“You gotta keep the tea on deck,” HG Locks tells us as he settles in for our interview. Tour life isn’t easy and you can tell Locks goes hard on stage, you can hear it in his voice. This is his second tour of his career- this time, he’s been ceaselessly touring the US alongside close friend Fetty Wap. The Bronx native hails from one of the most musically venerated Burroughs in NYC and is helping carry the torch since exploding on the scene over a year ago.
If there’s one thing that HG Locks is about, it’s about growth and translating that into his artistry as a rapper. His tracks are all dynamic, like his lyricism, and his music is never stagnant. Each single reveals something different about the rapper and his wordplay stays on point. His newest single “Brand New Wave” is both a metaphorical and literal interpretation of Locks’ genre bending foray into new musical territory. Before he hit the stage at the House of Blues, KBX got to sit down to talk to HG Locks about his evolving sound, tour life and what we can expect from him in 2018.
Talk to us a little bit about who you are as an artist. We know you’re from the Bronx but why don’t you tell us about what got you into music in the first place?
I started off playing basketball so I was always dabbling between basketball and making music. Even when I was just playing ball and I started rappin’ on the side, everybody use to tell, “Yo, you aight!”. I was like “Nah, I got hoop dreams, I’m trying to play ball for real”. I went to school and I injured my knee and when that happened, I decided to lock in on music. My boys recorded the first music video and when I saw the reaction it got, I was like okay this is for real.
How would you say your life has changed over the past year? You had some huge platforms cover your content last year and you really became a household name in the industry. How has that affected the day to day?
How can I explain this? I feel like I was always gettin love but to see the reaction that people give me now, is crazy…I can’t even walk to the store no more but it’s all love though, I appreciate it all. For me sometimes, because I be chillin so much, I forget that I’m turning into somebody and that’s the hardest part, the transition. Realizing there are some things I can’t do that I used to do…things like running outside, going to the club when I don’t have to go…
Your most recent single “Brand New Wave” just dropped and it sounds very different from your previous music- it’s bouncy, it’s mad light- what was your process like musically, from where you are to where you are now?
Definitely, when it comes to making music, I focus on diversity. I know I can make street records, that’s nothing, I know that I can also make club records. I try to base it off of what is gonna push me, I’m thinking, how can I challenge myself? At this point, if I hear something and I don’t instantly get a vibe on it but it’s still dope, then I know that it might be a challenge to me- I like to challenge myself.
“Brand New Wave” is one of those records where I wanted to see where it’d go. You know, someone even told me it’s got a little pop wave to it and I’m thinking, that’s dope for me, Pop is where the money’s at too. I focus on diversity, I wanna show that I’m not just one type of artist.
Right and you can hear that in “Brand New Wave”, that’s what your talking about throughout the entire track, showing us something different. So on that note, what can we expect from you in 2018? How will your sound change?
In 2018, you can expect more growth. I have so many records in the stash right now. I want to be smart in the execution and I don’t want to overflood the market. In 2018, you’ll get a full project, I want to keep building up the anticipation behind it….we working. This tour I’m on right now is a blessing- shout out to the bro Fetty Wap!
How is tour life going for you?
You hear my voice, it’s crazy!
Keep the honey and ginger on deck!
Most definitely need that. But nah, it’s been dope, this is the second tour that I’ve been on and it’s just a blessing. I can’t thank my brother any more…I’m just thankful and grateful to have a platform for us to do what we wanna do.
If you could use that platform, to say any one thing to the people you have an impact on, what would you say?
Stay down till you come up and stay resilient, stay true to yourself cus in this game, they’ll try to sway you a lot…It’s a trendy game we’re in, so stay true to what you feel most comfortable with, keep working hard and the results will benefit you on their own.