Rapper and artist Felipe gets unapologetic and honest about his creative process, following the release of the latest EP Blue Tint Vol. 1. We talk everything from songwriting to versatility, inspiration, ambition, and the music industry at large. Here’s the conversation in full.
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Hey, great to chat – congrats for the release of Blue Tint! To introduce things, where are you based, and why do you make music?
Hello, thankyou! I was born in Phoenix Arizona and raised 45 mins away in a town called Casa Grande.
The reason I make music; well since I was an adolescent I was always fascinated with music. My mom and dad always played music, whether it was in the car, at home , or just to hear it around the house while we were cleaning.
My older brothers & sister are the ones that really got me into rap. Them being 10+ years older than me, they showed me rap music, blues, country, and oldies from the 90’s all the way up til the early 2000’s. Since then I fell in love.
Tell me about Blue Tint – how did these three tracks come to be, and what does the project represent for you?
Blue Tint really came out of an idea I’ve had for awhile. Due to me liking cars, and being active in the car community, I thought it was only right that I made the EP for the car community since I love it so much.
Are you the producer, performer and songwriter, or was this a team effort?
It was definitely a team effort. I wrote all three songs but 2 out of the three beats which are Blue Tint & Trunk Buster were beats I had found on beatstarz after searching for hours. You Choose is the beat I made trying to replicate the same energy but on a different sonic level.
Blue Tint opens things up with a dreamy synth arrangement and riff, whereas Trunk Buster follows with heavy distortion and weight. The voice remains a consistent thread of identity, but even the flow varies distinctly. How important is versatility to you, and how do you decide which direction to take a new track?
Versatility is important to me especially as a listener. When constructing something like Blue Tint and the way I would want it to be pictured to the listener, I first picture where and when I would want the listener to listen to my music whether it be in the car, at home, at a party, or an event, etc. To me, the way I go about the direction is the way the beat makes me feel. After then, my mind and words follow like I’m in a spaceship.
For You Choose things gets creatively tribal, another recognisable set-up and delivery from an impactful three originals. What was your mindset when crafting this closing track?
You Choose really was a creative mistake at first. A so called “throw away”, I had made the beat a couple months prior and couldn’t do anything with it at the time even though I knew sooner or later I was going to use it. Plus I just needed one more song to finish Blue Tint vol 1. I ended up writing to it in about 10 mins, made some revisions, and boom You Choose was born.
There seems to be a stark artistic difference between this EP and the last release Call Me By My Name – what prompted the shift, and how will you maintain that creative freedom as your audience expands and ultimately demands a certain style? How do you hold on to authenticity?
I like to test myself like an artist should, by creating different bodies of work. I see it like this, if you go to an art museum, would you like to see the same painting over and over again?
Mmm probably not. I mean you can always go back to that painting later when you feel like it but quite honestly you would want to see something different as you move along the museum, that’s how I see it.
“Authenticity” hmm well the only thing I can say is that when you listen to my music you’ll know it’s me due to the fact of the way I construct my songs by name or just sonically. Blue Tint Vol 1 is not the last time I’m going create a body of work like this. There will be 2 or maybe even 3 blue tints after this one – who knows, it can be like a series.
Who or what first inspired you to make music, and what’s your biggest ambition right now?
When I hear the word inspire I can see a couple artists come to mind. Watching these artists while growing up and how they captivated the audience with their words, it had me in a sense of awww. Seeing & hearing people sing along with the artist was truly amazing to me.
“My biggest ambition: well I got a couple but my main one I would have to say is just to keep growing, keep being consistent, keep being different, and work on my “ALL IN” brand.”
What would you change about the music industry if you could, and why?
Let me say this, there’s a lot of artists out there that are really good but don’t ever get the chance or opportunity like most do to be heard. Either lack of marketing skills etc.
I would like to eventually start my own thing of some sort where it brings all artists, producers, and engineers together. Some type of comic con where you can advertise and sell your services via info exchange.
Can fans catch you performing live any time soon, and what does a live show from Felipe bring to the stage?
Yes! Probably sooner than I think. My shows would blow the roof off with the amount of energy I would carry up on that stage.
Who would you like to collaborate with if you could choose anyone, past or present, and why?
I’d probably collaborate with J. Cole and Biggy Smalls. For one I see J. Cole at the top out of my generation, I’m sure we could make something genuinely amazing. For Biggy I’m sure we had a conversation about music itself I would learn a lot today.
What’s next for you, and what’s the best way fans can support you?
No album yet unfortunately but you will be seeing more singles start dropping every month for next year 2024. Also more Blue Tint (Vol 2) in August.
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