(Photo Credit - Luz Castilla and Bowen Thi)
We interviewed budding alt hip-hop artist ArmstrongWW! This Houston-based artist puts a unique spin on his music that you simply have to hear. While you're at it, check out what he had to say in our interview!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"The earliest recollection of my love for music dates back to watching Michael Jackson on TV as a child, then attempting to write my own songs which often came out as gibberish. Many years later at age 17 is when I finally recorded my first song by sneaking into a hallway at school and setting up a microphone with my friend Bowen. Since then, I've been constantly working on my craft and improving to truly master the sound I've developed."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"It's odd, I have a problem of overwriting so my process usually starts with writing about 30 tracks on the same topic then feeling which one speaks to me the most. Seeing that songwriting is my passion, it's something I take much pride in because words can truly influence people positively if written correctly. So I always make sure every song I write is meaningful, and something honest from my soul so those who listen can feel it on their end."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"Great question! I love music and musicians, so my influence varies greatly. I’d have to give the title of my inspirations to Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, Sam Cooke, Smino, Michael Jackson, and Tyler The Creator. The ability of these artists to create music with no specific genre and be themselves is what inspired me to follow the same path. I believe when music is created with an open mind, it can be the most beautiful thing on planet earth." 4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
"The gear I've grown the most attached to is my AKAI MPK midi keyboard. I first heard of it through another one of my Idols J-Dilla who used the Akai MPC 3000 to sample and create beautiful art. After receiving my own as a birthday gift from my friend Luz, it's become a part of me and symbol for my brand. It just amazes me how much a small machine can create music that can change the world, so my Akai will always be my favorite instrument."
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"Every time I perform live I try to treat listeners less as random people and more as family, so the vibe is always open and filled with love. This is due to that I believe what makes a great performance isn't just the music but the connection one can build between themselves and the audience. So I always enjoy when I can look into the crowd and see the eyes of something being touched by the words coming from my mouth. Performing overall is a beautiful experience, I hope every artist gets to experience that at least once." 6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"I want everyone to know that my music is for them. Yeah I release it on Spotify and Apple music etc*, but all of that doesn't matter if I’m not reaching people. So I will always make music for the people and there will never be a price to buy out my honesty. The public and the youth are the future, and any part I play in raising a beautiful future accomplishes my true purpose."
7. What’s next for you?
"IMPERFECT!!! I have a single named “Imperfect” releasing on April 30th and I truly believe it’s the best work I've ever put out. I say this because it’s the most transparent I've been in a song, which was extremely hard to do because i usually don't put the details of my personal life out there like that. At the end of the day it’s worth the risk, because hopefully someone out there who is going through what I’m going through will be able to push through these struggles because of my music."