The main artists that come to mind when you mention inspiration for me are Earl Sweatshirt, Common, Elzhi, Sylvan Lacue, Joey Badass, Tyler the Creator, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z, Mac Miller, & MF Doom. In my flow I feel like I can sense common & MF doom, Earl in my lyrics, Tyler & Mac with the instrumentals, a lil Kanye in my attitude, lol. Listening to Jay-Z recently I feel like I got a strong reminder that in lyrics, less is more, & that's affected how I write a lot. Listening to older rappers, like Lupe, Jay, Kanye, Common, & Elzhi remind me to always put my best foot forward on tracks because they're from a time when you couldn't drop music so often & freely. Your album had to slap because people were paying $10 for that shit, & your label would give you like one shot at that a year, so your songs couldn't be throwaways. I want my discography to stand the test of time like theirs.
“What do you look for in beat selection? Does it vary or is there a specific sound you gravitate more towards?"
I have a couple styles that I gravitate towards. My favorite beats to rap over always use soul samples. Those allow me to emote the most. I also love beats that are minimal, cuz they allow you to focus on my lyrics. I feel limited on trap beats most of the time.
“What speaks to you in terms of art and do you use real life situations to help create a piece of work?”
My work is pretty much always inspired by a real situation, whether it be something I experienced myself, or something I saw, or heard about. When it comes to how art inspires me, I draw inspiration from other music, & photography.
“Can you speak on the aspects of your style that you enjoy the most and talk about the importance of being comfortable and confident in yourself as an artist?”
One of the things I enjoy the most about my music is how authentic it is to who I really am. I often go into strong detail about what I'm writing about because I feel strongly about it at the time, so going back to music that I wrote years ago can be a trip. I appreciate that it's real, & I feel like knowing that factors a lot into how confident I am as an artist, & it goes to show how comfortable I am with my art. you need those two things if you want your art to be authentic, or else you run the risk of letting your insecurities about it mold your product into something that's just meant to appease others. That'll cause you to dumb your shit down, especially the aspects of it that truly make it your own. If you aren't confident in yourself, you'll just become everyone else, & you'll never stand out that way. You'll never succeed. You might get by, but you won't be anything special. And you gotta be comfortable to be confident. If you aren't comfortable in your sound, it's either inauthentic, or you're still trying to find yourself in the midst of your influences.
“Is making music therapeutic to you, do you see it as a way to express yourself?”
Music is absolutely therapeutic for me, it's probably the best way for me to get anything off my chest. I've even written lots of songs that I deemed too personal to release, that helped me sort issues out in my own mind. It's probably the greatest way for me to express myself too. I've always thought myself to be good with my words, so expressing myself through music feels natural.
“How do you begin the process when starting a new project, do you go into it with a strong vision or leave it more open and allow it to create itself in a way?”
It's a mix for sure. When going into the next project, I give myself a couple months to sit with the last one, & don't write much. Because I'm usually burnt out after the last one, & cuz I don't want to accidentally rush the next one, cuz at the same time, I always want to, lol. Once some time has passed, I'll usually start thinking of what instrumental sound I want for the next project, first, because I want the body of work to sound cohesive. I'll start rounding up some instrumentals of a certain sound, start writing drafts, & think about a title. Long before a project is finished, I'll have a sound, title, & feel for it, that I create the tracks & tracklist around.
“What do you feel is important to keep in mind when making music so that it can genuinely resonate with the listener? Or is that something you don’t consider too much?”
Great question. I suppose I don't really think about it honestly. I guess I just assume that there's gotta be somebody like me who'll gravitate towards it if i'm being honest about myself.
“When seeing your progression as an artist, what things change in your life that help with growth and development?”
I'm at a place in my life where things are changing quickly & that inherently inspires me because of the new situations I'm put into. Meeting new people always inspires me to write & I’m doing a lot of that right now. Honestly graduating high school in 2019 represented a large transition for me, & the period between then & now fully inspired my most recent album, Gud Nustalgia. You could say I was feeling nostalgic, lol. Everybody who graduated high school knew that feeling then. Its times like those, where life thrusts me into a different situation, when things change, where I really get inspired to make something new, & that's always progression.