Get To Know L.A.’s Hottest New Rapper Blaze Trackz
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Get To Know L.A.’s Hottest New Rapper Blaze Trackz

LA-based rapper Blaze Trackz is making waves with his unique style of hip-hop. Know for effortlessly combining high-energy trap and lyrically-driven hip-hop, Blaze Trackz is a three-dimensional artist who is able to make every track feel memorable. With the release of his latest single “New Ways”, Blaze Trackz has shown that his sound continues to develop and mature, taking him one step closer to the next level. Catching up with him after the success of “New Ways”, we were excited for the opportunity to interview Blaze Trackz. Check out Idols 2 Rivals exclusive interview with Blaze Trackz, transcribed below, where we sat down to talk to with the up-and-coming artist about his unique style, inspirations, and faith!

Idols 2 Rivals (I2R): What first got you into music?

Blaze Trackz (BT): Man, you know, when I was younger, my Mom and Dad always listened to a ton of music. And a lot of different genres. I’d say my first love in music was R&B, Soul and Hip Hop. And when I was around 13 or so, I got into poetry. I can remember just writing random things down in an old, red loose-leaf paper binder, not just Rap, but all types of songs. Around that same age, I started diving deep into Rap. Nas’ “Stillmatic” was the first rap album I bought, and man, I studied that front to back. I started to feel like I might be okay at this, music thing. I think that’s where I first really started to dive into it as a lyricist. Also, I’m really into technology. Even back then, when I was in my early teens, I read a book on computers and rebuilt a Packard Bell Navigator computer and put a music program on there to learn how to make instrumentals. It was really a way to express myself and form a sense of identity. I thank God for putting me in the position to learn and make music every day. It really has shaped my life in a beautiful way.

I2R: What’s the meaning of your track “New Ways”?

BT: I’ve been through so much, man. In my life. I don’t regret any of it. But, you know, I’m a born-again Christian. And by Born Again, I mean, I’m really a different person than I was like 10 years ago. In my early twenties, I found myself in a life – doing things – that really weren’t the best. I won’t get into too many details, but yeah, not good stuff. When I found Christ 8 years ago, I turned my life around and things have completely changed for the better for me. “New Ways” explains that, in song form – it’s my way of interpreting the bible verse II Corinthians 5:16-17 into a song.

So, from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

“New Ways” tells people there is another way, a new way, to get money and be successful. You can do it with morals, without crime or scamming or anything like that. You can build your community and you can protect and provide for your family. It’s possible I did it, and you can, too.

I2R: How would you describe the music that you typically create?

BT: I write rap music. I aim to be in the same lane as a Drake or J. Cole. They are some of the greats of our time, in Hip Hop and songwriting, in general. But it’s really important for me to put musicality into it. And whatever the song is, I need to make sure that – in some way – I’m pushing forward the message of love. This is the foundation of Christianity. God is love, and the fruits that come from that are amazing. Lyrically, that’s the focus. Sonically, I’ve always felt Timbaland and Kanye are my biggest influences as a producer. So, my drums and samples will probably feel like Tim and Ye. You’ll also hear Rhodes and Jazz chords in a lot in my music. I’m a huge fan of Jazz, so I try to incorporate that sound into my songs whenever I can.

I2R: What is your creative process like?

BT: I usually get most of my inspiration in solitude. Maybe on a walk, or just sitting in prayer. To be honest, man, I’m not pressed – to make music, that is. I want the art to just happen, so I don’t force it. I just wait, and then try my best to capture it when it happens. I feel like music – art – is like that. It’s a gift from God, and we are the vessel to bring that message to people. When I get the gift, I’ll just go, start from there. We don’t always know what the end is for inspiration, but as long as we start when it’s time, the art usually creates itself. Instrumentally, I will pop open my laptop and start with drums, melody, or a sample, whatever comes to mind first and build from there. Once I get a short 8 to 16 bar loop, I usually pop it into Pro Tools and write the song from that, and then build the beat later around whatever I come up with vocally. Usually, I don’t write with many people, just myself and my wife, sometimes.

I2R: Who would you most like to collaborate with?

BT: Wow. That’s a hard one because it’s tough to narrow it down. I’d love to collab with so many people. Ceelo Green, PJ Morton, Daniel Caesar, Kanye West, Dua Lipa, Imagine Dragons, Dr. Dre. There are so many musicians and producers that I think are great right now. I’d love to work with Max Martin, too. So many hits under his belt, I’d just like a conversation with him to see what I can learn.

I2R: If you could go open a show for any artist, who would it be?

BT: Kendrick Lamar, for sure. I feel like my style is similar to his in the fact that there is a message and concept behind most of the music both of us put out. I think I could connect with his fanbase and give them something to think about. Both his music and my music hit hard, focus on lyricism and have a strong point to drive, so opening for him would fit within my brand image and speak to potential fans who could grow with my music and appreciate it along the way as the sound continues to mature throughout my career.

I2R: What is one message you would give to your fans?

BT: Jesus is the way. The way to peace, truth and love. That’s the message. I make music as mainstream as I can because I really don’t want to get put into a box, since my music has a lot of Christian music nodes in it. But to be real, prior to putting my latest project together, I was damn near close to just not doing music, like I was thinking about doing something else because the world is wild. People getting peeled off left and right, in the hip hop community, and really everything. This world is crazy, man. But I felt like the inspiration for my music came straight from the Most High, and I have a duty to tell people what my walk has taught me, that anything you mess up, that life messes up, Jesus can fix it for you. Just trust, believe, ask and – what they say? You shall receive. God is real and yeah, I just hope me telling people about me and what I’ve been through, can inspire others to follow God, too, and that it helps their lives like it has helped mine.

I2R: What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for your music career?

BT: Music is part of my makeup. I’d probably be doing the same thing I am now, just without music. Taking care of my family, encouraging my homies – people I know, praying and trying to stack this money and build wealth. I love computers, so I don’t know, I might have a small business fixing iPhones or something like that. I like video production, too, so I would probably be doing something in the film world, or I could probably be a Math teacher because I’m okay with numbers.

I2R: How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

BT: That’s an interesting one. It’s been good, in one sense, and not so good, too. Like, it’s great that artists like me can market ourselves, really put out music and promotional material whenever. The access is awesome and I appreciate that. I’m a go getter, so being able to have all of the information at the tip of my fingers is clutch. But also, that’s where it’s not so good. Everybody has the same tools. There’s really no barrier to entry in this music business, so the noise is difficult to get through as a new musician. And then, there are some barriers, but sometimes they can be ambiguous. Networking can differentiate artists, sometimes nepotism can, too, you know. I don’t know if it is as much about if music is good, per say, but if it is relatable and marketable. Good is subjective. I try to focus on working on music that connects with people. If I can connect, I feel like regardless of how the internet impacts music, I can find my tribe. People who will rock with me no matter what other music is out there as long as I just be me and try not to be anybody else.

I2R: What is your favorite song right now to perform?

BT: I have a record called “Top of The Mountain” that I recorded around the same time I came up with “New Ways”. I love performing “New Ways” to be real; it has so much energy behind it and the message is so positive, talking about supporting community and doing the right thing. But “Top of The Mountain”, it’s different. It’s a song I wrote that talks about going through hardships and the difficulties of everyday life. We all go through it from time to time. The main message talks about facing it from an optimistic and Godly perspective. It speaks on the realities of depression and the fear of not always meeting the expectations of others. And also about still pushing to make an honest living despite the odds we face. It hits different and I really love performing that song probably more than anything else.

I2R: Which famous musicians do you admire?

BT: Jay-Z has done so much for hip hop music and culture. He’s for sure one of the people who I admire, and Kanye for truly going with his heart, regardless of what people might say. Freedom is everyone’s to have if you choose to realize it’s yours, and Ye reminds me that this world is free. We can influence it however we choose and that is brilliant. Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth and Herbie Hancock are phenomenal, and the level of skill they have honed – their musicality is breathtaking. And Drake, he is a record breaker in music and his consistency is out of this world.

I2R: What is the best advice you’ve been given?

BT: I think Steve Jobs said, “everything around you was made up by people that were no smarter than you.” That’s one of the most powerful things I’ve ever heard. I’m really of the Ye mentality, like I really think I can do anything. Confidence level on 1000. What Job’s was talking about, I internalized that and it’s really helped me on my path through life. Also, I used to work at Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks, as a manager in the Pro Audio department. One day, RZA from Wu-Tang Clan walked in, this had to be maybe 2013, I don’t know. But I was having the worst day, and he just walked up to me and told me, “On this music thing, don’t give up. You gotta keep going.” Not sure if that was his exact wording, but that was the gist of it. He probably wouldn’t remember this if I saw him today and told him about it, but it meant a lot to me coming from him.

I2R: What’s next for you?

BT: I’m wrapping up an EP that I hope to release that has the single, “New Ways” on it. I really hope people love it. Still working on an official date for putting the collection out but looking forward to it. I’m working with my wife, Whitney, on some of her music, too, and she’s helping me a ton on mine. We are putting together some live sets to give people an experience, not just the songs to listen to, but so that we can create moments that they can feel and remember forever. I pray my music goes far, but you never know, all I can do is keep pushing and focusing on putting out this wonderful message of glory that God has given me. I hope to release my song “Top of The Mountain” sometime in the future, and a few others, with some dope visuals. I’m focusing, too, on life. Being a good man for my wife. Navigating through the trials and traps that come to us from time to time in life. Walking the walk. Everyday. One step at a time with God by my side, you know. But for now, really, I’m focusing on trying to push my song, “New Ways” as far as possible to spread the good message and I hope it touches people in a positive way.

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