THE INTERVIEW: VON ELLIS
Von Ellis is a New York City rapping phenomenon who is 25 years old. He's from New York City born and raised. He's been making music since he was 18 years old. He is also am a songwriter. His main focus with his music career is to make a big mark in the music industry, also the film industry with acting. He strives to make music for anyone at any age range or gender, keeping things organic and authentic. This is who he is, Von Ellis.
• Where are you from? Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense, and in what way?
I’m from Harlem, NY. Born and raised. My surroundings have definitely shaped me creatively. From the fashion to the slangs to the hairstyles. New York in general is the Mecca of style. So it’s only right I have style.
• What’s your background like? Where do you stand on the music scene in your area?
My background was tough as a kid. Growing up in the hood you might wake up to gun shots outside and people smoking crack in the stairwells so it was wild but I moved in a safer environment later on. The music scene goes crazy. New York is on fire right now. Different energy from different boroughs, I'm a different kind of guy so I like to approach differently.
• What did you start doing first, producing or rapping? How did you get started?
I started producing first definitely. My mom bought me this program I used to make beats. I was trash at it and didn’t really understand the concept so eventually I went to rapping. Respect to all the producers out there y’all really make the magic happen and don’t get enough credit.
• Do you have anyone that you consider your mentor? How has their help or advice shaped you?
Nope. No co-signs, no mentor, no OG. All this on my own, me and the homies. I met a lot of cool people along the way like my manager, Justin Grome, who's actually the Founder of Clonefluence. He’s definitely helped me and continuing to. We’re going to build something special. It’s dope to have people that believe in you.
• What is one experience in life that, without it, you wouldn’t be the artist you are today?
My first music video I did a couple years ago. I dropped a lot of bread on it but none of my “homies” pulled up for real. It was humbling and eye opening made me realize not everybody sees my vision. Had to readjust.
• What do you hope to accomplish this year?
Drop my single “Death Around the Corner” and the visual to go with it very soon. Then eventually drop my project “Alpo World Order”. It’s already finished, mixed and mastered just waiting on the perfect time to execute and roll it out the proper way. Stay tuned.
• What does your work aim to say?
Do what you want in this life. Tomorrow isn’t promised. I’ve lost so many homies over the years whether it to violence or drugs. Really opened my eyes and showed me to really go after my dreams. I want to talk to the average 20 something year old experiencing life and it’s ups and downs.
• Who are your biggest influences and what do you like about them the most?
Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Max B and ASAP Rocky. They changed the game creatively and did something the world has never seen and it just touched me. They did it their own way. They really did create and influence whole generations.
• How would you describe your own style?
Just wavy. I love so many different things and styles. I’m literally my own entity. My taste in music clothes and film are very eclectic. I love pop music and a lot of really mainstream things. And I also love underground street stuff so I try to blend both worlds in my music and my overall style.
• In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
Im a lot more confident on and off the mic and just life in general. I’m way more comfortable in my own skin. I was always unsure and overthinking. I still get like that occasionally but my music is just way more wavy now. It has way more of an energy than it did in my earlier days. I was still young and finding myself. I didn’t know who I was as an artist and a person. But I do now and it’s only uphill from here.
• What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
Notorious B.I.G. and Lil Wayne. I just wonder how they come up with the things they say, it just inspires me to upgrade my pen game and really think out of the box. I don’t consider myself a super lyricist but their lyrics rub off on me to bring the best out.
• What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
Definitely Coachella. I always wanted to perform there. Rolling Loud is dope. Also MSG, Barclays, or Staples Center. Has to be something big. Any huge venue that’ll have all the fans scream my lyrics. Always been a dream of mine.
• What’s a song you have stuck in your head these days?
My new song coming out "Death Around the Corner". Everybody that heard it told me "this is it" so I've been just listening nonstop. So please look out for that coming very soon along with the visual. I think everybody will enjoy it. Very fast and energetic, will make you want to rage.