EXCLUSIVE: Stalley At Babylon Nightclub [INTERVIEW]
A lot of people may not be familiar with MMG’s Stalley, but believe me when I say he’s getting it in. Albeit not as mainstream as his labelmates, Stalley isn’t bothered by that. His whole approach is that if you don’t know by now, eventually you will.
I can recall the first time I heard Stalley’s music, and it was shortly after seeing this picture:
At the time, I had recognized all the other faces except for Stalley’s, so I decided to find out about the new guy. That’s when I heard “The Sound of Silence,” “Lincoln Way Nights Remix,” featuring the Boss—Rick Ross—and his feature on Curren$y’s “Address.” Stalley’s sound is definitely different, what I’d describe as a mix of jazz, poetry, and rap.
Last Thursday night, I had the pleasure of meeting him before his show at Babylon Nightclub, but we didn’t get around to the interview until later on. Earlier that same evening, he did a Meet and Greet at this cool spot on Bank Street called Fall Down Gallery.
Ottawa’s own Cashtro opened the show while DJ Mes held it down on the one’s and two’s, followed by special guest artists Rich Kidd and the Antiheroes. Although things got off to a slow start, Stalley delivered a memorable performance.
During his set, much to my chagrin, my Blackberry decided to die! At that point, things were looking pretty glum because I had no other way to record the interview. To make matters worse, everyone that I happened to ask for a charger either had none or had a dead phone too. But then, thanks to the Universe, my boy Andrew saved the day.
And to top it off, I found out that Stalley was only doing two interviews—one being with me. We finally caught up with each other backstage and here’s what he had to say.
AVAH: You’re from a small town called Massillion in Ohio. What’s the indie hip hop scene like out there?
STALLEY: It’s a small town but we have a lot of artists pursuing Hip Hop right now. I’ve been lucky enough to be the one who opened that door and helped a lot of artists to start getting into the studio.
AVAH: So you’re putting people on from your city?
STALLEY: I’m trying to. I’m trying to help. Right now my focus is on getting my brand as strong as possible and getting my name out there as much as possible, but I’m definitely trying to help other artists.
AVAH: As a Sunni Muslim, does your religion ever clash with the demands of the music industry?
STALLEY: Yeah, definitely. You always got those battles, but that’s just personal. I think that comes with any religion. If you’re someone who’s spiritual and believe in God, you’re going to battle with the glam and the glitz, the wrong and the right. So I definitely try to just focus on what feels right, and what’s natural and organic to me. At the end of the day, all relationships with God is all personal.
AVAH: For those people that don’t already know, how did you end up on MMG?
STALLEY: Ross was looking at me for awhile through the blogs and my videos. He felt the content that I was putting out and he felt that I had a strong brand and that I was someone who was a superstar. He just wanted to help me become that and give me that platform. We’re working on that right now. [smiles]
AVAH: Are you allowed to be free with your music?
STALLEY: Oh yeah, definitely! If you listen to Lincoln Way Nights and pre-Lincoln Way Nights, its not that different from when I signed with MMG and Savage Journey came out. It’s all me, it’s all the music that I wanted to make.
AVAH: Tell me, how did you get the Air Yeezy 2’s?
STALLEY: [Laughs] I got connections! [Laughs again]
AVAH: What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done to get your attention?
STALLEY: A girl grabbed by my crotch in London one time. That was pretty wild!
Now, I was the one who was laughing. Afterwards, we chatted for a bit and he told me that he had checked out my blog via Twitter and loved it! In addition to snagging the interview, that was one of the night’s highlights for me.
Overall, it was a great experience. Stalley is a really down-to-earth guy and I have no doubt that his career will go far. I wish him nothing but continued success on his Savage Journey.