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Over the last few months, 18-year-old Memphis native Jon Waltz has been building towards the release of his debut project Alyss, along the way acquiring some well-deserved buzz. Today not only do we get the opportunity to premiere a new song off of the forthcoming release, but we were also able to catch up with the young emcee to discus the offering, in addition to finding out some details about Alyss. Stream “Video Girl” above, and learn the meaning of the song, and much more, below.
Talk to us a bit about the song “Video Girl.”
The song “Video Girl” is a short story in itself. It talks about a beautiful girl who makes all of the wrong choices. I think my job as a musician is to give both sides of every situation because most people only show one side of every story, I think situations like the one described in the song are both a blessing and a curse, and people seem to forget that.
“Video Girl” is set to be included on your forthcoming project, Alyss; give us some insight on the concept behind the project and what direction it’s been taking musically.
I’ve been working with Tebs Maqubela to develop the Alyss and make it the project I want it to be. The title and theme are based off of being in a different world like Alice in Wonderland, except Alyss is spelled differently. I think I was in a weird and dark place recording this, and it really reflects on that. Even though the project isn’t about my life, some of the songs might as well be. Alyss and I are very similar. Musically, we’ve been tinkering with icy soundscapes and laid back drums, finding the right combination of rapping and singing.
One of the most difficult things for a young artists is crafting a unique sound that they feel really represents them, do you think that’s something you’ve been able to accomplish with Alyss?
I think if you’re looking for a unique sound, you will find it in Alyss. I think this body of work not only represents me and where I’m at in life, but a lot of us as well, while still being able to capture a moment in time. I focused more on the concept than the sound, but next project, we’re focusing completely on the aesthetic of the record.
Both the song and video for your track “Bang,” which is also set to be included on the project, have garnered a lot of attention. What would you say it is with that song specifically that has been responsible for the type of response?
I honestly couldn’t answer that correctly. I’ve never thought there was anything special about the song, but I remember that being a changing point in my life. It was the first time I ever sang on a song, and it was one of the first times I tried singing ever. The song was finished and mastered within two days. I had no idea it would be so special. I think it’s a very relatable song because I think a lot of us feel like a part of us is dead, and we’ll never get that part of us back… We just won’t all openly say it because there’s a time and place for everything.
Lastly, we know it hasn’t been announced yet, but do you think you could let us in on who is set to be featured on Alyss?
THE Overweight Drake… Mr. Michael Christmas.