With music in his blood as well as a strong inde­pend­ent spir­it is what cat­egor­ic­ally defines WhoI­sOr­i­on. The South Lon­don based artist who is part of the PXL Records camp epi­tom­izes the true qual­it­ies of what con­sti­tutes an artist in that he has his fin­gers on the pulse of music in every way ima­gin­able from rap­per to pro­du­cer to sing­er. It also helps that he hails from a fam­ily that has four gen­er­a­tions worth of con­tri­bu­tions to music. His latest release ‘Dun Out Ere” is a con­tinu­ation of the free spir­ited­ness and inde­pend­ent forti­tude that has defined his career as well as giv­ing audi­ences a glimpse into his many tal­ents. He shared about his present endeavors, his music­al tra­ject­ory and influ­ences, as well as how South Lon­don has shaped him.

What dir­ec­tion are you look­ing to go in with your new music?

I want to stick to my for­mula short term, and stay with my jumpy flow and bar heavy trap raps but in the long term I want to show that I won’t be boxed in rap. I want to jump in pop, Afro beat and a whole lot of oth­er genres that I can fuse togeth­er and come up with a dif­fer­ent sound.

How did your exper­i­ence grow­ing up in South Lon­don shape your music­al style?

I feel like grow­ing up south helped me up my stand­ard in music because south Lon­don is such a harsh city to gain sup­port from. You need to earn their respect but once you do they will ride for you till the end.

Describe what it is like to come from a lin­eage of music­al tal­ent?

I think com­ing from a music­al fam­ily gave me an advant­age, it gave me con­fid­ence and I have a nat­ur­al knack for it. I was also exposed to music equip­ment at such a young age that it gave me an oppor­tun­ity to explore, hone my skills and find myself as a musi­cian.

How did you learn to pro­duce music on your own?

My pops is a sing­er and he had all the music­al equip­ment so I was for­tu­nate enough to explore music at a young age. I made a lot of mis­takes on the way but I was so fas­cin­ated and determ­ined to up the qual­ity of my songs.

Who are your music­al influ­ences?

I was def­in­itely heav­ily influ­enced by Eminem. His witty bars and lyr­ic­al abil­ity was so admir­able and I think it’s obvi­ous on a lyr­ic­al stand point that I def­in­itely take a lot of inspir­a­tion from him. I feel the same way for Lil Wayne, the way he can keep his flow com­mer­cial but his bars high qual­ity was such a rare thing to see and I feel like I’ve man­aged to bal­ance it.

Where do you see your­self in the next five years?

I think by then I would have made a big name for myself and prob­ably move on to ven­ture in oth­er fields such as act­ing, dir­ect­ing and so on. Music to me is just the first stage, I have oth­er goals such as help­ing Niger­ia and I think music and the influ­ence and oppor­tun­it­ies hip hop will give me would allow me to do that.

How do you bal­ance those iden­tit­ies being a rap­per and melod­ic sing­er?

I’m a rap­per first of all, so even when I’m singing, my bars are still a main focus in my pro­cess. I try not to sac­ri­fice my bars for melody. I care about lyr­ics over deliv­ery and flow so I keep that in mind when mak­ing my melod­ies.

What advice would you give to oth­er inde­pend­ent artists who are try­ing to make it?

Def­in­itely be consistent/persistent that is KEY to every goal in life. Focus on brand­ing and mar­ket­ing, that’s what will make you stand out from the rest of the com­pet­i­tion and find your tar­get audi­ence. Invest most of your money on promo and a video­graph­er over sound engin­eer­ing and buy­ing instru­ment­als. With that being said, make sure you’ve per­fec­ted your craft enough that you truly enjoy it because if you TRULY enjoy your music there are 1000s of oth­er people in the world that will, you just need to find them.

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Zachary Draves
I am a viol­ence pre­ven­tion edu­cat­or, act­iv­ist, journ­al­ist, aspir­ing film­maker, adjunct pro­fess­or of social justice and civic engage­ment at Domin­ic­an Uni­ver­sity in River Forest, Illinois. I am based in Chica­go, Illinois.

About Zachary Draves

Zachary Draves
I am a violence prevention educator, activist, journalist, aspiring filmmaker, adjunct professor of social justice and civic engagement at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. I am based in Chicago, Illinois.