Louis Stylez is a rapper who recently released the EP The Rise of Louis Stylez; here is a link to his website:
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
A: Funny, I just recorded a song where I answered this exact question. I was in the eighth grade and riding in the back seat of a friend’s car. We were listening to Jay-Z on the radio. I can’t recall the song, but I remember hearing punchlines and metaphors (which is what drew me to the genre) and thinking to myself “Hey, I can do that.” The rest is history.
Q: What is the overall theme of The Rise of Louis Stylez?
A: The overall theme is progression and consistency. If you’re a Louis Stylez fan and have been following my musical journey, then you’ll definitely hear the growth and progression from me as an artist. The only way to achieve such objectives is by being consistent. For those who have never heard of me, they will be experiencing my rise into the music industry.
Q: Does having a formal education help or hurt you as a rapper?
A: It definitely helps, especially when it comes to rapping. My degree is in theatre. Theatre teaches you how to be expressive and how to speak with your body. That’s very important if you’re a rapper because when performing, your body has to be expressive so your music can thoroughly translate to your audience. Theatre also teaches you how to use and project your voice properly. College also teaches you how to network. When in college, you meet different people from various backgrounds. Sometimes you connect with certain individuals and are able to help each other. Anyone knows (or at least they should know) that in order to be successful, it’s very important to network.
Q: Who are some of your musical influences?
A: My musical influences growing up were Jay-Z, Nas, Biggie and other east coast rappers. I was always drawn to the lyricism, style, punchlines, metaphors, relatability, and similes which derived from many east coast rappers. My influences today include Royce da 5’9, Big Sean, B.O.B and Don Tripp just to name a few. They all have the attributes that I mentioned.
Q: How did acting help you come up with your rap persona?
A: I wouldn’t say acting helped me come up with my rap persona. My rap persona was created from my life experiences and personality, but acting has definitely taught me how to connect with my rap persona.
Q: What sets you apart from other rappers?
A: I would have to say I’m business savvy. A lot of rappers come into the industry not knowing the ins and outs so it is easy for them to be taken advantage of. You know, anyone can write a song and record it. It takes a lot more focus and passion to research the business, draw up contracts, learn how to use spreadsheets become a publisher of your own music, everything. Some artists that aren’t knowledgeable, they could be making a lot more if they knew how to market themselves or have that business instinct behind them. There’s a reason why most successful rappers are great businessmen.
Also, what separates me from the competition is that I’m persistent. I’ve been doing music and honing my craft since I was 14 and I didn’t give up when there were haters or roadblocks. I kept at it and am always seeking perfection. I have that long term vision and I make sure it happens. I make plans and stick to them. Even if they don’t go smoothly, then I tweak them until they become feasible.
Q: What role did you play in The Producers?
A: I played Scott the choreographer, a Black Irish cop, and I was also a member of the ensemble.
Q: What’s the secret to making a good rap mixtape?
A: The secret to making a good mixtape is being honest and having fun. A good mixtape is a collection of musical art that people can relate to and appreciate. In order to achieve that, the
artist has to be honest, thought-provoking, and entertaining. My mixtapes embody all of these. You have to be honest because if you aren’t honest, you won’t have the believability and longevity to sustain a successful music career. Yeah, you can make up stories and not be honest because rap is entertainment, but your audience will eventually see that and you will become dull and boring. You have to be thought-provoking. I like to touch on things and subjects that I don’t commonly hear in music and that I think should be addressed. I talk about brotherly love, you don’t hear that much in hip hop or rap. My “Ready” song discusses the importance of education and perseverance. It should be interesting because the audience wants something different yet entertaining.
Q: Why Missouri and not New York or Hollywood?
A: Missouri is where I was born and raised. It’s stiff competition everywhere, but I think if you can make it in a place not as well known for entertainment like Missouri then you can make it anywhere. I’m not trying to go to the land of opportunity but create opportunity on the land that I’m in.
Q: You get to meet a famous Missourian do you pick George Washington Carver or Harry Truman?
A: I would want to meet George Washington Carver. He contributed a lot to the world through innovation, using technology and intuition. He improved the world we live in by making products that we still use to this day.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)