STVSH has been a longtime veteran in the game. Since 2013, he has made a name for himself in the New York underground scene through his photography, events, and most importantly his music. Within his eight year tenure in the industry, he has dealt with the high’s and lows that come with mapping out your own lane.
Despite the constant changing of labels and management he’s managed to stay afloat and use his connections and charm to keep people locked in. STVSH has collaborated with other New York artists like Jay Critch on his song “No Breaks.” His most recent video for his track “Sticky” has over 100,000 views and counting. Additionally, the Brooklyn native has also secured partnerships with brands such as Vfiles, Sprite, Depop and more.
I caught up with Stvsh who was in calm spirits, currently recovering from a recent car accident. Despite lockdown’s and quarantine, he released his two projects; “Live Fast Don’t Die Young” and “Unlocked.” Between balancing recovery and stepping into his new freedoms as a free agent, I got the chance to know more about his humble beginnings and what he hopes to share with fans in the next phase of his career
Check out our coversation below!
When you decide that you had that talent in music and decided to pursue it full-time?
I want to say in middle school. Nas had a song out at the time like; “I know I can, I know I can, Be who I want to be, be who I want to be.” That was my shit at the time. We had a school talent show and they let me perform and I rapped his whole verse on the stage and everybody went crazy. From that moment on, I liked this feeling of standing on a stage of being in front of a lot of people.
Before getting into music, was there anything else you wanted to do growing up?
A lot of people don’t know that I used to be a photographer. That was my first endeavor as an entrepreneur in high school. I met this dude named V-Dot and I just became his protégé low-key with the camera. I don’t know if you’re familiar with like NY street team, Seven Days Seven Nights? Those type of photography companies that take pictures at nightlife events, but yeah, that’s really what I did. That’s what gave me my edge on jumping into the music.
In 2019, your hard work started paying off and you started to get brand deals with Depop, Sprite, and Vfiles. As an independent artist, how did you market yourself to get these brands to work with you?
I will say it’s mainly relationships. The industry is all based on relationships. That’s why people see whack rappers making it. I’m not judging anybody but, It’s really simple. It’s just relationships. Meeting the right people and having the right energy when you meet those right people.
From your perspective, do you feel that rappers these days have to become influencers’?
Yeah, definitely. In order to gain on one end, you have to push forward on the other…I came into it backwards having a good product, but not really emphasizing my personality because it wasn’t a thing at the time but now it’s a thing. People want to know you. That’s one of the most important key factors in being an influential, impactful artist is having that social presence. that’s what I’m working on right now. I got a little cooking show coming soon, I got some things in the works.
In the midst of lockdowns in 2020 you managed to release two projects; the “Live Fast Don’t Die Young” album and the “Unlocked” EP. Why did you chose not to make a deluxe project?
Honestly, with “Live Fast Die Young” I was supposed to be assigned to X, Y, and Z and release that project and my “Sticky” video through them. They made me hold onto the project for lord knows how long and my “Sticky” video. I was just like, you know what, I’m getting older I don’t got time to wait on nobody. I just felt like I had so much music that I just wanted to get out, that’s why I dropped “Unlocked.” I felt like I just dropped the chains off and was like fuck it, I’m about to just do my thing.
Is “Live Fast Don’t Die Young” a mantra that you live by?
I just felt like live fast die young is so cliché and heard of all the time. I felt like my music was a little preachy, not too much, but it’s really like uplifting and deep. For “Live Fast Don’t Die Young,” I’m going to tell you can live fast, but be smart, don’t die young. That was just my whole flip on the thing. To be less preachy and more telling you my side of how I look at things.
Another thing to note about that album was that it only had one producer, Judah Hex. How did you go about deciding to have him back your entire project?
I just wanted to build a reputation with someone. I’m all about building and friendships. I feel like me and Judith were building that legacy of Playboi Carti and Pierre, Future and Dj Esco. That’s pretty much what we was doing. It was me and Judah verse the world.
For “Live fast Don’t Die Young,” you were open about overcoming hardships. What are some themes that people could expect to hear from you in this new era?
I want to say a stronger confidence level. On “Live Fast Don’t Die Young,” I was very vulnerable but at the same time a little insecure. I feel like 2021, I’m stepping into more of my comfort zone. I feel like the new stuff is really just going to be turned up, powerful, good time, good melodies, and great vibes. My music that I pre-released is more an experience on a deeper level. I felt like, the times that we’re in people aren’t really open to go there yet. I kind of had to fall back and like get out of my…you can call it Kanye crazy state of mind. I’ve been freestyling more on all my songs, no more written. Everything is straight from the heart, so you’re really going feel it when it comes out for sure.
Stream STVSH’s latest project, “Live Fast Don’t Die Young” below!