Fresh off a feature on Calvin Klein’s Instagram, California rapper EasWay sat down with us to talk about the world, music and fashion.
You’ve just recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a double major in psychology and social science, how’d you get into music and art?
“When I was 11 or 12, my older brother was making music and like every little brother I tried to emulate what my brother was doing.”
Does your brother still make music?
“He does still make music. His name is Troofforever.”
Have you collaborated together?
“We’ve made a couple songs together.”
How would you describe your musical style?
“My music style is very chill. I try to get inspired by hip-hop but not remain too attached to the standards and the tropes that come from the most popular hip-hop music. I try to incorporate some west coast elements into my sound. To let all parts of me influence me and bring it back into the music.”
What was the first album you ever bought?
“College Dropout by Kanye West or American Idiot by Green Day.”
On your website, you have digital paintings that you’ve made. Where does the inspiration come for that?
“ A lot of my art is based on my songs. I make covers for the songs. I like really evocative images and in my art that comes out as icons or characters—like a black woman with a big afro or a representation of Jesus Christ on the cross without a face. It reflects the act of suffering but without all the institutions that religion might recognize. I try to take the general power of an image and switch it up and make it my own vibe.”
What’s your creative process like?
“ Most of the time, I just start painting and whatever comes just comes but it’s usually aligned with what I want for the piece.”
View this post on Instagram
#TBT I dropped my first EP Dec 17, 2017. The response the songs got was more than enough to keep me going through the year. Tomorrow, almost exactly a year later, I’m putting out my album “Nothing to Lose”. 2018 has been a year full of growth, reflection and new relationships. With all these developments, I want to say THANK YOU if you’re listening and WELCOME to anyone new to EaSWay 😈 All my fans are family. Revisit your favorites from my last project “The Panther In The Room” and get ready for tomorrow… cuz you’ve got NOTHING TO LOSE 💙🙏🏾📈🗣 spread the word too. P.S. Shout to the people who helped me with/through TPITR @od.kb @dj.deleon @xxpaigepowell @patrickcage @hughy_g_ @kamenmakesmusic
What does the art for ‘Panther in the Room’ symbolize?
“ It was me building a world in an image. I wanted it to look like how the project sounded. The main black man in the image is a figure that I use repeatedly in my pieces to represent the human form. I usually make it represent a black man because that’s what I am. To contrast there is this beautiful colorful scene behind him—the world is his. There are black panther figures behind him walking into the world and all the colorful things are kind of inspired by the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. I wanted to represent how all these things work together. There is even the flag of the world to symbolize unity and inclusivity. I want to explain the potential of the world around me to not be as dark as all the stereotypes and limitations someone would put on a black figure—a shadow almost.”
How has your background or childhood shaped your creative identity?
“Being raised in the Bay area, it’s a place with a lot of different energies. It’s got a lot of diversity. As a kid you can’t be judgmental when encountering all these different kinds of people every day. I grew up learning to have respect for everyone around me.”
If you were president of the world for a day, what would you do?
“I’d figure out how to get everyone clean water that day. Forever. I would construct dams and aquifers. I would focus on water first because even in America, people don’t have clean water.”
Do you have any fashion icons you look to for inspiration?
“My mom has always been a unique person and I look up to her for that. She does whatever she wants to do. She’s always expressing herself through her clothes. Colorful pieces, abstract prints, stuff you don’t see everyday.”
How was working with Calvin Klein?
“Calvin Klein sent me some cool clothes and it was a great opportunity to be featured on their Instagram.”
What’s the future look like?
“I’m planning on playing more shows, keep making music and to keep making art.”