Thursday, October 26, 2017

Artist Spotlight - Wasted Potency

Wasted Potency has been rapping for the past two years. What started as playing around on audacity, has evolved into a life consuming constant struggle for buzz. When "Stay at Home and Dab" started receiving radio play on local New Orleans stations, WP figured he may be on to something. There's not much that physically stands out about the 23 year old comic collector. No chains, no tattoos, usually in some kind of graphic T-shirt (usually the same 3 Marvel ones) and shorts. Despite this look, WP is not a nerd-core rapper. Inspired by rappers from Big L to Chingy to MF Doom to Biggie. WP believes this generation of hip-hop needs to be refreshed. Trying to bring back the music he grew up with mixed with modern effects. Wasted Potency skips the melodic hooks for a second to say just a little more. While his beats come from a variety of sources (most notably a 17 year old Russian kid who he communicates with Google translate) Everything is mixed, mastered, and recorded by him in his home studio . (This is mainly due to a lack of funds, a topic he raps about often). Wasted Potency has a new album out "Wasted Time" which is available for free download wherever music is played.

1.) What made you want to get into the music business in the first place? Did anyone influence you to do music? If so, who? Influences? Role Models?

I used to play in a punk band in high school. The only reason they kept me was for my lyrics. After a few years of not doing anything and bombing out of college. An old friend asked me to help him with a Poundcake remix. The verse was actually solid and everyone I showed enjoyed it, saying I should do more. If it wasn't for these early listeners saying they enjoyed it, nothing probably would have happened. I'm really influenced by 90's East Coast rap. Something about the way these guys always flowed like there was something to prove. That's what I try to embody. A lot of my favorite newer rappers are my own age. Thinking of them as role models discourages me sometimes. I like to think I haven't missed my chance.

2.) Unfortunately the music industry is full of talented individuals who just don't get any recognition for their talent and/or work. What do you plan to do to make sure you stand out and get noticed?

I feel like the trend has always been if you have money you can be famous. Even these larger independent artists had big backings when they started. Be it their families or other sources of income. I just want to be who I am. I'm lower class, I'm broke, I'm relatable. Even these local dudes flaunt their expenses. Yeah I might by a nice pair of J's every now and then. But I don't want to alienate anyone because I'm rapping about what they don't have. When I'm rapping about my life, I talk about my Hyundai, my friends getting hooked on drugs, things everyone is experiencing. I hope that pays off.

3.) Would you rather be on a major label or would you rather stay independent? Why or why not?

While I would love to stay independent, I would sign to a major label immediately if asked. I'm too nice for big business I feel like. Having a team behind me that could do those ruthless things would be really beneficial.

4.) Do you think that the traditional music industry model as we know it is dead? Why or why not?

I cannot remember the last time I bought a CD in store the day it came out. Maybe MBDTF. And I was hyped for it. The way artist release stuff now, it really doesn't build that same hype. To be honest, I try to stay away from looking at the charts. You see the stuff that's up there and its kind of depressing for an artist. Seems like these days, its more about being famous than making music than making music then becoming famous.

5.) How do you think the internet and social media affected the music industry and how musicians are able to market themselves?

My biggest problem is social media. I can't really market myself as a product, I just market myself as myself and I'm not the most confident person. It seems artist can really give fans a lot more of their personal time. You have to constantly keep up this image it seems like. These rappers with local buzz seem like they really go out of their way to be constantly posting and live streaming. I just don't see the benefit of engagement. I don't care what my favorite rapper is wearing or eating. But some people really want to see everything. 

On the opposite hand though. I love the idea of being able to engage with fans on social media. My favorite artists and comedians always seem to be the ones who are genuinely nice people online. 
The way it has evolved feedback too is crazy. You can know if something sucks within hour of posting it these days.

6.) What is the most difficult thing you've had to endure in life and has that had any effect on your path to becoming a musician?

The hardest part of life is living. I had so much more planned for this E.P. but I've had to work so much and I just got a second job. If I was selling drugs or had a rich family, I feel like I would have so much more done. More merch, my website wouldn't have gotten taken down. The lack of funds is real. I've had a lot of bad shit happen. But nothing has had me more stressed, angry, and depressed than trying to figure out how I am going to take care of my family. I'm like 23 grand in debt, man.

7.) Artists who try to make music for the general public and make more money are usually seen as "sell-outs." Do you see it that way and if so, what do you plan to do to make sure you make music that is true to your brand and make a good living at the same time without having to "sell out"?

Hell no. Anyone who calls someone a sell-out for trying to eat is just hating. While music should be about passion, if someone came up to me with a contract and said I would never have to worry about money another day in my life but I would have to compromise my "brand". Yes. I feel like people don't want to hear that. But I'd like to eat good. I don't even know how I could sell out though. If they want to throw me in Gucci flip-flops and rap about being in the club with hoe's (despite not being a fashion guy and being in a relationship for 3 years), then I would if it meant I could pay off my debts and feed my family.

8.) When you do music, what would you like your listeners to get out of your music?

Fun. I want people to hear my songs and enjoy them. I don't want people to be like "why he got that, and I don't." My music sometimes isn't much more than clever lines on a bouncy beat. Sometimes it's a bit deeper. But I don't want to push an agenda or brag, or anything. I just want people to receive genuine enjoyment out of it.

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