The Graduation Music staff is thrilled to present our latest Weekly Discovery article featuring Atlanta’s Bear1Boss. Mass Music’s Kriss Krosse first hipped us to the rapper’s invigorating single “Avatar” a couple of months back, and from there he’s only solidified his musical catalog with a variety of endlessly-playable tracks. Making a name for himself through his unpredictable, exhilarating sound — Bear1Boss, simply put, is the future of rap music in Atlanta. Check out our interview with the rising start below:
To start, who are you and where are you from?
My name is Bear1Boss and I’m from Bouldercrest Road in East Atlanta Zone 6.
What was your childhood experience like?
I grew up with my grandmother the only boy of 3 — the baby. We lived off of her social security check.
What were some of your early interests in life?
Music, dance, basketball and dirt bikes
What kind(s) of music did you grow up listening to? Who are some of your favorite artists?
I grew up on Hip-Hop, Pop, and Alternative Rock. Some of my favorite artists right now are Skooly, Thug, Future, Lil Uzi, YNW Melly
How and when did you start making music of your own?
I started in the 5th Grade with Protools
What are some of your first memories attached to the music scene in Atlanta?
Being in the studio with Casino and Young Scooter
Your discography is full of Atlanta talent, ranging from artists with international recognition all the way down to the artists that are just starting out. From a personal standpoint, why is it important to work with the artists in your hometown?
It’s important because you need to make sure you stick to your roots.
Key is one of the more notable artists hailing from Atlanta, and three months ago the two of you linked up on “Too Serious”. How did this relationship form?
I met him at Fani shop and then I met him again with with one of my Managers, Brave. We were at a bar and he fell in love with me.
Which artists from Atlanta have influenced you the most?
Skooly and Key
How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?
“I’m a motherfucking rock star!”
Which one of your tracks is your personal favorite?
What was the inspiration behind the making of “Avatar”?
I was trying to give a feature to my little cousin
Everything about your catalog of music — especially your delivery and ab-libbing — is highly unique. How has your musical style developed since you began making music? What went into this process?
It’s just something that came out of me. It’s a part of me. I call it “Hotsauce”.
What’s the studio environment like? Who do you typically make music with?
I work out of either Street Execs or 14golds’ Studio with World General and myself.
How did you and 14golds meet one another?
I did an open mic contest and he was the DJ
What do you want your listeners to take away from your music?
I want them to feel close to me. Like they can “party” with me.
What’s next for Bear1Boss?
More visuals and unexpected singles + projects
If you could make music with anyone this year, who would it be?
What is your goal for 2019?
Perform at Rolling Loud, Coachella, and other large festivals
Listen to our hand-picked playlist of Bear1Boss’ music below:
Our latest Weekly Discovery article focuses on England’s SC.undercover, a highly-versatile R&B artist who’s discography centers itself around the many sides of love. We spoke with him about his life and musical career. Check it out below:
Who are you and where are you from?
I’m an R&B artist originally from a small town in England called Walsall
When did you begin making music?
I have always been musically inclined, but I only started writing heavily and creating music seriously in my mid-teens
Who were some of your early influences in life, both musically and non-musically speaking?
Musically, I have always taken influence from Prince because of the level of musicianship he possessed along with his dedication towards his craft.
In life, I am most inspired by those who come from nothing and become something.
How would you describe your music?
I would describe my music as a reflection of life that is created with the intention of providing both relatability and entertainment
Which release of yours is your personal favorite?
“Broke and Sober” holds a special place in my catalog of releases because I wrote it over a two-year period, and it was the first song that initiated my career.
What do you want listeners to get from your music?
As long as my fans take something away from listening to me then that is what matters most to me.
What can we expect to come in 2019?
2019: I hope the world will know my name and music
The transformation of Boston, Massachusetts into a hub of musical culture has given local media outlets a plethora of skilled lyricists, dedicated rappers, and impressive vocalists to both write about and enjoy. As the city continues to flourish, the appreciation for the artists present within the local scene has soared to new heights.
One relatively new artist from the city that has been doing his best to push the 617 area code forward is Mosa. This Boston-bred artist has kept his foot on the gas for the majority of his life, and has been on a continuous pursuit towards evolution within his discography. In a recent conversation with Graduation Music, Mosa revealed that his attraction to music began when he was very young. At just 9 years old, he started to write verses and experiment with rhymes. With time, Mosa explained, his love for music only grew stronger, which eventually led to him recording his first track at the age of 14. Mosa began to develop an ambitious mindset towards music at a very early stage in his life, and it truly helped to shape the career that he’s in possession of today. Some of his past achievements include opening for both PNB Rock and ABoogie, growing a devoted fan base via social media, and receiving countless cosigns from many of Massachusetts’ most talented artists.
In 2018, his main focus circulated around feeding his audience a consistent stream of high quality singles, while intentionally straying away from features. By remaining relatively independent, Mosa created a solid foundation for himself, and thus attracted more exposure to his music. One single that truly kick-started his success was a song titled “Adrenaline”. This track was released by Mosa in the Summer of 2018, and is a perfect example of the versatility he provides as an artist. The mellow production style of the “Adrenaline” beat presents Mosa with an opportunity to deliver laid-back bars and speak honestly to his listeners. The hook of the track is incredibly catchy, and assists in showcasing the vocal capabilities Mosa has present within his musical arsenal. The content of this chorus is mainly focused on the many different realizations that Mosa has arrived at in life, specifically regarding both his work ethic and the fact that he can never imagine himself becoming “irrelevant”. In each of the verses on “Adrenaline”, Mosa uses soft vocals to thoughtfully spit bars which cover various subjects.
For many of our followers, this article is less of introduction to Mosa, and more of a reminder of how skilled he really is. It’s only right that we show our respect to such an extremely talented musician out of Boston. Some things that we can expect to see from Mosa this year include the release of his debut album, as well as the sale of personal merchandise.
Be sure to check out “Adrenaline” and some of Mosa’s other tracks below. We hope you enjoyed this week’s Weekly Discovery, and we’ll see you again next week!
On Malci’s DO YOU KNOW YOURSELF, we indulge ourselves in the extremely self-aware and creative universe of Malci. The 19 track, well-thought-out project spans 41 minutes, and stays fresh on every listen. Malci carries listeners through the whole project with his genuine, charismatic delivery that is truly refreshing. His production is truly unique and addicting throughout, featuring beautifully chopped samples and crazy intricacies that aren’t caught right away, keeping the album interesting. The beats perfectly mirror the subject matter of each track and make for a cohesive listen overall, while the short instrumentals, guiding one track to the next, keep for a very engaging listen.
Throughout the course of the project, Malci touches on a range of different topics including his childhood, religion, the creation of this album, being called a weirdo, and much more. Reflecting this to-the-point style, the hooks on here are perfect, as the rising talent never gets ahead of himself, keeping the music very catchy while clearly conveying the central idea of the tracks — an arsenal of skills all of which come together to show off his incredible songwriting ability and versatility. That said, I can’t recommend this album enough. Malci really did his thing to make it a special, deeply personal project, and in such a way, it goes without saying that this is just the right album for any fan of solid hip-hop.
I wasn’t familiar with Malci when I initially pressed play on DO YOU KNOW YOURSELF, but after quickly realizing the true range of his talents, I decided that this is just the kind of project that should be paired with an interview featuring the man himself. Check out Malci and I’s conversation all about DO YOU KNOW YOURSELF and more down below.
Starting things off, where are you from?
I’ve been pretty nomadic my whole life so I can’t really say anywhere in particular. I’ve lived in Indianapolis as well as various towns and suburbs in Illinois, but I think the longest I’ve been anywhere has been in Chicago.
What were you like as a kid when you were growing up?
Pretty much the same way I am now. Laidback, quiet, and goofy. I used to make a lot more dumb decisions, but you either learn to change that type of behavior or it catches up with you. I spent a lot more time hooping than I did rapping or making beats, but I always had a knack for wordplay and looping samples, so I came back to that once I started going to college.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?
DOOM, J Dilla & Ras Kass were always heavy in rotation for me growing up. Outkast & El-P too.
I saw something on your Bandcamp describing yourself as “somewhere between Quasimoto & Shabazz Palaces, Guru (of Gangstarr) & Death Grips”, which sounds pretty accurate to me. Who are your biggest musical influences today?
Each album it tends to vary since I’m always trying to push myself into trying something different. I’ve been real inspired by the legends Burial and Cannibal Ox lately. They dropped these dope ass otherworldly albums that still sound futuristic even compared to contemporary projects. It’s always a goal to put out something that sounds like it came from another universe.
What is the significance of David Foster Wallace?
I had read some essays by DFW when I was writing DO YOU KNOW YOURSELF. He went down some philosophical rabbit holes about existence and afterlife that really resonated with my own beliefs and opinions. Whenever I talked to my homies that liked his writing, they kept referencing his book “Infinite Jest”. I thought it was funny how ironic it would be to end up in another plane of existence and see DFW, and I’m like, “Yo I’m always plugging you….but I ain’t read that shit”.
Would you say that most people don’t really know themselves?
That’s straight facts. Nobody knows themselves, and if you do, it’s only for your current stimuli which is guaranteed to change. I don’t care what bravado people put on, a disaster or a trauma will shake up your sense of self and your beliefs. I feel like that’s just part of the human condition– you’re always growing and trying find a grasp on something
What are some of your favorite albums?
Madvillainy by Madvillain, Los Angeles by Flying Lotus, Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart, Troupeau Bleu by Cortex, and Reasonable Doubt by Jay Z.
The first song on the album after the intro, “Gospel”, talks about how you don’t go to church anymore, and you just try to do what seems like the right thing and hope you end up ok. When did you stop going to church and what made you do it?
Man I stopped that when I was like 12. I thought about religion and spirituality a lot when my parents would bring me to church, and I started piecing stuff together like how come sex and murder were both punishable by damnation, but sex was chill if you put a ring on it first? It seemed so wishy-washy to me. Around that time, all those Catholic priests got caught for pedophilia and it really just took all of the innocence and belief out of religion in general for me. These dudes were in stark contradiction of the bible, but that was supposed to be absolved because they were “holy”? I couldn’t rock with that kind of thinking. As I got older, I understood how money corrupted nearly every religion and with that much doubt in me, I could never take church seriously again.
The production throughout “Do You Know Yourself” is immaculate. Do you do all of the production yourself? How do you go about finding all of the samples you use?
Yeah bruh I did all of the production by myself. I don’t know what my exact process was but I just was always sampling. I’d go to the record store anytime I had some extra cash, dig through the crates and I wouldn’t go to bed until I listened through 3 or 4 records. I’m a fan of the music first, so I was just buying vinyls by artists I already was vibing with and getting lucky with some dollar bin finds.
There are two interludes/instrumentals on the album, “enteringtherecordstore” and “leavingtherecordstore” — inside this record store is the song “Everyday”, where you talk about every day being the same, and not having anything to show for it. What is the significance of the record store?
A big part of that song was just trying to express the mundanity of everyday life, and the record store was part of my daily routine. The whole album kind is of the summation of the thoughts firing off in my brain and the record store had been such a central part of my process while making the album, I felt like I had to express that.
How long was the creative process for “Do You Know Yourself”? Is it something you made in a short amount of time all at once or did you work on it in smaller sections over a longer period of time?
It was about 5-6 months of work. I had wrote this album out like 3-4 times, but I kept changing beats or fixing verses. I ended up just rewriting the whole thing a night or two before I went in to record it with my engineer and sticking with that as the final draft.
Lastly, what’s next for Malci?
I’ve got some new projects coming. Definitely one before 2019, maybe a couple more in the early spring.
Thank you to Malci for the wonderful opportunity and taking the time to talk to us. Considering his talent and breath-of-fresh-air artistry, we can’t wait to see what he does next.
Follow Malci on Twitter here and stream DO YOU KNOW YOURSELF below:
Just a few days back, while scrolling through my SoundCloud feed, I stumbled upon an absolute gem of a song entitled “Fifa”. I simply had to look further into it, and in the process, I got hip to a rising hitmaker by the name of Glizzy F Baby. Balancing a range of mesmerizing, effortlessly smooth flows and an incredible ear for finding just the right production, all I can say is that Glizzy is about to be massive. There exists no weak spot in his catalog, and considering the way his skills have only sharpened with each successive release, I don’t see the Georgia native slowing down anytime soon.
That being said, Graduation Music is here to present to our readers an interview with our latest weekly discovery. Keep reading below to learn more about Glizzy F Baby and his style, influences, background, and more.
Just trust me, you’ll be seeing his name everywhere soon.
To start off, where are you originally from? How did you first get into making music?
I’m from Columbus, GA and I don’t even remember when I first got into making music. I know I been fucking wit it for a min since a jit — like back in middle school it was a thing for me. Ever since I can remember I had a love for music. Not just making it, but enjoying it in its purest form.
The name Glizzy F Baby is an allusion to Lil Wayne’s nickname, “Weezy F Baby”. What does Wayne mean to you as an artist and in what ways has he influenced you?
For sure and er thang, Weezy F one of my top 3 all time. From the start, he influenced me with the crazy wordplay to the metaphors n er thang in between.
Top 3 favorite NBA players of all time?
MJ, Allen Iverson, LeBron.
You seem to find a lot of inspiration in cultural moments and figures of the 90s and early 00s. More specifically, who/what are your main sources of inspiration and how do these inspirations play into your creative process when making new music?
I like what I like — that’s one of those things where you can’t really explain it, but as far as my inspirations, Future is one of my biggest. He’s also one of my favorite artists when u look at the way he came up n the authenticity he did it with.
But as far as making music, I don’t really take more from one person than another — I’m inspired by many artists. I’m inspired by everyday life more than anything. I most def appreciate the figures and music of the early 90’s n er thang B4 me, though. As far as the imagery goes, I like the aesthetic of older images/movies n shit like that.
If you were to direct a movie about your life, what actor would play you and why?
I don’t know, that’s a good question. I never thought of it before, but I’ll say somebody like Ace Boogie (from Paid in Full) who started from nun n worked his way up — he took the game n ran wit it. That’s one of my favorite movies, by the way.
What are some of your main goals as an artist?
Give the fans a vibe every time. As far as like long-term goals, though, I want to have some number one singles, platinum plaques — u know, shit like that. Maybe a Grammy or sum.
I see it going as far as it can go, ion put a limit on things. I can see myself being a household name when it’s all said n done.
Lastly, what can fans expect from Glizzy F Baby in the rest of 2018?
More singles, fur sure. I’ve also been plotting on releasing a project, though — I feel like I owe the fans one. And visuals, too. I got a lot of stuff in the works. I’m gon b putting together some vlogs like on some day-to-day type shit, as well.
By: Shamus Hill Los Angeles’ Noah Bentley is the latest artist to be featured on Graduation Music’s Weekly Discovery series, and the 18-year-old is here to gift you some wonderful, positive energy for the remainder of your summer. Compact full of love trials, transitioning out of adolescence, and aspirations towards a joyous future, Noah’s discography possesses depth to say the least. I spoke with Noah Bentley about the effect Los Angeles has had on him, his roots, and what influences his art. Read the interview below: Where are you from, and for how long now have you been making music seriously? I’m from LA. I was born in the valley and have been living here since. I’ve been seriously making music for a little over 2 years. I used to mix and master for the first year and a half, but I always knew I could make good music. One day I just recorded myself, and from there I started making my own music as Noah Bentley. How does the LA area affect your music? Both LA and the valley are such a melting pot of cultures, but the valley is in the middle of all of LA’s popular landmarks. You drive for 30 minutes in one direction and you’ll end up at the beach, or Hollywood. You drive a little longer and you’ll run into DTLA. This has opened my eyes to a variety of different lifestyles, and has helped me experience a lot of interesting events, which I turn into storytelling through my music. In three words, how would you describe your music? Soundtrack to life. Is it just you, or do you work with a team of people? I work my team Potluck. We’re a hip-hop collective and record label located in LA. Our team has producers, videographers, managers, and designers. Each member of the team brings a unique skill set fourth, and we’re all working under the mantra: Everybody Cooks, Everybody Eats. The entirety of your music catalog features production at the hands of JustBeatz. Can you speak on the relationship you two have, as well as what it is in particular about his production that makes you work with him exclusively? JUSTBEATZ! That’s my boy, we went to middle school together and hung at school, but rarely out of school. We didn’t really get close until I recognized him doing his thing in music and producing for different artists. That was around the time where I was mixing and mastering an album for one of my team members Hundo (instagram: @hundo.ptlk), and I reached out to JustBeatz because I liked what he was putting out. From there we became real tight and were always working together. These days, I’m ALWAYS in the studio with JustBeatz either making beats, or making new songs for myself. We have a great work flow, which is the one of the main reasons he has exclusively produced my discography. Listening through your music for the first time, it’s easy to note the vibrant, overarching feeling of joy that’s prevalent with each track. What would you like listeners to takeaway from your collection of music? Aside from my hearing a story from my life and making folks dance, I want my listeners to hear my music and be inspired to go be great at something, and work their hardest at whatever their craft may be. If you could collaborate with any two people on a song, who would you choose? I would pick Marvin Gaye (RIP) and Vince Staples. Who inspires you? In a non-musical sense, I’m really inspired by Sheck Wes. Anytime I see his face on social media it makes me get up and work. He’s one of the few artists I’ve watched blow up, so every time I see him winning, it’s a reminder to continue working as hard as I can. Outside of music, what are some of your interests? I love being in nature, untouched nature always inspires me in a way that nothing else does What can fans expect next from Noah Bentley? Oooh can’t say too much, but expect to see your granny dance when she hears this new music
Music discovery, at face value, is essentially just a hunt for all of the hidden gems that people tend to miss. Once one of these gems is brought to the spotlight, new opportunities arise for artists and those small gems are able to graduate to a larger scale of operation. One of my personal favorite recent discoveries is that of KYSLINGO — a Maryland artist currently trailblazing his own path in pursuit of this further graduation.
Marked by a trunk-rattling concoction of melodic bass kicks, KYSLINGO’s sound is like nothing else I’ve heard. He communicates deep emotion by weaving through monstrous instrumentals, providing listeners with a remarkably raw, intoxicating sound. In such a way, he also possesses immense consistency with his art, so much so that at this point, it’s only a matter of time until we’re hearing the name KYSLINGO everywhere.
That being said, we here at Graduation music had to get the buzzing artist on our pages for a Weekly Discovery. You can read our conversation with KYSLINGO below.
To start off, where are you from? What was your childhood like?
Easton, Maryland. Eh, it was ight. Just been to alotta schools — that shit never fun.
Many listeners considered your sound to be the trailblazer for an entirely new genre of rap. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music?
Just like that.
Your SoundCloud profile picture shows Paris Hilton carrying a pink cellphone. What’s going on there?
I can’t really explain it but I feel like that pic.
What are your main sources of inspiration? When sitting down to write a song or make a beat, what keeps you going?
Most of the time I drink to create, but everything is usually based off strong emotion. I gotta feel it. Nothing is forced. No specific person or nun like that inspires me. I just wanna be great like everyone else.
Five years from now, where do you want to be both musically and as a person?
Musically, I know imma be above all these niggas, I already am. But as a person, Imma be the same.
What can fans expect from KYSLINGO in the remainder of 2018?
In the social climate of today’s music world, being an artist, producer, engineer, etc. requires a comprehensive, productive understanding of how to use the internet as a tool not only to further one’s art, but also to make lasting connections that will support a career. Few artists have done this as well as Cortdot, even growing up in Wichita, Kansas, where life is greatly disconnected from the hotspots of rap music right now.
Cortdot’s relentless hunger towards greatness and clear knack for paving his own path no matter what obstacles may be in the way is nothing short of inspirational. His current portfolio contains credits alongside Warhol.ss, Lucki, Flee, and many more underground stars, and considering the amount of damage he has been able to do with simply a great ear and the internet by his side, there’s no telling how bright the future will be for such a promising young talent.
The stocks are rapidly rising, and we here at Graduation Music had to make sure we spoke to Cortdot for the latest edition of our weekly discovery interview series. Read our conversation at the link below:
Being from Wichita, Kansas, how has the power of the internet been able to connect you to all of the artists you work with? Do you feel limited at all and do you want to get out of Kansas?
The internet has all the power but there’s only so much you can do on it. I plan on getting out soon. There’s a lot of talent in Kansas, but we all know the places you need to be if you want to actually do this music shit & it’s not here.
How did you become a producer? At what point did you realize it was what you wanted to do as a profession?
I started like about a year and a half ago & at first, it was just some hobby I picked up, then I kind of got nice with it. I don’t want to just limit myself as a producer though. I’m an artist & I have a lot of talents that the world will see soon.
One of the main artists you frequently work with is Lucki. How did you initially link with him and how did you two build such a strong working relationship?
I started sending beats to his email then he had got back to me one day & started fucking with me since. Honestly, I think we both just hear the same things at times – we have similar taste, I would say.
Especially in the current landscape of the music industry, producers often have trouble getting properly compensated and credited for their work. How do you handle yourself on the business side of things in order to avoid any issues?
Paperwork & Communication.
Who are your top 3 favorite producers of all time?
Pierre Bourne, Plu20 Nash, & Brentrambo.
What is the most rewarding part of your job as a producer?
Definitely leveling up & getting to work with some of the artists that I looked up to when I first got into this business.
When it’s all said and done, what do you want your legacy to be as a musician and as an individual?
I really don’t care about a legacy. The most important thing to me is what I can do to change the world while I’m here now.
What can fans expect to see from you in the rest of 2018?
As an artist, growth, or defining creative vision and working towards its execution, over time is often shown through the progression of one’s catalog of music. One artist that has shown this development with a keen eye for what works and what doesn’t is New Jersey’s own, ATM. His track record of 13 tracks on SoundCloud right now proves a path of unrivaled authenticity and a clear creative vision, as every song seems to work on the strengths of the last while striving for the improvements of the next offering.
This trait has led me to find sky-high potential in a number of his songs such as “Vashtie“, “Rush“, and “Lupin The 3rd“, and today, Graduation Music is proud to present an interview we conducted with the young talent, marking the fourth installment of our weekly discovery series. Read the conversation covering his origins as an artist, his work with Cor Blanco, his inspiration, and more, below.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music?
Uh, I would say my music is tight. I have different mood music, so like I make music for everyone. Happy people, sad people, every kinda person.
When did you start making music in the first place? How did all of this come about and how do you feel about how the fans have reacted / how far you have come?
I started like a year and a half ago. I was chilling with Cor [Blanco] one day on sum random shit & he was finishing up his tape & I was like yo bro let me get on a song, so I tried this shit, and I liked it. When I made the song “Friends” that shit really hit. My whole county was fucking with it. Idk if I still have those day one-supporting niggas but I haven’t made the noise that I wanted yet, still pushing.
What’s the rap scene like in New Jersey right now? Is there a lot of influence from New York?
Idk I try to focus on myself and my friends, to be honest. And nah, not really, I don’t think so. I listen to every kinda of music so that’s where my influences come from.
On the production side of things, Cor Blanco is one of your most frequent collaborators. How did you two meet and how did you start making music together?
Yea that’s my bro 4 lyfe, we went to high school together. I mean we wasn’t always as close as we are now, but the music brought us close as fuck. He’s the first person I ever made music with and we just stuck with it.
When working on new music, where do you usually find inspiration from? Describe your creative process.
My favorite artists are Tyler the Creator, Pharrell, Playboi Carti & Kali Uchis. So like idk, I mix all those into 1 haha, or at least I try to. To be honest, I just listen to beats from Cor and if I feel it, I feel it. I usually don’t write any of my songs. I catch writer’s block & shit, so freestyling is the way for me.
Lastly, what can fans expect from ATM in the near future?
Bruh, these niggas are in for a treat, dude. Sick videos, sad ass music, you know – different shit. Shit they’d want from me. I’m never gonna shy away from my style.
Authenticity is a trait that can never go understated in music. It becomes apparent in lyrics, sound, image, etc., and when an artist is truly authentic and genuine to themselves, the listeners can tell. One of the most authentic artists I’ve heard in all of 2018 so far has been Jazz Ingram – an Atlanta native who holds this trait among all other things and an artist who, with an ample supply of both talent and work ethic, could just be the next big thing out of his city.
Ingram lives in his own world of limitless creativity, and naturally, we here at Graduation Music had to take the opportunity to speak to him about his upbringing, Atlanta, a record entitled FORREST., and more. Read our conversation below.
To start off, where are you originally from? What was your childhood like?
I was born in Rochester, New York, but I moved down to Atlanta before I was 2. I had a dope childhood, pretty middle class. I got bullied but like, who doesn’t? I was really small until junior year (like 5’1, 90 lbs). My mom is a reverend, so I was in church a lot.
I had a lot of impossible-seeming things happen to me while I was growing up like when I was at Six Flags and the Plain White T’s pulled me on stage – I was like 7. I didn’t get in much trouble, but I talked a lot. Hopefully that makes sense.
At what age did you start making music and what led you to do so?
Around 11. Michael Jackson, Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and Justin Timberlake led me to make music. I used to take my sister’s iPod Classic and the list above is what I took a liking to (minus Michael Jackson – I always knew about Michael Jackson).
What are the top three most influential albums for you as an artist?
Honestly, not an album guy. But like Future Memoirs by Allan Kingdom really hit me. Prince’s aesthetic pushed me forward in making music, too. Fuck it, imma make a list
808s and Heartbreak // Mr. West
Man on the Moon // Cudi
Future Sex Love Sounds // The man who ruined Janet Jackson
Explain the title of your most recent offering, a record entitled, FORREST.
The main part of the title, “FORREST”, is my grandfather’s middle name. Feb. 5 was his 75th birthday, so it was a dedication to my grandfather. I added the “a record entitled” because I think because music is almost losing its physical aspect (streaming, digital vs. analog) so I had to tell people that this is more than just a collection of songs. When I think of a finished work, I picture a record (vinyl) in my mind.
Describe Atlanta in five words.
Eclectic, Spontaneous, Black, Traffic, and did I mention Black? 🙂
What is your creative process like when making a song or a project? Where do you find inspiration from and in general, how does everything come together?
I push myself to create every day across several mediums. Just to keep my head in a creative space.
I like to make songs early in the morning (I record myself in my room), typically right after I eat a chicken biscuit from either Chick-Fil-A or Bojangles. I don’t really write melodies – most of my recent hooks have been freestyled, so I’ll loop the track and just sing literally whatever comes to mind for half an hour or so. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll either write the track on paper or my iPhone. The best places to write are my car, my room, this park around the corner, or the toilet.
I find inspiration from documentaries, interviews, and long conversations w/ Ian (Women). Recently I’ve been working with Kobe (yourfriendkami) ALL the time, so things happen pretty quickly and organically, to say the least. We made a record entitled, FORREST. in about a month.
You can only watch one cartoon for the rest of your life. What cartoon are you choosing and why?
The Amazing World of Gumball goes dummy, no cap. But I don’t watch TV any longer ***!waste of time!***
What are your main goals as an artist? Where do you want to be in 5 years?
Make what I like, honestly – something around there.
I don’t think that far ahead, but New Zealand is pretty. And hopefully, I have a BMW M3.
Lastly, what can fans expect from Jazz Ingram in the near future?
Content. But this summer I’m focusing my attention on r0cworld.
Every now and then, you stumble upon a gem in the crowd of an artist that possesses a phenomenal catalog of music. It didn’t take much time at all for me to realize that ace. was that artist. Since getting put onto his hit single “Big Fact” and subsequently diving into the remainder of his discography, there hasn’t been any turning back.
That being said, Graduation Music is proud to present an interview with ace., discussing his entrance to music, some of his influences/interests outside of music, and an announcement that he’s dropping a short project on April 13th (a week from this upcoming Friday). With his recent string of exceptional records, ace. is here to prove why NYC is still a major playmaker in the rap game, so be sure to read about him below:
How old are you, and where are you from?
I’m 20 years old, out of Queens, NY.
For how long now have you been releasing music?
I started recording music in the 9th grade, so like six years now. I started off recording songs myself on Garageband, using the built-in microphone on my laptop. I would say I started taking music more seriously when I bought an actual microphone about 4 years ago.
If you could describe your music in your own words, how would you do so?
That’s always been difficult for me, finding a way to label it. I’ve had conversations with my manager about it, just so we could kind of know who we’re marketing to. But yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to label it because it’s so varied. Really, I’ll make whatever conveys what I’m feeling. I’d probably release a deep, house track if it’s what I felt at that moment.
Which of your tracks would you list as your favorite thus far?
It’s definitely hard for me to pick just one, but I’d say two tracks stand out to me. “Big Fact” connected for me instantly. As soon as I had recorded it, I sent it to a few of my friends before releasing it, and I told them, this is the one that people are going to connect with. It’s something I’ve never said about any other song, but I knew with that one immediately. But besides that, “They Whisper” would have to be a personal favorite of mine. It’s my favorite because it’s the most experimental track, sonically, to me, and I had wanted to do an Alternative-Rock-influenced track for a while. I wrote and recorded that song while watching the Blair Witch Project with the sound off, because that’s the image that came to mind when I heard that beat.
Looking through your discography, I’ve noticed that the majority of your music falls under the Hip-Hop/Rap genre, however you do have two Alternative-Rock tracks under your belt. Do you see your sound remaining within these categories in the future, or do you plan on exploring new genres as time progresses?
Honestly, like I said, I don’t know if those labels accurately represent the music I’ve made either. I feel like very few songs I make would be traditional to any genre. But I’d say yeah, I’ll always be expanding my range musically. That’s the fun part about making my own music, I can take from all the different sounds I love and put them together.
Who are some of your influences, both musically and personally?
I’m influenced by A LOT of people, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d probably say Kanye West and Childish Gambino are two of my biggest influences. Beyond just musically-speaking though. I feel like I can relate to those two especially, just based on the way their minds work. They’re true creatives to me. True creatives because they see no boundaries in their creativity. Even when making music, to them it’s about more than just the music. The process doesn’t end for them when an album’s finished, they have a complete vision. From art to tour designs, merchandise, etc.
Another big influence I’ll never forget to mention is the entire A$AP Mob, they influenced all the people around me in every way. Plus, they came out of NY doing it.
What’s the music scene like in Queens? Is there anyone from your area that people should really be listening to?
The music scene is bubbling, and not just in Queens, but New York in general. I feel like New York has a chip on its shoulder after years of being disregarded in Hip-Hop, while places like Atlanta thrive. It’s definitely a movement coming though, we can thank A$AP Mob for paving the way for us. They dont get the credit they deserve, especially Rocky as far as being a NY artist. I feel like his name is never mentioned when people debate over who’s the hottest NY has had to offer over the last few years. He’s the one without question. He’s a megastar and he’s from Harlem. As far as up-and-comers from NY, I see a lot of talent in the people around me. Friends, people I’m working with currently. Zoe Cartier, Adamaneven (Angelnumber 8, Lotto, Justine, Slakapat), Sensei Idai, Tommy Revenge. Soundcloud any of those names, I promise you’ll find something new you’ll love.
“When I was a freshman in high school we all wanted Pyrex shorts, now Virgil’s working at Louis Vuitton. That’s the type of shit that really inspires me. Growth and process. Everyone has their own process.”
What are you into besides music?
Everything. I really believe in that true creative concept, and I have ideas for just about everything. Somewhere on the internet there’s a Donda chart that Kanye drew up with different fields he wanted to impact using Donda. I’ll probably draw up my own (just as long) soon. One of the main things I want to get into in the future though is writing, specifically screenwriting. TV Shows & Movies, I have well drawn out ideas for both already. I believe it’ll all come together when it’s supposed to, don’t be surprised if you see one of my ideas as a Netflix-original one day.
Fashion is mentioned throughout your music, which leads me to ask, how much of a role does fashion play in your life, and subsequently the music you put out to the world?
Fashion is definitely a big influence, but I’m not the fashion guy in my collective of creative friends. Marvin (@m6rvin on social) is really the fashion guy, and he’s already working on his own thing, with a foot in the fashion industry. I’d say all of us are fashion-forward, but if I’m in 2020 with it, he’s definitely in the year 3000. A few of my biggest influences I didn’t really mention come from the fashion world. When I was a freshman in high school we all wanted Pyrex shorts, now Virgil’s working at Louis Vuitton. That’s the type of shit that really inspires me, growth and process. Everyone has their own process.
What can we expect next from ace. ?
Next for me is more music and more music. Really I’m just getting started. Currently, I’m working on a short project that I plan on dropping April 13th. I haven’t officially announced that anywhere yet, but yeah that’s what I’m working on. I hope to have a few friends on there, and they will definitely be people you should be looking out for too.
In today’s world of music, there tends to be a high value placed on constant output, often times leaving the art of consistency in the dust as artists unknowingly chase the short road of quantity over quality. One artist, however, separating himself within a sea of burgeoning talents, that seems to have found the perfect marriage between quality and quantity is Queens native Flee.
Song after song, project after project, the endless stream of work that fans receive never compromises quality, and with the inimitably infectious flows and hilarious, captivating wordplay that Flee brings to the table, we’re ready to watch him on his rapid ascent to the top in 2018.
That being said, Graduation Music is proud to present an interview we conducted with the NYC representative, marking the very first installment of our new weekly discovery series. Read the conversation below.
Flee! Where are you from? What was your childhood like?
I’m from Hollis, Queens, born and raised. My childhood was pretty normal and I grew up with 2 parents from Nigeria, 2 brothers, and 1 sister.
How and when did you start making music?
I started really recording in Delaware with my boy HB. I used to go to his crib after school and we would just record all day – that was like 2011. I honestly didn’t start releasing my music seriously until like late 2015.
Where does your inspiration come from when making music?
My inspiration comes from GhostGang, my friends, and most importantly, the situations I went through with females, lmao. Queens has also played a big role in my music because it’s where I’m from. I love Queens, it’s just a part of my blood and I’m going to continue to rep it as long as I rap.
How would you describe your sound and style to someone who has never heard your music?
Describe the perfect date.
Hmm, letting me fuck the first night is pretty lit and perfect to me.
How did you connect with 16yrold? When did you two start making music together?
While me and Xool was making the tape they had a session together so they cooked up the beat for “Rodman”. I used the song for my tape and 16 fucked with it, so ever since then we been cool.
What are your personal favorite songs within your own catalog of music?
No Sense, Wraith Dreams, Repeat, On & Off, Oh Word, YTO3GHOSTGANGSMOKEY… I got a lot of songs I fuck with, I can go for days.
How did you meet Stoopid Xool and how did Flee Going Stoopid come together as a project?
It’s funny cause I actually stole the beat for “Glizzy” off his SoundCloud and I hit him up telling him to fuck with me. He fucked with the song, so from there, he was willing to work. My manager made it happen actually, he flew Xool to NY and that’s how Flee Going Stoopid came about.
We was in the stu nonstop and I would knock out like 3-4 songs a day. Me and Xool got enough songs for 8 more tapes – Flee Going Stoopid was just the beginning.
You tend to work with the same producers for most of your music. What advantages come from establishing chemistry with just a few producers rather than working with a bunch?
I think it’s good to expand later on, but as an upcoming artist, I think it’s better for me to find my sound and stick to what suits me and what production I excel at. I eventually wanna expand and work with bigger names, but for right now, I’m cool with just working with Roca Beats, StoopidXool, Cash Cobain, and a few others.
Lastly, what can fans expect from Flee for the rest of 2018?