R&B Singer BLXST Explains How Life Inspires His Music
BLXST is your new favorite R&B artist. If you’re one of those music-lovers always on top of the new new, you probably have BLXST in your rotation.
The South Central producer turned artist is best known for his collaborations with fellow Los Angeles native, Bino Rideaux — who worked very closely with Nipsey Hussle.
In fact, BLXST is the genius beatmaker behind Kalan.FrFr’s breakout single “Right Wit It.” The viral hit is actually how Bino caught wind of BLXST in the first place.
The dynamic duo would go on to put out an entire tape last year titled Sixtape, which left fans in a frenzy. During each of Bino’s multiple sold-out shows up and down the West Coast, BLXST was brought out as a special guest and fans knew every word.
BLXST describes himself as “a multi-talented individual from South Central LA, who’s defining the new sound for LA. I’m bringing the two-step back. I’m bringing back it’s cool to love people again, all those vibes.”
AllHipHop: How did you get your name?
BLXST: Actually, I made it up on some young dumb s##t a long time ago. But I stuck with it. I love it now because I have a two-year-old son. I’m a superhero, that’s how I look at.
AllHipHop: What have you learned from fatherhood?
BLXST: Patience for sure. Because he’s like that cartoon or video game Crash Bandicoot, he’ll be running around the house smashing s##t. [chuckles]
AllHipHop: Growing up in South Central, what were you seeing?
BLXST: Regular everyday s##t. I moved to the Inland Empire during high school years too, so I had the best of both worlds. I lived with my dad, then lived with my mom. If you’re from LA, you get it. I don’t really know how to explain what LA’s like. I’ve never really moved anywhere else other than California.
AllHipHop: Were you in the streets at all?
BLXST: No, I was definitely in the studio. As far as younger, I was playing sports and skating. I got into the studio probably when I was 17.
AllHipHop: How was that?
BLXST: It was cool. I used to record myself before I got into a bigger studio. I have my laptop in a USB mic, I plug it up and teach myself how to record. It’s always been music, I fell in love with it. I was producing for myself. I’d say simultaneously as an artist and a producer at the same time. I fell in love with creating music.
AllHipHop: Who did you look up to?
BLXST: I used to like Ryan Leslie. I like how he made everything from scratch from top to bottom. You could see him make a beat, then write a song to it. That was my first time seeing that s##t was possible.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize this could be a career?
BLXST: I guess getting feedback from my peers as I progressed, which helped me believe in myself more.
AllHipHop: “Emotions” is such a vibe. Bring us back to that studio session.
BLXST: That was at the crib. I just made a beat at home and recorded to it. Sort of like the Ryan Leslie vibes, in my solo element.
AllHipHop: Inspired by your girl?
BLXST: Yeah, you can say that. Of course, it’s a female dedicated record. It’s definitely inspired by a girl. Nothing specific as far as a story. I’m in that love bag, I’m a lovable guy. [chuckles]
AllHipHop: What does it mean to bring love back into R&B and hip-hop?
BLXST: The love was always there, n##gas is scared to love. It’s not a cool thing to say “I have feelings for a female.” I was just talking to Vic (manager) in the car, how you can’t go on Twitter and tweet some lyrics without putting quotations around it to make it cool. If it comes from my song, it’s more acceptable.
AllHipHop: How important is social media for your career?
BLXST: That’s a good question. It’s very important in this day and age of course. I’m not the real sociable type of artist, but I know understanding music as a business is very important as far as branding yourself. I try to keep a balance with it.
AllHipHop: What’s the relationship you & Bino Rideaux share?
BLXST: So I met Bino through Kalan.FrFr. I produced a record for Kalan called “Right Wit It.” That was going viral across LA, then Bino reached out to Kalan asking “who produced that?” Bino didn’t even know I was an artist at the time, he thought I was just a producer. I sent Bino a pack of 5 beats, he made a song to every one of them.
AllHipHop: That’s how your guys’ project came about?
BLXST: No, that’s not how the Sixtape came about. That’s previous before the Sixtape, because he dropped a tape called Sorry For Tha Wait. I produced 6 songs on there, one of the songs was “Savage.” “Savage” was one of those songs that kicked off the Sixtape, so we put it on both of those projects.
AllHipHop: What’s the vibe in the studio with Bino?
BLXST: It’s dope. It’s pretty easy, his workflow is just like mine. Go to the studio and keep going, as if it’s coming out of the top of his head.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to have him bring you out at his shows?
BLXST: S##t is crazy. The fans love every song on that tape so when you perform and the fans make it easier for you, the energy is better. It’s reciprocated like that.
AllHipHop: Did you know Nipsey as well?
BLXST: Nah. I had a chance to meet him actually at the “Racks In The Middle” video shoot, through my boy Keefa (with Roddy). I met him. He said he heard of me before through the production I did for Bino, but that was my last time ever seeing him.
AllHipHop: What can we expect next from BLXST?
BLXST: Right now, I'm working on my solo project, which is due top of April. I’m ready to let that thing go. I don’t want to give the title away yet, it’s not all of the way 100% in concrete.
AllHipHop: Any features?
BLXST: Right now, I do. I have one feature, I’m trying to get another feature. I’ll say Bino’s on there for sure. Most of it is just me though. It’s a time where I need to display every angle of who BLXST is creatively, so I’m not really heavy on features right now.
AllHipHop: What are some goals as an artist at this point in your career?
BLXST: Just to establish my foundation. With that being Eagle, which is my brand. My label. I want to bring out other artists long term, other producers. Short-term, getting a connection with my fans. Letting them know who BLXST is. More visuals, and connecting with the streets.
AllHipHop: What is it about BLXST that fans love?
BLXST: I’m a cool R&B guy, but I still give you that street feeling at the same time. It’s not no corny type. I’ve made it acceptable for people to be who they are as an individual.
AllHipHop: Top 5 artists in rotation?
BLXST: Mm, that’s a good question. Currently, I rock with Ty Dolla $ign. Roddy. I’ma keep it home-based, Bino. I’m listening to BLXST, throw him in there. Drake of course.
AllHipHop: You rap and sing, talk about being versatile.
BLXST: It’s cool. I really started off rapping and singing at the same time, but I go into certain modes. I’ll be rapping for most of my recordings, then I’ll go into an R&B thang out of nowhere. It’s fun to not have limits on what I could do. I could put myself in different positions, work with more artists, and not have a cap on your expectations of me.