• Vallie

Strat - Interview

1. Tell us your rap name and where are you from?

Strat, from Rapid City, SD

2. What made you start making music?

I grew up on all types of music, mostly by hearing what my Mom played. Which was mostly old school R&B, soul and some pop. My dad had also left some records behind, that were early Hip Hop, Funk, Soul, and R&B. I then discovered, even more deeply...Hip Hop Culture. I was fascinated and inspired by what I heard and had seen on TV. It kind of just happened with me freestyling at first, playing around, then on to writing first songs, then recording. It blossomed from there, as I found out how fun it was and how good I was at it. Been rocking with it ever since.

3. Who are your influences in rap?

I have tons...but to name just a few… 2pac, Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, Wu- Tang, Snoop, Game, Kanye West, UGK, Outkast, J Cole, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Baby, Gucci, Griselda, Rick Ross, Gibbs, E-40, Z-Ro...etc.

4. What is your take on the underground rap scene right now?

I feel like the underground scene is currently thriving. Even to the point where some are creeping into the mainstream, because of the quality, real hip hop, containing real lyricism. I mean even the Grammys this year have nominees that are considered "underground". The indie underground scene is strong right now for the fact that lyrics are back. I feel like people get tired of meaningless, simple rhymes at times. People want to hear substance. Simple things work still of course, as there is different material for different situations and moods. But overall, I believe everything comes full circle and right now we are seeing that. I credit J. Cole and Kendrick mainly, for bringing lyricism back to a mainstream level interest.

5. What are your goals for the new year regarding music?

My goals for 2021 music wise is to continue to build my fanbase and brand. 2020 was huge for me, starting my company as well as a website, releasing 2 music videos, 4 EPs, an Album, plus a few singles. I am going to continue to be consistent with material, with faith that 2021 will be the year I can afford to do music full time for a living.

6. You have 1 person to thank, who would it be?


7. What is your process for recording music ?

It varies. At times I will write a full song without any beat, just because I have ideas swirling in my head. Other times I will have random thoughts and jot them down right away, coming back to them later to piece together(sometimes with a beat chosen already, other times no beat). Also, at times I will sit down with a fresh beat and see what it tells me, as far as topics go. Other times I will have an idea of what I want a song to be about, then I will contact my main producer(Celcius) to express that and he will build something for me to write to. After all this...I will go in and record. There are many ways people record raps, but for me personally...I don't like to punch in. I go all the way thru and if I don't like it or mess up...I'll start over from the top of the verse. I just feel like the energy is not the same when its not continuous. That's my process.

8. Any upcoming projects or singles fans should be getting ready for this year?

I can't tell too much, but I can say there will be plenty of material, solo and collaborations. I've only just begun...

9. What have you been doing music wise while in COVID times?

I've been writing more, recording more, working on my business as well as releasing new material(2020).

10. What impact do you want to have on the world?

I want to have a positive impact on the world, thru my music and my story. Giving back to the less fortunate as well as helping other artists to grow. Giving back to those who struggle with mental health and addiction, as I've been down that road.

11. What's your best collaboration experience with another artist or producer?

My best collaboration experience so far, has to be with Celcius. I was in Dallas, TX(where he is based) summer of 2019, knocking out tracks left and right. Everything was planned out, however we fell across a super dope old school track we just had to sample. He cued it up, chopped it, freaked it and boom...the beat was done rather quickly. All while he was crafting it, I began writing right there on the spot as he was creating. Turned out to be one of my biggest and most personal favorite songs of mine, so far. "The Function". It was spontaneous. We had a great time making that one.

12.Who does all of your cover art or do you make your own?

I make all my own.

13.Who makes most of your beats or production?

Celcius and Varsity Hi

14.What can we expect next from you ?

More material galore! And shows in different cities nationwide, once Covid calms down a bit.

15.Link the fans your Twitter & Instagram @ Below so they can follow you!

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