DRIP DROPS of HIP-HOP from CHATTANOOGA
By Sammy Lowdermilk
We connected with one of the hottest artists coming out of Memphis, Young Soul. He's been working his way throughout Tennessee and U.S., spreading his music with an ever-growing fanbase. We've seen his work and heard his name come up in numerous conversations with hip-hop artists across Tennessee, so we knew it was time to reach out! Dig a little deeper into Young Soul!
Can you speak to your journey and growth as an artist? When did you start and what have the past several months been like?
I began taking music seriously in the summer of 2016. I had just started the process of dropping out of college and was dedicating a lot of time to studying indie artists who had successfully been able to establish cult followings (Currensy for example). That was a very vital period because it taught me how to book myself, market & promote myself, and look at other streams of revenue like touring and merch.
That lead to where we are now, multiple indie tours last year & opening for Bas this year, plus the BMI showcase, in addition to shows in Florida, North Carolina, LA. It's really been a ride, especially given the fact that I don't really have new music out right now. I guess it's a testament to how my social media content reaches the people and how my performances stick with them when they see me live. They like it so much they're willing to wait for a project, even a year or two, which goes back to my original goal of making that cult following.
What is it like being an up-and-coming artist in Memphis these days?
It's quite exciting man. The scene is really coming alive, thanks to people like Tay Keith who are all about giving looks to artists in the city who need them or deserve them. Creatives are also realizing that there is strength in numbers, so more collaborations are happening, are more support from each other is becoming the norm. As a result, these industry eyes are paying more attention, and it's only going to get better in 2019.
Are there any artists you like here in Chattanooga, and what are your thoughts on the hip-hop scene here?
I like Tut, Michael Da Vinci, Narleyy, Interstate Tax, Bby Mutha, my boy Rico Blacc, Tom P. I think there's a lot of talent there, it just isn't looked upon by the industry or even state Hip Hop heads as a place where the community can support the culture.
What's coming in 2019 from Young Soul?
2019. A few EPs, a summer tour, an official mixtape, a fall tour, then an album. In that order. Also, I'm getting my acting chops together. Got a movie based on the mixtape, and I'm being cast in a short series too. Gonna be fun man. Might be going overseas for a few shows as well.
What does your creative process look like - from concept to an actual track?
My creative process varies. The weed is always there though lol. And it's 9 times out of 10 me alone or with the artist I'm working with. I create from real life, with the vision of making something you can feel as a human, whether it's a serious topic or just hollering at a female or plotting money moves with your boys. But some days I go in the booth with no plans, just throw on a beat and write. Most times though, I do have an idea of what I want to do because I rarely work on singles or songs to simply have in the stash. They often have intent, either as part of a roll out or project.
Who were your musical influences growing up and who do draw inspiration from today?
My musical influences are people that I know, instead of artists. I write to make them proud or to reach them on a personal level, because much of what I want to do in music is tied to the activist and philanthropist I want to be in my community. I started writing to tell our stories, the right way. Of course people like Nas, Jay, Big, Pac, Wayne, Kendrick, Cole, Drake, Andre 3K gave me a blueprint on how to connect with my target audience, and they do give me that drive to stay in my lane. But my people back home are always the biggest muses and inspiration.
What are the top 3 highlights from you journey over the past year?
First would be the first tour in February 2018, which was just symbolic and special because it marked a point at which I felt I was actively pursuing the career and not just claiming to be an artist. Second moment would be the second tour, because we expanded and were able to do shows in bigger markets like LA, Chicago, & multiple NYC stops. The experiences and knowledge did a lot for me and gave me a buzz in the state even though no music was out. Lastly is definitely the Bas tour, from February 2019. Sharing that stage was special and it boosted my value and notoriety in TN for sure. Brought a few major looks and collabs as well.
Who are some of the people you like to work with, either in Memphis or beyond?
Jon Waltz, Clay Krucial, Tee Top, as far as Memphis. Tim Gent, Lul Lion, Tut, Brian Brown, and a few others, as far as TN.
What do you hope to accomplish this year?
I wanna just keep building leverage for myself. Doing shows, touring, selling merch until it becomes more self-sustainable for my bros and I. Definitely want to be looked at as the best guy doing it in the state, but that's subjective too. As long as I'm staying busy with worthwhile tasks and projects, that's enough for me.
What do you want the readers to know about Young Soul?
That I'm just like them. Regular guy, regular problems, regular life. I just would like for the messages in my music to be what they take away from all of this, and nothing about me as a person. The message > the messenger. I've got some real serious things to say once we get past the fun of the summer EPs. Just hoping they stick around for the ride.
Music from Young Soul
Tha Milk Drop is a site focused on highlighting the hip-hop culture in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but also taps into hip-hop worldwide. Each week we drop exclusive and new content from artists. Also catch the profiles and interviews of hip-hop artists and creatives.
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