Heatwave is an Atlanta based rap artist by way of Vancouver who just released the very DOPE visual for his track "Balmain" featuring William Wilson. We connected with Heatwave for this exclusive Q&A to find out how he found his way from Vancouver to the Dirty South, what he remembers about his first song, what's next after "Balmain" and much more.
After reading our interview with Heatwave, be sure to follow him on his social media streams and check out his musical catalog on Soundcloud.
Tell us about the name Heatwave. How did you come up with it and what does it personify?
I got my name Heatwave when i was 14 years old. I was living in Boston, MA at that time with my auntie and i was playing and taking basketball very serious at the time in my life and on my way to the ball courts i would always kick a crazy freestyle with my homies on the way to play ball. That almost became a ritual with My homies & I and that motivated me to always write a bunch of bars for my bros every night before i went to sleep just to impress and entertain them and myself. That led to my homies telling their big bros about me and from there they made me come to Prospect Hill projects in Waltham, Ma where all the older homies would throw on beats and see if I can live up to my buzz. I literally rapped for about 2 hours straight non stop beat after beat in the hot sun and from there everybody in the hood was like yo this kid got heat for real and then cause it was so hot outside it was literally a Heatwave outside, people starting calling me Heatwave cause i wouldn’t stop spitting heat. From there i just kept it up and stayed consistent and kept on bringing y’all that heat.
How did you get your start rapping? Do you remember your first song? How have you progressed as an artist since then?
I used to look up to all the greats since a lil man, I would memorize all the 2pac & Biggie lyrics and recite them and then when Puff Daddy and Mase dropped that single “Push me to the edge” thats when i wanted to start rapping for real. So I did a talent show at my elementary school when i was about 11 years old and i did the cover for Puff daddy & Mase “Push me to the edge” and my whole school went crazy including the teachers and from there i knew i had something special so i started writing my own lyrics and recording songs on a tape recorder with my bro Adam Rosenthal.
What can you tell us about your journey from Vancouver to Atlanta? What led you from Canada to the Dirty South?
That shit was crazy cause the first time we pulled up in Atlanta me and my bro Tony Mason packed are bags and grabbed all our money and our portable studio and drove from Vancouver, Canada to Atlanta with suspended licenses and on Google Map it told us it would take us 4 days to get there but we got there in 1.5 days cause we was so damn excited and lit to get to the shitz. We got tired and took 1 nap in the mountains off North Dakota and we forgot to turn off the lights and we woke up & our car wouldn’t turn on and we were in the middle of know where in the mountains with no phone reception. So luckily we pulled a truck over with a confederate flag and paid this redneck dude to give us a jump and he hooked it up and we got back on the road and pushed to Atlanta. Me and my bro Tony Mason had different goals and expectations for our music that we were cooking up and we felt a bit of resistance in our city with managers and promoters and booking agents not understanding our product. We were already touring at this point around Portland, Seattle and Canada and we were really getting our name out there but we knew we had to take it to the next level and we already had good people in Atlanta so we went where all the help was and from there we built a serious team to help execute our dreams.
When someone hears the "Balmain" track or sees the visual for the first time, what do you want them to take away from the experience?
First off I want them to play it real loud and turn up and have fun. I also want them to know that I’m a dope artist to pay attention too and that i got plenty more in my bag dropping very soon.
What comes next after "Balmain"? Is that track a part of a bigger project? Perhaps "The Masses Vol. 3"?
After “Balmain” I want y’all to tune in to my third single with my guy Donte Peace from Seattle called “Is You” dropping next month and yes “Balmain” is on "The Masses Vol. 3" and this album will be out July 1st which is on Canada Day.