As Drake’s latest signing to OVO, iLoveMakonnen is Atlanta, GA’s most colourful new talent. With a breakout EP and collabs with Gucci Mane, Drizzy and local hero Father (check the chronically-slept-on banger “Look at Wrist” below) already in the bank, the rapper – real name Makonnen Sheran – is hitting the studio with Diplo and Skrillex. He may have proclaimed “club going up on a Tuesday” on his breakout track, but he’s the wildest guest at the party every day of the week. We interviewed him on his home country and sound for our States of Independence project over the summer: read it below.
Tell us about where you grew up – what was it like, and how did it influence you?
iLoveMakonnen: I grew up Los Angeles, California: it was fun, but dangerous. I love the culture and diversity, that has influenced me to have an open mind and diversify myself to connect with all peoples of all walks of life.
Describe your sound in three words.
iLoveMakonnen: Real emotional life.
When you make music, what other artists do you look to for inspiration?
iLoveMakonnen: I look to other artists in difference genres of art for inspiration. I like painters and fashion designers – just creative builders. Musically, I like the oldies and I try to give that oldies feeling – of real and true emotions – and bring it into this day and age, where it’s not so common.
What’s your perspective on the American underground music scene right now, as you inhabit it? Where do we go from here?
iLoveMakonnen: The American underground scene needs to step their fucking shit up! We need more documentations of what’s going on, what happens is so many of us put in so much hard work, so much real creativity and most of us don’t get our due, most times we are swagger-jacked from the so-called mainstream or not-so underground. As I inhabit it, I am here to break us all from this underground to above ground! It’s a war for your creative talents! And the underground needs to keep staying inspired and keep creating more! I’m proud to be here, though! Much love!
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