19-year-old Brooklyn breakout rapper Desiigner (born Sidney Royel Selby III) has taken the airwaves by storm with his catchy, number one hit single “Panda” and in a recent talk with Interview magazine, he discusses how his music is inspired by the Trap genre as well as movies and video games, his zest for life in general, and how he came across that infectious “Panda” beat.
On how the blues plays into his personal sound:
Actually, if you listen to the vocals on my grandfather’s (blues musician Sidney Selby) records you will hear we sound similar. We both sound kind of dry. We have a dry voice and we both love harmony–he was a man of harmony, I’m a man of harmony. I think it just runs in our blood. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, you know how that goes. It just runs in my family. Music always lived with me, like a family tradition. I listened to everything…I love all types of music. I’m influenced by it all. I’m just a lover of all things musical.
On how his music is different from that of similar-sounding Atlanta rapper Future:
My style, my funk, my performance, my charisma. The way I deliver my songs. That’s what makes me different. I stay humble. The second you see me on stage doing my thing, you know I’m not like the rest. I stay crazy.
On how the instrumental to “Panda” was discovered on YouTube while playing Grand Theft Auto with friends:
My boys started playing a track on the computer that caught everybody’s ear. I was always the one that cooked up the hooks in the hood, so, my boy asked me if I could cook up some flavor for the beat and I said, ‘You know, give me two days.’ The beat was right there on YouTube–a real Lloyd Banks type beat, and two days later, I gave it to ya’ll.”
On how his music is influenced by video games, movies, and Trap music:
My music fits perfectly into that mold. I see movie and games in my head and I deliver it on the track. It becomes the soundtrack to my life. The trap is the beat and the beat is the music, and when it comes to music, I don’t discriminate. Just because I’m from Brooklyn doesn’t mean I can’t feel the trap, the grind. My trap is real life stuff–and I talk about real life stuff in my music–so it just means grind harder. It’s just a grind mode with a positive mood behind it that makes people get up and make moves for the positive.”
On how he gets into his “recording zone:”
My zone is living. While I’m living I’m in my zone. I don’t sleep….when I say get rich I don’t mean by money, but by platform. I mean getting better when I say get rich–bettering my life. That’s how I move. It’s about living your dreams…You only dream to wake up and make them come true.
-By Liz Cook