KillerHipHop Exclusive: Sketchy Waze Interview
I first heard about Sketchy Waze when he entered the Funk Volume Don’t Fu[n]k Up Our Beats contest. From the second I clicked on his entry, I was blown away. The Boise, Idaho native is turning heads at an impressive rate with his speedy delivery countered by melodious hooks giving him the perfect harmony. But much like the Boise St. Broncos, he’s underrated, and overlooked because of the region he is in. But believe me, Sketchy can hang with anybody.
Find out why by reading our interview with the talented Sketchy Waze after the jump. During our chat he talks about the origin of his name, his music videos, upcoming projects, race, and his influences.
QuezKHH: Where did the name Sketchy Waze come from?
Sketchy Waze: It actually came from when I was a little trouble maker. In 7th grade I had a friend that basically said something to me to the extent of “you and your sketchy waze”, and for about a week after that he would just keep calling me Sketchy Waze, and it kind of stuck.
KHH: Your videos are all very entertaining. What part do you play in the directing?
SW: As far as what part I play in coming up with the videos?
KHH: Yea like the concepts.
SW: I just met this cat named Kavan and he’s with this company called JrKc. I met him over last summer. Since then we’ve kind of teamed up. We basically get together in a room, and decide on a song we want to make a video to, and play the song back-to-back, and shoot concepts back and forth at each other. That “Duffel Bag” video, I essentially made that song for a Yelawolf contest. To enter into a contest Coast2Coast was throwing with Yelawolf. If you listen to the lyrics of the song, it’s not actually about killing people. It’s basically about killing it on the mic. That’s kind of what it’s about. We just thought that it’ll be cool if we kind of took the concept literally for the videos sake, and really have chopping people up, and stuffing them in duffel bags. That’s kind of how that one came about. But really we just toss ideas back and forth until we hit on one that sounds like it’s doable and sounds like its got some meat behind it, you know.
KHH: So when you’re writing a song, do you visualize a video for it? Or do you just write, then the video comes afterwards?
SW: I guess it kind of depends. There has been a couple of songs that I have written for a videos sake, that I knew we were going to do a video for beforehand. But for the most part the songs are already done. We kind of just go through ‘em, and try to pick out one that we think could do good in a video. But usually I write the songs first, and the video comes later. But more and more I’ve actually been trying to write songs with a video in mind. Having professional quality videos is kind of new for us so it’s a growing process still.
KHH: What are you working on right now? Are you going to do another solo project, or another Pleasantville Killerz album?
SW: Right now I’m working on my solo project. I do have a solo album that I put out 4 years ago now. So it’s pretty old. I feel like I’ve really developed my game, my delivery, and my overall rap game since then. So I feel like it’s time for me to put another one of those out. At the same time I’m working with a live band, which is really fun. I’ve never done that before, but I’ve always wanted to. So a lot of big things going this year. A big focus of mine is really just establishing myself apart from the Pleasantville Killerz as a solo artist, and as a contender in the Hip-Hop game.
KHH: If you could collaborate with any 3 rappers right now, who would they be?
SW: It would definitely have to be, Hopsin, Tech N9ne, or Yelawolf. One of those 3 would definitely be at the top of my list.
KHH: Has race ever played a factor in your career? Do people sometimes look down on you because of your race. Or vice versa where they pay more attention to you because you’re a white rapper. Has that ever happened?
SW: I would say a long time ago it did. You’re seeing more and more white rappers obviously now. I would say that people are becoming more accepting of it. When I was a kid, like I said I’ve been rapping since I was 10 years old. So when I was a kid, little white boy from Boise, Idaho, I got laughed at a lot, I’m sure. From people just thinking, “What’s this kid doing? Who does he think he is?” We’re just entering a change in direction in the Hip-Hop game where it doesn’t so much matter where you come from, or what you look like. It’s really just more and more about your hustle, and your grind you know, and whether you can turn heads. Lately it hasn’t been an issue, but I would definitely say back in the day it hindered me for sure. It’s harder to get people to, you know the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. But that’s what everybody wants to do. When they see you they want to cast their vote, without even giving you a chance. So I really had to kind of knock some heads around, and force people to listen on several occasions, before they gave me the chance.
KHH: What artists have been your biggest influences?
SW: Well I would definitely say…as far as influences go…man it’s hard to call. I listen to so many different types of music. Literally every genre of music you can think of, I’ve written to. It’s hard to pick out any one artist, or even any one genre, because I take everything I hear and put it in a memory bank or whatever (laughs). I definitely think I’m original, but at the same time I draw inspirations from all different types of music. So it’s hard to pin point any one artist as far as where I draw inspiration from.
KHH: Is there anything else you like us to know?
SW: Just to check me out man. A lot of people still haven’t heard about me. Every person that I can get to click on my facebook page or YouTube page is a plus for me. If I can get one message across. Be on the lookout for Sketchy Waze, and Pleasantville Killerz, because we’re really trying to do big things this year.
KHH: How can people help you win that Funk Volume contest?
SW: Voting for that contest starts January 30th, and goes through February 12th. So I’ll be posting a link to the voting page on my YouTube as well as on my facebook. You can actually vote everyday. So I really count on my fans to get out there and hit that vote button. Even if you done it once, do it the next day, then next day, and the next day. Like I said there’s 13 days of voting. [But] you know in the end it’s all up to Funk Volume (laughs). I’m just hoping that they can recognize game, and make it happen. Regardless of whether I win that contest, that contest has been huge for me. The exposure that that contest got me is just phenomenal. I really owe it to Funk Volume for even throwing that game on. So regardless of whether I win, it was definitely a good move, and I’ll be entering next year too. It’s definitely worth the time.
KHH: Funk Volume needs to sign you (laughs).
SW: Yea man I’m ready for it! No joke.
Sketchy Waze has some big things coming up. Don’t miss out on anything by liking him on facebook, following him on twitter, and subscribing to his YouTube. Find Sketchy’s 1st album here, and all the Pleasantville Killerz projects here.