Rap artist Black$tar’s music career is branching out of Alberta and into British Columbia, as he becomes more nationally known.
Music followed Black$tar for most of his life, but he discovered his passion for music as a little boy in the in his Church choir. From then to now, 21-year-old Black$tar is making his name known nationally alongside his brother DeSean and his friend The CORE.
Black$tar started pursuing his dreams at the age of 15 with the Solo Music Group, a group designed to encourage and support the solo careers of its members.
Since then, he has released three mixtapes, collaborating with around 20 different artists and has performed across Calgary. Now, he is making a name for himself in BC, and continues to grind in Calgary with a upcoming performance set for July 3rd.
Check out CanCulture’s exclusive interview with the Calgary based artist Black$tar.
How did your passion for music come about?
“I’ve been writing songs since I was a little kid. I started to listen to rock music really heavily before I got into rap. I use to listen to the Foo Fighters and really old bands.”
“Growing up listening to rock pushed me to like music. And then I heard rap music. The first guy that introduced me to rap music was T.I, so T.I had all the fancy cars, he had the girls and I was just a kid and I was like, “oh snap I thought that rock was cool but this guy has everything.” He was the one that pushed me to become a rapper. Then what really got me into the music industry was just family and friends [who] had connections to studios.”
“[The music industry] is just destiny for me to be honest. It’s just been around my entire life.”
How would you describe your music style?
“I like mixing melodies and rap into one song. I’ll sing a chorus, rap my verse, and then leading up to the chorus I’d sing again. That’s just how I go about any type of song.”
In November you dropped your mixtape called The Butterfly Effect, what’s the story behind the title?
“The reason why I titled my last mixtape The Butterfly Effect was because it’s a really hype mixtape, but there are certain sad songs that are place in to tell the story. The Butterfly Effect is like the beginning of a really good relationship [when] you get butterflies, but then, as it goes down and everything crumbles, you kind of lose those feelings and you lose the effect.”
What is the main message you want people to get from your mixtape?
“I go through the same problems as normal people. I have relationships that don't work out, the same as other people. I have times where I’m not feeling 100 [per cent]. If you look at my Facebook, Instagram and on all my social medias, people are just assuming that I’m always happy, but I get the same type of drama anybody else goes through. So that’s kind of what I wanted to put inside that mixtape.”
I’ve noticed you have many features on your mixtape, is collaborating an important part of your creative process?
“The reason why I have a lot of collaboration is, because I’m trying to build the Calgary scene more, so I’ll go out of my way to look for an artist that doesn’t know where he is going musically [and] put him on a song. [I’ll] tell him to write it, even. Get him out of the little box he is in and just develop him to try out different beats or try out different flows. So I can put different types of artists all around Calgary on my mixtapes. I’m trying to build a scene just like I’m trying to build myself in Calgary.”
You’ve performed at the SoundOff Summit in Calgary and you’ve announced that you’re going to be performing at Marquee Beer & Stage. How does it feel to be getting all this attention from your community?
“It feels really good actually. I’m not used to getting all these shows. I’m usually the one that has to go out of my way to get shows, but now people are coming to me, so I know that that is a good feeling.”
On Instagram you expressed that the SoundOff Summit was like “a movie”. Could you describe what that feeling was like a little bit more and why it was an important moment for you?
“The SoundOff Summit was important to me because at the event there were these delegates that came from other countries that watched you perform, so people came from Germany, Toronto [and] the States. [Record labels, music agencies and booking managers] came to watch these performances.I guess the people from Germany and Toronto really liked my music, I got their contacts and I sent them my demo.”
Wow, congratulations! Was it nerve racking to perform?
“Performing is the best feeling ever. Something about being on a stage and performing your own music and hearing the reaction is the best feeling. Because, when you get a good reaction you just like, ‘okay you’re doing something good.’”
Sometimes I find that the music industry can be discouraging, so what inspires you to keep going?
“I wanted to stop a lot of times, I can’t lie. The reason why I can’t is because there are so many people who are riding on this, that I can’t just stop. And I’ve put so much time and money into it that I just don't want it to go to waste. I can't just stop. And I just have faith in my abilities, I have faith in God and I have faith in my friends. It gets hard but you just gotta keep going. Another reason is, because people from my high school, my old friends are always saying that they wish they’re chasing their dreams. Because they were chasing their dreams but then they all went back to school now they just have normal jobs. Now, they’re all saying, ‘I wish I was you.’ So hearing them say that --- I don’t want to be like them. So I just keep pushing.”
Speaking of your high school friends who choose post-secondary over their dreams, how do you deal with that battle of school versus dreams?
“I’ve went back to school and I finished that year, but I have to go back for another year - I’m still debating, until this day, if I should go back or not. Because it just that I don't want to go back and school is in the way and I can’t go out. Because I have like crazy shows coming up this summer but like I’m still just debating. But hopefully something happens. Just keep praying.”
Do you have any advice for anyone who is trying to pursue their dreams?
“I would say, that if you’re really passionate about what you are doing then you wouldn’t stop. If you’re really passionate, you don’t have another option. You’ve got to keep getting back up, dust the dirt off your feet and keep pushing. Even when you make it, it’s still going to be worth wild.”
Black$tar has recently featured on a mixtape called Who’s Hungry Vol 1 in collaboration with Billy Bu$hop, Mino Ceaz, Jackie Art, Jardz F Star, Nate NvN, Deeper, Phatz, Chinx phase, JTXL, Banknotes, Noah J and Choppa. You can follow his music on SoundCloud or Spotify. For more updates about Black$tar and the Solo Music Group you can follow them on Instagram @TurrellBlack and @_solomg_ .