Meet The Artist Monday: Upper West (04/22/2011)

New Age Hip-Hop!
I’m starting “Meet The Artist Monday” which I will throw up here every Monday, clearly. These two guys have the honor of being the first, rightfully so. I just finished an interview with theme. Dougie, does the raps, and Jesse, does the hooks. Making one of the best combos I’ve seen in a long time. These two high school seniors have gained a ton of attention recently, over 1,000 downloads on their Soundcloud and over 600 fans on Facebook. They just put their music up on Facebook literally a week ago and have blown up! Check out the interview to learn more! I have streamed their first song by them for you guys, I will have all of their songs up here very soon (all this week possibly). Get ready for this because I don’t think you are.
Nothing We Can Do: Listen & Download

Different Girl: Listen & Download

Interview with Upper West: April 22, 2011
Today, I sat down and had an interview with Dougie (Doug) and JFink (Jesse) from Upper West, a New Age Rap duo making a lot of noise this week.
Where did the name Upper West come from?
Basically we were experimenting with a couple different names and none fit. Then one day when we were out with some friends one made a comment saying how we were both from the upper west side of Manhattan, New York. Right then we just looked at each other and knew it and were like “Upper West!” and it worked out perfectly.
How did you guys get started on music? What artist were your inspirations?
I (Jesse) have been playing instruments since the age of six and was always big into music for fun and listening. Inspiration for Jesse: Mike Posner. I (Doug) wrote a song in September and started recording it  and created an own new style. Our first song together was done end of December, right before the new year.
Where does the inspiration from the lyrics and music come from?
Most of the lyrics I (Doug) write just pop into my head, like one line to a song comes and the rest come out with it. I (Jesse) do all the producing and music. I’ll sit down at the piano and kinda fuck around til I find something that sounds cool. We’re different because we write the lyrics first then put the instrumental around it. Most artist get the instrumental then, write the song, so we kinda do it backwards.
You guys bring a different type of Hip-Hop to the table. What separates you from the rest in your opinion?
Well I’m (Jesse) gonna brag about my man Doug here, a lot of rappers just talk about getting girls, money, and weed and shit in their songs. But, we talk about things that have more substance, our songs are more like stories than bragging. We kind of do a hip-hop with a pop catchy edge that has meaning. A lot of rap groups and rappers are too scared to touch or think about doing the style we do because they’re afraid it would sound tacky, but it really doesn’t Yea, when I (Doug) write a song people are always telling me “oh no that’s not you, that’s never happened to you before. Like our song “Nothing We Can Do”, people are always telling me how I’ve never been in Iraq or a soldier. Like they say, you’ve never been through that how do you rap about it, you aren’t living that life. Well, all the other rappers are rapping about Lamborghinis and shit,  aren’t really living that life either. They’re rapping about stories that aren’t true either, we’re just rapping about different stories that have substance.
Outside of music, who is Upper West?
Well, I (Doug) play baseball and I’m going to Washington University in St. Louis, and we’re just normal kids. We’ve been going to school together since Kindergarten in Manhattan, New York. We literally just posted our music on Facebook a week ago. I’m (Jesse) going to UPenn, (University of Pennsylvania), next year and I play basketball. I’ve always been into music. We’ve gained a lot of attention since we were on GoodMusicAllDay and we’ve gotten a lot of attention, kinda blowing up and it’s great being in NYC and all. We’re just song average bros.
What are the big dreams for Upper West? Where do you guys see yourselves in 3 to 5 years?
Everything is just so new and upcoming, I mean hopefully we want to get signed of course. We’re still trying to figure everything out. We never expected all this attention, we’ve had over 10,000 people listen to our music in over 35 countries on Soundcloud. We’re on the right track right now, but have a long way to go. In 3 to 5 years, we don’t know what to expect. We’ve already overcome all expectations in just a week.
You two go together perfectly, how did you two decide to try the music industry together?
When I (Doug) wrote “Nothing We Can Do”, I recorded it to Kid Cudi’s song, “Dat New New” and I used that chorus. I showed it to someone and he said it was good but I need original music. So I went to Jesse because everyone knew he could sing and make music and I told him I need him to make me some beats and collab with me. Yea, and I (Jesse) was just helping him out with this project, and it really clicked. We showed it to everyone and it was really a split deal and works perfectly. Doug can’t sing and I can’t rap, and I don’t like to write songs, but Doug does. It’s a 50 50 deal that works perfectly. And our minds are very alike in the music mindset and what we are looking for. Everything runs smoothly.
Anything else you would like to let your fans and Wiche Kids know?
Keep an eye out for us. Keep listening. Keep Supporting. Be the fans to help us get better and bigger. We’ve got a lot of new stuff coming, bunch of new songs written the beats and instrumentals just need to be made. Be on the lookout for them coming soon!
Robert Kelly

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