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Music December, 12 2011

A Conversation With Buddy – Pharrell’s Compton Protege

While we’ve always been fans of the music coming out of Compton, the city’s overall image has never really been the most pleasant one. However, up and coming rap sensation Buddy is ready to start spreading California Love again, and he does it with a whole lot of charm.

By now you have probably already seen the visuals for his latest single ‘Awesome Awesome’, which debuted on the ‘How To Make It In America Season 2 Mixtape’. The video already shows that Pharrell’s protege is here to have fun and enjoy the ride as much as he can. But do we actually take this 17 year old kid seriously? We say you’d be a fool not to. Giving his second release ‘Bell Ring’ a listen, you quickly realize that Buddy is far away from being a one trick pony. Many questions in mind, we decided to chat with Buddy for a bit, to find out what he’s really about.

After the flip Buddy talks about how he is actually planning to change Compton’s image, the task of teaching Pharrell the cooking dance, his favorite sneakers of all time and more.

Hi Buddy! You seem like you popped up out of nowhere, but you’ve been rapping for quite some time. Could you quickly introduce yourself?

It’s been a while since I realized I wanted to do this. I just started out with GarageBand, recording songs and I loved it. I learned how to edit and then did my own videos at one point and put those on Youtube. It’s just always been a passion for me and now its starting to pay off, so I’m a lucky man.

What kind of influence did growing up in Compton have on you and your rapping?

Growing up in Compton was pretty fun actually. I was never really involved in like Compton activities. My parents always made sure that me and my sisters, always had something to do on the weekends. Whether it was acting classes or going to the movies…just activities. They just always made sure we weren’t just in the streets. But Compton definitely made me the man I am today, it was definitely a good experience to have

You said you want to change the way people look at Compton. What exactly do you mean by that and how do you want to do that?

Through my music mostly. I grew up in Compton but I’m all about having fun, I’m pretty outgoing and I’m nice. My name is Buddy you know [Laughs]. I’m friendly I’m just here to make friends and I’m just tryna show love to everyone…no hatred. I’m just all about individuality I don’t think people really should define themselves through other people, know what I’m saying. Everyone can just be themselves and it’ll be a better place, better world, better life.

Like you just said, your name is Buddy but your Twitter handle is @MeltsLOVEBuddy. Who is your favorite melt (that’s what Buddy calls girls)?

[Laughs] That’s funny, I wouldn’t single out one in particular but there are a couple favorites. None worth telling the name [Laughs]

So you are being managed by Scott Vener, which seems like a great move. How did you get his attention?

Through my management. So, I was meeting with him and showed him some of my earlier work and he enjoyed it, you know. He liked what he saw. Next thing I know I’m sitting in a room with him talking to him shaking his hand…next thing I know I’m signing a contract and am in Miami recording with him. It all happened so fast, it’s just wonderful right now.

So how did you get signed to Pharrell’s new label, i am OTHER?

I met with him and he liked what I was doing, you know. He heard couple of my songs and saw a couple of my older videos and he digged it, he wanted to work. So I signed the contract, I didn’t want to pass up such an amazing opportunity you know, so I started working. He flew me out to Miami a couple times and we’ve been working ever since.

You just came back from a recording session in Miami, what are you working on right now?

Yea, a new record. Everytime I go to Miami we’re just in the studio. You know, P was just sitting on the piano and trying to create hotness. He comes up with the beat and then he’ll already have a melody how he wants me to rap it and then I just put the words to it and it just all comes together so fast, its actually amazing how it happens. So I was out there in Miami working with him on new songs, we’re gonna drop a couple songs and see how people feel about them, so people can get to know me a little bit better.

The production for ‘Awesome Awesome’ sounds like a 2011 version of the typical Neptunes sound. Is that the kind of sound we can expect from you in the future?

I don’t really have an established sound yet, right now I’m just perfecting my craft. I’m working towards being able to establish myself. I still need to grow in the craft though, until I’m overall more comfortable…so yea hopefully soon I’ll have a better answer for you.

Alright no problem, we can talk about that again at some point.

Yea.

So for your debut are you planing on working with the Neptunes solely or are there other producers/artists that you can see yourself working with?

I’ve already been in the studio with a bunch of different producers, like Dj Qick or Chuck Inglish. A lot of different producers. A couple other artists I’ve worked with like Snoop Dogg or Kendrick Lamar so far but there are plenty of people I wanna work with. The list is endless, you know. Everyone who’s willing to work with me, I wanna work with them.

You’ve been dancing a lot in your Youtube videos. We’ve seen the cooking dance, the dougie, the cat daddy…are you working on your own dance right now?

Eh no. Not yet. None of my own personal dances yet, I don’t plan on making any dances, but hey we’ll see where where the wind blows.

Have you taught Pharrell or Chad one of those dances yet?

Oh yea I definitely taught Pharrell how to cook. We was in Miami cookin’ all that heat.

Did he pick it up fast?

Oh yea , he gots it. He’ll do my personal body movements from now and then. It’s pretty comical.

So rumor has it you are going to college, is that true?

Yes, ma’am.

Have you already picked a major?

No, right now I’m just doing my General Ed, but I guess I’m going with business because this rapping, this art is my business you know. So I need to just know about it – more information. The more education I have the better, you know.

To wrap it up some more random questions. What’s your favorite sneaker right now?

Right now? I would have to go with Jordans. Yea Jordans. You just cant beat ‘em you know. No ones gonna talk about you, if you don’t have a pair of Jordans on, no matter what the numbers.

What is your favorite pair of Jordans?

Right now I have on my 9s, actually. And then my favorites are those 11 Space Jam Jordans, but I messed mine up so I gotta go get some new ones. Yea, those white and black 11s…I wore those to prom.

What’s the first thing you do when you come home after a long trip?

First thing I do is go chill with the homies, they miss me they be sending me text messages like ‘man you need to come back’, so I chill with the homies. We hang out i’ll tell them about my experiences. We’ll laugh, we’ll giggle.

Lastly, one of our readers asks what’s your favorite flavor of iced tea?

Lemonade iced tea would have to be the best kinda iced tea made in the world. Arnold Palmer is the smartest man alive.

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