Our latest exclusive interview is with Paris based rap artist Laz who recently dropped his EP “The Island”, which comprises of six very DOPE tracks, produced by BONI. We connected with Laz to discuss his motivation to create the EP, discover which song from the EP represents him as an artist the most, whether he prefers to rap in English or French, and much more.
After reading our Q&A with Laz, be sure to connect with him on IG and FB and stream “The Island” EP on Spotify.
Congratulations on the completion and release of your EP "The Island". What motivated you to create it and how long did it take to finish?
BONI, one of my best friends from Paris, where I grew up, wanted to release an EP with only Lofi beats he had been working these past two years. But I had been writing over some of the beats because he had been sending them to me. When he told me he wanted to release an EP, I said: "wait a minute, I want to be on the EP too!" So I put together these six songs and created my own concept of the "4 leaf clover Island." This island is a metaphor for the devastations in a land made only for the rich.
Of the six songs on the EP, which one is your favorite or would you say represents your creativity the most as an artist?
My personal favorite right now is “Mom/Man”. The vibe is very A Tribe Called Quest, and I really feel like it captures my teenage life in Paris. My best lyrics of the EP are on “Flood”. And the first song, “The Island”, is the song that summarizes what I wanted to say with the EP.
You perform in both English and French which gives you an unfair advantage to most other artists, in that you're able to cater to two totally different audiences. Which language do you find easier to rap in?
I started rapping in English. I would learn by heart some of Busta Rhymes's songs for hours. The album that inspired me to start writing was "Good Kid, Maad City" by Kendrick. The story it told, lyrically and sonically, both working perfectly together inspired me most. So yes, English was my way in to writing and rapping. But I started listening to French and American Hip Hop at about the same time. So French rap has also inspired me. But although I spent all of my education in French public schools, it always came more naturally to rap in English.
With your EP released and 2018 winding down, what are some of your goals musically for next year?
I will be releasing singles and collaborating with some bigger artists. I will be focusing on getting as much exposure as possible.
If you had to describe the EP to a stranger in three words, which ones would you select?
Two suffice: Island, Privilege.
From your experience, would you say that an average French music fan's appreciate for the Hip-Hop culture is different than that of a typical American?
Some French people listen to much more American Hip Hop than French Hip Hop. Others only listen to French Hip Hop because they feel they can't connect to American Hip Hop the same way if they can't understand it. But I do think that Francophone Hip Hop in general right now is developing rapidly and in different directions. It is starting to really have multiple identities independently from American Hip Hop (even though American Rap will always be influential).