Interview: Tylr C and $adflcko, Founders of Cult Encounters Co.

Based out of Northern Michigan, Tylr C and $adflcko founded hip-hop record collective Cult Encounters Co. in 2015. They spoke with me about the music, artists, and history behind the label, and what it takes to bring your passions to life. Checkout their website and linktree.

Q:
What motivated you two to start the label? How did it unfold?

A:
Our love for hip hop and collabing with dope artists, we really just started making music just by ourselves for fun years ago, then one day we changed the entire name and direction of the Collective and decided to take it more seriously, started looking for artists and investing in studio equipment, plugins, everything. We realized if we started a serious collective and got other dope individuals involved who all really love rap that we could create something special for the hip hop scene.

Q:
You’ve signed artists internationally. What has the process been like in discovering and attracting new talent? What is your vision for these artists?

A:
We’re still quite underground, we actually haven’t signed any artists to any official contracts because we just aren’t at that point yet in the industry, we classify more so as a collective than a label. All of our artists have full creative control and are free to drop whenever, with whoever, however they please. Everyone who has joined the collective has one very important thing in common, we all have a love for music and we all want to build together as a family; it’s way deeper than bullshit like money and fame. 

Finding new artists has been a really cool process, we’re literally always searching for new artists all the time, but it can be difficult at times because we’re constantly working and trying to evolve, and no disrespect whatsoever but some people just don’t have that same passion or drive that we do for the craft, when we’re thinking of having an artist join the collective that’s one of the very first thing we consider. We’re always posting on our socials and going on Reddit and Discords or any kind of platform looking for new artists, we’ve figured out some decent ways to discover dope underground artists on different platforms; it’s a never ending search for new talent. When we met Franky Indigo and ABI we shared a lot of the same interests musically and they were both and still are very motivated and ready to to work, and it just clicked. 

We’d say our vision for the artists in the collective is pretty much identical to our vision for ourselves, Like we said Cult Encounters is a family and we all want to build with each other, we want to showcase these guys as much as possible and use our growing platform to get these guys some shine that they deserve. We’ve released three projects with Franky Indigo and lots of other singles (DMTree releases) we released a full album last year with some insane features fully produced by AllButtonsIn shortly after we added Hypesun to the Collective and we really wanted to showcase Hypesun & AllButtonsIn as much as possible on that project because they were the new 2021 additions at the time. This year we want to continue to all work together and release more music than ever. We’d treat a Hypesun or a Big Sharp record the exact same way as we’d treat a Tylr C or a $adflcko record, because nobody is put above anybody and everybody is treated equally.

Q:
The label has a very classic sound. Franky Indigo reminds me of Knxwledge, other artists definitely have boom bap influences. Is this part of the vision for the label? What is it about golden era hip-hop that’s special to you?

A:
The primary vision is to create authentic music no matter the genre, but yes, we do like to primarily stick to that classic hip hop sound because we simply enjoy lyrical and heartfelt hip hop. All of our records are different in their own way, and we will continue to remain versatile so expect to see a lot of different stuff from Cult Encounters in the future. What’s really special, though, about the golden era of hip hop to us is its authenticity & the lyrical aspect of it—it’s something we admire as MCs and students of the game, and obviously just that feeling that those classic LPs give you. There’s nothing that can replace that feel.

Q:
I see A-F-R-O has been featured on multiple tracks. What’s this connection mean to the label? How has he been to work with?

A:
A-F-R-O is a super dope MC and a really genuine person. Being able to work with him on the first single ‘Another Planet’ in 2020 with ‘Franky Indigo’ (formerly known as DMTree) was an amazing experience, it was our first big collaboration with an artist with a real fanbase and we were able to get a release in front of a whole new fresh audience of people who already enjoy boom bap, the joint got great results and it’s still our most acclaimed release to this day, I remember how hyped we were when we received his verse back. Other CE collective members also have some really dope releases with A-F-R-O as well. Franky Indigo has a single with him titled ‘Brighter Days‘ and they may or may not have some more on the way 👀 In an interview, Hypesun explained his experience from when he linked up with A-F-R-O to shoot the music video for their record ‘Conquerer‘ in California, Hypesun is also on ‘Constellations Pt. 2‘ (ft. A-F-R-O x Tylr C) a track on the 2021 Cult Encounters Co Debut Album ‘AllButtonsIn’ 

Q:
Is it challenging to run a smaller label? From a time/resources/money perspective, it must be demanding. I imagine your passion for the music makes it all worth it?

A:
Of course it can be challenging, but like you said our passion for the music definitely makes it all worth it, we knew coming in there would be sacrifices we have to take, it just comes with the game, at the end of the day the most important thing is that we all still love doing what we do, the crazy thing is we don’t think we’re even close to our peak yet. We started this vision in 2015, we were young, it took us a while to really mature and learn and figure out the direction we really wanted to take the collective. Fast forward to today, we’re still striving every single day to better ourselves and our craft, but we feel more comfortable with the direction we’re trying to head than ever before and we’re really excited for what the future has to offer us.

Q:
Are there any upcoming releases we should be looking forward to?

A:
Hell yeah, we’re going to release a big flood of some great new music all year long, we’re working, our producers have been really putting in the work and we think all of this new upcoming music will really show that, as well as what ourselves and Big Sharp & Hypesun have to offer. For 2022 you can expect lots of singles and EPs, and maybe some other surprises. We can’t give it all away just yet, but we would like to announce that this year we’ll be releasing a full Cult Encounters Co EP with Brooklyn MC Jakk Da Rhymer fully produced by Franky Indigo. Keep your eyes peeled for what the movement has to offer.


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