“Hollywood” will be featured on your upcoming EP “Hollywood Smoke”; can you describe the project for us, and whether there is an overarching theme to all of its songs?
This project is showcasing my rockstar, player type alter ego named Hollywood Smoke. The theme is just me having fun and showing a side of myself I don’t always show.
Each song has its own unique vibe. You get two bangers, a party track and a little something you can ride to at the end.
How did you initially get started as an artist and producer? Were there any artists/producers that motivated you as a creative when you were growing up?
For as long as I can remember I’ve been drawn to everything music related. I was messing around with a keyboard and boombox recording tapes at 6 and 7 years old, but I got my first drum machine and started rapping and making beats seriously around age 10.
Timbaland and Pharrell were my earliest influences beat wise. I’ve always been a big Aaliyah fan so Tim’s early work influenced me a lot.
By the time I got into 9th grade Kanye dropped Through the Wire and I thought it was cool as hell to see someone from the Midwest not only rap but produce as well. He’s still an inspiration of mine today.
Would you say that the city of Chicago inspires your songwriting at all?
Chicago definitely inspired my songwriting. Being from Kenosha, WI I think we are heavily influenced by Chicago’s music. A lot of us Kenosha kids grew up on Do or Die, Crucial Conflict, Twista. I think Chicago started somewhat of the foundation of Midwest hip hop honestly.
Growing up I spent a lot of summers here and living here as an adult has somewhat reignited an old flame in me.
With the year slowly winding down, have you thought about some goals musically for 2023? If so, what are they?
2023 I plan to keep the momentum going and putting out even better content. I like to be free with my music and next year I’ll be trying out some different sounds, digging into my alternative side a little more.
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