Internet trapper PatrickXXLee is one of the most important artists in SA right now. The Johannesburg based trapper has been making massive sound waves throughout the country and even went as far as to start his own record label called ‘Artis Records’. Read more about what’s on the cards for PatrickXXLee.
You’ve been doing the most since we last spoke to you! Tell us more about your evolution as an artist? How did you change and how have you applied these changes to your sound?
Really I’m just more on a spiritual path right now. For the most part, since we spoke, I’ve been getting my knowledge up on certain esoteric topics, human nature, the origin of the universe. The two sides of PatrickXXLee are more pronounced now — I want to be a walking representation of the duality in my mind which reflects the duality in the world; I wanna serve as an interesting case study. I want my art and every other form I use to express myself to raise questions and incite the pursuit of one’s individual growth. Ultimately, I want to save the world in my own way.
A lot of your music takes inspiration from your younger days – for example, the lyrics to one of your latest singles”Achoo” is quite upbeat compared to your more “emo” lyrics from albums like “Diary of an Arsonist“. Does this mean that you’ve stepped into another phase of your life and started basing your music off these experiences? Have things taken a more positive turn for you, and how do you express your emotions now?
Really and truly I want people to feel bad-ass about themselves when they listen to my music. I would say I’m more positive in the sense that my music is now the fighting spirit as opposed to being the shoulder to lean on. For the longest time my purpose was to show people that they are not alone, even in the worst of situations. Now I want them to be strong and not only strong — confident and bad-ass… demon slayers. I’m taking my influences from all the things I used to turn to as a kid in order to make me feel bad-ass when my confidence was non existent; things like the DMC series and Linken Park.
You’ve collaborated with internet trappers on the rise like Willy Cardiac and Lethabo Acid on releases “Achoo” and “Spaceships”. How did these collaborations come about? Are you planning on dropping more collabos this year?
Both features are with friends of mine. Both artists inspire me: Willy cardiac is one of the most bad-ass dudes I’ve met and same goes for Lethabo! Super rock stars. I really admire the consistency of their sound and how they refuse to conform to what older generations think African music should sound like. I’m all about collaborating this year and the upcoming features are the manifestations of perfect synergy, no clout business involved. I enjoy building relationships with the people i work with. There’s a greater plan in motion.
Can you tell us more about the music video produced for Achoo (directed by Motion Billy) and how he brought your vision to life? What was the idea behind the music video? Also, why did you choose Motion Billy?
Motion Billy chose me. He heard the song and immediately DM’d me on Instagram. Within a week we had the video done, Motion came with the vision and was able to translate my energy into something visual. He’s super dedicated and focused. Without his drive and creative super power the video wouldn’t be what it is. I’m giving credit where its due — the man’s a genius. The point of “Achoo” is “Why?”
You once called Lil Wayne the root and mentioned that he planted the seed for young artists such as yourself to take the leap and put yourselves out there. Who do you think the new age Lil Wayne will be – the one that will inspire the 10 – 20 year old generation and how do you think this will affect future sounds?
It will be me. The ultimate goal is that everybody be 100% accepting of themselves, the elimination of all judgment. Look and feel how you want.
You started your own record agency “Artis Records” to create a platform for artists. How do you recommend up-and-coming artists go about this and looking back, would you still recommend starting your own record agency?
I would definitely recommend this all young artists. It will solidify the control over your art. All young artists should study the laws of the universe and make sure their vision is in harmony with all the laws that govern this reality. And always make sure your music is made with good intention and the betterment of the universe.
PATRICKXXLEE ON YOUR WEEKEND PLAYLIST
BEHIND THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR “ACHOO” WITH DIRECTOR MOTION BILLY
You’ve lately been producing music videos for internet trapper PatrickXXLee. How did you move into this space – is it something that naturally appeals to you and your style of filming?
It’s crazy actually because I have been sleeping on the SoundCloud wave, a friend of mine played me ‘Achoo’ when it was super hot and trending on SounCloud. I reached out to Pat ‘coz I knew about him and I vibe with his music anyway. We met up when I was in Jozi, chopped it up and shot the video. I like the direction most of these internet guys take with their art, they see no boundaries, they always messing with new sounds and finding ways to hit the notes differently without boring the audience. That’s what I am trying to do with my videos and at this stage they seem to be the only ones who appreciate my crazy stupid ideas (lol).
What other projects have you worked on?
How did you get into the production game and do you only work on music videos?
As soon as I was introduced to Adobe Premier I fell in love with the idea of putting clips together to complete on project. I shot for artists in my hood, realised that I was actually good and I started taking it seriously. I volunteered at an agency for a good year then I decided to go to school and study film. During that time I was not catching any rest, I was always shooting and editing. I’ve done quite a few things outside music videos, and even produced a couple of unreleased short films. I’ve done some stuff for Trace Africa which was like short documentaries promoting young people that are making moves. I’ve done quite a few things but I enjoy music videos the most because I love music.
Would you recommend your industry to people trying to break into the scene? What advice would you give them?
I would yes because we are the new rock stars (lol). Jokes aside, we need more young people creating in the streets and in a few years this will be one of the most powerful industries in the world. It’s really not easy though, mostly the independent route, you lose a lot of money because the reality is, this is something very new in South Africa but we slowly getting there and there’s so much money to be made and lives to be saved.
What’s next for Motion Billy? Do you plan on staying in SA or are you planning on going abroad?
What’s next for me is to move overseas, I’m really loving the scene in Canada.