Tell us a few things about your new song “Whoa”
“Whoa” was originally gonna be a solo track but I was in the studio chucking beats around with MC Beastly and Weez and I told them I have this one to hand because we were looking for something weird. They gravitated towards this one so I told them I’ll take my verse out, we’ll extend the beat to create a 3rd verse and we’ll get it cracking. I also re-wrote the hook to be catchier and voila…”Whoa” was born!
How many beats do you listen to before you end up using one? Tell us a few things about your creative process.
I’m actually on the verge of changing my creative process as I’d like to stop using leased beats as much (keep your ears peeled for song I’ve produced myself!) but usually I’ll jump on something like YouTube or dive into my inbox where producers have sent me beats and I’ll pour over those until I get something. I usually know the mood/vibe I’m going so I’ll search by that. There’s not really a number of beats I’ll go through before I strike gold, sometimes it’ll be the first beat I click on, often times it’ll be within the first 10 beats, sometimes I’ll be 20+ beats in and still haven’t found something. Once I land on it though it’s time to get cooking and so then I’ll start writing my lyrics in direct accordance with the beat, taking into account how the beat varies and matching my bars to that. It doesn’t take me long at all to write my songs from beginning to end (these days it’s never really more than 2 hours including time to practice and perfect the performance of it) but once I’ve got it done and dusted I’ll record a video of me doing it so I remember how the song is meant to sound/so I can hear it back and eventually I’ll lay that down in the studio.
Which is your most personal and honest lyric?
It’d either be “I’ll always show love and I’ll always show respect // But I’ll die before I ever claim to be content” from my song Content (the last song I wrote right before my dad passed away in 201or “My dear beloved pops, I’ll do my best to stay alive // But I can’t believe I lost you at the age of 25” from my song Letter To My Dad
Favourite album of the past decade?
Of the last decade?! I can’t choose! I’ll just go with my favourite album of the last year which is “The Off Season” by J. Cole.
Trap music came to rule the world, but at the moment the genre feels stagnant. What does the future hold for hip hop in general?
The great thing about Hip Hop is that it’s ever-evolving and only getting stronger and more popular year on year. Think about how things started in Hip Hop from the 1970s and where we’ve ended up…the past gives way to the present and that’s simply what we’re seeing with trap. It’s already going into drill music and that, too, will give way to something new.
In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?
Some of my fans tell me they’ve got my song in their gym playlists so I imagine they’re trying to get hyped and motivated whenever they’re listening. Otherwise I imagine they’re looking for a vibe while they’re driving so they’ll bump my music.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
I’d say it was when I was falsely arrested for suspicion of possession with intent to supply. I wasn’t actually in any trouble whatsoever and the police even admitted to me that they didn’t think I was a drug dealer but purely because I was with people where drugs were found nearby THEM that’s why they arrested me. I’d never been arrested in my life and I was furious that I was targeted for it when they knew and I knew that I was innocent. It was also extremely embarrassing to be put in handcuffs in front of a growing crowd of people for a crime I didn’t commit. I’m a person who likes to avoid trouble at all costs so I don’t take chances with legal things. I don’t drive without insurance, I don’t dabble in drugs, I don’t pick fights with anybody, I just keep myself to myself and live my life accordingly so to still be singled out by that really made me feel a certain type of way at the time. Being a young black man never gets any easier