Wesley Black’s ‘Eleven’ single launch was a massive moment for the Perth Underground scene last weekend. With support from YNGRACH, Cloud Dstrct, Yung Goon and Tobias.
it was a night of phenomenal performances from start to finish with Wesley bringing the house down with his new single. He’s a performer far beyond his years and has a bright future ahead of him. With huge tracks like Outlaw! and the biggest mosh pit break out to his hit track Red! you can see why he’s an artist creating a lot of buzz throughout the Perth Hip-Hop scene. As well as being one of Perth’s biggest upcoming prospects he’s also one of the nicest guys in the scene. I was fortunate enough to have a chat with him about his new single Eleven and get to know him a little better.
For anyone who hasn’t seen your live shows. You have one of the highest energy shows in the scene. You’ve got some absolute turn up bangers and some chill ones like The End. So my first question is what’s your favourite track to perform live?
Oh man really appreciate you saying that. Definitely when it comes to live shows I like to mix up the sets a bit. So maybe have something a bit more chill and raw in the middle but I definitely love to tie up my set with some hard stuff. I’d say at the moment it’s a toss-up between Red! and Outlaw! They’re both high energy which feeds into the crowd and everyone’s having a good time and that’s the main thing hey.
You have collaborated with quite a few 6k artists already. Who’s next on your list?
That’s a really good question hey. Recently I’ve just recorded something with Cloud Dstrct that will be under their release. So maybe one or two tracks depends on what he’s feeling. But I’m doing something with him which is really exciting and something I can take it off the list.
There’s still a lot of artists that I’d love to collaborate with, but I’ve collaborated with a lot of my close friends and stuff as well like Lavelle, Yung Goon, And Beyond and stuff like that I reckon a track with Muks Died would be really cool. He’s got a super hard energy and I really like and collab best with people on some really hard stuff.
How’d you get into rap?
I first got into rap when I was in one of the first years in high school. I was actually with one of my best friends at the time. We had to do some presentation and he was telling me about all these rappers he and his Dad listened to. It helped that at the time I was really into poetry and I was trying to write my own. So once I found out about rap and how similar the flows, patterns and rhyming was it really intrigued me. I started just like a lot of people would, searching up beats and turning the poetry stuff that I had into songs and it really just progressed from there.
I still remember when and where I was when I was listening to Black and Cardiac for the first time, that shit blew my mind.
Those two first songs you ever released are so crisp and professional. When was the switch from “oh hey, I kinda like rapping” to “man, I could be onto something here.” What pushed you to release your first song?
Honestly, I’ve got to give a lot of credit to one of my first friends who I went to high school with Vid but his stage names XIV. He was the first guy who really took a chance on me, so he was rapping as well and also doing a production course. He heard some home recording stuff where I had no mic and that. It was just me showing him on the most basic of levels but he was like “well if you’re really interested you can come to my garage I’ve got a microphone we can try record some of these tracks and see how it goes”. Once we did that, he also had some friends that were also producers. It really just helps having some good friends and good networks that can help take you to the next level. So, I guess getting back to what you actually asked. Having some people that have some faith in you and having a real story to tell and a strong vision we’re all factors that really pushed me to be like “ok, I really want to release this. I feel like this is something I gotta do for myself and this is what I gotta do for anyone who might feel similar as well”.
So, I need to know where’d the name Wesley Black come from?
Oh yeah that’s an interesting question. So, it actually came from how I was saying before when I used to do poetry and stuff. Before that I actually used to do more like story writing. I guess even as a really young kid I was trying to write stories and comic books and stuff and maybe when I was like fourteen, I wrote this little sci-fi film idea. I never finished it but one of the characters in there was Wesley Black and he was just like a really cool character. Maybe like four years later I was looking through some of my older stuff trying to find a rap name I could be super happy with. I found that story and was like wow I completely forgot about this guy I created. This character really relates to me and really embodies a lot of the stuff I’m talking about in my lyrics.
I wasn’t gonna ask this but do you ever feel like you step into character. Become Wesley Black before you go wild on stage?
Yeah, that’s a super good question I would definitely say 100%. Like a few friends who have been studying acting have been telling me about these techniques that they used and I’ve actually been looking them up trying to see how people get into character. Really drawing out this whole Wesley Black character coz a lot of people say you don’t look like what you sound like in your music. People think it’s like a full 180 but I definitely see it as a character. I always try to write how that character in my story would write. Having that character allows me to say a lot of stuff that I’d be too scared to say otherwise. It’s a little bit of a mask kinda thing that allows me to push out all of my emotions and stuff. Really getting into the right headspace definitely helps. I definitely find that having a good sense of who you are as an artist to what kind of character you are is a really cool story to tell.
Who’s your biggest inspirations musically?
I’d have to say definitely some of my favourites in rap are Trippie Red and Travis Scott. I don’t know how much I actually take influence and sound like them, but I definitely really love their music. Those are two that I think are super good artists. And obviously when it comes to lyricism, I really like guys like IDK, JID and Kendrick and stuff like that. I feel like it’s really important to listen to stuff with lyrics and blend it together with guys who have a certain sound and image like Travis and Trippie. Even like rock and stuff or maybe alternative I really like Dominic Fyke who I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from recently guys like him and Roy Blair. I find just having a big broad range of artists you listen to definitely helps create new sounds and stuff.
Your new single Eleven is fire. The beat is awesome I feel like you have a great ear for picking really nice beats how’d this song come about? Who produced it?
I gotta give a lot of credit to Son-J, who also goes by Boy Banks, who’s been mixing and mastering all my releases since Red! He’s someone I get along with really well and who helps me record and hit notes and sing better and stuff. So, he produced this one alongside Astroboy. I’m not much of a producer hey but I was there a lot for the process and really admire how they captured that mood that I was going for. I gave them a few references and that, but I have to give them all the credit those guys killed it.
What was the inspiration behind it?
This one was more so me trying to tackle something that sounded a bit more sci-fi and futuristic a lot of my tracks before this were very trap heavy and rap heavy but this one, I tried to make it more melodic and ambient and futuristic as well. Of course, still being rap at the same time but a blend of those and somewhat a love story. The hooks seem to be more love story and the verses more the heartbreak side. I wanted it to be a sci-fi love story from an event that I’ve been through and hopefully people can relate.
There are those that call you the 6k Prince. You have a lot of people around you who believe in you. What’s the future hold for Wesley Black?
Man, that means a lot. I can only dream as well. I gotta give a quick shout out to Carlo of course who runs GOAT 6K he actually started that prince nickname which means a lot to me and of course the first time I heard it meant a lot at that time having someone who was actually really in the scene loving what I was doing. But as far as what’s next. I’m not sure man, I’ve got some really big plans just including live shows but I really wanna change the direction of live music and music in general and make it a bit more visual. So I’m always thinking about cover art, live performance and stage props, all this kinda stuff that I can really add another dimension to. If we’re just musically speaking expect some stuff similar to Red! and Outlaw! where I’m pushing forward a trap EP. But at the same time, I wanna switch up to something a bit more acoustic and a bit more relaxed. I guess my long-term goal is to continue making what I wanna make and stay true to myself and this whole character that I’ve created really.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Drop a bit of knowledge on whoever read this far.
Off the top of my head. I’d say humility is super important. So be humble and realise that a lot of people are in the same boat. So many people are creatives and wanna create. Honestly just network and make friends with a lot of artists coz you never know when you could meet someone who could produce something really sick for you or show it to a friend who really likes you or collaborate with someone and I sound corny but treat everyone with respect is a major thing. Everyone can help everyone. It takes one person in the scene to grow for everyone to grow. So, treat everyone with respect, stay humble and make friends and it’ll really help your music take off.