Q&A With Rising Athens Hip Hop Artist Squallé
With musical influences by legends like Jay-Z, Nas, Rakim, Big K.R.I.T, OutKast, and J. Cole, the Georgia spitter Squallé popped onto the scene with his debut project, Real Rap Ain’t Dead, displaying just that fact. Dropping projects back to back Squallé continued to hit the ground running with his music career releasing his follow up project, No Squares Allowed.
Not lettin’ upon the game’s neck, he dropped his third self-titled project, Squallé Shottem. Keeping the momentum – he released the “Trinity” of chart-topping projects. These top releases came as the highly anticipated projects, Black PiccasSoul, Dope Souls and Iconic Soul. His latest project, Alpha Lyrae came as a 7-track EP dropped this summer.
Learn more about Squallé in the interview below.
Now that we told fans a little bit about who you are as an artist, let’s get into it! How would you describe your musical style?
“So listen, my style is a dope lyricism. It is a bit of old school peppered with a diverse flow, catchy hooks, and melodic bridges. I guess my style would be considered “conscious rap.”
If you didn’t become a musician, what would be doing right now? Would you be focused solely on being an activist for your community?
“I wouldn’t necessarily label myself as an activist. I love my people and I love my community. I am a voice. An instrument, a resource to be used for the progression of the city. I’m deeply involved in my community now because I want to see everyone win. You know that saying “be the change you hope to see” I aspire to be just that.”
Not only do you use your voice to showcase your talents through music, you use your voice as an instrument for the city. With that being said, in what ways have your surroundings shaped your creativity?
“My surroundings shaped everything about my existence – how I operate and view life. My perfection of failures, victories, and triumphs are different. How I act, think, and my music is based on all of that. I don’t force myself to write, I let my aspirations and motivations control what goes into the music.
Who or what influenced you to get in music aside from your musical influences like Jay Z, J. Cole, Nas, etc.
“Well growing up I had a neighbor who I got kinda close with. When I’d get out of school, I’d go over to his place and he’d show me all these books filled with lines and lines of music – raps specifically. I literally fell in love. I fell in love with music. I started rhyming when I began talking. l carried a rhyming dictionary and I couldn’t wait to get home from school because I knew that I was going to learn something new.”
Considering you were introduced to music and what has grown to be your passion at such a young age, At what age did you begin creating, and in which mediums?
“I started writing my own raps when I was 9. I was into poetry too.”
Your latest project, Alpha Lyrae was personally one of my favorites. The growth and significance hold weight. Where did you find your artistic inspiration?
“I’m very big on astronomy. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been intrigued by stars, planets, and life on earth. It was derived from a constellation called the Lyra constellation which came from our ancestors and they believed it gave people the gift of music. Alpha is brightest and Lyrae is a star so that’s where I got it. It’s about self-love being the best person you can be.”
How long did it take to curate the EP?
“Alpha Lyrae took 6 months.”
How does this project differ from your last project, Iconic Soul?
“Stylistically, I am different. I’m giving people a lot of different elements of myself that I normally wouldn’t. The iconic soul is very lyrical. I was walking a line, I was being safe. With Alpha Lyrae, I was being versatile with everything. Even the way I rap was outside the way I do things. And I think my music elevated a lot more I was in a different space when I recorded this. And I was more vulnerable. I bared my soul and I was more comfortable.”
With back to back hit projects and singles, what do you hope to accomplish this year with your music?
“Grammys, songwriter awards. I want to be known, before I leave this earth, as one of the greatest to ever do it. Music-wise, performance-wise. I don’t think it’s impossible for me to be considered a legend. I just want to be remembered for making great music. I wanna accomplish a legacy that will live after I’m gone.”
What’s next? I know you’re gearing up to open up for Lil Baby, how do you feel about that?!
“I feel excited. This is the biggest crowd that I’ve ever performed in front of and I know that I’m going to kill it. This could really boost my career and I just hope that everyone there is going to enjoy the show.”
Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
“In the beginning, I had bad anxiety. Now I wouldn’t call it anxiety. I definitely, get nervous but my mom always said that the moment you stopped getting nervous means you’ve stopped caring.”
Those are beautiful words of encouragement. Your mom is completely right! To remove some of the nervousness, as creators we rehearse. What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time and week when gearing up for performances?
“Normally, I rehearse every day for about 3 hours. I’ll run through the show over and over and try and come up with things that aren’t predictable that I can do.”
That’s good! Practice makes perfect. Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you have a set playlist?
“My Dope Souls Intro, “Dreaming”, “Holyfield”, “Transport”, and ”Important”.
Dope! I can’t wait to come and support you at your next show! To close out our interview, I have to ask. You’re so in tune with your fans, community, and more so if you had one message to give to your fans, what would that message be?
“No matter what people tell you, no matter where you from no matter the dream, you can do it if you just stay focused. You can accomplish anything you want. Dreams and gifts and talents are a gift from God that no one can take!”