Not many independent artists can boast a track with over 1.7M Spotify streams. If so, they must be doing something right. This is certainly the case for young prodigy and emerging rapper Smith Blaxk, who has already made a name for himself by releasing a slew of undeniably sleek tracks since 2016. It is clear that the young rapper possess a strong mindset and a number of skills to match, consistently seeking to create his personal blend of “good music”. Typically showcasing his broad lyrical versatility on a number of unique soundtracks, Smith Blaxk drops bars over smooth intricately inter-woven instrumentals, up-beat bangers and jazz-induced cuts. Either way, it will be a smooth listen. The youngstar has steadily been building up his back catalogue over the last few years and tracks like “Feeling”, “Vibes on Vibes” and “Steeze Man” easily mark the Londoner as a serious one to watch over the coming months. There’s a lot more to come and we’re all here for it. We caught up with Smith to see what he was saying.
How did you first get into music?
I started off as a listener, just listening to music at first and that, but also playing around at school. My mate actually had a studio at a place called Wac, we started recording and from there began putting my first songs on Soundcloud. I started to make more time for myself and went from strength to strength. I ain’t really got no crazy story.
How would you describe your sound?
That’s the thing, I couldn’t really put a name on it. I tell people it’s just good music, do you know what I mean? I wouldn’t know what exact name to put on the genre, me and the mandem actually talk about it all the time. In fact, we were having a discussion about what to call it the other day and we were like ‘bro, this is just good music’.
Yeah, that’s a nice way to think of it. Who are your biggest musical influences, now and growing up?
Do you know what, yeah, I don’t really have an influence. For me, I’ve got two mixtapes that I take influence from, the first being Tory Lanez’s The New Toronto and the second Institution by Kodak Black. I’ll be real, the early Soundcloud days like the old Playboi Carti and those lot, they were the first man that showed me that wave – the way they were coming across with it. These lot were just doing it themselves, that’s how I first saw it. But yeah, those first two mixtapes was when it really occurred to me that I just want to make music. So I don’t have an ‘artist’ as my influence per say, but those two mixtapes had the biggest impact on me.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Hmmm, can’t say I’ve got one you know? I feel like I’ve got a lot of good milestones that I’ve reached, obviously like performing out of London, doing the shows and what not, but I wouldn’t look at anything as a highlight just yet.
Yeah completely, do you look at your statistics, like the number of streams for example? Do you take interest in them at all?
Nah man, they’re just numbers. I go off how my music is progressing, like making sure the actual sound is getting better and receiving a good reception. But yeah, the streaming numbers and that don’t really bother me.
Surely you must have been gassed when “Feeling” hit a milly streams?
Yeah of course, I can’t lie seeing that was cool. Like I have good milestones.. I know when I hit the million mark, the proper mad euphoria lasted about an hour, appreciating I’ve done that as an independent artist with no promo or nothing. Now it’s just about going for the 10 then the 100, you know?
Arguably your biggest project to date is Feeling released back in 2019. What was the inspiration behind the record?
None! Literally, you know how the song starts, it’s like boom and when I first listened to the beat, the way it hits, the rest just came to me. I had the song done in about an hour. These times I was mixing them myself and I was doing everything alone. I just found the beat, wrote it, mixed it and it was ready. I actually put it out last minute and wasn’t expecting it to do the numbers it has done. The song was more of an instant lightbulb moment.
Which is your favourite track you’ve released so far and why?
I would probably say “Vibes On Vibes” because it’s smooth. It’s just a proper smooth soundtrack. Then I’d say “Steeze Man” second, but I’d say “Vibes On Vibes” is my favourite.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
For me it’s song by song basis. So, I’ve got a few songs that are coming out on a new cut, some of them are more sentimental pieces whereas the other ones are just more of a bop, so it’s all down to interpretation at the end of the day. I want people to come out with a positive outlook but I also like the negative because I think an artist needs both. I don’t go into a song with a particular thing I want to put across for people to take out, all my writing is spontaneous. I don’t go into a beat with an idea already in hand, I just say whatever comes to me and it is what it ever turns into. It’s down to interpretation, how people take certain music depends on them. That’s the beauty of it, it’s subjective.
I like that word, subjective. Do you prefer making songs when you’re in a particular mood?
Nah, I don’t ever get into emotions. Obviously I have fun with it but I also look at it as a job so I wouldn’t ever like to bank on that – it’s not like if I’m happy so I’m gonna make a happy song or I’m vexed so I’m gonna make a rage song, do you know what mean? I’ll go with whatever comes to my mind and build on that.
What are you listening to at the moment? Are there any new releases that have come out recently that have caught your attention?
I’ll be real, Adele’s new cut. 30 is bangin. I’ve also been listening to a bit of YoungBoy as well actually, “Black Ball” is a banger. I like Bobby Shmurda’s new ting also.
That’s interesting, so what specific genres are you into would you say?
I like anything. I listen to anything, as long as it’s good!
What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
Yeah we got a couple projects coming out. We got it loaded up and patterned out. Just gonna wait and see innit!