Mir Fontane is a creative artist that likes to use his music as a medium to express himself. He is one of the few artists to make it out of Camden, New Jersey and takes the responsibility of being that person to pave the way very serious. He uses melancholy tunes, storytelling, and trap beats to draw the attention of those listening. In this interview, we discussed the culture in Camden, love, paving the way for others, sneakers, and much more. Read below.
You’re originally from Camden, New Jersey. How does the culture of Camden differ from any other part of Jersey?
I feel like Camden is an overlooked city. It’s very poverty stricken. There’s not a lot of good things that come out of it that you can see on the scale of a musician. Everyone wants to see something good come out of the city but they kind of want it to be them. So if they see someone else making it, it’s kind of shaded even though they still want to love it because it’s the city but then they don’t because it’s not them. You gotta have tough skin, know who you are and just push for it. Other than that, if you don’t know who you are then the streets are going to chew you out.
I know you said before that making love songs was hard for you. How important is the element of love in your music?
I feel like love songs are very important now because a lot of my fanbase are females even though I don’t make a lot of love songs. I think my female fanbase has a mutual appreciation for people like J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, those who can do love songs and I know I am capable of doing them. It’s just all about tapping into it. Now that I am in a relationship, it’s easier to tap into those type of emotions and stuff.
Your most recent release, Who’s Watching the Kids 2, is a continuation of the first Who’s Watching the Kids, so Who’s actually watching the kids?
Who’s Watching the Kids came from my first job at the Boys and Girls club. I pretty much ran all the programs in the gym. I had a real strong relationship with the kids; I was kind of like a big brother to them. I used to always get in trouble because every time my supervisor would come in, I would be playing basketball instead of actually watching the kids. My supervisor would be like “Yo, you can’t watch them if you are playing basketball with them.” So it stemmed from that but at the same time I did my own research on the city and found out that more than half of the entire population is under the age of 23 years old. That’s kind of still children. So, if we are the majority in the city then who is actually watching us. Who’s going to be the ones to guide us.
Like I said, we don’t have anyone to come from Camden. So for me to make it this far in rap, I don’t have anybody to look up to and be like “Oh this is where he messed up, let me not do it like that. This is where he did good, let me capitalize on that.” I’m that guy that people are looking at so they can have an easier road to success. So, when I say who’s watching the kids I could be talking about me watching the kids or like who’s watching us.
If you’re the one paving the way for others, how does that make you feel or impact how you move?
You definitely have a weight on your shoulders, like I said some people are upset that I'm in the position that I'm in, which they shouldn’t be. But there’s always that weight on your shoulder from jealousy and stuff like that. Survivor’s Remorse, I guess you can call it. Kind of like me making it out, then there is people still stuck there.
At the same time, there is people always inboxing me telling me how inspired they are or how I motivate them to do something better. I just had a kid that I watched at the Boys and Girls Club when he was 12. He just got a $200,000 scholarship.
He hit me up saying “I know this has nothing to do with you but I just wanted you to know that you motivated me to become something better. Me knowing you when I was that small actually had an impact on me.”
Stuff like that makes me feel good.
We are a sneaker boutique so you know we have to know, what is your favorite sneaker right now?
I’m not a huge sneakerhead but I love art. So, when I see something I like, I just like it. But I could say probably right now, the classics air force 1s are it. I always loved air force 1s. That was my first pair of sneakers I had besides Jordans. I would say that Jordans are my favorite but everyone likes Jordans.
Okay, so what is your everyday shoe then? Like, “Okay, I'm about to go to the store let me throw these on”
Everyday shoe, I usually have my Nikes. I have a bunch of white air force 1s. Or i’ll throw on some vans or something. Just some quick stuff because i’m always jumping around all the time when I'm performing so i’m not going to put a bunch of money into shoes that I will mess up. But for photoshoots, I'm definitely going to get my sneaker collection back up.
Anything else you want people to know?
I want everybody to know that I enjoy making the music that other people enjoy. I enjoy telling the story for those who don’t have a voice to tell the story themselves. I will just keep doing what I do. Make sure you listen to Who’s Watching the Kids 2 out now on every platform.