B-L1FE is an amazing creative artist currently living in the Texas area. He’s a multi-talented CEO who has gone through different genres from metal to hip-hop. We could all probably learn something from him.
Who are you? Tell us about yourself.
I’m B-L1FE, or B to most. I’m a creative out of the Houston, TX area. I do literally everything, but make beats. I rap, sing, engineer, DJ, design, animate, and also edit videos from music videos to AMVs.
Along with that, I’m the CEO of my collective SupportArt as well as the CEO of my record label FAITH×VICTORY Records which houses myself, Kaster, SIROKA, & Psych Ward currently. I’m the VP of PlayMade Creations, and the DJ of the 24/7 Underground Music App, PlayMade Radio. I also just recently got into the fashion world as me and Yung N ICY just launched our line called Meditated Merch.
I’m not from Texas. I was born and raised in Muncie, Indiana. Most know it as the home of the Ball St. Cardinals.
How did you get started in music? Who or what inspired you?
I got into music via the metal genre which you can still hear even if it’s not literal screams which I do occasionally. The constant strain being in a band put on my vocal cords pushed me towards hip-hop which in essence is a blank canvas. Inspirations would be Bone Thugs, Dr. Dre, and Linkin Park. That deep music mixed with a rough childhood inspires me to this very day.
You use a lot of different anime imagery in your music videos. Which anime is your favorite and why?
My favorite anime changes all the time because I work with so many sources of footage. I try to highlight my official videos, but people love the AMVs.
Currently, I would have to say Tokyo Ghoul. The whole battle between want and ones moral code is something I can definitely relate to. In some ways, we all have our own ghoul inside.
You have some vastly different moods in some of your songs. For example “Welcome to Hell” and “Money Today” are quite aggressive, which is the complete opposite from “Michelangelo” and “Underwater”. What influences you when choosing a certain mood when writing a new song?
The biggest influence when writing a song is what project it’s for. My albums and EPs are usually deep, but have a mixture of both of those elements.
I start by writing topics. Then, I go through my vault of beats and just freestyle these topics and interchange cadences and styles til something clicks. Songs like ‘Money Today’ that aren’t on a project, but are just singles, are based around the artists I was working with. We didn’t intend for that song to be so heavy, but it happened simply by me tweeting I thought MUUMIS, Jayrahx, and myself would make some heat. Next thing I know I had a beat with a hook by MUUMIS in my email. Once I have the beat, I let it guide me.
Artists tend to try and do too much. It’s filling the gaps that a beat gives you that really gives you a full composition, in my opinion. So, generally that’s my approach.
Which of your songs is your favorite and why?
My favorite song of mine is probably ‘Never’. Barba Beats had a great sale one day, and I’m going through his BeatStars, and the beat and song came to me the minute I heard that instrumental.
The entire song was written within 30 mins. Then, recorded and mixed and sent off to be mastered all that same day. I love the energy behind it and I love this new wave of harder hip hop that is my true style. That song is me.
And, me not finally being considered an underground niche sound is amazing. That was my first drop of 2020, and for it to be close to 20k streams already is humbling.
What’s the biggest difficulty you’ve run into when making music?
The biggest issue I’ve ran into making music is just the shifting culture of the underground. We never really compete with anybody other than ourselves, but at times the underground keeps itself down.
We support people until they shine, and then tend to stop so they don’t get ahead. There are many different ways it has affected music, me, and business, but the consensus that we must be greedy and disobey the golden rule has been the most challenging thing. Especially, when those shifts are surrounded by the entire underground having solidarity.
2020 is still fresh. What are you plans for the rest of the year. Any new projects you’re working on?
This year is all about my third album ‘Friends with Judas’. The title is a play on multiple things which are generally questions about life and our world I find myself asking myself. The first two albums were S1NS and 6/6/6. This album has a lot more solo efforts, and some big names will be appearing that I’ve been hiding since last summer. I just announced a few days ago the single will drop May 1st. It’s titled ‘Bob Ross’ and was produced by ensomber.
If you could give people advice, when it comes to writing lyrics and rapping, what would you tell them?
My biggest advice is force yourself to new places. Try different cadences. I write a lot of my verses without the beat, so I then have to force bars and it makes great unique sequences.
People are hesitant to push their pens. When it comes to writing as an artist never have another person write what you are putting on wax. There is a reason why we call a ghostwriter just that and a songwriter a songwriter. Not even the sky is the limit if you really want this.