Desiigner has been having one hell of a year. Two months after posting a song called “Panda” to YouTube, it caught the attention of Kanye West who catapulted the rapper into instant stardom. In the months since he was included in XXL‘s 2016 Freshmen Class, released the stellar mixtape New English, dropped another chart-topping single with “Timmy Turner” and has appeared in about every talk show, publication and video series imaginable. And all of this at the age of 19.
His latest foray into the world comes courtesy of Interview magazine, who has featured the rapper in its upcoming issue. And he has been interviewed by none other than Pusha T, his current label boss and mentor. Below are some of the choicest quotes of the very revealing profile.
On creating “Panda”:
“It’s like, God put the words in me. The way it started, it’s like I saw the movie in my head and just wrote. I didn’t even think about it, I just blanked out. It was a zone I blanked to.”
“I’m an artist, I’m not a rapper, I’m nowhere near a rapper. I’m an artist, and I’m here to be creative with every step I take, with every move I make.”
On his creative process:
“I’d do a little something, and I’d put it in between something from another track. It’s just being creative, and putting things that are right together. You feel me? You can’t put bad on beautiful sound. If it’s beautiful, it’s always going to work. I just always work on that.”
On his rough upbringing:
“I came from struggle. I came from the block, where I was trapped. I didn’t want to live through that anymore. It wasn’t because I wanted to do that; I was stuck there. Every day I prayed on it. I didn’t want to deal with that. I was shot when I was 14. My mom was crying. I was like … I’m happy if I’m living.”
On his musical past:
“I was a singer. I used to sing to the girls, “Happy Birthday” and all that. Did the Temptations. I always knew how to play around with my voice, make people laugh. I’d be crazy. Just my swag I guess. God blessed me.”
On his upcoming debut album:
“It’s going to be a whole lot of visuals. It’s creativity on top of creativity. Merchandise, tours … It’s going to be crazy. ‘The Life of Desiigner,’ baby.”
“Life itself, creativity itself. All types of music. I’m inspired by everything—all types of sound. You know what time it is!”
Be sure to read Desiigner’s full conversation with Pusha T over on Interview Mag.
In other music news, Frank Ocean’s excellent new album Blonde has been disqualified from this year’s Grammy Awards. The reason why may shock you. Read about it right here.