Be the Sharing Type
Rashid Sergeant’s story of personal disaster and surviving in the music business
It was supposed to be a routine computer cleanup for Rashid Sargeant. Deleting extra files and old pictures for some of the new content he was creating didn’t seem like a daunting task at all. It’s something everyone with a computer has done at least once. However, Sargeant, who goes by the name IHATEYOU$HEED in the music world, ended up cleaning his computer too well.
“I was trying to install a plugin to use for my production and I had to clear space on my computer so I moved all my files to my external hard drive and after I moved them I went back to open one up and they were all gone.”
All of the work he’d done to further his musical career, everything suddenly went up in smoke. Sargeant says the effects were devastating and he tried everything he could to salvage his hard work.
“I had a year and a half worth of music just gone. It was such a gut wrenching feeling I actually threw up that day and cried. I tried everything to get it back downloaded so many programs; my ex even gave me $90 to buy a program that could potentially get back deleted files, but no luck.”
Music is everything to Sargeant. Originally from Philadelphia, Sergeant developed a love for music early on in life, and that love has grown ever since.
“I got my start making music in middle school. I was in a rap group called TKO and we did the talent show and we were horrible and people laughed at us so I stopped for a while and then around my sophomore year I started to pick it back up. Then, in my junior year of high school, my friends and I formed a thing called Highest Basement Collective, and I’ve just made music seriously since then.”
Once Highest Basement Collective was formed, Sargeant did everything he could to make the most of this opportunity. Standing at a crossroad between music, school, and work, Sargeant had no trouble choosing between the three.
“Since we formed HBC I’ve known that making music is what I wanted to do with my life. I dropped out of school because I didn’t want it to distract me from making music, and I know whatever part-time, shitty retail job I have is only temporary. I’ve quit jobs to move into a house with my friends just so I have consistent access to the studio. I don’t put much stock or energy into things that don’t concern music, to be honest. That’s just how much faith I have in myself and my talent.”
Sargeant made the most of this opportunity, putting together his first EP while working with the rest of Highest Basement Collective. While he essentially had to start over from scratch after accidentally deleting his entire music catalog, his friends at the group were instrumental in making sure he used his talent for the best. This led to the debut of his first latest single, “Vogue!,” on Pigeons & Planes, something Sargeant says wouldn’t have been possible without the help of his team.
“I was so close to giving up but after a talk with my manager Riley, he told me to take a day or two off and just come back stronger. So that’s what I did, I remade Vogue! And just made a new catalog of music.”
After getting back on his feet after the disaster, Sargeant could begin focusing on making new music again, something he uses as a medium to express himself the best way he knows how.
“I just want to be myself. I’m not trying to replicate anybody’s sound or look or anything. Plus, I take a lot of time with my music and its packaging. I’m a perfectionist and that can sometimes get in my way but it also makes for great songs. I make sure everything is top level, from the artwork to the mixing to the way I form the description and tags for the sound. Great music always finds its way around and I’ve just been trying to put out great music to the people.”
On top of making and preparing his music to its very best, Sargeant says using the tools on the internet he has at his disposal to help spread his craft and interact with his fans.
“[Social media is] super important. I don’t have a marketing team or anything like that. I’m just myself on my Twitter. I joke around a lot, I talk to people, I voice my opinion and make connections with people. Some people didn’t even know I made music till I put a link out, and they enjoy the sounds so much that they share them and that they tell their friends. But social media also gives me the ability to form relationships with a lot of other artists and blog writers and it just makes the world so much smaller.”
In addition using social media and other platforms to connect with new people, Sargeant says platforms like SoundCloud and Apple Music have been key in getting his music played in places he’s never even been before.
“People from around the world tell me they love my music and that they are going to spin my song at their parties. It’s wild man. The other day my friend from Japan told me he was getting “Vogue!” spun at a Chanel party and it’s crazy little ole’ me is somebody’s Serato at a Chanel party. I’m extremely grateful for that.”
With everything on the upswing for Sargeant after being in such a dark place earlier this year, he emphasizes that it’s more important to live in the moment than it is to plan ahead too far into the future, a plan that’s worked for him and his crew at Higher Basement Collective thus far.
“I try not think that far because if I’m not there I consider that a failure of a year. I do hope that I’ll be better artist, musician, and person.”
With more music on the way, be sure to follow IHATEYOU$HEED on SoundCloud, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as the rest of Highest Basement Collective’s music collection.