(4 Votes)
Written by tricksta   
Monday, 04 January 2010 17:30


Grand Angel Music Entertainment is Christopher Vantress aka “Grand Noble” and Wade Wilson aka “Archangel”. They have worked with 2Mex of The Visionaries on their last album and have opened for Dilated Peoples, as well as hosting the first mixtape to come from ‘The Heaviest Hook-Ups’. Tricksta asks the questions…

When did you start making music and realize that you wanted to be rappers?

Archangel: We realized it at different times! I started making music in 2005, but didn’t realize I wanted to write lyrics until our first couple performances as a group “Grand Angel.” Originally, I wrote poetry and when I saw that this was my chance to continue and share it, I knew it was something I needed to dedicate myself to.

Grand Noble: I’ve been doing songs since 2003. Once I started writing, I loved it and had to continue the journey.

Was there a person or record that inspired you to pick up the pen and start writing songs and hit the studio?

Archangel: My Grandfather, Stan Wilson, was a well-known musician in folk and calypso music. His success has inspired me a great deal.

Grand Noble: No specific person or record, for me, really. More so leaning towards a time in my life when I really needed an outlet of expression and getting into trouble wasn’t cutting it anymore!

So how did you get your name? What’s the story behind it?

Grand Noble: Looong story short, after switching tagg names (graffiti) a few times, I made a list of new, possible choices, and among them were “Grand” and “Noble” so initially, I tagged “Grand” in one crew, and “Noble” in another crew... When I started music, I combined the two! It’s a simple story but it holds a deeper meaning for me.

Archangel: After enduring a hard time in my life, and wanting to know more to the point of who I was, I turned to prayer. I asked “Paint me a picture. Help me understand who I truly am.” A couple days later, I came across a book about Archangels. Much of what it described, I felt related to me. And then to top it off, there was a hand-drawn picture in the book which resembled me in great detail. The many coincidences were overwhelming. I felt as if there was a reason and took it as something greater than myself answering my question. And from there, we simply combined our two names, our two characters into one to become “Grand Angel.”

Where exactly are you from and what’s the Hip-Hop scene like there?

Grand Angel: We both grew up in Richmond, CA, the East Bay Area. Grand Noble was born in San Francisco and Archangel was born in Oakland. As far as a “scene,” there’s not really one. In ’06, the Hyphy movement started to give the Bay some notice, but unfortunately there hasn’t really been a dedicated underground Hip-Hop movement since the 90’s in the Bay Area. Recently, that’s been changing; we’re both excited to see where the West Coast takes it.

What projects have you released so far and what feedback from the media have you had? 

Grand Angel: Okay... let’s see: 2006, immediately after becoming a group, we released “For The Fans: The Turftape” and then “Guardians of The Bay, volume 1.” We released numerous untitled projects in-between then and our official debut album “Dark End of the Stage” in January 2009. Since then, we’ve released “Download Me 4 Free: The EP” featuring our artist El Tumi; and we’re just about to release three more entitled “Welcome To Tweehab: The EP” a concept project about, also “Melody of Emotions” produced entirely by DJ Tesskoi, in addition to “Download me 4 Free, volume 2.” We put in work!

Let’s talk about your latest project. Where can people get it, who features on it and who dealt with the production?

Grand Angel: “Dark End of the Stage” is available on iTunes,, Rhapsody, Napster... all your favourite online music stores! Archangel did most of the production, but Grand Noble contributed as well as: Dub’s Attic, Rico from A.R.S., Swollen Drumz, Vic Brooks, and even DJ DeeSkee for the track “Western Theatre” featuring 2Mex of the Visionaries. It was an honour working with everyone! Our sets of “Free EPs” are all available from our page: or your readers can email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to get it too! Or on!

How are you getting your project out there? Do you have a distributor involved?

Grand Angel: Word of mouth! Great outlets like RAGO! We hold a dedicated fanbase who are all determined to spread the Grand Angel name to their friends. And shout out to all of our Street Team Leaders: Precinct Phantom, Tito Corral, Jeremy Gonzalez, Javier Lezama, Rachel Macasieb, Reese Rogers, Boo Lopez. And our DJ’s: DJ LaPaz and DJ Tesskoi.

Is there a shop or website stocking and supporting your music?

Grand Angel: Besides being available digitally, “Dark End of the Stage” CD’s are at select Amoeba Record Stores. Shout out to holding West Coast music down as well. And shout out to The Heaviest Interviews as well!

Getting radio play is a real gripe for a lot of Hip-Hop artists, but have you had any radio play? If so what DJ’s and stations are supporting you?

Grand Angel: We haven’t had any commercial radio play, but the buzz is building around college campuses, like Long Beach City College, CSU Los Angeles, San Francisco State University, (San Diego), to name some. There have been so many supporters; we appreciate them all, truly.

Do you think that radio is still as important as it was in the digital age?

Grand Noble: That’s a tough one. I think DJ’s need to be more involved in breaking new artists and new songs. Personally, we both love here in the States where you can create and customize your own Radio Stations, with no politics of the big stations in the way! PS. We’re both waiting for the Age of Flying Cars!

Dance/Electro/Club styled Hip-Hop seems to be the only Hip-Hop getting airplay on radio and TV. Do you think that to survive you have to change your music to fit in or do you think it’s more a case of moving with the times?

Archangel: I think artists can remain true to who they are, and survive just fine; unfortunately, thanks to major networks, artists feel they won’t get the publicity and promotion needed to keep their music popular unless they conform. Which forces musicians to do what’s “in.”

Grand Noble: Exactly, and the worst part is that it forces the LISTENERS to be force-fed the same sound on every station. That’s probably why there are so many artists! No one likes what they’re being force-fed!

Do you think the internet helps or hinders independent artists?

Grand Angel: If used correctly, responsibly and socially... the internet is the most valuable tool for ANY market. The problem is not the internet’s accessibility to the artist or to music; it’s the fact that people are still “promoting” using the old-school methods, like excessive SPAM! People who like your music need to be able touch you and talk to YOU these days; you need a Twitter or a MySpace. I regularly give people my cell phone number! And I’ll answer as long as I’m not asleep or in the studio! Haha!

When it comes to making music, what would you credit as your main motivation?

Grand Noble: It really depends on the type of music I’m trying to create with that song, and also what I’m going through in my life at the time. I accredit artists like E-40 for motivation in longevity, Mistah FAB or Joe Budden for being able to do both club songs and siiiiick lyrical ones, artists like The Grouch or Jedi Mind Tricks for keeping it underground and doing soulful and hardcore tracks. Really, I’ve gotten past the classifications for who’s “wack” or who’s “dope” depending on a genre, yadadamean! I’m motivated by motivation!

Archangel: Simply, my love for creating art. Improving and growing as an artist. And just the sheer enjoyment I get from writing, performing and sharing with the world. I just love entertainment.

Grand Noble: Haha, yeah! All that too! I think we motivate each other, always on a constant elevation quest.

Let’s talk image and branding for a minute. Some artists spend lots of money on artwork and other acts aren’t that interested. How important is image, artwork and branding to you?

Grand Angel: Branding your name or company is extremely important! Especially if you’re ever looking to branch out from just doing vocals or just doing beats. You’ll have that platform with a name that you’ve already established, to utilize towards reaching other goals. Image is also a necessity, fortunately or unfortunately. The general public, whether they can admit it or not, have stereotypical viewpoints. And an artist’s image plays a major role in a listener’s decision to even give you a chance or not! It’s almost like, as an individual, you have to decide ‘who’ do you want to appeal to more. This is a sad truth. A lot of artists, not just Hip-Hop, get too caught up with it all and end up either becoming something fake, or losing themselves inside their image. Bottom line: For us, it’s all about being yourself.

I think that any artist coming into the game these days needs a music video. I mean YouTube is one the most visited website in the world and it’s still a great way of promoting a track. Have you got any videos and have any of them actually got played on any TV Stations?

Grand Angel: Man we couldn’t agree more! Videos are really the greatest promotion available! Shout out to JimRock of BBH Crew! We have like 6 music videos out, and also our online Hip-Hop show “Grand Angel TV” which showcases new G.A. songs, projects, music videos, and general news in addition to Video interviews and concert footage with other artists we respect, like Tech N9ne, Slaughterhouse, B-Real, E-40 and others. all done at Executive Sound. You *GOT* to have videos! People need to know who you are! Go start a Vlog, readers!

What was the last album you bought and where do you buy your music? Is there a good record shop in your area or do you buy online?

Grand Noble: The last physical CD’s I bought were “Sean Price - Kimbo Price” and “Tech N9ne – K.O.D.” off and also bought Richmond, CA artist “Nio Tha Gift – H.I.P. H.O.P.” as a digital download. I pretty much get all my CD’s off Amazon; cuz the selection is so wide! I don’t go to a lot of record stores anymore, all the good ones have shut down.

Archangel: The last album I bought is a personal throwback of mine “Glenn Lewis – The World Outside My Window” I love that album!
(510) 504-0826 – The Grand Angel Hotline! ;]

Interview by Tricksta

Last Updated on Monday, 04 January 2010 17:39