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EMBRACING RECOGNITION IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY—Stratøs
Short and sweet interview with Los Angeles’s rising star, Stratøs! He shares his favorite aspects of making music, working with veterans in the game, and more upcoming fresh music.
Let’s start off by introducing yourself, you know the basics like name, age, where you’re from. As much or little as you’re comfortable sharing.
My name is Stratøs, I’ll be 26 this October 1st, and I’m from Ann Arbor Michigan. I currently live in Los Angeles, California.
What’s the best advice you ever received concerning music?
That the learning process Is cyclical. I don’t need to (and in fact, can’t) learn a concept perfectly before moving on. I’m supposed to come back to concepts again and again. It can be years before I revisit something I’m practicing. This helped me get over the paralysis of trying to get something “perfect” before moving onto the next thing.
What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?
Practice, write, produce, photograph more when I was younger and had more time!
What is still your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge would probably be just navigating the music industry as a whole. It’s a tough industry that’s currently not equipped to sustain actual musicians, and that’s a struggle every day.
What keeps you going when things get tough in the music industry?
The music does. No matter how tough things get, the art is still here. I’ll never stop making art because I simply cannot – it is my purpose in life. Taking a step back from your art is something stigmatized, but is perfectly okay, and healthy, and normal. This industry is grueling. It’s important to take a step back sometimes to gain perspective and preserve your sanity. It’s okay to step away for a bit and come back.
Talk me through your creative process.
There’s a lot that goes into my creative process. I’m a saxophonist, composer, producer, and film photographer, and each discipline takes a different set of skills. These days I’m doing a lot more composing because I’m working on my third album. My composition usually involves taking unrelated elements and try to make them relate. My tunes usually have some sort of concept at the core of them that I’m trying to work out.
How do you currently feel about the state of “Your genre” in general?
The state of “jazz” has always been interesting. Firstly because this style of music isn’t even really called “jazz,” because that was a name originally given to the music intending for it to be derogatory. This music falls under the “Black American Music” umbrella and from its inception it’s always been about progress and pushing boundaries. There’s a lot of amazing “jazz” these days because people from all walks of life and backgrounds are adding to it and making it more and more unique. It’s great!
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
I’d love to open for Flying Lotus some day!
How do you solve productivity/scheduling problems and reduce overwhelming situations?
I keep an organized calendar, and I try to write things down.
What are you focusing your time on now?
As I kinda touched on before, I’m currently working on my third album. I don’t wanna say too much, but I’m using all of the resources and knowledge I’ve learned from all parts of the album making process and putting them into this record. Also, since I just moved to LA, I’m focussing on getting connected in the music scene here and just getting settled down.
How can our readers follow you online?
You can follow me on all social media platforms @stratostones, as well as my website www.stratostones.com. I also have a print shop where you can buy prints of my film photographs here: https://stratos.darkroom.tech/. You can buy my first album Planets here: https://stratosmusic.bandcamp.com/album/planets and my second album Hohenheim Suites here: https://stratosmusic.bandcamp.com/album/hohenheim-suites. I’m also on all of the streaming platforms like spotify and apple music, just search “Stratøs.”
Morojele Music Debuts New Artist Lil Kizzle
Canadian music label Morole Music Group has officially announced the debut of the freshest hip hop artist to grace their roster, 16-year-old Lil Kizzle. With the considerable amount of talent pouring out of Toronto, Lil Kizzle has come an incredibly long way for someone who is surprisingly still a teenager. The animated and perfectly seasoned artist is undoubtedly one to watch.
Though he has never attended a concert or stepped foot on a professional stage, the lugubrious artist is currently readying to join the label on its 2022 “Proceed With Caution” Canada-wide tour this fall alongside four other artists on the MMG label.
The label launched the artist with the release of the new single “Don’t Step”. In the video, viewers can take in Lil Kizzle’s infectious flow over an unshakable gritty, underground production.
Watch “Don’t Step” down below.
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