Brett Riley

Exclusive Interview 

 

What inspires you the most when you create? When I’m making music, I always have to draw almost entirely on my own experiences and feelings to inspire the emotions that I try to imbue into my songs. I’ve found that when I am most true to myself through my music, the most amount of people can empathize with that, and that’s how I made my biggest and best song, Changes.

 

Who are your top 5 influences? Right off the bat, people always say I both look and sound like Logic, and I respect that man’s grind a lot since I’ve been listening to him for over 6 years now, so I definitely am influenced by him and the Peace, Love and Positivity vibe. Other people I really enjoy that I take influence from are Isaiah Rashad, E-40 (shouts out the Bay), Felly, and Mick Jenkins. I know when you listen to my music, you may be like “he doesn’t sound like these dudes”, but I’ve always thought of influence as not just imitation, it’s a higher level of seeing these artists’ ideas, their themes, their lyricism, and being influenced by that.

 

When are your new projects coming out? I’m currently working on my second self-produced EP titled “Enlightenment”, and I’m trying to have this out in 2019, but I want to take as much time as it takes to make this project phenomenal, something that will actually start to get me some traction in this over-saturated rap game right now.

 

What helped you get into music? There’s so many reasons I started making music, but the biggest is that I’ve always been a writer. For as long as I can remember, I have kept journals, wrote poetry, and used writing as an outlet for my thoughts to get what doesn’t make sense in my head out into the world so I can explore it further. When we keep our thoughts and emotions just in our head, we can often give in to irrational thought patterns and start believing things that aren’t true, but once I put them out into the world, either on paper or in a song, I can start to fully understand why I’m thinking and feeling these things. It’s funny to admit, but one of the biggest reasons I started to rap was because of Lil Dicky. He’s just a middle-class white boy, no gang affiliations, no street cred, none of this stuff that I thought was required when I started rapping almost 5 years ago now, and he gave me that confidence to put myself out there as just some nerdy white kid recording raps in his bedroom.

 

What is one thing you would tell your fans? The biggest thing I want to tell my fans is thank you. Thank you to anybody who has supported me on this journey, because I did something I think a lot of rappers don’t do. I’ve publicized my whole journey, from the very first thing I wrote and spit, to now, with two projects under my belt and a third in the works, with a few singles doing numbers as well. I think a lot of people that have heard my music from the start don’t realize that I knew I wasn’t great or even good at the beginning. It was just an outlet. Publicizing it allowed me to see if anybody would empathize with the messages I had, and not the fact that that I could barely rap and that my audio quality was trash. That’s why I thank everyone who has stayed with me and watched me grow into a great rapper over the years. You still may not believe that (thank you if you do), but I promise you that Enlightenment EP is about to change every perception you have.

 

What are your biggest goals for 2019? My biggest goals for 2019 are to complete Enlightenment EP, and on top of that, to get a full-time job in the music world would be something that would make my whole life more meaningful than it already is. I’ve been looking around and talking to recording studios and anyone I can about how I could possibly get a job in the music world, because that is the one field I am so passionate about that if I was to wake up everyday to work in that world, my life would be perfect.


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