Right before he hit the stage to perform in front of a packed house at Jocelyn Rivera’s New Artist Showcase I got a chance to catch up with Bronx rapper WE$TSIDE Parlé. Although he’s young in the rap game Parlé’s calmness and articulation was that of a vet. He’s smart about how he approaches the business and mindful of what this industry comes with. Nonetheless, he’s definitely a rapper’s rapper and dropped nothing but gems during our conversation.
What does an event like tonight and connecting with your crowd, community, and city mean to you?
“It means a lot to me cause, you know right now I’m just grindin. I’m just tryna like, I’m really just getting it out the mud, you know what I’m sayin. So, it’s like this my only option. I feel like I gotta perform, I gotta show the crowd, I gotta draw the fans in. That’s the number one rule for artists. Draw the fans in, make sure you get people on your side.”
How do you make sure you’re connecting with your fans?
“Just letting them feel me, letting them feel my life, like real life. I mean everybody does, everybody could relate to struggle, everybody could relate to it no matter what you doing, so it’s just letting them feel that through the music.”
As far as the music, how does that energy you want your fans to feel translate into the music? How do you make sure it’s always authentic?
“Just being real with yourself honestly. I reflect a lot, you know what I’m saying. You know I sat in a box, like in jail for a minute so you got nothing but time to reflect. I feel like this is a God given talent cause it’s like, I just happen to know how to rap and relate music and relate certain situations that everybody could too. A lot of my music is like street-based but also relationship-based. It’s like the story of a nigga that’s trappin that go through problems with women. (laughs) That’s my story! I feel like a nigga that’s trappin that goes through problems, that got locked up, go through shit but I got hella ambition! I’m focused, I’m smart and I relate that through the music.”
Take us back to when you were first starting, what helped shape your sound, I you know said you were in jail for a little bit, all of that lead to this moment, but what helped you in the beginning?
“I mean basically just studying music, you know. Studying a lot of music. I study everything from Sade. Sade is like my favorite artist. Old school, like really favorite. Her music, there’s a message to it. So mine is like, my music, I know it has a unique sound but there’s a message to it. So I just try to relate that, just studying artists and really just putting my real life into things. Reflecting on what I’m going through at the moment and jotting it down like a journal. I write my music like a journal.”
Who in hip-hop influences you?
“Jay-Z! He the best! He sold crack coming out the projects and he’s a billionaire. You would never know that if he never told you that cause he’s smart and that’s what I believe in. Every street nigga suppose to do what they do but be smart. That’s what I feel like I represent.”
If you look back from where you started up until now, what has been the biggest change? What have you noticed in how you’ve grown?
“I feel like I’ve become more just aware of people’s musical taste, and just knowing how to blend certain things to not only to adapt to myself but adapt to what the people wanna hear too. Still being true to myself always. First and foremost.”
You spoke about how your music is also about relationships, but in the context of grindin in the music industry how has building relationships helped put you on?
“It’s hard. It’s hard at times. Cause you know, you gotta deal with a lot of phony people and you meet alotta real people too. I met my manager, Dro Torre, and he’s a real person. We met on the internet. He saw a video, we chopped it up, and that’s my brother now I don’t even like to call him my manager. Technically he is but that’s my brother. So, he’s showing me the ropes, that’s the G.O.A.T right there.”
That’s wassup, I feel like that’s how you have longevity. If you look at people like Hov, he keeps the same-
“Same circle! You gotta keep the same circle that you close to that’s the only way. That’s the rule of life too. It’s deeper than that! I get deep shit (laughs) but it’s deeper than that! A rule of life.”
So what keeps you going as an artist? What keeps you motivated?
“What keeps me motivated is not having it. I feel like being broke… I never wanna feel like how I feel right now. I might come through and might look good but I’m still doing certain things. I’m tryna get on. Like I risked certain shit tryna get on. That’s just real shit and it’s like being in the position I’m in, I don’t wanna feel like this no more; and even when I got it! Like I said I look at Jay-Z he’s close to a billion dollars. So that’s the goal. I feel like that’s the goal for everbody. We need more black entrepreneurs. More black businesses.”
What’s next for you as an artist?
“I’m dropping a tape, I’m dropping an album. In about a two month span I’m just tryna gain as much audience as I can. I’m dropping a tape. I personally feel like this tape is what hip-hop needs right now and I’m tryna gain the biggest audience so they could feel this music. I don’t wanna just put it out. You know, I’m aware! Everybody doesn’t know who WE$TSIDE Parlé is but you know, I’m grinding to the point where ya’ll gon know! They gon know. So “Hardest Drugs Online” yeah that’s droppin soon and we just droppin singles leading up to that.”
We know we’ll being hearing plenty more from WE$TSIDE Parlé. He definitely has The New Mvmt co-sign.
Check out the visual to WE$TSIDE Parlé’s new song “4 Oz. Pour Up (Interlude)” below:
Interviewed & Written By: @chrissydru_