HHW: Could you detail your Twitter encounter with Pharrell and how the affected the sound of Kidnapped in the long run?
Wara From The NBHD: When I released the “’98 Rocafella” video, he must have saw it. He followed me on Twitter, so I reached out from a fan’s standpoint and told him how much he inspired me. He hit me back and told me that he liked my lyrics, he liked what I was talking about.
I feel like I could have kept the conversation going, but I ended it right there for the moment that I meet him in person and we could actually talk. It was a short conversation, but it was enough to make me want to change everything. I felt like if Pharrell’s listening to my music now, I want him to feel like it’s something he can continue to listen to.
It kind of turned me into a monster. The convo inspired me so much to keep going. Pharrell didn’t even have to say much.
HHW: Kidnapped is essentially a one man show, which you wrote and produced. Can the same be said about your cinematic visuals?
Wara From The NBHD: It’s always a team collaboration. On Kidnapped, I did all the production, but I had help putting everything together, of course. That was my first time producing an entire project, so I had some co producers.
But as far my visuals, they’re all last minute. I can spend months building a concept, but when we finally get to it, I’ll scrap everything. When I sit there and I come up with these concepts for vids, I’m thinking too much. The last three videos that I’ve shot, it comes down to the point that we shoot it and don’t want it anymore. We end up coming up with a new concept on the spot. They always seem to work out.
HHW: It seems like the arts, particularly film and literature, greatly influences your work. Would you say that’s true?
Wara From The NBHD: It did from a major standpoint. At one point in time, I actually wanted to turn Kidnapped into a book almost. I go towards those things to draw the most inspiration, especially film. I can honestly say that I’m more into film than I’m into music.
In my videos, I feel like I have to play a character in a way because I’m just a regular dude. If I gave fans my life, it’s not really entertaining. Sometimes I shoot dice with my friends, a lot of times I’m at the crib with my son, and other than that, I’m at the studio all day. But my videos are my only opportunity to do what I’d like and use my imagination.
That’s why film is so important. It allows you to be what you want to be. Not even from a fake standpoint, but you can push your limits on your creativity.
HHW: If you could name three things that you’d like listeners to get from Kidnapped, what would they be?
Wara From The NBHD: I want the listeners to know that situations like that are real; there’s really young dudes who live that life and really don’t have a choice.
I also want people to appreciate the art aspect of the album. You can’t just judge art off one glance. From the Kidnapped illustrative point to the album cover, everything that I do has a deeper meaning. I wouldn’t put my son on the cover, pull his pants down, and BOOM–that’s it.
Lastly, I want upcoming artists to realize that you can push boundaries with your music. People can put you in a box, but that doesn’t mean that you have to succumb and accept what people expect from you. A lot of people want that boom bap sound from me, but Kidnapped represents where I’m going with my music. It’s rock driven and it’s different from my standpoint. You’re never gonna get the same thing from me, because I’m always evolving as a person and moving forward in my life. My music reflects that.