5Fortyproductions, aka @5FortyPros, (Shaun M. Butler) is a Hip-Hop/Nu-Metal Artist/Producer from Northern New Jersey who has been a part of a number of different musical projects as a Singer and Guitarist since high school. Currently billed as 5FortyPros, this Singer/Songwriter has added producer to his repertoire, as he currently Writes, Records, Produces, and Mixes all his tracks for 5FortyPros.
Where are you based?
Northern New Jersey about 10-15 mins from the GWB. (That’s the big bridge that goes to NYC for those that don’t know lol)
How long have you been making music?
Just over two decades give or take. I’ve had a hiatus or two in there, so it’s not a straight shot through. Actually, I thought I was done with being an artist, well, not THE artist. That’s how I got into production. At the time, in my heart I was just done being on stage. I didn’t have the passion to perform anymore. At the time, I was living in New York City. I was about to be married, to a then, long time GF, and with how I felt about performing and the fact I “THOUGHT” I was starting a family, I just thought that part of my life was over. But I couldn’t give up on being a part of music completely. So I started in production. Needless to say I NEVER ended up getting married, got right back into making music, MY OWN MUSIC, and I can’t wait to get back on stage.
What genre would you consider your music to be?
First off, I hate labeling people or music or just in general I believe it’s causing a lot of problems in the world. It separates everyone. That being said, I’m billed as a Hip-Hop artist, which is true. I do have a lot of hip-hop songs. I LOVE Hip-Hop, and yes, I rap in my songs. I also sing, but I’m not an MC in traditional sense I’m songwriter. Lyrically Im more hip-hop. I love the different flows of different rappers, and the beats. It’s all so good when done right. BUT, I love something about a heavy guitar and the energy of rock and metal, so I always end up combining them at some point in the process. Like in my last release ALL DAY. It opens with a heavy guitar riff, then you hear a sample play, and then kicks in with a hip hop beat. So I guess I would have to say even though I do make straight up hip-hop songs and then I make ones with rock I have to say I’m either Nu-Metal, some call it Trap Metal but I think it can also be called RapRock if you HAD TO put a label on it. LOL
What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
My mother and sister always loved 80s music probably because that’s when my mother was young and my sister got it from her but I heard my sister playing Guns N’ Roses, and I saw Axl Rose, and was absolutely blown away by what this guy could do and the way he performed and this right away that was like that’s what I want to do I wanna be that guy. I was 8. Which, of course seemed impossible. But that’s where the dream was hatched this time and I got into different music the dream evolved but it will always start there with Axl Rose. I still think he’s incredible
What are your biggest musical influences?
This may be a wired and long list. Lol but Axl Rose, Wu-Tang Clan, KRS-ONE, Biggie, Limp Bizkit’s 1st album “Three Dolla Bill y’all” It is so good. It is the best album they put out before anyone knew them.
Are you signed to a label or are you an independent artist?
I’m an independent but taking calls and meetings
What have been the biggest challenges in your music career?
Staying motivated through mental illness and addiction, OH, and keeping on a schedule. Lol Seriously, those are probably my biggest things currently. Please forgive me if I run a bit, but this is a huge part of my life. Now, Writers block happens to everybody. It’s frustrating. It sucks or times where it happens for a while and it completely kills my motivation after that if I can’t get through it right then. But It happens in time. Sometimes I have too many ideas to where it’s almost impossible to get them all out and then there’s times I can’t think of even a single riff or beat or a lyric idea, but that always passes. If you just let it go and walk away for a little bit and let life happen, it’ll come to you, but staying on a schedule is always been hard for me and motivation comes and goes at times. I’m usually very motivated for music but you know when things happen in life and it sucks the life out of you, even the creativity goes, sometimes . Luckily for me my pain is usually my biggest motivation comes from but even in pain, where I can thrive at times, musically, even I get crippled by it sometimes. But I’m always in pain in some way. . I emotionally torture myself and my character. I’ve done it since I was a young kid and it makes it easy to become unmotivated when that part of your brain really goes to dark a place. Usually when I’m in that I will run right to music with it and try to get it out artistically and it has worked for me before, for example, a song like, WHO I BECAME. I was in a very dark place when I wrote and recorded that song. I was going through a breakup. After 9 years together and our wedding 6months away, she cancelled the wedding and decided she wanted something different that didn’t include me. So I left NYC and had moved back to my parents. It broke me. Then I went back to drugs. Thought I was broke before you don’t know broken till you literally destroy yourself for a couple years and then try to fight your way back and just realize what you’ve done to yourself and to the world around you. So I wrote that while I was still kicking drugs, and trying to not lose my mind and loneliness, because I was isolating, and that song came out. It’s weird because I’m not in that place anymore. Mentally I’m in a much better place and I’m happy but that song remains so that time is forever. I have to keep reliving it every time I hear it and that’s hard. I still can’t listen to that song without getting in a little emotional, because it’s so real and honest about how I was at that time and how I can think about myself at times. But there are other times where you’re just hurting so bad it just can’t come out. You just can’t get past that wall of pain.
How many songs or albums have you released to date?
I’ve been doing this project now for just over two years and I released 22 songs. Plus I have a bunch of unreleased songs I could listen anytime separately or maybe it’s an album will see.
Can you tell us a few things about your latest release?
My latest release is titled “ALL DAY. The link should be provided in the article, but it’s a along that Nu-Metal sound that I spoke of. It has that Rock/Metal sound when it kicks off but lyrically, from the verses to the hook, it’s a Hip-Hop track. Just instead of sampling a guitar to get that sound, I actually play the guitar on the on the song.
Any plans for new music or upcoming projects we should know about?
I’m always releasing new music. My goal is I want song every two months but I’m also always wanted to put out my own full length album so definitely stay ready and I’ll keep you posted.