One spin of Prince Carter’s music, and you’re immediately sucked into an ethereal soundscape of sounds, blending the worlds of R&B and hip-hop into his own concoction. Imagine Drake and Bryson Tiller type vibes, and that’ll give you an idea of his core musical influences.
Hailing from Minnesota originally, the rising star named himself Prince Carter as a way to pay homage to the late great Prince, one of the GOATs to hail out of the same area he’s from. But Carter was initially introduced to music through dance, eventually falling in love with both worlds at the young age of 8.
He explains, “I remember I was dancing in a parking lot, I used to love to dance. I always did choir, but it was really dancing that really made me love it at first. It was just fun. I got to express myself through it. From there, it was a roller coaster. In high school was really when I really started making music. Once I started making music, I was all over it. It was done for.”
Most recently, Prince Carter unveiled his newest project titled Not Your Type, a 6-track EP that speaks volumes to his talents as a recording artist. Produced by production group Narcowave, Not Your Type is spearheaded by lead single “Kiss & Leave,” which boasts a cinematic visual as he brings the track to life in true Prince Carter form.
AllHipHop: What was it like growing up in Minnesota?
Prince Carter: Cold as hell. To me, it’s almost closed off from the world in a way. Everything gets there late, and the people around you tend to not be as open to things. The first time I came out to LA was really a game-changer. First time stepping out into the world, you’re not with parents or anything. It literally changed my whole mindset about a lot of things. The first time I came out here, I thought, “I’m about to move out here.”
AllHipHop: What did you like about LA?
Prince Carter: I liked the freedom I felt. I don’t know what felt different, but the second I stepped off the plane, it felt different. Obviously, the weather is beautiful all-year round. I just landed back here at 10 this morning, it was negative 11 degrees back home. Literally messing my head up.
AllHipHop: That’s cold! They have seasonal depression right?
Prince Carter: That’s actually real. You literally can’t go outside for certain months because it’ll be zero or negatives with a wind chill of 10 degrees colder. It’s annoying. It’s almost treacherous.
AllHipHop: Who were you listening to that made you want to do music?
Prince Carter: Some of my biggest influences, at that time especially, would be Kanye. I was listening to a lot of Kendrick at that time. That’s around the time I first heard of SiR. Him and Kendrick made me fall in love with TDE, then SZA and all that. I definitely see myself more in a R&B headspace. When I sit down to listen to music by myself, I’m going to put on some R&B.
AllHipHop: And Prince too right?
Prince Carter: Yeah. Really the whole inspiration behind my name was Prince being from Minneapolis. Once he passed, a couple of years after that is when I decided to change my artist name from just Carter to Prince Carter. It fits, it’s the whole Minneapolis vibe. People will get it.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize the music thing was for real?
Prince Carter: January of 2018. My older brother literally said, “Move out with me to Cali.” I was living with him, he’s like “You can do this music for real if you want to.” That’s the first time anybody put it in front of me like “You can do what you want.” Instead of having to go school. My parents are definitely first-generation immigrants, so they’re definitely school, school, school, school.
AllHipHop: Not Your Type EP out now! How are you feeling?
Prince Carter: Literally, a breath of fresh air because I’ve had that done since June. Back then, I was really thinking “I want to drop it!” I was supposed to drop with 2 different distributions and they were just lacking. Ended up pushing it back for 6 months before I really said “alright, I’m done. I’m about to drop it myself instead.” Once I really started making the videos and everything, it felt like a build-up until I finally dropped it. A breath of fresh air, I could finally restart. I can start making music again, start making projects and not feel like I’m slacking.
AllHipHop: What’s the meaning behind the title?
Prince Carter: The time I was making all of those songs was the time when I was really navigating my love life. I was figuring out things I didn’t like about other people and things that people didn’t like about me. Alright, I‘ll just make the music. Put in my entire heart, soul, and brain, everything I could into every song. We had made 15 songs before even putting songs into a tracklist. We had made a bunch, sat down and said, “Alright, which one’s the most cohesive? Which ones get the vibe across of how I’m feeling?”
AllHipHop: Talk about the cover art with all the women.
Prince Carter: That was mad fun to shoot. I don’t want to say it was totally impromptu, but it was pretty last minute. I knew what idea I had and thought “who can fulfill this?” My guy Dro connected me with this photographer named Pat Bombard. He’s cold at what he does. I told him my vision and we set it up right there. I had a few of my girlfriends, friends that are girls, I had them come through and relay how I wanted them to be. They nailed it for real. It was a vibe. It was really quick to shoot too, probably took 30 minutes once we started shooting. We got the one.
AllHipHop: Talk about the project’s lead single, “Kiss and Leave”?
Prince Carter: Just dropped the video, the video’s crazy. That wasn’t even supposed to be the initial lead single. It was supposed to be “Word Gets Around, the second track off the project. But the point of time that I was at: once we got to early January, I was starting to feel “Kiss and Leave” more. The vibe wise with winter and seasonal depression, it’s cuffing season obviously. I started to feel that song a little more than the other one. I’m still about to shoot a video to “Word Gets Around.” I’m trying to shoot as many videos as possible.
AllHipHop: What inspired the visual for “Kiss and Leave”? What was your vision?
Prince Carter: Before I hit the director, I knew I wanted it to be intense, but not at the same time. You could feel the tension between me and the girl, and let it go from there. The director sent me a crazy treatment for it, AJ Spitz. From there, we built on it. He had found a location, the double split room. It was the red side, the blue side. Once he got the location, we ran with ideas. The candle scene is my favorite scene. We had 800 candles to light, and it was all the small ones. It was literally the most tedious process because it’s about 11:30pm to midnight. Nobody’s in the parking lot, the winds blowing and we’re trying to set up these little candles in front of this car. We got 400, then half of them started blowing out. We had to keep grinding. We probably got 500, 600 of them actually lit.
AllHipHop: What do you want fans to get from the project?
Prince Carter: I want them to live, connect themselves to it. Everybody’s gone through a point in their life where they’re trying to figure out what they like. Fans can listen to me in my journey, figuring that out for myself. That’s really what I want, I want them to connect with me through that.
AllHipHop: How’s the independent grind?
Prince Carter: It’s a grind for sure. Literally every single day is a workday. I normally wake up around 9am, fall asleep anywhere from 2am to 8am.
AllHipHop: Late night sessions?
Prince Carter: Literally. When I be in sessions, I be trying to book 12-hour sessions so I can sit there and kick it.
AllHipHop: Where do you usually record at?
Prince Carter: My main location, if it’s not at the crib, is this one place… well, the whole studio service itself is called Neighborhood Watche. They have a bunch of different studios all around Los Angeles, I be booking through them. Then my mans be plugging me in with a bunch of others.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?
Prince Carter: I need some weed. I’ma package the weed and everything that comes with that as one. I need my laptop, and just a vibe. The vibe can really be anything. My friends be creating different vibes with me in the studio, but sometimes it’s really cool to be alone in a really big studio. Any size studio for real, just to be alone and kick it. Be intimate with the mic and yourself.
AllHipHop: Talk about working with the production group Narcowave.
Prince Carter: Narcowave is some of the most talented people I know, as well as good friends forreal. Ever since I met Dro, they’ve been a major part in my music. It’s really cool to see. I love relationships like that. I love how the music industry can create relationships you’ll have for the rest of your life. It’s a whole journey.
AllHipHop: What can we expect next from you, music-wise?
Prince Carter: Next, I’m about to drop a few SoundCloud projects. I’m trying to get into dropping more on SoundCloud, that’s a more organic platform than most. Most people are ruling out SoundCloud at this point just because SoundCloud artists’ generation isn’t necessarily everything right now, but people forget how major that platform is when it comes to breaking new artists. I like when it’s organic.
AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to get from your story?
IPrince Carter: want my fans to realize that what everybody tells you isn’t necessarily as concrete. People expect that you have to do one thing for your life to go a certain way, or act a certain way for people like you. But if you’re yourself, people will like that version of you way more than they’ll like any other versions of you forreal. And if they don’t care, who cares. That’s what I had to figure out in my life, as a kid growing up.
AllHipHop: Who’s your dream collab?
Prince Carter: [whistles] That’s so hard right now. A dream collab for me right now might be Queen Badu. That’s one of them. I want to say somebody you can see me with. There are so many artists I want to collab with.
AllHipHop: Badu was before your time, no?
Prince Carter: For sure before my time, but before my time resonates more with my soul. I don’t really relate to most people [in] my exact age range.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself?
Prince Carter: My main goal is to really, for this year especially, is to put out music as much as possible. If I put a number to it, every two weeks I want to be dropping something. Just so people can feel me forreal.
AllHipHop: What are you most excited for next?
Prince Carter: I’m most excited for my next all platforms project. With this project, I was really proud of the step I took from my last project. The last project I had released was just under the name Carter. It was a lot more independent than this project. This project feels more professional, looks more professional, sounds more professional. I was excited for that jump. But my next project, I know it’s going to be insane. Period.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?
Prince Carter: Y’all going to be hearing from me a lot more. I’m about to be on one.