Q&A with John Wells

John Wells is a rapper from Baltimore with witty wordplay and knack for dope production. Earlier this year, John dropped a project entitled "The KEILANI", which featured banging tracks like 'Grass' and 'Elizabeth'. We caught up with John to find out what inspires him as an artist and see what's to come in terms of new music in 2016. 

Carlton Boyd

The KEILANI dropped in early 2015 and is a great collection of tracks with really dope production and introspective lyrics; what's next on the horizon in terms of projects in 2016? J: I have a lot planned for 2016. I have an EP dropping in March, a mixtape dropping at some point this summer, and an album hopefully by fall/winter.

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How did you and Scotty Banx connect with each other? J: I met Scotty through school. I'd known who he was since probably middle school, because him and Henry Traxx were basically the first young rappers in our neighborhood. I'd seen his music video on the morning announcements, and I'd seen him perform at the school talent show my freshman year of high school, and I followed him on Twitter and everything, but I never really met him until my sophomore year of high school during this thing called Enrichment that our school was doing so kids could get more involved in school and join clubs. We both went to the music video club on the first day. Just to throw it out, Scotty, Don Neil, me, and a lot of other big people from Baltimore went to Kenwood; you'll be hearing that school a lot once some more artists from Baltimore come up.

Would you say that your upbringing in Baltimore heavily influences your lyrical content and viewpoint as an artist? J: Yea, definitely. I find some deep shit in pretty much everything, so it's like everything around me is something I could write a song about. So it's definitely influential as far as my lyrical content, and as far as my viewpoint, I just feel like if I was a completely different person, and I was from like Wyoming or something, I definitely wouldn't see things the way I do, cause I wouldn't have had the same life. So being from Baltimore has probably shaped my viewpoint as an artist in a few more ways than one.

When someone listens to "The KEILANI" or one of your new tracks for the first time, what do you want them to take away from it? J: I think as long as you're taking something good from it than I'm good. Everybody perceives things differently and that's understood so if you like the beat or you figure out the cure for cancer or something from listening to my song then that's what's up.

Where does your inspiration to write rhymes and produce music come from? J: I started writing when I was hella young, my mother always said I have a gift in writing so she kind of always pushed that. I wrote songs when I was little, but rapping is more fun and it comes easier to me and it sounds cooler than my singing. I started producing in April of 2013 before I even started putting out my raps (I was rapping way before I ever made a beat, just to clarify) cause I couldn't find any beats I liked on YouTube, and Kayo (Scotty) put me on to FL Studio. I was also heavily inspired by a dude from Baltimore named Butch Dawson; he's one of my favorite producers, I really wanted beats like his.

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