I’m going to start in non chronological order in regards to diving into your journey as a Femcee! You’ve acquired something that most social media influencers/ and artist alike dream of which is hitting a million streams online! What’s the first feeling/ thing you did when learning that your single “Best Friend” hit a million streams?
The first thing I did was literally stare at my phone for 15 minutes straight. I just couldn’t believe it! I was overwhelmed with happiness and a feeling of accomplishment but most importantly I was just grateful that so many people resonated with and felt my music.
Now, lets take a step back and venture into your journey as an artist based here in Washington , Dc.. You’ve been in the music industry since a teen, additionally – you have navigated the DC music scene for years including being in multiple Gogo bands and producing multiple mixtapes. It’s also no secret that being a woman and trying to navigate any industry is a challenge in itself, what are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve experienced first hand as a woman trying to break into mainstream music that men don’t necessarily have to endure?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far is managers and promoters who were interested more in a “personal” relationship. And when they realize they couldn’t or would not get that type of relationship the business was pushed to the side or shelved. And a close second to that is people trying to change my image or force me to sexualize myself or my music. Being a woman is hard enough but being a woman in a “man’s game” and staying true to yourself is nearly impossible.
Who are your favorite female artists, and what qualities about them do you admire and embody? Any other female artists in the city that you’re looking to collaborate with?
Some of my favorite female artists right now are H.E.R., India Arie, Summer Walker, and Ella Mai. I don’t listen to many female rappers unless they come on organically. I listen to more men than females because I’m not into what the girls rap about these days. And from the city I’d love to work with Pinky Killacorn at some point. And I recently did a feature with Millie OhReally called “Burrito” I can’t wait to drop. She’s another dope female artist with great music.
Why do you think DC has the notorious crabs in a barrel connotation in does? We’ve heard this ideology applied to artists and popular figures who dominate sports, fashion, food and beverage, art and especially music artist who are housed here in the metropolitan area. What in your opinion as a DC artist needs to be done to change this tone?
Everyone in our city wants to be a rapper now. So there’s no consumer market here for our music. Everyone sees everyone as competition and a come up. I think if artists would remember that they actually listen to music as well and give a listen to the next local artist like they do the main stream we could make a change for the better.
Wanting the proper accolades and co sign from the city where a rapper is from is MAJOR for any artist, especially when crossing over and growing a following. In many of your lyrics you share how you don’t feel like you receive the credit you deserve as a thriving female emcee from DC. You have received awards from the Indie Fashion Week awards and the DMV underground awards, share with us what true recognition from the city looks like to you?
True recognition would really just be the numbers for me. They don’t lie. I’m streaming in New Zealand and Australia but not at home. And that hurts. Seeing these lists come out every year and I’m not on it hurts too. I think it would take for it to just be getting the support from home that I get over seas for me.
I do believe this is still true as with life period. Unfortunately. A woman is “supposed” to stand behind a man. But I stand firmly beside mine. The reason for the most recent collaboration was just bringing out a side of each other in the music that we only see in our personal life. Because we are both artists we push each other and found our own way to communicate through music. The album is a love story. A true ongoing love story.
You’ve seen a lot of change over the years within the music industry, how important is it to be adaptable to change yet remain true to your audience and who you are as a woman? Share with us what that balance looks like and how you maintain it.
That balance is definitely difficult but I write so fast and easily that I welcome the challenge of change. I try to give different types of vibes on every album and EP to stay true to my fans but also stay true to change. I don’t like to put myself in a box so I welcome the challenge of something new and I anticipate the reaction of my fans each time.
What projects do you see for BYLLZ on the horizon of 2022? Share with us some ideal collaborations and deals we can anticipate from you?
For 2022 y’all can expect a visual to the R&B single Win You Over that I dropped across all platforms December 15th, and y’all can expect a solo album that has a even blend of everything Byllz! Rapping, singing, poetry, and most importantly always truth. I write every song about my own life good and bad.
EPK MEDIA EPK