After making a major debut on our website, Hip Hop Weekly recently caught up with Draft Day for a detailed look at his earliest influences, plans for the future and thoughts on indie versus major labels for up and coming rappers.
HHW: How did you get your start in music?
DRAFT DAY: I got started in music around 8th grade, just having fun. At that time we really wasn’t taking it serious then around senior year, I really became serious about my music. With no promotion I dropped my music on Soundcloud and started seeing the numbers they would do. 20,000 plays — no promotion. People just kept pushing me to keep taking it serious and telling me how relatable the music was. Just a lot of good feedback.
HHW: When did you decide to make it a career?
DRAFT DAY: As soon as school ended, I started thinking about what I wanted to do in life and who I wanted to be. I always felt like music was just something I love. I wake up and write every day, listen to different beats and connect with people. I live the lifestyle.
HHW: Who were some of your earliest musical influences?
DRAFT DAY: My influences are people like Kanye West, Future, Lil Wayne around Tha Carter II time… but my goal in music is to create my own distinct sound.
HHW: What’s been the biggest challenge so far?
DRAFT DAY: The biggest challenge is finding your own sound, so people know it’s you off the rip.
HHW: Based on your sound, what new artists do you think you’d make some fire music with>?
DRAFT DAY: For my sound? I think I can collaborate with anybody, and I consider myself to be an artist and not just a rapper. Playboi Carti is really influencing the new wave and I think I’m bringing that type of sound to the table. Coming from Ft. Lauderdale and being raised in Marietta, Georgia, my sound is a mix of two cities combined in one. From the wordplay to the creative sound I’m bringing, it’s gonna catch your ear.
HHW: What advice would you give young artists looking to make a name for themselves?
DRAFT DAY: Work hard every day and stay focused. If that’s what you wanna do in life, make sure you give 110 percent. If you like it, that’s all that matters. Just focus on you.
HHW: In your opinion, is it difficult for newer artists to get support early on?
DRAFT DAY: I feel like it’s been easy, but it gets harder when you go off to places you’ve never been before. It’s like starting back at square one, letting people know you’re coming with a whole new sound. I’ve gotten good support so far, though.
HHW: Who do you trust when it’s time to pick which records get released?
DRAFT DAY: I have a circle of people who I send my music to before I even drop it. People whose opinion I trust, and they tell me their honest opinion. Whether it’s doing something over, fixing the ad-libs..they’ll tell me if something sounds bad.
HHW: As a younger artist, are you more attracted to the indie or major label route?
DRAFT DAY: I feel like the independent thing is good. I’d rather do it as long as I can until you want to go to the next level. It’s all about how far you want to take your career.
HHW: What do you want to tell all your supporters?
DRAFT DAY: Keep supporting! This is just the beginning and we’ve got a lot of big things on the way. Make sure you stay tuned because we’ll be everywhere real soon. I got a tape comin’ out in the fall called First Round Pick and alot more videos and content.