Interview Series: iLoveMakonnen

Illustration by Myrtle Quillamor.

My biggest inspiration so far has been myself, I want to be remembered as making a positive impact on the world and that alone inspires me to do it.

WITH THE ATLANTA RAP SCENE HOTTER THAN EVER, HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR SOUND IS DIFFERENT THAN ALL OF THE OTHERS COMING FROM ATL?

My sound is more experimental in other genres and not just limited to the popular trap sound that runs the scene currently.

YOU WERE BORN IN LA BUT SPENT THE MOST RECENT PART OF YOUR LIFE AND CAREER LIVING IN ATLANTA – HOW HAVE THOSE TWO CITIES IMPACTED YOU CREATIVELY AS AN ARTIST AND MUSICIAN?

They both influenced me by giving me a view of two or more different lifestyles that helped me to blend in all of them. I take it all in from the food, weather, people, etc.

YOU'VE WORKED WITH SOME OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE PRODUCERS FROM THE SOUTH (METRO BOOMIN, SONNY DIGITAL, ETC.) – HOW HAVE THEY HELPED BRING OUT YOUR SOUND?

They helped bring out my sound by adding drums and properly recording it. I never recorded on the computer until I started meeting these producers

YOU ARE ALWAYS ON THE ROAD – WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR TRAVEL ESSENTIALS?

Keys, wallet, phone. Usually, I don't deal with keys nowadays so it's my wallet and 3 cellphones, if I have those I can make anything happen.
 

HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH DRAKE ON THE "TUESDAY" REMIX? HOW DID IT COME ABOUT? HAVE YOU MADE IT UP TO THE 6 YET WITH OVO?

It was cool, it came about when drake and his friends heard the song and liked it I guess, and put a verse on it by reaching out to one of the producers, I was cool with it, and very excited so it just flowed and went well, haven't made it to the 6 side yet.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE COLLABORATION SO FAR IN YOUR CAREER? WHO ARE SOME ARTIST ON YOUR WISH LIST TO WORK WITH?

They all have been pretty legendary from Drake to Gucci Mane to Snoop Dogg. I wanna work with Lady Gaga, Nick Jonas, Prince and Jay Z. 

DO YOU SEE YOURSELF FOCUSING YOUR CAREER SOLELY ON MUSIC OR ARE THERE OTHER AREAS (CREATIVE AND NON–CREATIVE) THAT YOU WANT TO DABBLE IN?

I wanna focus on music and water. I'm working on my own water company, water is always needed. I also wanna be an actor so hopefully one day I can grace the silver screen.

WHEN IN NEW YORK, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO? WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO STAY? EAT?

Ah! This is my favorite! I love New York. I like to stay in Manhattan. Kinda Columbus circle and above. I like to eat at many different places, there's so much to do there. Ah I love it. It's my favorite place to be. I wanna live there forever.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION ON YOUR MUSIC CAREER SO FAR? 

My biggest inspiration so far has been myself, I want to be remembered as making a positive impact on the world and that alone inspires me to do it.

WHEN YOU PUT DOWN THE MIC, HOW DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO REMEMBER YOU?

As a guy who came from his bedroom and made it happen.