By: Seamus Fay
I vividly remember my first interaction with the name Stripes III. It was directly after the release of his debut EP, Baby Flame, and once hearing such a cohesive, artful approach to music, I quickly realized this was an artist that I simply had to keep an eye on. And now, just over 7 months removed from this first impression, Stripes has done nothing but work to fulfill the potential shown so early in his career, making his whole city proud and beginning his inevitable rise to the top.
Aside from this, as you may have heard, Pusha T recently stumbled upon Stripes’ music and contacted him via social media. Following up throughout the past few weeks, the Boston native has been in talks with the likes of Pusha himself, Steven Victor, and more, in hopes of reaching a deal in the very near future. Considering these recent events as well as the ample supply of talent that this rising star holds, Graduation Music figured there would be no better time to connect with Stripes to figure out how his career in music came together.
That being said, enjoy our interview with Stipes III below!
Where are you originally from and what was your childhood like?
I’m originally from Sandusky, Ohio. We ain’t got shit but an amusement park and water slides, lol.
Growing up, what artists were you listening to that inspired you to make music yourself?
From a baby until like 6, I only resonated with Michael Jackson forreal. That basically transitioned into R&B until about the age of 10, then once I heard Lil Wayne I left Earth.
Where does the name “Stripes III” come from?
The name “Stripes III” comes from my second home: Boston, MA – Grove Hall, to be exact. But you know like the “3 for the stripes” throwback Boston slang, I guess it’s an Adidas thing.
Lyrically, you tend to translate your life experiences into verses. How has living in Boston influenced your music?
Thanks, and Boston basically made me learn how to rap like “yo yo uh check it” lol – boom bap shit. I believe that’s essential to the culture, but more than anything I’m influenced by my niggas. I love my brothers.
Describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before.
I pretty much sound like I’m on fire in the booth, like literally. I be in there blowing n shit, lol… super saucy, super slutty at times, but it also makes you feel something. I’m always open to growth, though. Gotta stay fresh, ya dig.
Describe the process of making your Baby Flame EP. How did that project come about?
The whole Baby Flame EP was like 5-track click bait, lol. Super fun, pink vibes showcasing my range of talent n shit. But it’s offline now, I’ll be putting those songs back out soon.
In the past, you have released two remixes of songs from Frank Ocean’s Blonde. What does that album mean to you and how does it inspire you?
It’s crazy because I lowkey remixed all the tracks on Blonde in 2 days just so I could have a real first listen, like in detail. Shit’s so beautiful.
What Boston artists inspire you?
Lowkey the artists that inspire me from Boston are Teamarrr, OG DOMO, cWave$, Boogie Da God, Chi, Alejandro Blanco, Bully, Maka, Tony Bodega, Pistola, Bouve (Booty Bae), and so many more. Can’t even get into all the wild producers and videographers, but those are just some of my favorite musicians off top. BIA’s my all time favorite, though, lol. Grammy family, respect it! <333
What are your top three dream collaborations?
Dylan, Dylan, Dylan.
Lastly, what can fans expect from Stripes III in the rest of 2018?
A full-fledged fire, lol. But forreal, I don’t exactly know at the moment. I’m just going with the flow, trusting my journey and where it leads me. Recently been in connection with Pusha T, too. He has shown nothing but love, man, kinda taking me under the wing in a way and introducing me to a lot of his people. You know, setting me up for the win, lol.