The Atlanta artists who’ve created a stir in the industry over the last five years are a far departure from those we saw when the Dungeon Familiy reigned supreme. That’s changed recently, though, as a new wave of up and comers are embracing a more eclectic sound. In this class is ForteBowie (pronounced for-ˈtā-ˈbü-ē), a 23-year-old artist (it’s difficult to say he’s simply an MC) who hails from the south side of the A.
The newcomer actually isn’t so new at all. ForteBowie’s been operating independently for a couple of years now, and learned some important lessons along the way. One was to always be comfortable in his own skin and confident in the sound he was developing. You see, the southerner rhymes, sings, writes and produces nearly all of his material, making him all the more different from his peers. His Vice Haus EP released February 2o13, and was so good by his standards that he repacked it into a longer project he coined, Vice Haus: Deluxe.
That audible treat impacted the Internets last August. Since then, ForteBowie’s name has been buzzing much more. As his star rises, Hip-Hop Wired took a moment to speak with him during his ascension. Allow us to properly introduce you all to ForteBowie, an official Certified Fresh hall of famer.
Who: ForteBowie is an Atlanta native through and through that grew up during the era Dungeon Family put on for their city in any way possible. As a product of that and later eras that produced tons of stars in their own right, the word-slinger’s music is a musical gumbo of influences. When rapping, his flows are dynamic and his bars are both vivid and emotionally candid.
Credentials: We first got wind of ForteBowie due to his appearance on “Southside,” a song he rapped on and produced that appeared on Trinidad Jame$’ Don’t Be S.A.F.E. mixtape. That was the first of many breaks, but his career began over a year prior when he released his first project, Life + Times of David Ruffin, Jr. Forte followed up with Something About #Bowie, which gained him coverage in media publications like The FADER, XXL, Complex, and yours truly. He’s since remained consistent with his releases.
Fun Fact: Other than Outkast and the other wordsmiths you’d assume any ATLiens would fancy, ForteBowie cites artists like Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Prince, Sting, and Sade as big influences in his creative approach.
Photo: Jack Still