ABM: What is your artist name? Any other names you go by? Tell us the story behind your rap names.
Lew: My name is LEW. I also go by Papi LEW. My godfather Louis passed away when I was a kid, and my middle name is Louis, so I kind of just carried it over into my stage name. I just spelled it a bit different because I felt like “LEW” looked a little better.
ABM: How long have you been in the creation of music and the actual music game?
Lew: I fell in love with rap music when I was eight years old in the back of my brother’s Ford Explorer. He put in the ‘Lil Wayne – Tha Carter 2’ CD and thats when I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I didn’t know I wanted to be an artist until about a year ago. However, I have been making beats and producing for other artists since I was 13.
ABM: How important is it for you as an artist to create balance in your life?
Lew: It is extremely important to create balance in life. I believe balance is the key to a happy life. You have to be able to balance your family, work, school, emotions, aspirations, etc. If you can’t find balance in all of this, you will never be able to enjoy life.
ABM: What got you involved in the hip hop scene?
Lew: Aside from hearing ‘Tha Carter 2’ for the first time, I think what really got my involved in the hip hop scene was my cousin Elzie. He’s the person who downloaded Fruity Loops onto my computer for me and showed me how to use it. From there, I just couldn’t get enough and we just kept working and learning.
ABM: Where are you from, and what was it like growing up there?
Lew: I’m from East Oakland, Ca. It’s a very culturally diverse place where you gain a lot of knowledge and just life experience at an early age. You’re exposed to so much here and I think it’s really amazing. Sometimes I feel a bit out of place here because the music scene is a bit different from the style of music I create, but I think it’ll catch as soon as people begin to get a hang of who I am.
ABM: What inspires you as an artist and what are your early influences?
Lew: What really inspires me as an artist is the night time. I really love the quiet eerie feeling when its really late at night. I feel like thats when I find the most inspiration to create because I can hear myself think. Also cold, dark, and rainy days bring a lot of creativity out of me for some reason. I really want my music to reflect that type of vibe.
ABM: What do you typically rap about?
Lew: I typically rap and sing about the things I think about every day. Most of the time my lyrics are about the things that people who have big dreams experience, such as the desire for a nicer life, being able to financially support my family, all the fake and deceiving people you come across on your way up, experiencing with girls, etc.
ABM: What are your last full length releases people can go check out right now?
Lew: My last full length releases that people can go check out are on Youtube and Soundcloud now. Two songs: One called “These Days” and another called “No Time”.
ABM: What are you currently working on?
Lew: I am currently working on a few new singles. No full length project yet. I want to get a couple visuals out there and some big name features on a few of my beats and songs before I drop a mixtape. I definitely have some things in the works though.
ABM: What is your ultimate goal at the end of your career?
Lew: My ultimate goal for all of this is to change the culture. I want to see my sound influence not only my city but the world. I want sold out venues in arenas and deals with Nike. I want to be the biggest name in the world one day. Owning my own record label would also be super dope.
ABM: How can people reach you?
ABM: Any shout outs?
Lew: Shout out to my mom for always cooking the best meals and keeping me in great studio shape. Shout out to Elzie for teaching me how to even do this thing. Lastly, shout out to Michelle for never giving up. Bless up!