Where is home?
I was born and raised in Harlem, New York [East Coast]
Can you tell us about your background: what’s led you to what you’re doing now?
My background is in design and fine arts. I studied fashion at the High School of Art and Design which led me into being the artist and musician I am today. When I met the Mob, Rocky, and Yams, I was designing and making clothes. Rocky believed I could become successful at making music because he knew I could rap, that’s how we ended up where we are today.
What lies at the core of your work both artistically and personally?
Truth lies in the core of my work. It has to be original and true to who I am.
On your latest album, you reference various family members. What does family
mean to you?
My family is my foundation. Without them I don’t think I would be the person I am today and I would not be as strong.
How is your sound reflected through your fashion style?
I like to call my music and fashion style unorthodox because you never know what you’re going to get from me.
What impact, if any, has contemporary art had on your creative development?
Contemporary art is released differently these days. Social media and technology has made it interesting and allows for higher engagement.
From your sound to your style to your ideas – how important is evolution and
experimentation to you?
Experimentation is important to my style. I experiment more than people may think. People get the music but there is a lot of experimentation happening behind the scenes, with me creating new sounds and sonics. As a musician, I am always growing and I want to bring innovation to my music, and push culture forward.
How do you keep yourself motivated and your ideas fresh?
I keep my ideas fresh by exploring new things. I’m always reading books, watching movies and documentaries, and meeting new people. I believe in feeding your mind with positive thoughts. You can go on a diet not only with what you put in your body but also with what you put in your mind. I try to stimulate my mind by taking in new things. [New Level]
Is there anything you’re presently inspired by – anything you’re reading, listening
to, or looking at?
I was really inspired by RZA’s book The Tao of Wu. It was magical, spiritual, and hood. It spoke to me because I represent all of those things.
How do you stay grounded in such a fast-paced industry?
I stay grounded by being humble and remembering that everything can be taken away at any moment. God didn’t have to bless me the way he did, but he did so I’m going to be grateful about it.
What do you think is the function of music in today’s society?
Music’s role is to connect people from all walks of life.
Do you think musicians hold a certain responsibility?
Musicians definitely hold a responsibility. Anyone who says anything out of their mouth is liable to what they say or do. Words can cause actions, and can pose a threat, making things difficult. There’s always a cause and effect so you have to watch what you say and do. Not just musicians, but all people should watch what they put into the universe.
Tell us about the process behind your work. Are you a creature of routine or are
you more spontaneous?
As an artist, I love routines. Most artists are indecisive, because we create and see the world different. Our outlook on the world is different. Routines help me stay balanced. Making sure I eat right, work out, and pray.
Do you have any daily rituals?
Praying is one of my daily routines. I pray about 2-3 times a day.