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How Wurl Sotto fell in love with hip hop

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When did you fall in love with music?
Wow. This is probably the toughest question. In my opinion I don’t think anybody can honestly remember when they fell in love with music because music is us. Music is atoms vibrating, music is our heartbeat, music is life, and I have and will always treasure the essence of life.

What music influenced you growing up? 
I was raised on r&b and soul but during my adolescence I found appreciation for all music styles. The artists that inspire my lyrics the most are: Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Damian Marley, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Mos Def.

What inspired you to start making your own music?
I’ve been singing since I was 7 in church and I’ve played cello and bass just as long. I didn’t get into poetry till middle school and I didn’t start writing lyrics till I was in college. When I started writing my poetry it was never intended to be heard-it therapeutic for me. Growing up I always felt like an outcast it was never intentional from my peers or internally but overtime I got fed up trying to fit and fall in line with social acceptance. I went to school in a wealthy neighborhood that was also a school of choice for other communities so being in a diverse school wasn’t the problem it was tremendously diverse but segregated. I was trying to develop my own identity in an environment that wasn’t as progressive as it portrayed. Being multiracial I never fit in with the African American students or the white-it was always a debate if I wasn’t black enough or I didn’t act white enough. I chose to be an outcast because it gave me perception others didn’t. I got to see reality of both the burbs and the city. I saw how my struggles didn’t compare to those of my family still living in the city. I went to the same high school all four years while my cousin is the same age and can’t even stay in the same school for year before it’s shut down. I feel like my experience and understanding the experience of others gave me the confidence to share my music with people. My music was healing for me and helped me see life in others in a different light and I think that’s all we need to build unity in our communities. We need to be open to receive and open to understand. 

How would you describe your sound?
Familiar classic vibes that incorporate all genres and styles. Mostly soul hip hop jazz and reggae.

When did you first release your own music?
The first mixtape I ever did I recorded with no mic on a laptop and mixed it myself on audacity. Shitest quality sound. Levels were terrible but I was in love with making music I didn’t care. I was proud and passionate of what I could I create with motivation and determination.

What is coming next for you?
I just released my first music video on July 7th for “The Plot”. Releasing my next project “Zen Temple” November 6th.

Tell me about the music video you just released. It hit 3,000 views in just a couple days…
The song represents my metamorphous in my artistry and my message. I feel like this is an unbreakable balance in this world that holds it together and we all fit somewhere in that balance. To understand the world and why it is the way it is we must first understand and accept our balance first. It’s all about duality and the barriers and borders we put up not just in this state but in cities all around the world. My goal was to let the two polar opposite settings make the viewer think and question why not keep the same vibe, I wanted to demonstrate how the suburbs of Detroit are disconnected from the city and how the city is deprived of resources that the suburbs have had for generations. All of my family is from Detroit or Cleveland. My parents, since I was born, were focused on getting me into a safer environment with better schools. So growing up I got to see the two realities and what it does to community. I chose these shots and locations to symbolize this struggle to find unity. I picked the tunnel cause I felt it was a jump. Didn’t want to be in midtown, downtown or Corktown all gentrified areas.

I felt like the tunnel was a neutral location to represent the city you wouldn’t be able to tell where it is. I chose Cranbrook for the other shot to show the wealth and resources that the city isn’t getting let alone believe exist not even 20 miles away.

Do you have any other dreams and goals in life that go beyond music?
I want to give back to youth of the city. I wanna start an organization that incorporates all arts and implements the resources and equipment so the youth can artistically express their experiences and reach their full potential as members in their community and artists.

Aren’t you a model? Tell me about that… how long you’ve been modeling? Any interesting photoshoots you’ve been hired to do?
Perception is a crazy thing. In no way do I consider myself a model. I crack up whenever I’m asked. It’s funny cuz I guess you do a couple quality shoots with a quality photographer and suddenly that makes you a model but that was never my intention. Recently I got chosen by a talent agency so I’ll be in some auto commercials and traveling to auto shows around the world.

Connect with Wurl Sotto on Twitter.

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