New Hampshire-based rapper, Steezy is preparing to release his new mixtape, The Exchange. We talk to Steezy about being a white guy in hip hop, his experience as a foreign exchange student in England, and trying to balance college and music.
MP3: Steezy “We Might”
You’re from New Hampshire, not exactly a hot bed of hip hop. How did you get interested in hip hop?
Yeah, New Hampshire is kind of new, I guess, in the eyes of hip-hop but I feel like there is some good prospects in the making. Hip-hop started for me freestyling in the car with my buddies while we were gettin on driving around and listening to instrumentals. Lil Wayne with his swag and flow during some of those cruises is something I’ll never forget.
Do you find that people write you off because you’re from such a rural state?
Actually, I’d say right now most of my fan base is from the New England area which has a lot of rural spots and artists. I’ve moved around I lived in New York, California and Florida because of my Dad’s hockey career and now I’m back where I was born in New Hampshire. We’re all trying to do the same thing and no matter where you live, if you’re good enough, they’ll hear ya.
Your upcoming mixtape is called the Exchange, how does it differ from your debut, Steezier Said Than Done?
Steezier Said Than Done as you said was my first mixtape and we had blast making it. To be honest, we could have taken a little bit more time with it but I don’t think I would change much. The Exchange I put more time into and had focus during the whole thing. My music has improved over the last year and I hope you guys like it like I do.
The title, The Exchange, is a reference to your semester abroad in London. What was that experience like for you and how did it shape your writing?
I was in England for four months and I saw a ton of stuff go down. It’s crazy though because everywhere we went, kids were doing the same things we do back home. It’s a small world and me going there really opened my eyes and showed me how other kids live.
You’ve been tweeting pictures of your debut video shoot, what was that like for you?
It was my debut video shoot for The Exchange but not my overall debut shoot; We shot a couple videos off the Steezier Said Than Done mixtape which got a little viewing. We had a blast shooting these next couple vids and I like the way they turned out. They were filmed in Fort Collins, CO which is where my summer has taken me the past few years.
Last year, you said in an interview that you “still go to school” and music is “just something (you) like to do on the side for now.” Now that you’re releasing your second mixtape, does making hip hop your focus seem more real now?
It has definitely become more real with the second mixtape drop but I am still a student in search of a degree that I will receive next May. Music has sped up a little for me recently and I think I have adjusted to it well. I am extremely excited for what’s to come.
Finally, what’s next for Steezy?
After we drop The Exchange I hope to have some buzz around it right off the bat. What’s next after that, I don’t know for sure. I would love to set up a mini tour and go around New England to start and then hopefully other parts of the US. Finishing school will give me much more time to focus on music and really start taking this thing seriously.