Steeping The Melting Pot With DMV Artist Walakala
As the expansion of Hip-Hop cascades around every corner, creativity knows no bounds when finding a pocket that is invitingly inhabitable. The cultural influence trickles down from it’s prominent platform to the locale — where it is glorified as a competitive battleground and/or an artistic safe space for the lyrically inclined. While aviating effortlessly within said domain, Walakalala cultivates a uniquely organic sound — a calming blare in a jovial pursuit of authenticity. Hailing from Silver Spring, MD, a proverbial cultural hub, Walakalala employs no smoke & mirrors but a familiar atmosphere, doused in somber slice-of-life, set alight by harmonious blithe & hometown woes. We got the chance to rendezvous and discuss how he’s playing the field.
Q: How did you get immersed within this world of music?
Walakalala: Shit. I always loved it as a kid. My older sisters started putting me on to all types of different artists. But then in high school, I started writing during my junior/senior year. After that, I started working. I realized I wasn’t trying to work a “regular job” for 40 years or basically the rest of my life, like my parents and most people did. I’d rather work for the music while working a regular job.
Q: Who are your main influences? What gravitated you toward Hip-Hop specifically?
Walakalala: Definitely Nas. Mostly rap from the “Boom Bap” era like AZ — you know, classic Hip-Hop. Also definitely Kanye — he’s one of my biggest influences despite his current state [laughing]. As I got older, I branched out into everything.
Q: In your own words, what does it take to be a creative now-a-days?
Walakalala: Integrity. You got to be honest. There are way too many sub-genres within Hip-Hop so you can really do anything. But the biggest thing to me, when I listen to music, is the if you’re “living that life”, just be truthful to yourself — that’s what music is to me.
Q: Is there any formula, rituals or routines you like to take when you create?
Walakalala: Honestly, not really. Im weird with this shit. Sometimes it takes me a day to write a song. Sometimes a week. The biggest thing is that I have to digest over time if I’m going to write. I have to feel it, I have to see it — totally visualize it in my head so I can believe it. That’ll translate to have other people believe it as well. I just do that until it happens.
Q: How to you deal with roadblocks?
Walakalala: I try to switch it up. If I’m stuck, I’ll listen to beats. Then I listen to music I haven’t listened to in order to get m out of that headspace.
Q: Regionally, how would you describe the Hip-Hop/Rap community?
Walakalala: I thinks its great cause what a lot of people like doing in the area is complain about lack of support. But theres a lot of support. I’ve always supported those around me and those who make stuff I like. Now things are coming back to me — even though it isn’t how I planned on it happening that way. When you show love, you get love at all times.
Q: With an upcoming project in motion, what can we expect it to sound like?
Walakalala: Theres a whole lot of different vibes. Definitely something for everybody — even if they don’t like the project as a whole, there is something on there everyone will enjoy. Like I said before, my main thing is to keep it as honest as possible — that’s the only way they are going to get where I’m coming from.
With enough pestering, I was able to preview his upcoming release: Silver City Blues. In my own words, it is a warming introduction. Smoothly orchestrated with an elevating plight all the while providing a comforting response. Although Walakalala is keeping his debut release date under wraps, you can find all his latest releases, “Come Down” – Prod. By Park Ave (Ft. Kasey Jones) and “I Know!” – Prod by Ryan J. Squal, HERE.