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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Uncharted Battlefest Highlight: Derek 'Blaze' Nguyen


      Derek Nguyen, known as Blaze to everyone in the 'Forest City' Rockford-based battle leage, Midwest Battlefest, has been making music since the age of fourteen. Now, at age 19, he is CEO of the rapidly growing company. Of course, Blaze hasn't forgotten where he's come from.

      Blaze started his music ventures in a group, Outlaw Recordz, for a short while before internal conflicts caused them to disband. Blaze went solo and soon met up with fellow music artists, Ronald "T.R.I.M. Forte" Watson and Akeem Kizart in '09. Blaze was introduced to Hustle and Culture, one he considers his first REAL music group. To tis day, he reps the music company alongside other artists, including Zachary "Ayngel Halow" Coble. Blaze helped them produce their first mixtape, Jedi Mic Tricks, within a few short weeks.

      Through Facebook, Blaze met Keith "Da Rambla" Cotto from West Christiansburg , VA. After kind words, Keith invited Blaze to work with his personal affiliates, EMB/Most Hayyyted, alongside Zac "Da-Vine" Garcia. The two were the only artists in the affiliated with the group from outside the VA area and supported Da Rambla's newest album, You Can Hate Me Now.

      Febuary 2010, Blaze took a long hiatus from music. He felt that he had burned himself out after pushing out his tapes, The Initial Spark and Flashfire. He began focusing more on Battlefest and helping fellow artists improve their crafts. Whenever he wasn't doing what he could to support the local hip-hop scene, he was dealing with the everyday life of a teenager. School and work took priorety over his musical ventures.

      Any work he COULD get in was spent writing, rather than recording music. "I have many songs that are written on my computer that have yet to be recorded, some spanning all the way back til 2008." Says Blaze.

      In the last several months, Blaze has been working on several projects, including "Back To Basics (B2B)" and "God Mode". Blaze has several music artist connections, including ties to Darian (Elgin, IL), Cassandra "Freshkidd" Ramirez (Oceanside, CA), Rohan Raj (Canada), Santhi Long (Iowa), the group BXC, Casmira Baclawski (Kenosha, WI), and most recently Axe and Xen of the Wisemen, which he is now a part of.

      Blaze showcases a versatile lyrical style and great vocal control which works in his favor, as he explores a vast variety of genres from Club, R&B, Old Skool and even Pop!

      "I Love music. This is my escape from the hardships of life. This is where I can express myself and to give my thoughts and ideas a medium to be projected. Music literally saved my life. my passion for this won't ever die and come summer 2011, Blaze will be back and will heat up the game for sure." - Blaze


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