BLKPRL Talking All Things “WANNABE”

BLKPRL Talking All Things “WANNABE”

On behalf of R&B singer, BLKPRL and MNRK Music Group, The Garnette Report’s Charmaine Swasey got a chance to speak to the Bronx-born rising artist at 40th on his latest single, “WANNABE,” his growth in the music industry, and his music influences!

Photo posted by BLKPRL @blkprlofficial VIA Instagram. Photo Credit: @yyungdidit VIA Instagram

BLKPRL | Hip Hop | Music Artist | Music Video | New Music

CS: What inspired you to write the song “Wannabe”?

BLKPRL: So, “Wannabe” was actually written after an argument I had with my girlfriend at the time. I was just on my DM’s connecting with other girls. Just having conversation. Guys just want to be guys, you know?  I just want to entertain, seeing if I’m still out here you know? I wanted to see if I’m game, rizz, sauce, just keeping my game up, keeping it fresh.

CS: The Bronx is most known as the birthplace of rap and hip-hop, do these genres influence your music?

BLKPRL: Absolutely. First off, the song wannabe features a sample from a group called Sporty Thieves. When I was growing up, that record was a big record in the streets. So being a kid hearing those sounds, it just kinda resonated with me and I just wanted to do something with that. So I got that opportunity to sample my record. It just made sense. I had “Wannabe” to a whole other record and sat on it for like  a year and came back to it and was like, yo, I know you want to do something with this sample,  why not put the two together? Did that. So yeah hip hop is definitely a huge influence on my music but so is jazz, so is classical. I’m a very musical artist.

CS: So your genres are very diverse, meaning you never settle on one genre?

BLKPRL: Yeah, I coined it as genre-less R&B. You know, because I’m an R&B singer, I sing from the soul, no matter what I’m singing, I’m singing from my soul. I am heavily influenced by a hard drum presence. But you know, I love strings, the melody of jazz, I love the looping of jazz. So I take from all genres but try to have my base as hip hop.

CS: Do you have any other influences?

BLKPRL: Don’t laugh when I say this, but Celine Dion is probably my favorite singer. Then it’s Whitney, like my mom would be upset that I said that. But to me Celine’s voice is like immaculate so she’s definitely a true inspiration. I love Arena music so, Coldplay and U2. And definitely R&B singers. I love all ’90s R&B, the Joe’s, the Cases–there was a group called Janay that was dope to me, Group Theory, that’s just to name a few. But as far as like music and production, I will say Kanye, Pharell, and definitely Timbaland, those are definitely my Mount Rushmore guys for sure.

CS: Because the music industry is a very competitive business, what sets you apart from other music artists?

BLKPRL: I would just say my sound, and this is no shade to anyone in the industry, but there’s a distinct sound out right now and I just can’t fit that role. My voice is just different. So I think overall, I just sound different. I have a different approach lyrically, vocally. I feel like that’s what sets me apart. And my stage presence, just how I perform is pretty different for sure.

CS: What is your biggest takeaway as a rising star in the music industry?

BLKPRL: Definitely to stay away from the comment section because I’m always ready to clap back if there’s negativity. But then again also, not always focusing on the negative and just embracing the positive. That’s one take away. Being open to learning new things. [With] social media, I feel like I had to catch up. The idea of posting and creating content. Things of that nature.

CS: What is your goal?

BLKPRL: So now I’m learning to embrace that and understanding that’s also a part of my artistry. So how do I now make it so that people get to know me through this? And make it not feel like I’m forcing it, but I’m actually enjoying it? So just being open to learning that.

And you know, one of the biggest takeaways, a lot of the OG’s that I met are very humble and willing to impart a lot of wisdom into us newer artists. Shout out to Busta Rhymes like, that was one OG that just kinda like took time to speak to me even though he didn’t have to. He took time to embrace me and really just talk to me about his experiences, even just encouraging me to keep going, keep my foot on their necks. Like when my video dropped, he was actually one of the first people I actually heard from. Saying congratulations.

CS: What is your main message to your peers?

BLKPRL: I like to say to colleagues, right? Like embrace the OG’s cuz they got so much history and they done it before us, so don’t be too much of a ‘know it all’ to like not receive their impartations and their wisdom, cuz they could save us from a lot of headaches and mistakes just by the life that they lived and by the experiences that they’ve had.

CS: So if you go to an open show with any artist, who would it be?

BLKPRL: To open for them? Oof. Right now, SZA, uh Drake – just give me like ten minutes on the stage bro, give me 7 minutes, like Ima turn up, then ima dip. Yeah those are two artists I would like to open for and create with. Now, if I’m just going to a show, I would say them again.

CS: So now that summer is close to an end, will you consider changing your music style or keep it the same?

BLKPRL: Nah, I will keep it the same. But I feel like, you know, my music describes me in layers. So through my music, my goal is to really just peel back my layers and let people feel who I am, get to know who I am through my music. It’s like  my safe space, I get to really speak my mind and not really have to worry about how people will respond. You know, that’s my home, that’s my sacred space to just speak freely.

CS: What are your next steps?

BLKPRL: So I’m gonna keep making the same music, not the same sound of course, but very cohesive, and I always want to make people move to what I create. So that’s one of the biggest things for me. I want people to feel the sound of the music as well.

I think the best music is oftentimes a trot that has its own story without no words. Then you add your words to it, so now it’s two stories combining in the most beautiful, artistic way. So that’s what my tracks do to me. I want my tracks to live on their own and my words as well.

CS: Do you have any weaknesses you’re actively working to improve on?

BLKPRL: Yeah, that’s what the music is about right? So like, “Wannabe”  is, I  gotta say is like ‘f***-boy’ type of anthem and thats something I’m gradually working on coming out of. I want to show the evolution of somebody who has that mindset to like eventually probably want to get married, have children, really settle down.

So as you hear the music, you’ll hear the peeling back the thought  process and even healing. Like we’re created with that type of mentality. So just diving into those things and encouraging conversation amongst guys and girls because girls can be f*** boys too. We’re all layered as f***. We’re all layered individuals and we’re all introduced as the finished product. But we don’t know what it takes to become that person, you know?

So I want to encourage, through my music, people to take time to peel back the layers to see why this person is the way they are other than just judging them off of what they see.

CS: So it’s a time to reflect? To revert from the negative to the positive?

BLKPRl: Yeah but at the same time, your still gonna enjoy the music your still gonna turn up, your still gonna have a good time, but that’s just my purpose with the music, just letting them know were all layered individuals, and we all have our own processes and journeys and we should respect that. And we should just treat each other the way we want to be treated. And that is with grace, and just allowing people to grow.

CS: What qualities do you think make a great musical artist?

BLKPRL: Obviously sound, the music itself, but I think life, what they grew up in. [It] gives them character to floor what they create. Nothing’s new under the sun. So to see somebody take something that was already done and kinda give it a new spin to the point where it feels like, “oh this was never done before,” I think that is something that makes a great artist. I think also, not being afraid to push past their own barriers, even if that song specifically doesn’t come out, the fact that they tried, it’s about not being afraid to try new things in your music, or not being afraid to speak about certain things in your music.

CS: Have you ever experienced performance anxiety?

BLKPRL: Just to give you some background, before I got signed, I sang background for H.E.R., and you know, I [would] be in front of thousands. So we went from hundreds, to thousands, to tens of thousands, then it really blew up! So sometimes I would get that performance anxiety, but then I would speak into myself and just remember why I’m here and why I’m blessed to be on these stages.

CS: What is your strategy?

BLKPRL: Even now like, going into being a solo act, I’m always reminding myself of the fact that I belong here, the fact that I’ve worked hard to perfect my craft, and I’m still working. And I’m not afraid, at least onstage, to fail. I really try to do whatever I can and then I just go over it, and try to get better. I think that’s the only thing you can do, [to] get better. So I would say that my anxiety then produces the desire to grow as a performer, as an artist, as a singer, as a producer. It just pushes me to grow.

CS: What’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming shows? Or new music in the works?

BLKPRL: Well I just released a video for my single “Wannabe,”  its available right now on Youtube, and yeah I’m just working on more music and pushing this record, but definitely new music is on the way and new visuals. So stay tuned!

BLKPRL – “Wannabe” via You Tube

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