Get to know the man behind Blzyblyk as he discusses beginnings, the meaning behind the name, and what he finds most important as a musician.
Can you tell us more about your journey as a musician?
I don’t really consider myself a musician or a rapper, but a fan or an observer of music, who wants to dabble in the mix. I feel like when you call yourself a rapper, you’re automatically pushed into this character you have to follow. I’d rather not. Why not do something different? I like doing a lot of different stuff. I hate when someone comes up to me and knows me as just “a rapper”. It sounds kind of self-depreciating being appreciated for one thing, but not satisfied for being known for other talents, but that’s just how I feel.
I’ve always studied music and never strictly stuck to a genre. I was and am really interested in the stories behind the music. When I was in High School I started messing around with microphones and recording. I bought a USB microphone probably 5 or 6 years ago, split the cost with a friend, but the mic’s mine now and I still use it to this day. I downloaded FL Studio and just started messing around.
I couldn’t sing and I’ve always loved hip-hop. I’ve always kind of written raps growing up, but even though I’m half Filipino, half American, people perceive me as a white person. A white person trying to be a rapper is probably one of the most culturally looked down moves, and everyone knows that. I decided I would try to stay clear of the conversation of race in the music and work on depth.
After I made a really shitty mixtape, people actually started giving a fuck, really, because of the effort I put in. I didn’t make beats, but I recorded everything on my own: mix and mastered, designed the mixtape cover, created paper sleeves and burned CDs.
I was 15 and I wanted to be Bow Wow. From then on I’ve had a lot of opportunities. I’m honestly surprised, but I realized that people wouldn’t really lose much if they put me on. I did all the production myself. I just needed a spotlight.
I’ve been sponsored a few times from some start up shirt brands: local and one from the US. I feel like my priorities were different than now. I used to be really focused on exposure and making a name, and again, as cliché as it sounds, stopped focusing on the music.
A couple years ago, I started turning down opportunities like sponsors and show spots to focus on the music. I’m working on producing beats and ultimately creating a completely self-produced mixtape. I know if the music is good, the rest will come. I’m in no rush. Many of my peers have surpassed me, reputation wise, but I’ve made enough connections to focus on the music and have the appreciation come only if it’s deserved. That’s all I’m really working for.
How did you come up with your pseudonym and what does it mean?
I don’t care at all about my name, but I’d rather not put my birth name on something just because it kind of takes away from the enigma of the music. I used to call myself “Blud Buni” then it went to “bleezy” then when I realized the internet was going to be the platform for my music and other stuff I started calling myself “bleezybelike”… it’s a play on that meme, blah blah blah “be like”. Now it’s blzyblyk. I just like how it looks, aesthetically, so that’s what I’ll label my stuff, for now.
Where do you get your inspiration to write and what topics do you like to sing about?
You know it’s really hard to answer this question without being cliché and sounding pretentious, but I guess, the reason I make music, is because of what music has done for me. Music will always be the soundtrack of my life. Music is like a time machine. Certain songs remind me of very specific minutes in my life and bring back the emotions, physical surroundings and ultimately the vibe I was going through during those few minutes.
I feel like the music I used to make didn’t really hit those chords, but I feel with the experience and knowledge I’ve attained now, it is an executable option. Now, I wouldn’t settle for something less, unless the power is out of my hands. I just want my music to be the soundtrack to moments in people’s lives. I hate sounding like the typical “I do it for the art bro”, but maybe on some level I’d have to admit I am that guy.
Do you support any advocacies?
You know, I believe in what’s right. I’d rather not be a voice for social or political issues because I’m just a person like everyone else. I wouldn’t say that I have the answers. There will always be problems. There will always be wrongs and rights. Everyone will have an opinion and there are better people than me to fill that position.
The power I’d want to achieve, I guess really wouldn’t try use to fight issues, or really fight anything at all. I’d rather be the escape for people–to mentally get away from issues like that. I don’t know. That’s just what I’m saying right now.
I do fight for creativity over money. Don’t comprise your baby for money. If it’s good, people will appreciate it and the accolades will come.
Any upcoming gigs?
As of now, no. If anything, any opportunities that have come my way, most of the time have been turned down or postponed. After I finish this mixtape, a.k.a. my baby, there will definitely be a lot lined up, for that I am sure. This is the mixtape, that when it’s done, will be the time to call in the favors.
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Photo credit: Franz Weber