CHICAGO, IL – More often than not, the inspiration for Ola’s music happens while he’s asleep.
As many people around the world do, Ola falls asleep at night with music in his ears. Sometimes he plays a beat over and over again through the headphones in his ears and falls asleep to it – which he said almost always affects his dreams. And whatever he wakes up to – whatever feeling or emotion or thought process – becomes the foundation for a song.
“That’s how I wrote my first song,” he said. “It was after I watched the movie ‘8 Mile’ and I woke up that night and wrote down some rhymes. I would come back to it every once in a while after that, but I never really took it seriously. Then in about 2009 I was in Florida listening to music and freestyling with a friend and he said I was really good and encouraged me to keep going. We got into it so much that we bought some recording software and a $100 mic at a local store and just recorded stuff for days and days. I had caught the bug, and I couldn’t stop.”
When he moved back to Chicago, the real world hit and he had to get a full-time job in order to pay the bills and support himself. But all the while that he was working the job, he said he was never really happy. And every time he would sample some of his music to family and friends they would tell him how excited they were about his music and how much they liked his freestyling.
“I figured if people like it, then I should do it,” he said. “I know now that I’m made to do this. This is what I’m supposed to do. Like so many other things, I woke up one day and it was like a revelation. So I found my old engineer and we started working together.”
Today his music career is starting to take off. He currently has two songs that are getting regular radio play throughout the Chicago area – “Check (feat. Chris Hasty)” and “On My Mind (feat. Jay Arroyo).” The first is a song with a “grimy” sound to it, he said, but which also showcases his skills as a lyricist.
“It’s basically a song about money,” he said. “It sounds a little bit trap-oriented, but it’s definitely lyrical. And Chris Hasty is lyrical. I feel like it’s a record that’s animated and super eccentric.”
“On My Mind” on the other hand has a much different feel to it, he said. It’s a lighter sounding song with a subtle pop melody. It, too, is a song that talks about money, but from a different approach that Ola said is “a little more personal – like I’m talking directly to someone.”
These singles are two of 22 features on his album “Preparation.” He said this is an album that announces his music to the world and is the start of him taking his music career seriously.
Fans who want to sample some of his music can visit his Soundcloud page, or follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for updates about new music releases or live performances.
SEATTLE, WA – When Savon York was a child, most of the stories he would hear would be about his rapper father, who went by the stage name Rick Rated. His father lived what York describes as a “street life” filled with violence – so much so that he was shot and killed when Rated was only 8 years old.
Growing up, Rated wanted to do what his dad did. So at age 8, when his father died, he started rapping. He became known as Baby Rated, which eventually evolved into Lil’ Rated when he was in high school and today has become the adopted moniker of his father, RickRated.
Though he didn’t have the occasion to listen to much of his father’s music, he did recently get his hands on four of his father’s songs. Those songs gave him an insight into his father’s style and how he might adopt some of that same style into his own music in a way that would bring a unique flavor to the hip-hop world in his region of the Pacific Northwest.
“He was a very visual rapper,” RickRated said of his father. “He lived a different lifestyle than I do. I’m not the gangster type, and when I listen to his music it has a different direction than where I want to take my music. But when I hear his imagery and storytelling, those are things that I want to carry on with my music. There’s one song in particular where I’m describing my car, and I’d never have been able to get that description without hearing his song and hearing how he described his own car.”
Rated said he also wants to make sure his music has depth and strong messages with underlying themes. Everything he creates has a message and more often than not tells the story of something he’s gone through in his life.
“My best ideas come in the morning as soon as I wake up,” he said. “I’m the type of person who will wake up and stay in bed and play a beat over and over until I can’t come up with anything else in that moment. Then I’ll set it aside and move on to the next song. I try not to force the music out. If I get blocked in a song, I’ll set it aside until I’m refreshed and feel like I can be inspired.”
His new single “Bye” is one of those songs that came through a moment of inspiration. He said it’s a song about a breakup after a relationship of two years and the experience of being single after such a long relationship.
“It talks about the girls I dealt with and the changes in the dating scene since the last time I was in it,” he said. “It has an upbeat, trap kind of vibe to it – that feature vibe that everybody listens to today with a catchy hook. What I try to do with all of my music is to be a mainstream artist with mainstream music with a message.”
Fans who want to sample some of his music can visit his website at RickRated.com, or check out his Soundcloud page. He also has music videos on his YouTube channel, and fans can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more about upcoming music releases or live performances.
SAN DIEGO, CA – If you were to describe DJ Yolo in one word, it might be “persistent.” After a chronic battle with depression and run-ins with the law, the artist found himself behind bars yet again. Dedicated to his fans, his priority upon his release was letting his fans know of his remorse and his renewed sense of dedication to his music and the people who have supported him. “This time I really messed up bad,” he said, “but even though I’m going through some serious legal and psychological problems, I want fans to know I am still 100% dedicated to the music – no matter what happens to me.” While in jail, it was uncovered that the artist suffers with psychological problems – hearing voices, and music, for starters – and while he has much to sort out in his personal life, it doesn’t take away from the fact that he is first and foremost a relentless and talented artist.
DJ YOLO’s music is as he puts it “lit”. He elaborates, “I make music for people to turn up to.” His most recent project, a song entitled “VIDEOS” is a clever and laid back song about a modern dilemma: When you’re out with friends and people are recording videos you might not want others to see. With Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook Live and all the other platforms that chronicle events, one might rather stay private.
Fans can visit DJ YOLO’s Soundcloud page to sample “VIDEOS”. The song was also most recently featured in a YouTube video by a talented dancer Matt Martin (find him on Instagram at @Matt_Swag1).
Though the artist has mountains to climb and obstacles to overcome, he remains committed to his true love, and business, his music. “I have a newer focus – I was already trying to be careful because of past legal issues, but now, my entire life is going to be music and my online presence. I’m not going to let anything stop me from being successful in the industry.” DJ Yolo also says he is currently seeking out management, and a booking agent to further build his team.
To learn more about DJ YOLO, follow him on Instagram and Twitter.
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