Hey Willyflee! How do you incorporate your Brooklyn roots grit into your Tampa Bay, Florida flow?
Honestly, it was a tough task. When I first moved here, names like Tom G, Tampa Tony, Kid Brick, YTC, they were the buzz, still are. And the music they made I legit thought was horrible. I hated it. All this dancing and rap, I’m like “what the hell is a ‘jook’” but over time, it started to grow on me. The southern hip hop that is. Me, I was all about bars, spitting fire, 1,2 punches. Artist like Cassidy and Fab are my staples for that. So at first, I wasn’t doing it all. I made the music I wanted to make and not the music my demographic around me wanted to hear. Over the years I learned. Give them music. A hit. Not rap. They like music down south. To move. When you do rap and throw bars in. It’s more appreciated than enjoyed. Feel me? They want to hear big 808’s and fire hooks down here. So now, 2019, I think I do a good job giving both tastes.
Your track “Late Lay” has a seduction and witty play on words. What else can you tell us about the song? What does it mean to you, and which bar from the track do you think speaks the loudest?
This song came from Tyrese’s version of course. And I just made it more raunchy. Less of a love song. More of a sex song. Starting off talking about her fragrance driving me insane. To set it off. My favorite part is the hook. Those questions. Basically if the answer was no this song was the last time for that.
If someone were to only check out one of your tracks to get a sense of who you are as an artist, which track would you suggest and why?
I would steer them towards “Mohammed Aflee”. I gave a nice dose of rap, hip hop, with a bit of not carrying. Also that’s my favorite record off the album #tilltomorrow🛸
How does your music now compared to when you first started out? How have you developed as an artist?
My music now compared to when I first started, woooooo..it’s like, I wish I had the perfect term or metaphor for it. But. It’s completely better. I don’t even like to go back to the beginning sometimes but I do to enjoy the memories and appreciate how far I’ve come. I was self taught so it means more to me to be where I am today compared to when I started. I’ve learned how to record better. Mix better. What a “Hit” consist of. Marketing. Etc. It’s not just making music anymore for me as I’m more into the business of music as well. It’s surely made me a better artist and entrepreneur.
What’s the hip-hop/ R&B music scene like right now, and in what ways has it changed or evolved over the years, in your opinion?
It’s “no format” and I love it. Give the artist the creativity to make a “song” whatever they feel. Less control of A&r’s being the dj’s basically and playing what they want. The artist gives us what they want and if it’s hot, We respond. If it’s not, we respond. lol.
Music has taken a jump. Even though the market is WAY MORE saturated now with artists who just do it for fun, and then those that are actually trying to live out their dream , music is an outlet for a lot of things. It’s grown to be the source of mental medicine. Some artists even have what we call “cult followings” which means no matter what they’re sticking by your side its evolved. Hip hop recently became the #1 genre of music and I’m honored to be a part of that. Even if it’s .1% I did contribute something. I love the game now. Minus the saturation the creativity and endless independence is so dope.
Give a listen to Willyflee's latest track here, and connect with the artist via their socials!