I’m so proud of the way this drawing turned out it’s affecting my ability to articulate an opening sentence for this article, and I have enough difficulty with those things as it is—but this isn’t about me. This article is about @edprivat—the 33 year old father of three and last of three children who posts original music, as well as, an occasional cover song while actively curating for #artzone, and an ambassador to Musicoin seven days a week. He’s a singer-songwriter and guitarist currently residing in Johannesburg, South Africa, working toward his long overdue return home—France. Ed Privat is a full-time musician who’s currently juggling a full-time day job, he’s also a producer and a composer who created his own unique style of music by blending his soulful voice along with a hip beat-box, a funky guitar and a groovy ‘any genre goes’ mentality—it’s who Ed is.
The above information is available online—I copied the majority of it straight from his website at www.edprivat.com. What you won’t find on his website is the Question and Answer session he and I conducted a little over a week ago. What happened was, about three or four months back, Ed gave me a photo of himself and I told him I would draw it for him—thank you for your patience, Ed! My wife and I were in a location last week that was equipped with an even-surfaced, stable, decent sized kitchen table so I cleared a space and made it a point to do what I said I would.
While I was drawing Ed, I began to also draw up some questions I wanted to ask him. I reached out to him on discord and let him know I was making good on my word. I asked him if he’d mind doing a Q & A with me that I could attach to the drawing and, being the inherently transparent man that he is, he promptly agreed. As I thought of something that either I was curious about or something I thought the community would like to know about Ed, I stopped drawing for a moment and made a note of it in my phone.
When I realized I went beyond 20 questions, I decided I’d better wrap up the Q & A. I unloaded my entire list of questions on him and what did he do? He thoroughly answered every single one of them—you rock, Ed! I wasn’t finished with the drawing when I received his final response which, by the way, was on Valentine’s Day—just thought I’d throw that in there! I was so pumped after reading his responses, I couldn’t wait to show the platform! I needed to finish the drawing asap—you’ll see what I mean in just a minute. I already had a great deal of respect for the man before he did a sit down with me and, after reading his responses, that respect level climbed higher. Then this whole Q & A thing got a little intense for me—I started spinning: ‘Great! It’s Ed Privat!! And this is #steemit.. oh man, I better nail this drawing! Maybe I should’ve asked different questions, maybe I didn’t ask enough.’ ...I’m always second guessing myself.
I’ll write a follow up article to this one in the near future where I’ll do a comparison between the first portrait I drew for Ed Privat and this one. How the first portrait even made it onto Steemit is a good #story itself that involves Jason Mraz and a couple of rookies (Ed and myself) who had no idea what they were doing on this platform—this recent #adventure is even better! This #drawing, for example, required a stroll through one of the fanciest churches I’ve ever sat down in, an art store that also sells produce and cellular minutes, nobody who understands my language, the pencils that didn’t make it in my back pack when we left the states and a few other peculiar coincidences—I think you’ll like it! I’ll explain each of the tools I used, too, and why I use them, as well as, my techniques and tricks required to draw these portraits—stay tuned.
Without further ado—for this one I used all of the tools I pictured in the cover image: 8n1/2” x 11” (A-2) notebook paper. A No.2 pencil for the majority of the line work. An HB, 4B, 5B and 6B graphite. Two paper stumps for blending - 5/8 inch and 1/2 inch. 0.5mm mechanical pencil for sharp line work. A straight edge. A ruler. A white gel-pen for the 4 dots on his sunglasses and where they say “Rayban.”
Dandays: Eh, what’s up Ed?! I actually wrote “ice breaker question” right here, you ready? Is it tough being so dang handsome? What I mean by that is, how difficult is it to pass a mirror without blowing yourself a kiss? (Ice breaker) 😉
Ed Privat: Are you hitting on me? Should we maybe have a drink first? I actually hate checking myself in the mirror, because I hate my teeth and it's a constant reminder that I can't smile fully without putting my hand in front of my mouth. Only lately it became easier to smile, thanks to my wife's love.
Speaking of your wife, what happened to @lionmom? The last time I saw her post something was probably a year ago about video gaming—did she lose interest in the platform or is keeping you going a full time job?
She is actually super pregnant right now, and she started a full time remote job on the blockchain (I can't tell more), and she trades FOREX too in the morning, so a lot on her plate, I am still trying to push her to post, but some people aren't just "like that" and like to do things on their term. I won't force her that's for sure 😃
How many of you was there in the house you grew up in, in France?
I am the last one of the family, one older brother who is 9 years older than me, and a sister who is 6 years older than me. But they really spent their time avoiding me as I was a pain in the ass.
Out of the entire household, how many are professional musicians?
- I am probably the first musician and singer in the last 300 years.
What do you do when you see someone playing on the streets for money? Explain a typical encounter between a busker and @edprivat.
Well actually if the person is far enough for me to notice them but they can't hear me, I quickly figure them out and find a song that they might like to hear. It's quite fun to do, it's like the board game "Guess Who?"
I love this response. It shows how comfortable you are playing anything at any time and I got a bonus question out of it, Ed. What I want to know is, what do you do? When you see a street performer and you’re the audience? 👍🏿
I don't think I understood the question. I thought you meant when I used to busk, what would I do when a pedestrian was passing by. Wow that's gonna sound harsh but I don't really always give money to buskers. Is it bad?
I don’t think it’s bad, I don’t always tip them either, but you know what? I’ve mentioned Steemit to probably three buskers recently—explained to them what the platform is, the basics. I even scrolled through a couple of things on my phone and showed them how they could reach a bigger audience.
That’s nice of you.
Do you have any rituals or routines you repeat before you release a song/video on Steemit or do you just go for it?
Well it actually takes me forever believe me or not. My wife asked me to stop posting because I was taking few hours and she needs to keep the kids silent in the meantime, which is pretty much impossible. So I am now forcing myself to do just one take and to be happy with it.
December, 2017, how long was it taking you to record and post a track to Steemit and what’s your average posting time today?
You mean in December 2017? It was taking me forever to do a song, as I said, now things are much quicker. Except if I want something with a higher production value, 2 cameras angles (as you once suggested dandays), it will take me 3 days, one day recording the audio in separate tracks, then 2 days for recording the video from 2 different camera angles using the same phone.
How do you prepare for the future? Are you a 5-10 year type of planner or closer to 5-10 months? Or does 5-10 days describe you the best?
I used to wing it, but in the last year, I've decided to have a clear plan of the next 10 years, and the next 5 years, and the next year. I actually make a list before I go to bed with what I need to do the next day. I have a visualisation exercise too with 12 goals that I want to achieve this year, and I focus on it and meditate every morning and every night.
I’ve noticed you double playing and maybe even triple playing a lot of your songs lately, a track I’ve seen you post to dtube, for example, will repeat itself on dsound. Can you explain why you’re doing that?
Yes. I have a 4 months timespan programming in rotation with 120 songs and I try to add more when I can. It's tough to add more as my days are busy, but there will be brand new songs soon with my new EP/album. I want to have a full year of song to play on steemit eventually so I can maybe rest once and have a holiday (I haven't taken holidays for 7 years).
I’m not going to lie, I was hesitant to ask that question, now I’m glad I did!
I am actually glad you asked, and I am not embarrassed in the least. You see, music cost more money than some other posts. For example my first album cost 50k USD to make and I just never got that ROI back.
Do you remember what you thought about Steemit back when we met each other toward the end of 2017?
I actually didn't believe it was real money until we withdrew it and bought stuffs with it. I remember what I bought first, I went to the dentist and took a tooth out. I still don't believe it's real money sometimes 😃
And what about now, what do you think about Steemit today?
I am still here and posting everyday, and I curate music like a mofo lately so I am still super active on the paltform and I think it's just the beginning of the adventure. We're still the early adopters, and I am even ready to say that lately I saw lots of new musicians and artists joining, so that's fantastic news!
One of my favorite initiatives here is @comedyopenmic, they’re powering down. I’ve noticed several of the larger wallets powering down and pulling their delegations, for example, @hendrickdegrote, the big wallet chasing @curie—what’s your perspective on all of these power down’s?
In my entire year, I've never received one upvote from these curators, so I don't know much about them. They probably don't like my style otherwise they would have voted my content. To each their own I guess. They can power down and go, I am still here.
I know you felt it when @dsound lost their delegation, what do you think it says to the community who’s been here for awhile when they’re seeing the larger wallets continue to exit the platform?
I am actually powering down too right now, at least a small portion of my SP, so we can buy few things. Sometimes it's just a necessity, especially in a bear market, with this economy, dude's gotta eat ya know? @prc actually has a good plan, The Love Machine, that will encourage people to delegate more to dsound. To be honest, his platform was a game changer for me, he helped me realize that I can't waste my time anymore, I have a talent and need to do something with it before I am too old and start slowing down. I am not afraid of people leaving the platform and taking their money out. Everybody is free to do what they want, it's a free market, and if investors don't find the ROI they were expecting, they really should leave. I know I do.
How labor extensive is your curator role at artzone? How much of your time is dedicated toward #artzone each day? What’s the biggest news coming out of there—any future plans over there you’d like to tell us about?
What I do most of the time is wake up at 3:45am or 4am (like you do too @dandays) and start my day with 1 hour of curation, so it's out of the way. I try to be efficient and partial, but sometimes it's difficult to go through so much content without missing a gem. I post musical post Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The rest of the team post generally on the other days (@nmalove, @gbija and @jacobite are the most active at the moment on the art side).
There's news coming down the line but I can't tell more about it, it might involve other platforms too. I would love to organize an exhibition with the artzone artists. I still have to delibarate for the winner of the Musicoin contest today 😃
What’s the latest? Where is Ed Privat today, what’s your 5-10 minute plan? Is it the same as yesterday?
Omg I am so busy lately. After my hour of curation for artzone I gym for an hour everyday (calisthenics) and then I started new job for taxify, which is most of the time from 7 to 3:30, then I come home and work for @musicoin for 1 hour (I still stay connected with the team during the day on whatsapp) and chat with the producers working on my album at the moment. Of course I am posting on @dsound and @dtube and try to give an hour for the kids. I am generally passing out before 9pm fully exhausted...
If I’m not too tired I try to do studio takes on the weekend or when the kids are sleeping on Friday night or Saturday night.
I’m sure you have more influential people in your past than you can count. If you could revisit any three of them, who are they? What was it about these people that is so prevalent and did you ever receive any words of wisdom from them that you’d like to share?
One of my biggest influence was Dean Bowman that is an incredible gospel and jazz singer, that I met while I was studying music theory in France in 2005, we sometimes send each other emails. I remember smoking so much weed with him. An incredible scatman and a very spiritual human being.
The other big influence was Al Jarreau, that I sang with on live TV, I had the chance to spend some time with him during rehearsals of the show, and it was an incredible experience, we spent a whole day talking about his craft, me singing him his greatest hits (he was promoting a best of anthology album), I've studied his solos my whole life, so meeting him was like a dream come true. He shaped my career and my influences big time.
The last person that I've met that had a big influence on me, was my wife. I wanted to say Nelson Mandela (I was working with his grand son Ndaba, we actually built a recording studio in Mandela's house in Houghton, what an awesome family), but he got nothing on her quite frankly. All this people have something in common. They love and learn how to be loved.
That’s all I have for you, Ed. I told @puravidaville I fired off some questions to you just now and asked her “is there anything you’d like to ask Ed before I shut this down?” Without any hesitation, she said:
“Yeah, what’s it like being From one culture and your wife being from a totally different culture in an interracial relationship with interracial children as a musician who home schools their kids and teaches them alternative ways to navigate the world? Analogy here: What’s parent teacher night look like? Are you supported by your community or are you rogue in this crazy world we live in?”
We are definitely on our own. I know I am not gonna make lots of friends saying this, but I've totally embraced the black community. I actually rarely speak to white people, because most of them are racists and scream "White Genocide", but the truth is, they don't walk in their own streets of South Africa, they are comfortably sitting in their big ass cars, while I am taking "Taxis" which are minivans that most of the people that can't afford cars use, I am in most case the only white person in a miles radius, and I am actually happy this way. I am so tired of the false pretence that South Africa is a "rainbow nation", it's not, it's a lot of black people suffering and hustling and a small portion of the white people chilling at braii's (barbecue) all the time, having servants living in their backyards, and thinking that they are "helping them" by giving them a job, or should i say a life of servitude. The truth is that most of these whites are born in opulence and have no idea how to live, they in most cases live with their parents until they're 30, I kid you not dude. Homeschooling was a necessity, because the white teacher that we had thought our son had a "neurological issue", and after talking to an Afrikaans neurologist, he just explained that the area where we live is renown plain racist, and our son is actually so freaking smart. Moral of the story, don't listen to cunts.
My wife on the other side, had the chance to be raised by a white lady that her mom was serving. This lady, god bless her, took care of her education by paying for all the school fees that are tremendously expensive in South Africa and gave her a true chance of survival, so I have to play the devil’s advocate and say that there is actually genuine good white people too here, and it would be dishonest not to admit that. It's just that I've "mingled" with the white community a lot, so I know what they say when nobody is around, and it's not pretty. There's few good apples left in the rotten basket.
I realize I can't make such generality as there's lots of good people of all race, but I've learnt how to protect myself and my family from hurtful opinions, because this is the concrete jungle out there.
Ed, Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions—thanks for being the first real life star to conduct a #blockchain interview with me.
Bro you don't have to thank me, I am the one feeling privileged!