#Knew Me When
Finding his sound has been both a journey and process. But the rapper Scott Paul hailing from William Paterson University continues on his trajectory toward his ultimate goals. with a newly refined sound and the confidence to keep moving up and forward.
Which artists did you listen to growing up?
It’s funny. Growing up, I listened to completely different music than I do now. In elementary school, I mostly listened to pop music. It was in middle school that I really got into R&B and Hip Hop. My early favorites were Usher, Eminem, and DMX. Kinda strange looking back on it. Michael Jackson might have been the first and most frequent artist I listened to [as] a kid, though. My mom always had his tape in, and my brother and I loved it.
Who are some of your biggest influences right now?
I’m influenced by a lot these days. Musically, I try to grab influence from as many as I can. I can say Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, James Blake, Drake, and Kanye are some of my influences. That’s honestly a short list, though. There is so much from so many artists that I have grabbed onto.
While you were studying at William Paterson, you were regularly involved with a now defunct YouTube Channel called Room Rap, which hosted videos of a couple students freestyling over a new beat every week. Those videos have since been taken down, but tell our readers a little bit about your experience with that channel.
Room Rap was a lot of fun while it lasted and resulted in some friendships I still have to this day. Reid was another freshman on campus and he started this weekly freestyle cypher hosted in his dorm room. He called it Room Rap. This kid Steve who lived down the hall showed it to me, and we reached out to him. After that it just kinda took off, and we were able to build a lot of buzz from it. The following year I had freshmen telling me it influenced their decision to go to Willy P. We had a great time while it lasted.
You mentioned Reid Stefan as the founder of Room Rap. Now he’s an EDM artist signed to Island Def Jam. Have you two remained close?
Yeah, Reid is the homie. We don’t talk as much we used to since he’s in L.A. now, but he still mixes my records and still produces some of my tracks. I’m planning on flying out there again in October / November to get some work in. I hope to stay with him and [that] we both continue to climb.
Do you think Room Rap had any influence on your current style?
I think it did have an influence on my style. I’m from a place where there aren’t many rappers, so to be surrounded by so many and always feeling like I had to up my game definitely made me better.
I also have fans who expect certain things to this day because of the videos. I got away from doing punchline and complex rhymes, and some of my fans let me know they want that back. I’ll be showing that off in a lot of my new music.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve been working on new music for quite a while. Finding my sound is important to me. I realize being different and being unique is more important than just being good. People won’t tune in if you’re really good but sound like that other guy. So I’ve been shaping my sound, and I’m getting ready to release a lot of new music. I have an album in the works, but it’s more important to me to just worry about getting great songs out as they come.
Feature Photo by Catalina Fragoso
This article first appeared in Issue 04