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Behind the Stage with Magna Carda at Euphoria Fest 2017 (Interview)

Magna Carda has steadily become one of Austin’s hottest hip-hop acts. They proved it again at their first Euphoria Fest set on Day 1. They started at 5pm on a beautiful Friday afternoon at the Dragonfly Amphitheater Stage and left fans feeling grateful that Euphoria had expanded its lineup into more hip-hop.

Megz and Dougie Do, the founders of Magna Carda, have brought together an amazing band to create a hip-hop group that rings similar to The Roots. Megz humble yet confident swag speaks through her lyrics, and syncs up beautifully with Dougie’s unique production style.

We were fortunate to catch up with Megz and Dougie after their Euphoria Set to talk about their new album, their first show at Euphoria, and how Magna Carda became the band they are today.

After meeting them my passion for the band grew even more. They were genuine, humble, and extremely passionate about making their own music. This young duo is paving their way through the music industry and they are doing it their own way.

Check out some of their show at Euphoria, and take a few minutes to learn more about this unique duo making waves in Austin hip-hop. Also, make sure you follow Magna Carda on JamFeed to stay up to date with everything they are doing in music!

INTERVIEW:

For those new Euphoria Fans who just discovered Magna Carda, how did you guys form the group and begin making music together?

Megz: We met at St. Edwards University in Austin.

Dougie Do: Ya, we met at school and started making music after.

Are yall from Austin originally?

Megz: I’m from New Orleans

Dougie Do: I’m actually from Houston

What made you want to come to Austin?

Dougie Do: Well I was living abroad, but from Houston, and I wanted to come back to Texas. Then I got to Houston and realized that I don’t really want to be in Houston anymore, so Austin seemed like a dope spot.

Megz: Ya, it just seemed like a great place to live.

Do yall plan to stay in Austin as your homebase?

Dougie Do: We’ll see…we kind of have done everything here already. We’ve done almost all of the festivals, and Euphoria is the last one on our list to hit in Austin.

Megz: Austin is a dope city to be in, but we are exploring options.

When did Magna Carda become a full band beyond just the two of you?

Dougie Do: Pretty much in 2013 it all came together.

Megz: Ya, we were making music just us two for the first year, then we added in the rest. But it started with us. After that first year, we slowly added in people, one instrument at a time.

We noticed yall put out an “Epic Playlist” just before Euphoria Fest w artists ranging from Kendrick Lamar to A Tribe Called Quest. What artists have influenced you the most?

Dougie Do: It’s Tribe Called Quest for me. It was the first hip-hop album I fully picked up and understood was Tribe…I love that group.

Megz: Mine is not really a rapper…but ‘Baduizm’ by Erykah Badu. I was exposed to that album at a very early age. It almost felt like it was my first experience with a real songwriter…it made me want to write songs, ya know? You could just kind of feel the authenticity. She was just doing her thing, and nobody was doing it at the time. And even as a young kid, I could recognize that, and it’s always been a big influence on me to do my own thing.

Let’s talk about your blues/soul sound surrounding the hip hop. Is this influenced by the two of you, or did your other band mates bring that vibe in?

Megz: From my experience, it’s kind of everybody bringing their own little style in, which is kind of how we work in general. We don’t like to tell people what to do or create. I mean, if I’m playing music with you, obviously it means I already respect you as a musician, so I am going to respect your opinion and your way of working. I’m always into the whole feed off you, feed off me thing.

Dougie Do: I definitely agree.

Is Magna Carda currently signed with a label or independent?

Megz: We are currently independent.

Dougie Do: Right now we are really just trying to build our own brand. If the right partnership comes along, then we will definitely look into it.

What is the next step / goal for Magna Carda to get to the next level?

Dougie Do: We have our 2nd album (Sophomore Album) about to drop, so we are getting that ready right now. We are hoping to drop it early summer.

Megz: Ya, the way things are going now probably late spring or early summer.

Dougie Do: We also want to try to get on the festival circuit too, especially outside of Austin.

Can you tell us more about this new album you have coming out?

Dougie Do: Ya, it will definitely be an album. Our sophomore album. With our first album, we just kind of threw whatever we had on there and put it together. This time though, we are being more picky about which songs are going to make it or not. It will probably end up being around 8 or so tracks.

Any upcoming shows that yall are excited about?

Megz: Yes, we are headed up to the east coast to go play in NYC soon.

Megz, when did you start writing music and deciding on pursuing your career as an MC?

Megz: It was always like second nature for me. It’s just something that I have always done, just writing in general. I’ve always loved writing and story telling.

How old were you when you first starting rapping over beats and wanting to make music?

Megz: Really young. I was probably like 7 or 8 years old. But it wasn’t until later when I decided I wanted to rap. You hit those spurts when your like damn, I really wanna be a rapper…but then you come down to earth a bit. I think once you get the real momentum going after making something and putting it out, and can back yourself up with it, then you can really start looking at it as a career. And that didn’t really happen until I met Dougie, but I have always been writing.

Ya it helps to have someone on the grind with you doesn’t it?

Megz: Ya for somebody like me, I am more motivated when I have people around me working with me. Not saying I always want to be around people, but feeding off their energy and having someone to hold you accountable definitely helps.

What about you Dougie? When do you start producing / playing music?

Dougie Do: I started doing music in 5th grade in school, playing in the school band. But I was playing Saxophone and it was classical music, so not producing yet. That came later and picked up even more when I met Megz.

Let’s talk about your blues/soul sound surrounding the hip hop. Is this influenced by the two of you, or did your other band mates bring that vibe in?

Megz: From my experience, it’s kind of everybody bringing their own little style in, which is kind of how we work in general. We don’t like to tell people what to do or create. I mean, if I’m playing music with you, obviously it means I already respect you as a musician, so I am going to respect your opinion and your way of working. I’m always into the whole feed off you, feed off me thing.

Dougie Do: I definitely agree

If you could get on tour with any artist, who would you like travel and play with? Who puts you in front of the right audience / fans that you think would dig your show?

Dougie Do: Man…I’d probably have to go with two. I think it would be The Roots and The Internet

Megz: Haha I don’t want to say the same thing, but The Internet and The Roots would definitely be good. I’d also say something like Oddisee.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who might’ve been in your shoes 3-5 years ago? What have you learned?

Dougie Do: Um….You can ask for anything. I’ll say that.

Megz: Ya, always ask for anything. And it sounds cliché, but always keep trying to get better each day. Never be content with where you are. I’m not saying don’t be satisfied or grateful, but there’s always something else you could be doing to get better.

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