. I tried picking up the guitar at one point but never stuck to it.
What does it mean to you to be apart of the hip hop culture and contribute to it regularly?
I take it very seriously. There’s plenty culture vultures out here who generalize the game and have zero intention of pushing the envelope. Right now, I’m sitting on a few albums that would sonically change the entire landscape if handled correctly. Since I only release records every couple of years, and really take my time crafting the best album possible, I choose different avenues to be more active with my supporters.
How long have you been making music?
Since I was around 13 – so 15 years. This shit definitely isn’t overnight.
With a degree in Marketing, how has this helped you with self promotion and where do you see this foundation taking you as you grow?
I learned to move more strategic, brand myself properly and to own everything I put my name on. Having confidence in your ideas is a must. When you pitch concepts to a class full of other creatives, you better move the entire room. Same goes for my work regardless if it’s music, editorial pieces, etc.
I choose different avenues to be more active with my supporters.
I enjoy your articles you do for Complex/Green Label. Were you a writer before a rapper or did the careers start at similar times in your life? What was one of your favorite articles you have written?
Man thank you! Truthfully, I was halfway through college with zero clue of what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was that my passion for writing music strongly outweighed anything school related. One day I thought of majoring in Creative Advertising simply because it involved using my imagination and not having much homework – haha. Luckily, copywriting came naturally to me and nearly 1 year after I graduated I landed a freelancing gig with Complex/Green Label – thanks to Princess, a good friend of mine who was doing design work for them at the time. She passed along my resume, I pitched a few pieces to the Editor in Chief, then boom.
Who were your idols growing up? Do you see bits a pieces of them in your creative work to this day?
I was never big on idolizing other artists. I definitely can name a few that sparked something in me, but I’ve always been hesitant to claim someone as my “idol”, you know? Like that’s a title I’d give to a close family member.
What would be the next milestone for you at this stage in your career?
To inspire someone with a voice bigger than mine.
Your new interview series “Playin’ Fair” has a unique take on the interview process. Explain the show a bit and who would be your dream interviews?
Playin’ Fair is a web series I created with a few of the homies. The whole thing is based around me interviewing celebrities while facing off against them in different objective games. No scripts, no rehearsals, no expectations – just a good time and great conversation. We’ve yet to release the season premiere, but once we do it has the potential to take off. I have no desire whatsoever to pursue a career as an anchor, I simply spotted an opportunity and capitalized on it. I view it as a stepping stone if anything.
What hobbies not related to music do you enjoy?
Music is it.
What else would you like the readers to know about you that we didn’t cover above?
My brother, Shirod and I launched an advertising agency, called Those In Flavor, back in August of this year. We’re currently taking on new clients – so if you need help building your brand, we’d love to be the ones cooking up the necessities. Follow us on all social platforms or email us at email@example.com!