WHYTRI is a complete creative force from Everett, MA ready to lead Boston with his music and clothing company, Lost Vision. His backgrounds in art, dance, and music all help him to provide a unique perspective in his work that so many can relate to. The amount of energy shown in every aspect of what he does truly makes him a driving force in the upcoming scene of Boston that is so young and vibrant. I had the chance to interview him, and you can read the result below.
Just to get things going, where are you from?
I’m from Everett, MA which is 10 minutes outside of the city, but I feel like I represent Boston in the sense of artistry and also as a whole.
Did you spend a lot of time in the city growing up?
Yeah, I spent my middle school and high school years around the Cambridge area so I would go into Boston after school and stuff or when I would have dance battles/shows I would attend and compete in and around the city.
I’ve heard about your dancing. I saw an interview with you where you were saying how you placed pretty high in different tournaments and competitions. Where did you develop the love for dancing and do you still do it?
Ahh man, I started dancing when I was 15 and I saw a dude named Phillip Chbeeb on season 2 of “So You Think You Can Dance”. His style was amazing so I was like, “Yoo IMMA DO THIS WHATEVER THIS IS CALLED,” then I started learning/researching and found out the style was called “Popping”, Youtubed my life away, practiced, and made videos of it. That was all going on until people in the scene saw some stuff and I found this dance company called “PHUNK PHENOMENON,” got into that, did shows and rehearsals/choreography with them for years. Somewhere along the line, I got into other styles like Krump. Then, I got involved with other crews like NSA CODE 3, floorlordz, and VOP, started training with them and doing state jams (competitions). I’ve never won a jam. The highest I came was 3rd place and it was for one called Battle For Your Life which I entered in CT which qualified me to go to Atlantic City, NJ where I lost in the first round of the finals lol. It was for 1VS1 popping. I don’t really dance on a professional/competitive level anymore since last year during my time I suffered 2 MCL tears which made me put it down. That happened around 17-19.
That’s tight. I find it crazy how anyone can learn whatever skill they want with the internet now like you really don’t need a class for anything. And that’s still amazing, though, being talented enough to place that high. Do you still find yourself watching “So You Think Can Dance” and other shows like that just because of that passion you have for it?
I haven’t watched since my homie won it in 2009, but I auditioned in like 2013 and I made it to like the 2nd round I think. I can’t remember honestly. I may have got cut first round lol. It was cool it was something I can say I’ve done. It’s off the bucket list.
How big were the audiences you danced for?
Shit bro, from like 10-400. The NJ event was televised on Dish Network (from what I was told) so IDK if that counts for more lol.
Hahaha, that definitely does that’s a huge audience.
Yeah, so the idea of an “audience” don’t really scare me that much as it’s kind of expected. In the most non-douche way I could say that.
I remember you doing the Harlem Shake (the real one not the internet trend) and hitting a split on stage during a Tobi Lou set. Do you always find yourself getting to be one of the most hyped at parties and shows just because of the skills you have that let you really get people to feel your energy and watch you?
That’s gotta be awesome because you can guarantee that when you get in the middle of a circle it’s about to get shut down.
Yeah, I feel dancing and competitively for so long at a high level taught me how to entertain and do it well which is something I was able to bring over to rap.
Just to go off of that, I wanted to ask about what music you get inspired by because two of your songs, “Rust Bucket” and “Snorkel On” are so different. It seems like you really get inspiration from several different areas.
AHH dawg this is deep okay so I didn’t really care ANYThing about music until 6th grade where I met my first friend. He was a white kid that was into rock so he put me on to bands like Linkin Park, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, and System of a Down. So the yelling comes from there (in “Snorkel On”) as well as from natural excitement. I didn’t even like rap for a while until I heard Young Jeezy’s Let’s Get It album when I was like 13. Once I heard that I was like YOOO WTF THIS SHIT SOUNDS SOOOO COOL, but I didn’t want to actually rap seriously until 18-19 and until I heard Tyler, The Creator. I thought his approach can to music and the game was just the coldest shit ever. What I like about dancing which helped me in rap was that a lot of my teachers wouldn’t teach me until I did my research on the style and the music that affected it (hip-hop), so I’m “educated” I guess on rap from the 80s now which helps a lot. I LOVE hip hop. 2000-2009 is firmly in my opinion the greatest years of hip hop. My inspiration comes from Anime… Uhh, rock video games ..rap music, clothes, and fashion. Uhh yeah lol.
That’s cool how such different types of music do that for you. Especially considering how diverse each genre of inspiration was. When I heard Wolf it actually changed my view on music completely. That’s still one of the best albums ever for me just based on how much it affected me.
Oh, Wolf is very important. I never really had people to talk hip hop with until I moved into my dorm in college and my roommates just happened to be a hip-hop blog owner and a Wu-Tang head lol, so it amazed me how everyone digests and understands shit differently.
What artists in hip hop during the 2000s really influenced you while you were growing up? I know that one major thing going on was Pharrell and the Neptunes and “In My Mind” in 2006 which affected so many people (which wasn’t understood at the time because of its poor commercial success). Pharrell had such an impact on fashion, too, so does that influence you? He made a lane for black people that maybe didn’t fit into the norm with skateboarding, music, etc.
Bro Pharrell is like the OVERALL father of hip-hop. He taught all of us to be ourselves and believe that it’s okay to be different. And it was people like Ye & Cudi who took it to the next level.
Exactly. I feel like people don’t credit him enough at all for the impact the had on music in general because most rappers today skateboard and do so much other stuff that Pharrell really helped make popular. When I hear “You Can Do It Too” it gets me every time. And I agree that Kanye and Cudi were the exact people Pharrell was putting on for.
Pharell, Kid Cudi, Ye, and Childish Gambino are very important to my growth and structure as an overall artist. P was ahead of his time before he even knew what his time was fam. Tyler, also.
Very true. Gambino is on another level right now. Have you heard the singles from his album? And do you find yourself wanting to make music that sounds like those artists’ or have you always been on your own wavelength in terms of creating?
Nah Gambino has been ahead of his time since 09 when he dropped his EP but people never wanted to accept him because he was doing shit like Community and stand up. He made me realize that you can do multiple things and still prove you deserve to be here if your work is up to par. And in the sense of creation, I’ve always been on my own wavelength and it was things that I created like Lost Vision that help that. I’ve always created based on how I feel and based on how to look at the things. Like a lot of my idols aren’t real people so that helps when it comes to inspiration as it can become very abstract to me.
The whole Pokemon drop was actually my attempt to be a stylist. Nobody wanted to let me style them, so I was like fuck it .. I’ll style Pokemon and… Here we are. Lol.
That’s amazing so it has taken you farther than you ever thought it would go?
Uhh, I mean not taken me farther. I would say with my ideas I like attempting something that doesn’t make sense and then making it make sense.
If people respect and love your ideas they will do the same towards you, know what I mean? So it was like a stamp for me saying, “HEY I know the fashion game I understand it, here’s proof.”
I feel you. Is most of your taste in high fashion stuff like Off White, Fear of God, etc, or does it go all over the place?
Ahh bro man. What Virgil does with OFF WHITE is BEAUTIFUL. Yohji Yamamoto is a genius for his Y3 pieces. The man is like an architect when it comes to his shoewear, it’s amazing. And how Rick Owens approached clothes is amazing for getting his long silhouette ideas from an AI basketball jersey. Fucking genius. Like I love how people approach things differently and you wouldn’t even expect the approach they are taking.
What’s amazing about that is how you really see those parallels within your work because styling Pokemon isn’t a normal approach, yet it can resonate with so many people based on their interests and experiences.Do you think you would ever want to do pop up shops like Virgil has done? It’s becoming extremely popular for streetwear brands to do nowadays.
I should be doing one this year, 2016/2017. But it won’t be a regular pop-up.
What will it be? And will it be in Boston? Because I feel like you lowkey know so many artists from the city so I’m sure you would get a big turn out.
Ahh, this new collection. Well, um, it’s called “Dark Days” and it will be actual clothing. My pieces only drop if there’s inspiration that creates a concept so yeah… Lol. And Boston/ RI.
Where does the name come from?
I went through a lot of shit this year like depression .. emotional rips, financial deficiency so it comes from there.
Ah man, I’m sorry about that but it’s amazing how you have turned it into something you can really say you’re proud of.
I got the idea for it watching Yu Yu Hakusho, and it’s cool man, that’s life. Shit happens and you’re made to build up and get broken down. What proves you is if you can rebuild and be a better person going forward. That’s what’s key. There are ups and downs. If you can’t handle that down you won’t make it.
I feel you that’s some real wisdom. How did Yu Yu Hakusho inspire you? And there it goes showing the inspiration from fake characters again. People don’t realize how important the things they make are and how it can affect people even if it’s not real.
Uhh, there was a certain battle that the main character was going through and just a certain storyline with the antagonist that made me realize and think of this concept. It all made me see that everyone has demons within them and once you let a demon steal your soul, which by that I mean the will to improve, you can slip into the darkness of life and everything crumbles and you lose who you truly are. It’s important to create. Creating is the one thing nobody can take away from you. You own your creativity.
That’s deep. I respect how your brand affects who you are and what your values are because a lot of people just print random stuff onto Gildan t-shirts if they think it will sell and call themselves a “designer”. Have you been creating designs, music, art, etc. your whole life? Or has that been the main constant lately just helping you get through tough times?
Nah, only since I was 15. I started into fashion around 18 and music from 18-19. I just knew I always loved all of it and I always knew this is what I’m kinda here for I guess.
What happened at those ages that made you want to create in those fields?
Well “So You Think You Can Dance” was for dance. Um, fashion was when I wanted to make a super group kinda like Tyler with OFWGKTA and I would make all the clothes. I thought that the clothes I was seeing were wack so I wanted to only wear my stuff lol. My pops gave me $250 and that became that.
Yeah, so I saw in an interview that you were able to turn that $250 into $3000 and go from there. What did that mean to you in terms of your confidence in your ability?
It showed me that anything is possible if you’re willing to grind for it and really want it. If you can see it, you can achieve it. Just know how much love and failure you’re gonna have to have and experience to get it. I also have a problem where when I want to learn things I get obsessed to the point where I have to learn it lol.
That’s real, and I bet most successful people have that same problem hahaha. It isn’t a bad one to have. How does being involved in the Boston scene inspire what you do because Boston is an extremely young city? Does seeing other creatives in different forms of art from the city help you because you know there are other people all around feeling the same thing?
Dawg there is a lot A LOT of talent out here man and it’s beautiful. Everybody is unique and everybody got their own X factor and everybody is growing so it’s cool to be around and help support that.
Who are some of the artists in music in fashion in the city that you like?
Music: K.O.D, $ean Wire, Michael Christmas, Og SwaggerDick, MyCompiledThoughts(LSTVSN) , Patrick Michaels, FabzAbove.
Fashion: Amerikkkana, Blur Visuals, Lost Vision, GLYSHIT.
That’s a very strong list. There’s so much in the city that it’s only a matter of time before it’s considered a cultural powerhouse like Atlanta, NY, etc. How did you get into graphic design?
I wanted my friends to stop wearing stuff I thought was kinda weak so I made what I thought was dope and others gravitated to it. Also, after I was hurt I got so depressed after my surgeries and I wanted to find a new outlet, so that’s how the graphic design started.
Was this during college?
Yep, freshman year I dropped my first piece. It was called “Powerful Peace,” I believe.
Was “Powerful Peace” chosen as the name because of what you had been through?
Nah, “Powerful Peace” happened because I started the first drop on MLK Day, So it was like a tribute type of thing. So I consider MLK Day the “birthday” of LSTVSN. I did a good amount of pieces and just sold everything and kinda rebooted the brand with the Pokemon first off to bat.
That’s cool. It seems like you really do you research on everything you want to do like nothing is done for no reason or just for profit and nothing else.
Nothing should be done for no reason because then it would still be nothing. Doing something for no reason is like eating a sandwich with just the bun. Defeats the whole purpose of the sandwich.
Facts. Do you think about the future of the brand a lot? Because that ideology kinda says a lot about how you would want to run it.
All the time but as long as I’m moving and I’m inspired anything is possible and everything will happen. The brand runs based off of creativity and inspiration. As long as there’s both there then each drop it will run itself. In my head, I just want to build a world to live in just like how Pharell, Gambino, and Tyler did. But my own way.
I’m sure they were all the same way in how they saw lanes that others weren’t seeing.
Let’s hope lol. Life is pretty much 50 Cent’s Get Rich Or Die Trying. Either be successful or die trying.
Very true. Are you working on any projects for music currently?
Currently, I have concepts up but nothing fleshed out in the studio. I do have a new record called “CASSIE CAGE” dropping soon. It’s really gritty and rage-oriented, produced by MyCompiledThoughts.
Note From The Author: “CASSIE CAGE” is set to release on December 1.
So that goes back to the influence from the rock that you used to listen to. How did you meet MyCompiledThoughts? It seems like you guys have done a lot of work together. Also, what can the fans expect in 2017?
Uhh yeah, I suppose, and for 2017, I want to be a better-developed artist and release more music for sure. We actually went to school together. I met him in 7th grade I think.
When did you start working together in music?
About last year, maybe two years ago, he taught me basically what I know in production and also helped me learn how to record and stuff like that. He was the first person to believe in my music I would say even when he didn’t understand or thought I was trying too hard to be something I wasn’t.
Yeah man, yeah. He cared while a lot of people I’d go to thought my stuff was either wack or they just wanted the money.
Did his belief in you really push you to decide you wanted to share your stuff online?
Never really wanted to help in the development.
I feel you that’s how so many are.
Lol nah this is a funny story.
So basically I was putting off music because a friend, well at the time a friend, was telling me my shit was weak in the sense that it wouldn’t appeal to anybody so I stopped rapping altogether but I missed it. So then I was at a point when I was like I wanna rap but I don’t think anybody is gonna like this shit. Then I was with my homie Yotron one day and I told him I rapped and he said spit a few and was like YOOO Bro you’re actually kinda nice why don’t you have music? I told him why and he was like bro fuck that lol then I was like yeaaah you’re right and … Here we are.
Hahahahahah never listen to people who doubt you that’s really tight. I want to talk about performing too because it seems like its easy for you to get a crowd going. Do you make music with how it will translate live in mind?
When it came to making music before I didn’t really do that but now I try to for sure. Especially during the recording process, I try to bring out all the energy possible because I basically want my energy in my records to smack you in the face when you listen so that when you come to a show it’ll be that times 10.
I feel you. That definitely shows through with “Snorkel On”. Once you put out a full project are you going to do a tour for it?
Shit, what if I can?? HELL YEAH if it’s possible that’s one of my goals for the end of 2017.
I bet you can just keep going, man. What does it mean to you seeing people like Cousin Stizz and Michael Christmas really put on for Boston and tour the whole country?
It makes me feel like we all have a chance to do the same and we can all have the ability to potentially have an effect in not just our city but state-to-state or even country-to-country. I literally watched Cousin Stizz blow up before my eyes. I saw the “Shoutout” video two years ago when it had like 12k randomly on a car ride. A lot of people can have it, it just depends if you’re gonna do what it takes, feel me?
That’s crazy did you know that Stizz was from Boston when you heard him? Also what rappers from the Boston scene have you met and can we expect any collaborations with them?
Yeah, I met Stizz in person at the “No Bells” video shoot because I was in the area (this was before I had the Pokemon collection or before anybody knew I rapped so I don’t think anybody really cared of my presence lol. It happens). But for collabs, nobody officially right now, besides MyCompiledThoughts and I definitely want a feature from K.O.D , M.Y.T.H. , $ean Wire , FABZABOVE , Leshawn Harris, illAddicts, and/or Pistola.
Do you ever see yourself moving out of the Boston area?
Yes, maybe, but I would always be back to show love to the place that helped get me out, know what I mean?
I feel you on that. Can we look forward to some of those features on your first project?
Maybe, dude, maybe.
Do you still go to a lot of shows in Boston?
Yeah, I just came back from one right now. I’m always around to support.
What show did you go to?
Billions at Far Out Boston in East Boston. It was a small little art show.
Oh, gotcha. What are your dream collaborations for fashion and music?
Tyler, the Creator, WinterTime Zi, Desiigner, Playboy Carti, Father, OG Maco, Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Wayne, Chance the Rapper, Retchy, Pharell
All great artists. I think Wintertime deserves way more attention than he has.
I thought Wintertime was gonna be bigger then Yachty, to be honest. I guess Yachty just had a better image.
Yeah, same. I think Wintertime will be at that level soon enough, though.
True. They are supposed to do a joint tape. I’d love to work with Wifisfuneral, too.
Yeah, they already have one tape together and it’s heat and I know of him but I haven’t heard much by Wifisfuneral.
Dawg he’s 🔥🔥.
And from there, we just talked and shared music.
After speaking to WHYTRI, I learned a ton about the inspiration behind what he does and where all the aspects of the art he makes come from. He’s an extremely passionate person, it seems, and one who can easily connect with others which will be sure to serve him well in the future. I would like to wish him the best of luck, and be on the lookout for “Cassie Cage” when it comes out. Thank you again, WHYTRI.
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