Powaye from Last Half Records is a 20-year-old Recording Artist rising from San Diego, CA where he was born and raised with a diverse range of musical influence.
Being a very dedicated Hip Hop producer throughout high school, he picked up rhyming methods from his homies who would rap on his beats. Once he graduated from high school, Pow began his soul searching mission to unlock his inner voice to become his own solo act.
Dropping out of college after less than a week to focus on his Audio Engineering school is when he began to manifest his hallucinogenic thoughts into raps.
Just 2 years later and he will have over 39 tracks entirely produced, written and engineered by Pow himself before the end of 2017.
1) Do you remember the moment you wanted to be a hip-hop artist?
To be honest being in the spotlight was nothing I ever dreamed of until late high school, I always wanted to be that mastermind behind the production showing up once or twice in the music videos.
Not until I wrote my first song to a beat of mine was when I realized I’m chasing this.
2) What was it like creating your latest project?
It’s crazy to see how far I have come in the last 2 years vocally because of my dedication. A couple days ago was the last time I was in the ES Audio Studio where I record.
I recorded 4 songs within 2 hours on beats I created before hand. If you were to sit in on a session the year before it would take me 2 hours just to get 1 song done right. Creating projects just gets easier the more you progress, which makes it extremely fun.
3) What are you trying to achieve with the project?
I never wanted to be too young viral sensation. Learning what I wanted to stand for as an artist was essential when beginning my path and now that I know what I stand for, I plan to touch base on many controversial topics that haven’t been heard in hip hop yet.
I grew up partaking in dedicated fan bases and following underground movements to the mainstream. I believe slowly building a tight knit community of like minded people as a fan base is the greatest way to strive within the music industry.
With that being said I hope my “Do Not Disturb” mixtape is what initiates the beginning of my movement to better my fans lives and help out with other people like me struggling in life.
4) What are your thoughts on staying independent or signing to a major label?
Signing to a major label is not something I will neglect and is something I am interested in to find new quality collaborations.
But when it comes down to long term plans, I will not be signing any deal longer than a few years because once my foot is in the door I’m trying to go independent for life.
5) How do you feel about the independent hip-hop industry right now?
It has brought a lot of freedom to the rap game and given much more lucrative benefits to the successful artists.
The only problem I have with it is nowadays any scrub can make some corny quality track with no substance that is biting the life out of another artist and post it.
It has made the game very oversaturated and increased the chances of wack rappers rising and worthy rappers being overlooked. I think a system of separating the unprofessional creators from the legit up & coming artists would be very necessary in this age of swift media.
That overload of low quality tracks is why soundcloud isn’t leading in the streaming game anymore.
6) As an independent hip-hop artist grinding it out, what sort of promotion and marketing are you doing to stand out from the rest?
To be honest I don’t do anywhere near as much marketing as I need to be doing because I’m always working, mixing, writing or producing.
I’m beginning to make up for it now that I have an arsenal of tracks to drop and I plan on maneuvering all over the internet in ways most artists don’t.
Finding concerts to open for and actively collaborating with fellow up & coming artists are the 2 big bullet points next up on my list.
7) How do you currently make money as an independent artist?
I work full time and don’t make a goddamn dime yet. I’ve given my life away just for a slim to none chance of getting to live off of what I love to do.
My work ethic gives me high hopes and I believe my dedication and originality will get me in a lucrative position within the near future. I live for the rage.
8) How do you feel about hip-hop today?
Hip Hop is on top of the world and branched out into so many experimental vibes, but it’s oversaturated with biters. One artist innovates a wave and all these biters mimic.
Don’t get me wrong the game is in the best position it has ever been in, but it gets hard hearing the same new vibe being copied all year by many artists just because they saw it succeed for someone else.
There are just so many sub genres within hip hop now that need to be categorized. For example I consider my music to be Grunge Hop. I don’t hate on any artist’s grind and I respect anyone who’s real enough to represent themselves for who they truly are.
Artists shouldn’t be competing against others that sound nothing like them. It’s hard to keep up with your favorite rappers because there are so many new talented artists nowadays getting more creative than the next in a different way.
Having these sub genres on a professional level would make it so much easier to keep in touch with your favorite artists.
9) What artists in the game today do you look at for inspiration?
Doing everything on my own I’ve grown to find inspiration within myself for creativity more than any of my influences.
But when it comes down to making an impact on the culture and representing what I stand for, I look to numerous artists for guidance on how to properly handle yourself as a real one.
I was raised by the game as much as I was by my parents. I watch interviews multiple times a week and have learned countless things from too many artists.
Just to be short, some of my favorite interviews to watch are from rappers such as Chance The Rapper, Nipsey Hussle, Action Bronson, Kendrick Lamar, Curren$y, Iamsu, Asap Rocky, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Rick Ross, Denzel Curry, Joey Bada$$, Pouya, Flatbush Zombies, Underachievers, Juicy J, Kevin Gates, Kid Cudi, J Cole, E-40, YG, Yelawolf, Vince Staples, Sir Michael Rocks, Pharrell, Riff Raff, Wiz Khalifa, Logic, Kanye West, Prodigy, The Game, Mac Miller, Ty Dolla $ign, Fetty Wap, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, Travis Scott, Machine Gun Kelly, XXXtentacion, Ugly God, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage.
The list goes on and on, you get the point, I’m deep in this rap culture..
10) Who are your top 5 rappers dead or alive?
Andre Nickatina, Prodigy, Tupac, Kid Cudi & Wiz Khalifa.