Genshin – ‘Distant’ [EP]

Genshin – ‘Distant’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

In my eyes, the function of an EP is meant to be a compact collection of music that informs listeners as to what direction an artist is moving on. There’s a reason the lack of length works as it offers a simple snapshot of a given artist’s capabilities, but even so, when done right, this kind of project can truly stand out as more than just a brief snapshot. In the case of Genshin’s latest EP, Distant, the impact is felt most clearly in the introduction of such a curious, alluring sonic atmosphere.

Throughout a quick 3 songs, he transports listeners into an entirely different world of sound, all the while evoking strong, almost nostalgic bouts of emotion that are both compelling and comforting in their own respects. Each track pushes this idea one step further, and if there is any project to show you how much damage Genshin can do in such a short amount of time, it has to be Distant. Connecticut has something very special on its hands, with this EP acting as perfect proof.

Click play at the link below and show some love to this Graduation Music favorite!

An Interview With Twayne The Kidd

An Interview With Twayne The Kidd

By: Seamus Fay

You may know him from one of his famed KIDD.FM exclusives, you may know him from one of his two placements on Big Leano’s latest project, Packula, or you may just know him from his widely-respected stature within Boston’s budding community of talent. Regardless of how you heard the name Twayne The Kidd, however, there’s no denying that he’s getting ready to take things to the next level in 2018. Between a relentless balance of work ethic and natural talent, the opportunities are sure to present themselves in a short matter of time, and deservedly so.

We here at Graduation Music have been keeping track of Twayne The Kidd for almost a year now, and considering the abundance of potential that he holds, it only made sense for us to get him on the site for an interview. That being said, we spoke to him recently about topics ranging from his upbringing to making a movie soundtrack, and everything in between.

You can read the interview below.


Where did grow up? What was your childhood like?

I grew up in New London, a small town in Southeastern Connecticut. I lived there until 7th grade then I transferred schools to live with my dad in Groton.

When did you first connect with music and what artists inspired you early on?

I have always been a creative since I was 8 years old. I had an IBM Thinkpad from my grandma and I used to record my raps through Windows Sound Recorder. I was heavily influenced by The Low End Theory album from ATCQ, it was all that I would listen to on my PSP. I started making more raps in 8th grade and started releasing music under the name “Amusers.” I found Fruity Loops Studio 9 on YouTube one day and I downloaded a demo and tried it out. I learned how to sample and it was a wrap after that! I’ve been using FL Studio ever since.

Top 3 producers of all time?

Kanye West, Pharrell, CardoGotWings.

Where do you look to for inspiration when making beats?

I try to play video games from my childhood like SSX 3 or Sonic Heroes to feel nostalgia. I do this to capture that feeling people are familiar with, but I try to add a modern touch to it. Primarily the reason why I use the Capcom jingle in most of my beats.

If you could go back and create your own soundtrack for one movie, what movie would it be and why?

Above The Rim! I feel like a Twayne The Kidd soundtrack would sound crazy on it because I would make a killer theme song for Bishop.

What is your DAW of choice and why?

FL Studio 12. The step sequencer is easy and quick to get my ideas down.

When/how did you meet Big Leano and how did your two placements on Packula come together?

3A.M. I tagged Tee-WaTT on one of my beats I posted on Twitter. He followed me and then hit me up about working with Big Leano. He gave me his email and then I just sent some beats back and forth. Leano replied back to me each time and then eventually gave me his number. I sent him the beat for “Two” and “Talk Show” over the summer and he hit me back with the records right away.

What is your proudest accomplishment in music so far and why?

Getting linked up with my manager Maine. I’m happy to finally have representation and others who believe in me. I’ve been laughed at and doubted for making music since I started, so I’m happy everyone can see my vision.

Lastly, what can fans expect from Twayne The Kidd in 2018?

Collab project with Big Leano, more KIDD.FM exclusives, and major placements soon!


Connect with Twayne The Kidd on:

SoundCloud

Instagram

Twitter

TrakTrain

StupidGenius – “Sincerely, For Jalen”

StupidGenius – “Sincerely, For Jalen”

By: Seamus Fay

As some of you may know, Lowell lost a legend recently with the incredibly unfortunate death of Billy Gilmore – a man who, in my time knowing him, couldn’t have been a better leader and role model for those around him. Not only was he an icon in his city and a true role model within the community, but his impact in the lives of so many is a sentiment that deserves full recognition and simply cannot be understated in all of its priceless worth. In light of his death, Gilmore leaves behind his kids and more specifically, his son, Jalen – a constantly smiling, ambitious, hardworking young man that deserves nothing but the best in this world in memory of his father.

Lowell natives StupidGenius decided to honor Gilmore and his son with their new project, Sincerely, For Jalen. 4 tracks long, this is a testament to the power of a legacy as well as the traits and lifestyles that form one. It’s a beautiful standpoint of life and death in a sentimental perspective, and a valuable listen whether you knew Gilmore or not. I’ll leave it there and let the music speak for itself, so listen to Sincerely, For Jalen at the link below!

Donald Grunge – “Tyler Jeans” [Prod. Elz]

Donald Grunge – “Tyler Jeans” [Prod. Elz]

By: Seamus Fay

Within the budding Massachusetts music scene right now, there really aren’t many artists doing it quite like Donald Grunge. Similarly, within the local fashion scene, there aren’t many artists doing it quite like Tyler Roberts of Tyler Jeans. Today, these two worlds collide on Grunge’s new single, “Tyler Jeans”. The drip is there, the sound is there, the style is there, and all in all, this might be one of the best offerings we have received from Grunge to date.

Produced by Elz. “Tyler Jeans” is an infectious, melodic look into the fashion-minded brain that this young musical talent seems to communicate so well. He translates the imagery of Tyler Jeans into a triumphant status symbol, and in a family affair of sorts, it’s a great thing to see two local talents conjoining separate waves in such a cohesive, supportive way. Just as he denotes it, Donald Grunge is not your average star and neither is Tyler, so don’t sleep on their hard work and get ready to watch the stocks for each of the two as 2018 continues on.

Listen to “Tyler Jeans” below and check out Tyler’s work here!

An Interview With Stripes III

An Interview With Stripes III

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.

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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.


Connect with Stripes III on:

Weekly Discovery: FLEE

Weekly Discovery: FLEE

By: Seamus Fay

In today’s world of music, there tends to be a high value placed on constant output, often times leaving the art of consistency in the dust as artists unknowingly chase the short road of quantity over quality. One artist, however, separating himself within a sea of burgeoning talents, that seems to have found the perfect marriage between quality and quantity is Queens native Flee.

Song after song, project after project, the endless stream of work that fans receive never compromises quality, and with the inimitably infectious flows and hilarious, captivating wordplay that Flee brings to the table, we’re ready to watch him on his rapid ascent to the top in 2018.

That being said, Graduation Music is proud to present an interview we conducted with the NYC representative, marking the very first installment of our new weekly discovery series. Read the conversation below.


Flee! Where are you from? What was your childhood like?

I’m from Hollis, Queens, born and raised. My childhood was pretty normal and I grew up with 2 parents from Nigeria, 2 brothers, and 1 sister.

How and when did you start making music?

I started really recording in Delaware with my boy HB. I used to go to his crib after school and we would just record all day – that was like 2011. I honestly didn’t start releasing my music seriously until like late 2015.

Where does your inspiration come from when making music?

My inspiration comes from GhostGang, my friends, and most importantly, the situations I went through with females, lmao. Queens has also played a big role in my music because it’s where I’m from. I love Queens, it’s just a part of my blood and I’m going to continue to rep it as long as I rap.

How would you describe your sound and style to someone who has never heard your music?

FLEE.

Describe the perfect date.

Hmm, letting me fuck the first night is pretty lit and perfect to me.

How did you connect with 16yrold? When did you two start making music together?

While me and Xool was making the tape they had a session together so they cooked up the beat for “Rodman”. I used the song for my tape and 16 fucked with it, so ever since then we been cool.

What are your personal favorite songs within your own catalog of music?

No Sense, Wraith Dreams, Repeat, On & Off, Oh Word, YTO3GHOSTGANGSMOKEY… I got a lot of songs I fuck with, I can go for days.

How did you meet Stoopid Xool and how did Flee Going Stoopid come together as a project?

It’s funny cause I actually stole the beat for “Glizzy” off his SoundCloud and I hit him up telling him to fuck with me. He fucked with the song, so from there, he was willing to work. My manager made it happen actually, he flew Xool to NY and that’s how Flee Going Stoopid came about.

We was in the stu nonstop and I would knock out like 3-4 songs a day. Me and Xool got enough songs for 8 more tapes – Flee Going Stoopid was just the beginning.

You tend to work with the same producers for most of your music. What advantages come from establishing chemistry with just a few producers rather than working with a bunch?

I think it’s good to expand later on, but as an upcoming artist, I think it’s better for me to find my sound and stick to what suits me and what production I excel at. I eventually wanna expand and work with bigger names, but for right now, I’m cool with just working with Roca Beats, StoopidXool, Cash Cobain, and a few others.

Lastly, what can fans expect from Flee for the rest of 2018?

MORE FLEE!


Connect with Flee on:

SoundCloud

Instagram

Twitter

David-James ‘Loverboy EP’

David-James ‘Loverboy EP’

By: Shamus Hill 

I stumbled across David-James’ SoundCloud the other day, and noticed how he not only was from Boston, but that he had just released an EP by the name of ‘Loverboy’. Upon first listen, I knew I was in for something great. The low-fi beat selection, when combined with his smooth singing and on-point raps, creates an extremely pleasant sound that I haven’t been able to keep off of repeat since.

Scrolling a bit further through his SoundCloud, however, I realized that David-James has been releasing music for about four years now. This is extremely evident in his latest EP, being that he has truly honed in onhis skillset since embarking on releasing music of his own. Even listening to songs such as “The New” off of his first project, David-James’ talents have always been prevalent.

The ‘Loverboy EP’ circulates around the young artist’s love life, and how he’s adapting to the new types of women he encounters in life, his aspirations to treat his girl right, and why she should be choosing him over the rest of the dudes out there. Perfectly encapsulating the several emotions and scenarios prevalent in almost everyone’s love life, David-James has truly delivered a well-thought-out project that I will be bumping from this point on.

Show some love to David-James and stream the ‘Loverboy EP’ below: