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Music Focus on the youth: Atlanta-based musician Pryce talks culture and collaboration

Oct. 7, 2019
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Around February, Put Me On Management reached out to let me know Pryce would be releasing an album. As part of Sesh Collectiv, a film collective based at Howard University, I’d seen him perform before and had prepared to interview him at his release party. That was put on hold, though. In June, Pryce released his album, Not Afraid of Heights, on all platforms. This week, he release the music video for “Real is Rare”. It reminds me that good art—art you’re proud of—takes time.

Not Afraid of Heights is Pryce’s declaration of success and, with its range in sound, it tells listeners to have fun—but to do the work too. 

Adolescent: How would you describe yourself as an artist? Could you sum up your journey so far?

Pryce: Okay, so basically I’ve been making music since I was 13. I signed to RCA/SONY when I was 16, and I was in a group called History in the Making. You know, we flourished regionally. Once I went to college, the group stuff started slowing down, so I started performing solo and venturing outside of rap.

Adolescent: Speaking of that, have you heard Lil Nas X’s 7ep? I noticed for the genre on iTunes it said alternative rather than rap, which is crazy. He has, like, rock and country and all of that. Would you ever try to model something like that?

Pryce: I would definitely like to get into other genres of music. He has songs on there like “Old Town Road.” and stuff, but the beats were totally different from what you’d hear in a rap song. His album was sonically different. 

Adolescent: Are there any artists that you think could be mentors for you?

Pryce: Of course. Drake, J.Cole, LL Cool J, I mean—I listen to everybody. Even people like Future, Rae Sremmurd, you know. People that have just been here and created vibes that our culture enjoys. I’d like to get insight from any of them, really. 

Adolescent: A lot of stuff on the album is about young people. Was that inspired by personal events?

Pryce: I’d like to say it’s how I view my life. I try to keep it authentic and real. I try to stay true to myself when I’m in the booth at all times, so I just talk about what I’ve gone through. Or I might just get on the track and have some fun and talk. 

Adolescent: So, how do you balance social media? Do you even balance it at all?

Pryce: I’ve been on it a lot recently just because my project dropped, but I feel like I use social media just to be an artist. I don't even like to post stuff I do every day. I try not to fully indulge in it because I feel like it's dangerous. 

Adolescent: How did growing up in Atlanta influence you or your music?

Pryce: I feel like I got a Southern feel to my music. Growing up, my pops was always putting me on to different music. I feel like I got a lot of different inspirations from that as well. So, like, my favorite rappers currently are Carti, Future, Thug, and Skooly. It's just a certain culture, I guess. I like to indulge myself in that and show that I’m from there. That's why I started making music. I fell in love with that culture. 

Adolescent: With the album, was the process collaborative between producers, engineers, and other artists? 

Pryce: When I started making music as a solo artist, I started making music with Swell. He basically produced half of the album, like four or five tracks on there. He also gave me an outside ear. He’d produce some songs or I'd show him some songs produced by other people, and that's how we basically curated the album together. It was really me and him going back and forth until I had enough songs for a project. Then, I presented it to Cam and all my other friends who helped me with the album. They helped me on the marketing side, Cam and Kobe and them. My other friend, KD, helped with social media.

Adolescent: Who do you make music for?

Pryce: Whoever tunes into it and likes it, that's cool with me. I like to focus on the youth because they’ll be the ones in charge. 

Adolescent: Do you think going to an HBCU affects your art?

Pryce: Absolutely. It definitely helps. Going to an HBCU helps a black person in so many different ways. I feel like it helps me culturally—helps me define who I am. And it’s also highly competitive there, because you meet so many different people trying to do different things. It just opens your mind up. The world’s bigger than you thought it was before, and there are so many people like you striving to be great. So that’s my take on that. I always definitely encourage HBCUs.