West coast hip hop is well-known for its explicit content, gangsta lyricism and killer swag over knockin’ beats. Keeping the reputation of notorious talent, Qualmes
merges smooth melodies and rough diction to produce today’s hottest trend in rap music. Spittin the truth of the streets from hustling to snaggin the ladies, his hard sixteens capture the ears of music-lovers all over the world. “I rep cali to the fullest and will always remember where I come from but I make sure to keep my songs universal for everybody to hear my story of my life and what i been through to get to where i am now.”
Q1: Thanks for the interview fam, so what made you choose the stagename “Qualmes”?
Likewise I appreciate you reaching out to me. Qualmes is actually a name I picked up on thanks to my moms. Growing up she always pushed me away from talking with slang or talking out of context and a word she used a lot was qualmes(spelled qualms). Whenever she didn’t have a problem with someone she would say I don’t have any qualms with that. I utilized that as whenever someone hears about me they wanna be like na Im not fucking with that nigga I don’t want any qualms with dude. Its a name of respect,a name that holds a big title to it. I put my own twist on the spelling and ran with it
Q2: In a lot of your songs you seem to just keep it real and a lot of artists these days don’t seem to do that, why does it matter to you?
Most musicians just don’t want to be real with themselves, how can you be real with your audience if your lying to yourself? Your surroundings are everything,what you see is what you get. If your not living in the middle of an environment where people are killing each other,selling dope and living in poverty how can you paint a vivid visual for people to follow if your writing about that? Im not gonna sugar coat whats going on out here, but at the same time that’s not all your gonna hear from me cause that’s not all Ive seen. I’ve been fortunate enough to go around the world and visit different countries and bless my eyes with different things the world has to offer. A track like Kilo’s & Gram’s you hear straight up what a lot of us see everyday,people tell me its vintage “LA’ street life….then you hear a track like Make You A Star Tonight where its like I’m walking you through back streets in Europe where your seeing stores like Mango and seeing the city of Sicily. You gotta be able to go everywhere with your music Domestic and International
Q3: Along those same lines, many artists in the industry are sacrificing substance for better production in order to sell, why do you make your music?
You know that’s a big pet peeve I have with music today. Beats with A plus efforts mixed with what seems is 10 minutes worth of creativity. There not a lot of artist that can constantly pump creative music out over and over and over again. Its better to take your time and polish your product then flood your audience with music just so you can show them you’re an “artist”. I feel a lot of musicians who are still on the come up in the industry feel if they don’t have music coming out every week people wont believe you’re an actual “rapper/writer/singer/producer/etc”. People spend years on albums to polish it to perfection, Im not saying go on the Detox route but have the music be able to speak for itself.
Q4: What do you think of artists who do end up sacrificing the quality of their music?
If it works..it works…Im not in this to criticize the next man about how they make there next dollar.A lot of cats don’t wanna be the next Nas,Em or Jay. There fine with there quick entrance and exit and that’s perfectly fine. My only problem is a&r’s need to be able to weed those type of artist out of the pack and not waste as much promotion/time/etc on them and lock in on those who have longevity for the label .
Q5: You’re a comedian to many of us who know you, for those who don’t, what’s another one of your hobbies?
Im real heavy on traveling. My mom started me really young on that being we were back and forth between California & Denmark a few times a year. I feel as just a person in general you start to realize more of who you are when you leave your everyday surroundings. Its nothing like experiencing walking off a plane into a city where you’re the foreigner . Im pretty sure were all so used to every culture coming into are backyards that we don’t know how it feels to walk in those shoes
Q6: We can’t avoid it, but you’re a west coast MC and they haven’t been getting much respect as of recent, what makes you different?
You know that’s a question I’ve come accustom to in a lot of interviews and plan to have to answer in every interview after this. I’ll always start off saying Im not Snoop,Quik,Dre,Kurupt,etc,I feel to many west coast artist try and fill there shoes over and over again. That’s a downfall to a lot of artist from the west because they get to caught up trying to re make albums like Doggystyle or The Chronic. Just be you,where do you think the next star comes up from?from being themselves. When I sit in the studio or wherever Im writing my mindstate isnt how can I make It Was A Good Day all over again its about making a record with the same impact as that did. Its all about new direction with me.
Q7: How has the west coast or music in general, influenced you?
Its influenced me a lot.I grew up on it,watching my older brother run the streets gangbanging that’s all I heard. You know a thing people don’t give the west for having is that we have always had are own unique style that influences every other region. No other coast has been able to rub off on every other coast as much as the west. At times we get to caught up in that 90’s sound we brought out,but as of late Ive been hearing tons of different directions that’s bubbling us back to that position we need to be in.
Q8: For those who aren’t familiar with you, how long have you been in the music industry?
I’ve been doing this serious for about 4 years now
Q9: Give us some the names of artists you’ve worked with and how has it allowed you to progress as an artist?
I’ve been around producers for the most part of my career which has helped me a lot in finding my own direction.I haven’t had a rapping mentor which has kept someone from being in my ear telling me how I should do this or do that Ive been lucky enough to go through my learning experiences relatively by myself. My close friend GQ put me on a few years ago and since then weve been doing tracks none stop. Dude is crazy talented,Ive never heard a producer who can do so many different genres as good as he can. Through him Ive been lucky enough to meet Tony”Tone”Touch whos also another amazing musician that people sleep so heavily on. With both there help Ive been able to take my music as a whole to another level. Other than that its been mostly local cats Ive worked with. Jase-Ryn who has appeared on both my tapes is a phenomenal singer,his voice captures you from the moment you hear it. He’s my go to guy when I need male r&b vocals on a track. Ive also been working heavy with Eunice Kiss who just blows other up and coming pop artist out the water.Shes such a dope writer at times I think she over looks how talented she is,shes family so working with her is second nature.
Q10: Which group or solo artist, dead or alive, has influenced you the most?
Im gonna catch a lot of flack from this but 50 has always been an amazing artist to me. I could careless about dudes personal life but fifth as a songwriter is something I have always respected. How many artist have been able to knock out so many hits in such a short time for himself,his artist and others in the industry like he has. Dudes work ethic is out of this world.
Q11: What’s up next for you and your music?
Project after project after project. I got something in the works with my man BobbyFresh that’s gonna be dropping within the next couple months that’s gonna make a lot of noise. Im also in the works with doing a collective tape with my man Grindtime Tommy and my Grindtime music family that’s really gonna have the streets buzzing. And in-between all that Im getting ready to start work on my album that Im gonna independently push out…..well depending if Im signed by then or not lol that’s tentatively titled Red Eye Flight, The whole concept for that is just mind blowing. I really wanna take my time and polish that perfectly
Q12: What’s one quote, possibly a song lyric, that you would say you live by?
Theres no such thing as a dream,cause that’s just something for you to get lost in
You can look for Qualmes on more Shadyville projects the rest of this summer and on other various projects with Grindtime Music Family..
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