Yhdysvaltain itärannikolta, Oaklandista, kotoisin oleva WORDUP tulee Suomeen tammikuussa ja kiertää keikkalavoja yhdessä Kuopiolaisen FTK-kollektiivin (funkkaa taikka kuole) räppäreiden Niko Novan ja Riku Ryysyläisen kanssa. FEAT sai artistin kiinni internetin ylitse:

Yo! A little bird told me that you will be having some performances in Finland at the beginning of January next year. You have already been in Kuopio, Finland, earlier and recorded there songs to your upcoming release. How did you end up in Finland and how did you meet FTK-group from Kuopio to do music with?

I first visited Finland, while on a world tour, with my DopeCity crew. We toured 16 countries, throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, back in 2016. During this visit to Finland, I toured with Aksim of Kemmuru, and was introduced to this amazing country. Aksim & I performed in the capital city of Helsinki, as well as Jyväskyla, and then finally traveled to Kuopio, where I met the FTK crew! We had a wonderful show, and we have been working together, and creating classic music every since. I have returned to Finland 4 times each year, since the time of my first arrival.

Have you had performances in Finland earlier? How was those gigs?

Yes, I have performed in Finland, many times in this year alone. First, we successfully completed our “Northern Lights Tour” throughout Lapland, Jyväskyla, and Joensuu, during January-February 2018 winter season, as well as performed live at Ilosaarirock 2018, and Liveblast Festival 2018, in summer. Each of my performances in Finland was a MOVIE. Each of my appearances seems to be more crazy and exciting than the last! Every last one of my shows was filled with incredible energy, and impossible to forget. The best part, is reuniting with my fans, friends, and family each time I return, to display new music!

…Haastattelu jatkuu alempana…
Katso alta toissapäivänä julkaistu musiikkivideo WORDUP – Legends Never Die:

What is the main focus in your lyrics? What do you want to say trough your piece of art and what is the most important message that you want to deliver to your listeners throughout your production?

The main focus of my music, is to inspire future generations to preserve our Hip Hop culture. Hip Hip is the only genre of music that has united every race of people, as well as bridged the gaps that exist between each social demographic & age group on Earth. No other musical genre has united the entire world, before Hip Hop. Because of this, I believe that as a messenger of music, and as a creator of culture, it is my obligation & purpose to set forth an example of morals and work that will impact others greatly, and ultimately help this dying art survive the ages of time. I hope the messages within my bodies of work speak to each listener with utmost positivity, and the stories of my travels encourage all people stay focused and always strive for your dreams. I want the world to realize that once you mentally commit towards accomplishing a goal, it is then already 90% completed. Believe in yourself, and always do the right thing!

Who are the rappers you personally know from Finland and how did you meet them?

I have been honored to meet Finnish artists of all genres, and apply their sounds to Hip Hop. Finnish artist, Aksim, is a very talented musician that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know, and work with. Aksim and I first met while he was on vacation, visiting San Francisco, California, USA. In the Hip Hop community, respect is the universal currency, so when I received an invite, from a mutual friend, to join a musical session with an international artist from FINLAND, I knew that not only was my reputation on the line, but I understood that together, we had an opportunity to create a new standard for the craft and fabric of Hip Hop culture, as a whole. I have also been very fortunate to personally connect & build with Finnish artists Riku Ryysyläinen & Niko Nova of FTK, Aleksi, Iina Mutikainen, Kriso, Gasellit, and Karri Koira, just to name a few. All of these great names I met, while traveling and performing in Finland, over the past years.

…Haastattelu jatkuu alempana…
Kiertueella mukana Niko Nova, jonka puhutteleva video alla:

I heard rumors that you have been almost “living” in Riku’s apartment in Kuopio, because Finland is kind of a “base camp” for you when you travel around a world having gigs in different countries. The next step could be that you live here in your own aparment. Could that be possible some day?

YES, hahahaha! All of the rumors are true! Being that Finland is so receptive to my catalogue, brand & sound, and also very appreciative & involved in Hip Hop culture, this country has become the home of my core fanbase, as well as my beloved base camp, and my most visited location in all of Europe. During the past years, I have spent a great amount of time in Kuopio, and I consider myself to be a part of the musical community there. It seems that in the past 2 years “Rockstar Riku” & I have become more than colleageus, and evolved into blood brothers, and business partners. We have separate energies, with the same focus & work ethic. We’ve taken much time, and put in much work, to see positive results from our joint venture between DopeCity x FTK. This is why I’ve returned to Finland 5 different times in 2018 alone. I am just now realizing that i’ve lived in Finland for the majority of this entire year! All of these experiences have definitely convinced me to set a goal for myself, of making Finland my permanent place of residence in 2019. So it’s safe to say that I should start searching for my own apartment right now!

…Haastattelu jatkuu alempana…
Myös Riku Ryysyläinen nähdään alkuvuodesta keikkalavoilla Word Up:in mukana. Tsekkaa letkeä video:

How old are you? How old were you when you first time made rap music? How did that happen?

I am 31 years old. I started making Hip Hop & Rap music at the age of 11. I fell in love with writing, poetry, and the overall feeling of the creation process, from beginning to end. Music started as an interest, then grew into a hobby, and evolved into my the purpose of my entire life. The art of sampling multiple sources of sound, and compiling them into a masterful new body of work, is the definition of Hip Hop. I fell in love with Hip Hop at that very early age, and have not looked back since.

The last but not the least: craziest thing that have happened to you in your life?

The craziest thing that has ever happened to me, in my life, would have to be when I returned home to Oakland, California, USA, after touring for 120 days in summer of 2017! I traveled to 9 countries throughout North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, all within a 4 month period. Upon my return home, I felt like I’d seen the entire world, all at once… similar to an astronaut’s view of Earth, from space. Imagine every 4 days, traveling to a new country, learning a new language, new history & climate, architecture, food, and tradition. There is no feeling like it! I encourage everyone in the world, to enable yourself to travel the world, keep your heart open & pure, keep your mind focused, and take every opportunity to learn as many new things as possible, every single day. Love yourself & stay humble. Im just trying to be the dopest in the world, that’s it. On all levels, I just want to be the dopest in the world! Never forget WORDUP x DopeCity x FTK!

Word Up julkaisee seuraavan kokopitkän levynsä 4.1.2019 – ja se tulee ulos Kuopiolaisen FTK-levymerkin alla. Pitkäsoitto löytyy ilmestyessään yleisimmistä suoratoistopalveluista (Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, YouTube Music, Google Play) ja siitä tehdään fyysinen CD painos.

Alla päivämäärät ja paikat, johon jokaisen hoppipään kannattaa alkuvuodesta suunnata:

11.1. 45 Special, Oulu
12.1. Kauppayhtiö, Rovaniemi
13.1. Hanki Baari, Ruka
18.1. Bar Myöhä, Jyväskylä
19.1. Next Step, Varkaus