We can think of anything in life that takes a good amount of time before it’s recognized as the best, especially in music. It takes time for many artists to find their feet in the industry, or to make a lasting impact. Recent global events have pushed many in their field to think differently, but most importantly, focus on the importance of humanitarian aid. As many have already changed careers and lend a helping hand, Ralph Leon Mabone aka Northside recently shifted focus to the growing problem of domestic violence during national lockdowns.
Ralph Leon Mabone isn’t new to the music industry and has already managed to gain traction with big names such as rapper Moneybagg Yo and music producer Drumma Boy. The Memphis music scene fired up shortly after Northside stepped on to the scene, lending his talents to create singles such as ‘Power’ by Slpy & Moneybagg Yo and featured on the project entitled ‘La Familia.’ Born on the 26th of January 1995 in Memphis, this 25-year old music producer has already paired up with big names and isn’t slowing down very soon.
What sparked your interest in women’s rights?
It’s nothing strange for many men and artists to advocate the importance of women’s rights and the seriousness of domestic violence issues. Northside believes that too many women still fall victim to domestic violence and that those who are responsible aren’t thoroughly prosecuted. “Since cities have gone into lockdown, there’s the issue of what happens to women and children who are now confined to their abusive homes.” He continues to say, “Platforms such as The Marshall Project and local authorities have declared a decline in domestic violence cases, but then we have to start asking why? Are these cases going cold? Why haven’t more women been able to report cases if there are any?” says Northside.
Issues like these, aren’t easily dealt with in society, the pandemic has made it more difficult for victims to report sexual or violent abuse. Many cities and counties have already reported that the pandemic may restrict women from seeking help, medical attention, leaving the house or phoning someone as they experience restricted privacy.
Do you feel authorities are doing enough?
“It’s difficult because nothing can be done if they don’t know about the issues. I know that there are men and women out there trying to help anyone who find themselves in these circumstances. Too many women are scared to go out, scared of contracting the virus or seeking help from others. They’re being restricted even more than just quarantine,” he shares assertively.
Recent media platforms have raised the issue to many officials, claiming it as a ‘double pandemic.’ “More women will find themselves with greater issues than COVID-19, we need to take a stand, not as individuals, as a community. We need to open our homes to those in need, aid where we can and give mental and physical support,” says Northside.
Tell us about your most recent work?
If he’s not raising issues on domestic violence, he takes up his career as a music producer. His talents may come in many forms, but the singer, songwriter and record producer finished production work on “It’s Crazy But It’s True” by YSL and Alamo recording artist Lil Gotlt. “The whole production of this record was really a great journey to discovering new ways to write and produce great music. The response from fans and followers were amazing,” he says.
Already released in 2019, both the tracks he’s produced on the album were in collaboration with Dun Deal, Western Weiss and Chriz Beats. Northside tells us, “The production team and the people I worked with during this album have shown me what I am capable of.”
How has your career progressed until now?
“It’s been nothing but ups and downs, meeting with different producers and rappers every day. Finding ways to expand and grow, but not only in the industry – outside as well,” he says. In 2012 Northside started working with Moneybagg Yo on his then underground mixtape From Da Block 2 Da Booth. Between 2013 and 2014 he managed to change the Memphis music scene and teamed up with producer Drumma Boy for the track Young Fool. “It took long hours and a lot of work, but my introduction to the mainstream was in 2017 when I worked with Moneybagg Yo on Lately which was later on remixed and featured Fabolous and Yo Gotti,” says Northside.
As many are unsure of when this will pass, more people like Northside are stepping up to shine light on issues of domestic violence. Lockdowns may have flattened the curve, but it hasn’t solved problems in society, and Northside is firmly taking these matters to heart.