Weekly Discovery: Noah Bentley

Weekly Discovery: Noah Bentley

By: Shamus Hill

Los Angeles’ Noah Bentley is the latest artist to be featured on Graduation Music’s Weekly Discovery series, and the 18-year-old is here to gift you some wonderful, positive energy for the remainder of your summer. Compact full of love trials, transitioning out of adolescence, and aspirations towards a joyous future, Noah’s discography possesses depth to say the least. I spoke with Noah Bentley about the effect Los Angeles has had on him, his roots, and what influences his art. Read the interview below:

Where are you from, and for how long now have you been making music seriously?

I’m from LA. I was born in the valley and have been living here since. I’ve been seriously making music for a little over 2 years. I used to mix and master for the first year and a half, but I always knew I could make good music. One day I just recorded myself, and from there I started making my own music as Noah Bentley.



How does the LA area affect your music?

Both LA and the valley are such a melting pot of cultures, but the valley is in the middle of all of LA’s popular landmarks. You drive for 30 minutes in one direction and you’ll end up at the beach, or Hollywood. You drive a little longer and you’ll run into DTLA. This has opened my eyes to a variety of different lifestyles, and has helped me experience a lot of interesting events, which I turn into storytelling through my music.

In three words, how would you describe your music?

Soundtrack to life.

Is it just you, or do you work with a team of people?

I work my team Potluck. We’re a hip-hop collective and record label located in LA. Our team has producers, videographers, managers, and designers. Each member of the team brings a unique skill set fourth, and we’re all working under the mantra:

Everybody Cooks, Everybody Eats.

The entirety of your music catalog features production at the hands of JustBeatz. Can you speak on the relationship you two have, as well as what it is in particular about his production that makes you work with him exclusively?

JUSTBEATZ! That’s my boy, we went to middle school together and hung at school, but rarely out of school. We didn’t really get close until I recognized him doing his thing in music and producing for different artists. That was around the time where I was mixing and mastering an album for one of my team members Hundo (instagram: @hundo.ptlk), and I reached out to JustBeatz because I liked what he was putting out. From there we became real tight and were always working together. These days, I’m ALWAYS in the studio with JustBeatz either making beats, or making new songs for myself. We have a great work flow, which is the one of the main reasons he has exclusively produced my discography.



Listening through your music for the first time, it’s easy to note the vibrant, overarching feeling of joy that’s prevalent with each track. What would you like listeners to takeaway from your collection of music?

Aside from my hearing a story from my life and making folks dance, I want my listeners to hear my music and be inspired to go be great at something, and work their hardest at whatever their craft may be.

If you could collaborate with any two people on a song, who would you choose?

I would pick Marvin Gaye (RIP) and Vince Staples.

Who inspires you?

In a non-musical sense, I’m really inspired by Sheck Wes. Anytime I see his face on social media it makes me get up and work. He’s one of the few artists I’ve watched blow up, so every time I see him winning, it’s a reminder to continue working as hard as I can.

Outside of music, what are some of your interests?

I love being in nature, untouched nature always inspires me in a way that nothing else does

What can fans expect next from Noah Bentley?

Oooh can’t say too much, but expect to see your granny dance when she hears this new music



Listen to Noah Bentley’s music below:

https://soundcloud.com/shamus-hill/sets/weekly-discovery-noah-bentley/s-mtTQp

Weekly Discovery: KYSLINGO

Weekly Discovery: KYSLINGO

By: Seamus Fay

Music discovery, at face value, is essentially just a hunt for all of the hidden gems that people tend to miss. Once one of these gems is brought to the spotlight, new opportunities arise for artists and those small gems are able to graduate to a larger scale of operation. One of my personal favorite recent discoveries is that of KYSLINGO — a Maryland artist currently trailblazing his own path in pursuit of this further graduation.

Marked by a trunk-rattling concoction of melodic bass kicks, KYSLINGO’s sound is like nothing else I’ve heard. He communicates deep emotion by weaving through monstrous instrumentals, providing listeners with a remarkably raw, intoxicating sound. In such a way, he also possesses immense consistency with his art, so much so that at this point, it’s only a matter of time until we’re hearing the name KYSLINGO everywhere.

That being said, we here at Graduation music had to get the buzzing artist on our pages for a Weekly Discovery. You can read our conversation with KYSLINGO below.


To start off, where are you from? What was your childhood like?

Easton, Maryland. Eh, it was ight. Just been to alotta schools — that shit never fun.

Many listeners considered your sound to be the trailblazer for an entirely new genre of rap. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music?

Just like that.

Your SoundCloud profile picture shows Paris Hilton carrying a pink cellphone. What’s going on there?

I can’t really explain it but I feel like that pic.

original-20131-1461949612-21.jpg

What are your main sources of inspiration? When sitting down to write a song or make a beat, what keeps you going?

Most of the time I drink to create, but everything is usually based off strong emotion. I gotta feel it. Nothing is forced. No specific person or nun like that inspires me. I just wanna be great like everyone else.

Five years from now, where do you want to be both musically and as a person?

Musically, I know imma be above all these niggas, I already am. But as a person, Imma be the same.

What can fans expect from KYSLINGO in the remainder of 2018?

Hits. Only.


Connect with KYLSINGO on:

Twitter
Instagram
SoundCloud

Weekly Discovery: Cortdot

Weekly Discovery: Cortdot

By: Seamus Fay

In the social climate of today’s music world, being an artist, producer, engineer, etc. requires a comprehensive, productive understanding of how to use the internet as a tool not only to further one’s art, but also to make lasting connections that will support a career. Few artists have done this as well as Cortdot, even growing up in Wichita, Kansas, where life is greatly disconnected from the hotspots of rap music right now.

Cortdot’s relentless hunger towards greatness and clear knack for paving his own path no matter what obstacles may be in the way is nothing short of inspirational. His current portfolio contains credits alongside Warhol.ss, Lucki, Flee, and many more underground stars, and considering the amount of damage he has been able to do with simply a great ear and the internet by his side, there’s no telling how bright the future will be for such a promising young talent.

The stocks are rapidly rising, and we here at Graduation Music had to make sure we spoke to Cortdot for the latest edition of our weekly discovery interview series. Read our conversation at the link below:


Being from Wichita, Kansas, how has the power of the internet been able to connect you to all of the artists you work with? Do you feel limited at all and do you want to get out of Kansas?

The internet has all the power but there’s only so much you can do on it. I plan on getting out soon. There’s a lot of talent in Kansas, but we all know the places you need to be if you want to actually do this music shit & it’s not here.

How did you become a producer? At what point did you realize it was what you wanted to do as a profession?

I started like about a year and a half ago & at first, it was just some hobby I picked up, then I kind of got nice with it. I don’t want to just limit myself as a producer though. I’m an artist & I have a lot of talents that the world will see soon.

One of the main artists you frequently work with is Lucki. How did you initially link with him and how did you two build such a strong working relationship?

I started sending beats to his email then he had got back to me one day & started fucking with me since. Honestly, I think we both just hear the same things at times – we have similar taste, I would say.

Especially in the current landscape of the music industry, producers often have trouble getting properly compensated and credited for their work. How do you handle yourself on the business side of things in order to avoid any issues?

Paperwork & Communication.

Who are your top 3 favorite producers of all time?

Pierre Bourne, Plu20 Nash, & Brentrambo.

What is the most rewarding part of your job as a producer?

Definitely leveling up & getting to work with some of the artists that I looked up to when I first got into this business.

When it’s all said and done, what do you want your legacy to be as a musician and as an individual?

I really don’t care about a legacy. The most important thing to me is what I can do to change the world while I’m here now.

What can fans expect to see from you in the rest of 2018?

Unavailable, The Brand.


Connect with Cortdot on:

SoundCloud

Instagram

Twitter

Weekly Discovery: ATM

Weekly Discovery: ATM

By: Seamus Fay

As an artist, growth, or defining creative vision and working towards its execution, over time is often shown through the progression of one’s catalog of music. One artist that has shown this development with a keen eye for what works and what doesn’t is New Jersey’s own, ATM. His track record of 13 tracks on SoundCloud right now proves a path of unrivaled authenticity and a clear creative vision, as every song seems to work on the strengths of the last while striving for the improvements of the next offering. 

This trait has led me to find sky-high potential in a number of his songs such as “Vashtie“, “Rush“, and “Lupin The 3rd“, and today, Graduation Music is proud to present an interview we conducted with the young talent, marking the fourth installment of our weekly discovery series. Read the conversation covering his origins as an artist, his work with Cor Blanco, his inspiration, and more, below.


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

Uh, I would say my music is tight. I have different mood music, so like I make music for everyone. Happy people, sad people, every kinda person.

When did you start making music in the first place? How did all of this come about and how do you feel about how the fans have reacted / how far you have come?

I started like a year and a half ago. I was chilling with Cor [Blanco] one day on sum random shit & he was finishing up his tape & I was like yo bro let me get on a song, so I tried this shit, and I liked it. When I made the song “Friends” that shit really hit. My whole county was fucking with it. Idk if I still have those day one-supporting niggas but I haven’t made the noise that I wanted yet, still pushing.

What’s the rap scene like in New Jersey right now? Is there a lot of influence from New York?

Idk I try to focus on myself and my friends, to be honest. And nah, not really, I don’t think so. I listen to every kinda of music so that’s where my influences come from.

On the production side of things, Cor Blanco is one of your most frequent collaborators. How did you two meet and how did you start making music together?

Yea that’s my bro 4 lyfe, we went to high school together. I mean we wasn’t always as close as we are now, but the music brought us close as fuck. He’s the first person I ever made music with and we just stuck with it.

When working on new music, where do you usually find inspiration from? Describe your creative process.

My favorite artists are Tyler the Creator, Pharrell, Playboi Carti & Kali Uchis. So like idk, I mix all those into 1 haha, or at least I try to. To be honest, I just listen to beats from Cor and if I feel it, I feel it. I usually don’t write any of my songs. I catch writer’s block & shit, so freestyling is the way for me.

Lastly, what can fans expect from ATM in the near future?

Bruh, these niggas are in for a treat, dude. Sick videos, sad ass music, you know – different shit. Shit they’d want from me. I’m never gonna shy away from my style.


Connect with ATM on:

SoundCloud

Instagram

Twitter

Weekly Discovery: Jazz Ingram

Weekly Discovery: Jazz Ingram

By: Seamus Fay

Authenticity is a trait that can never go understated in music. It becomes apparent in lyrics, sound, image, etc., and when an artist is truly authentic and genuine to themselves, the listeners can tell. One of the most authentic artists I’ve heard in all of 2018 so far has been Jazz Ingram – an Atlanta native who holds this trait among all other things and an artist who, with an ample supply of both talent and work ethic, could just be the next big thing out of his city.

Ingram lives in his own world of limitless creativity, and naturally, we here at Graduation Music had to take the opportunity to speak to him about his upbringing, Atlanta, a record entitled FORREST., and more. Read our conversation below.


To start off, where are you originally from? What was your childhood like?

I was born in Rochester, New York, but I moved down to Atlanta before I was 2. I had a dope childhood, pretty middle class. I got bullied but like, who doesn’t? I was really small until junior year (like 5’1, 90 lbs). My mom is a reverend, so I was in church a lot.

I had a lot of impossible-seeming things happen to me while I was growing up like when I was at Six Flags and the Plain White T’s pulled me on stage – I was like 7. I didn’t get in much trouble, but I talked a lot. Hopefully that makes sense.

At what age did you start making music and what led you to do so?

Around 11. Michael Jackson, Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and Justin Timberlake led me to make music. I used to take my sister’s iPod Classic and the list above is what I took a liking to (minus Michael Jackson – I always knew about Michael Jackson).

What are the top three most influential albums for you as an artist?

Honestly, not an album guy. But like Future Memoirs by Allan Kingdom really hit me. Prince’s aesthetic pushed me forward in making music, too. Fuck it, imma make a list

808s and Heartbreak // Mr. West

Man on the Moon // Cudi

Future Sex Love Sounds // The man who ruined Janet Jackson

Explain the title of your most recent offering, a record entitled, FORREST.

The main part of the title, “FORREST”, is my grandfather’s middle name. Feb. 5 was his 75th birthday, so it was a dedication to my grandfather. I added the “a record entitled” because I think because music is almost losing its physical aspect (streaming, digital vs. analog) so I had to tell people that this is more than just a collection of songs. When I think of a finished work, I picture a record (vinyl) in my mind.

Describe Atlanta in five words.

Eclectic, Spontaneous, Black, Traffic, and did I mention Black? 🙂

What is your creative process like when making a song or a project? Where do you find inspiration from and in general, how does everything come together?

I push myself to create every day across several mediums. Just to keep my head in a creative space.

I like to make songs early in the morning (I record myself in my room), typically right after I eat a chicken biscuit from either Chick-Fil-A or Bojangles. I don’t really write melodies – most of my recent hooks have been freestyled, so I’ll loop the track and just sing literally whatever comes to mind for half an hour or so. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll either write the track on paper or my iPhone. The best places to write are my car, my room, this park around the corner, or the toilet.

I find inspiration from documentaries, interviews, and long conversations w/ Ian (Women). Recently I’ve been working with Kobe (yourfriendkami) ALL the time, so things happen pretty quickly and organically, to say the least. We made a record entitled, FORREST. in about a month.

You can only watch one cartoon for the rest of your life. What cartoon are you choosing and why?

The Amazing World of Gumball goes dummy, no cap. But I don’t watch TV any longer ***!waste of time!***

What are your main goals as an artist? Where do you want to be in 5 years?

Make what I like, honestly – something around there.

I don’t think that far ahead, but New Zealand is pretty. And hopefully, I have a BMW M3.

Lastly, what can fans expect from Jazz Ingram in the near future?

Content. But this summer I’m focusing my attention on r0cworld.


Connect with Jazz Ingram on:

SoundCloud

Twitter

Spotify

Weekly Discovery: ace.

Weekly Discovery: ace.

By: Shamus Hill 

Every now and then, you stumble upon a gem in the crowd of an artist that possesses a phenomenal catalog of music. It didn’t take much time at all for me to realize that ace. was that artist. Since getting put onto his hit single “Big Fact” and subsequently diving into the remainder of his discography, there hasn’t been any turning back.

That being said, Graduation Music is proud to present an interview with ace., discussing his entrance to music, some of his influences/interests outside of music, and an announcement that he’s dropping a short project on April 13th (a week from this upcoming Friday). With his recent string of exceptional records, ace. is here to prove why NYC is still a major playmaker in the rap game, so be sure to read about him below:


How old are you, and where are you from? 

I’m 20 years old, out of Queens, NY.

For how long now have you been releasing music?

I started recording music in the 9th grade, so like six years now. I started off recording songs myself on Garageband, using the built-in microphone on my laptop. I would say I started taking music more seriously when I bought an actual microphone about 4 years ago.

If you could describe your music in your own words, how would you do so?

That’s always been difficult for me, finding a way to label it. I’ve had conversations with my manager about it, just so we could kind of know who we’re marketing to. But yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to label it because it’s so varied. Really, I’ll make whatever conveys what I’m feeling. I’d probably release a deep, house track if it’s what I felt at that moment.

Which of your tracks would you list as your favorite thus far?

It’s definitely hard for me to pick just one, but I’d say two tracks stand out to me. “Big Fact” connected for me instantly. As soon as I had recorded it, I sent it to a few of my friends before releasing it, and I told them, this is the one that people are going to connect with. It’s something I’ve never said about any other song, but I knew with that one immediately. But besides that, “They Whisper” would have to be a personal favorite of mine. It’s my favorite because it’s the most experimental track, sonically, to me, and I had wanted to do an Alternative-Rock-influenced track for a while. I wrote and recorded that song while watching the Blair Witch Project with the sound off, because that’s the image that came to mind when I heard that beat.

Looking through your discography, I’ve noticed that the majority of your music falls under the Hip-Hop/Rap genre, however you do have two Alternative-Rock tracks under your belt. Do you see your sound remaining within these categories in the future, or do you plan on exploring new genres as time progresses?

Honestly, like I said, I don’t know if those labels accurately represent the music I’ve made either. I feel like very few songs I make would be traditional to any genre. But I’d say yeah, I’ll always be expanding my range musically. That’s the fun part about making my own music, I can take from all the different sounds I love and put them together.

Who are some of your influences, both musically and personally?

I’m influenced by A LOT of people, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d probably say Kanye West and Childish Gambino are two of my biggest influences. Beyond just musically-speaking though. I feel like I can relate to those two especially, just based on the way their minds work. They’re true creatives to me. True creatives because they see no boundaries in their creativity. Even when making music, to them it’s about more than just the music. The process doesn’t end for them when an album’s finished, they have a complete vision. From art to tour designs, merchandise, etc.

Another big influence I’ll never forget to mention is the entire A$AP Mob, they influenced all the people around me in every way. Plus, they came out of NY doing it.

What’s the music scene like in Queens? Is there anyone from your area that people should really be listening to? 

The music scene is bubbling, and not just in Queens, but New York in general. I feel like New York has a chip on its shoulder after years of being disregarded in Hip-Hop, while places like Atlanta thrive. It’s definitely a movement coming though, we can thank A$AP Mob for paving the way for us. They dont get the credit they deserve, especially Rocky as far as being a NY artist. I feel like his name is never mentioned when people debate over who’s the hottest NY has had to offer over the last few years. He’s the one without question. He’s a megastar and he’s from Harlem. As far as up-and-comers from NY, I see a lot of talent in the people around me. Friends, people I’m working with currently. Zoe Cartier, Adamaneven (Angelnumber 8, Lotto, Justine, Slakapat), Sensei Idai, Tommy Revenge. Soundcloud any of those names, I promise you’ll find something new you’ll love.

“When I was a freshman in high school we all wanted Pyrex shorts, now Virgil’s working at Louis Vuitton. That’s the type of shit that really inspires me. Growth and process. Everyone has their own process.”

What are you into besides music?

Everything. I really believe in that true creative concept, and I have ideas for just about everything. Somewhere on the internet there’s a Donda chart that Kanye drew up with different fields he wanted to impact using Donda. I’ll probably draw up my own (just as long) soon. One of the main things I want to get into in the future though is writing, specifically screenwriting. TV Shows & Movies, I have well drawn out ideas for both already. I believe it’ll all come together when it’s supposed to, don’t be surprised if you see one of my ideas as a Netflix-original one day.

Fashion is mentioned throughout your music, which leads me to ask, how much of a role does fashion play in your life, and subsequently the music you put out to the world? 

Fashion is definitely a big influence, but I’m not the fashion guy in my collective of creative friends. Marvin (@m6rvin on social) is really the fashion guy, and he’s already working on his own thing, with a foot in the fashion industry. I’d say all of us are fashion-forward, but if I’m in 2020 with it, he’s definitely in the year 3000.  A few of my biggest influences I didn’t really mention come from the fashion world. When I was a freshman in high school we all wanted Pyrex shorts, now Virgil’s working at Louis Vuitton. That’s the type of shit that really inspires me, growth and process. Everyone has their own process.

What can we expect next from ace. ?

Next for me is more music and more music. Really I’m just getting started. Currently, I’m working on a short project that I plan on dropping April 13th. I haven’t officially announced that anywhere yet, but yeah that’s what I’m working on. I hope to have a few friends on there, and they will definitely be people you should be looking out for too.


Connect with ace. on: 

SoundCloud

Twitter

Instagram 

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