Audio Push is the moniker for a hot new duo, Oktane and Price Tag. The two Southern California-based MCs have been called the forerunners of jerk, but there’s so much more to them than one style of music.
Signed to Interscope Records, Audio Push’s latest single, “Up N Down,” and now hot joint, “It’s Going Up” both produced by Kadis & Sean for Roz Music, is introducing audiences to another side of Oktane and Price Tag. The team recently spoke about how their songwriting and performance skills have developed, and how their childhood friendship grew into a strong working relationship.
As Told To Elianne Halbersberg
Q: You’re associated with the jerk movement. Is it difficult to break out of that categorization, especially right out of the box?
Oktane: I don’t really feel that way because there’s so much other music of ours for people to hear, like “Up N Down.” People didn’t know we could make that music. There was a point when we were in that box, but not anymore.
Q: You met in sixth grade. What are the odds of a friendship lasting that long, much less turning into a professional relationship?
Price Tag: We met playing basketball in middle school. I was in sixth grade and he was in seventh. We were always super close and it was just second nature to start working together.
Q: You’ve watched each other grow as artists and as men. What are some of the changes you’ve seen in each other?
Oktane: We’ve grown up together, so you don’t really think, He’s done this and that. He’s just someone you’ve grown up around and with, and yeah, he’s tighter with his rapping or singing, but there have been no huge changes in him, and I know because I see the dude every day!
Price Tag: You don’t recognize change unless it’s something drastic. Things happen to us together and we adapt. Our families are close, too, through our friendship. We were always around each other, so they came together through us.
Oktane: As far as music, now he can go into the studio hours before me and send me a file, and if we’re together, it goes even faster. Especially onstage, we know what the other will do. It just clicks.
Price Tag: We’ve always had chemistry and the same feelings about our music and where songs should go. It grows as we do and we learn every day. There’s more to talk about as time goes by, and we’re around each other, so we have the same things to talk about.
Q: Things have been happening quickly for Audio Push. Did the early years help prepare you for this?
Oktane: Definitely. The one big piece of the industry that everybody is missing and underrating is the mix tape circuit. People think some of these guys are blowin’ up and poppin’ out of nowhere, but they’re putting out free mixtapes so people will hear about them. I see it snowballing.
Q: What does it take to stand out from the crowd?
Price Tag: You have to know how to stay relevant. Busta Rhymes has been making music since before we were born. Artists like him, they’re legends and they know music. They are music. Some people cut a couple of singles and they’re gone. We get on the radio and get shows. It’s networking, having an ear for music and listening to the fans.
Q: Kadis and Sean produced your album. What did they bring out in your music?
Oktane: They’d say, “Try this,” and it would be something we never thought we could do. They made the playing field bigger for us. We can jump on any type of song and make it crazy. A lot of production companies sign artists and do nothing. Kadis and Sean put their money where their mouth is. They spent time working to get us where we need to be.
Q: How big a part has the Internet played in your success?
Price Tag: It has been integral. The Internet has pushed Audio Push. It got us signed to our production company. They found us. People are requesting us on the radio because we stay in touch with our fans. Besides, God, the Internet has been the biggest part in our success in this situation.
Q: What should readers know about Audio Push?
Oktane: I’m going to say that we’re the next thing that’s going to happen, so before you have to catch up with the wave, find it now and stay with it. I listen to music before it happens. We need to be that group you knew would happen and were waiting for it to happen.
Price Tag: I feel that if you become a fan of ours, you’ll get quality music, great music, for whatever mood you’re in, whether it’s poppin’ your butt or making love to your girlfriend. Join us and stay with it.