GT Garza in the SXSW spotlight

Genaro Garza, better known as GT Garza, is a native of San Diego who moved to Houston, Texas at the age of 5. Having an interest in hip-hop since a young age, GT Garza picked up his passion and began rapping while in middle school. By the time he was in high school, Garza began rap-battling and demonstrating determination in his craft. GT Garza impressed Rob G, an artist with Universal, who recruited him to G Style Entertainment. His work has earned him sponsorship by Adidas and Sunkist, and he has collaborated with some of today's most respected artists. With 11 mixtapes and constant work on his lyrics and flow, Garza is now under his own independent record label, The Machine, in order to feed his music with its own freedom and flow. Rising up as one of Texas' hottest acts of the moment, there is much to look forward to from GT Garza. –Paul Cortez When did you fall in love with hip-hop and why? 
I fell in love with Hip Hop at an early age, I believe it was artist/groups likes Do or Die, Phat Pat, Scarface and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony that captured my attention as wells as my feelings. Listening to hip-hop not only help me get through hard and emotional times, but show me different ways one can enjoy life and be happy by expressing themselves through music. 
   Who or what made you decide to pick up the mic and start performing? Aside the artists/groups I just mentioned, a friend of mine and I would ride at the back of the school bus and they just would be rapping/freestyling. I would pick up and recite rhythms in my head through school and one day, he made me get the mic and start freestyling.   SXSW seems to be a predominately indie band oriented, as a hip-hop artist what do you hope to gain from your time there? 
Networking is key to meeting new people to gain more fans, exposure, and just basically generate a buzz that will felt all through and after SXSW.     With record sales on the decline in this digital era, how important are tours now? Merch? 
There are many artists out here dropping mixtapes for free download and others selling mixtapes in this digital era, so yeah, it's very important. So not only do you want your tours and merch to sell out, but you want the fans that attended the show and bought your merch to have a memorable time so that they will attend the next one. Your performance needs to be on point.   How have you been navigating the social media waters, what have you done that has been fan favorites? 
I would say lately it has to be my music videos. I try to be on every social network possible from Twitter, IG, Tumblr, Reverbnation to Facebook promoting music and interacting with my fans. It' s just juggling all those social medias all at once is crazy when you have to shoot videos, make music, and do interviews.

  In 1986, when the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame started inducting 
bands, only 3 out of 279 performers who have been inducted are involved in hip-hop, Public Enemy being the most recent. As an artist that falls into this category, how does this make an impact on you? 
That is very huge for hip-hop alone because the music industry did not just accept hip-hop in the beginning, due to the violent word play and gangsta image. So for an artist or group to be excepted in the Hall of Fame is get great feeling for all artist because they opened a door for all hip-hop artists around the world to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.   There is kind of a revolving door of rappers/emcees these days, what sets you apart from the pack and how will you attain longevity in such a fickle and oversaturated market?

 Foundation. To me, that is the key to many rappers success and the downfall for others. If I can obtain this, than I believe that your brand, marketing, and your following will follow. By Paul Cortez for RAPstation.com