ITW – Darrell Simms

Darrell Simms - ITW

Everybody has something to prove, but some are better at actually doing it. Case in point: we recently premiered “Elements”, the latest track from upcoming rapper Darrell Simms, and it seems crystal clear that this is an artist whose plan is to show the world exactly what he’s capable of, or die trying.

His story so far is anything but typical, and his story to come is nothing if not intriguing. I had a chance to talk with Darrell and learn a little bit more about both – from his youth spent in Sweden, to his steadfast goals moving forward, and more. Take a look.

Interview and introduction by Jon.

You’ve been all over the map, having been born in Florida, raised in Sweden, and based in LA. What are the most important things that you’ve gleaned from each location, musically, and is there one place in particular that you feel most connected to?

I felt like being in Sweden, opened my mind up in terms of what genres you can mix with hip hop. The pop/EDM scene is big out there so when i started doing music in high school, i leaned more towards that. When i went back to Florida, i got a broader in sight on hip hop in general because i feel like the competition there is a lot harder. I felt like i had to step up lyrically based on what i was surrounded by.

I definitely feel more connected to Sweden because i feel like my story there is going to take me farther and really separate myself from the crowd.

Speaking of Florida – and looking at Broward in particular – it’s been crazy seeing the spotlight in hip-hop suddenly shining on South Florida, with artists like Kodak, XXXTentacion, and Denzel Curry all representing. As a native, what does SoFlo’s burgeoning rap scene look like through your eyes, and do you feel a kinsman ship with other artists from the area?

It’s crazy because when I moved back to Florida, Denzel and Robb banks were establishing a buzz and I thought it was cool but it was way different to the music I was making. Once I started adapting more towards my surroundings, I gained a new-found appreciation for it.

What was the deciding factor that made you move back to the States to fully pursue music?

I originally came back to see my biological father after 11 years. I ended up going to Broward college for 6 months, and then I dropped out because that wasn’t the main goal for me. My sole intention was to focus on the music.

I definitely feel more connected to Sweden because i feel like my story there is going to take me farther and really separate myself from the crowd.

Your latest track, “Elements”, really caught our ears right away. You said you wrote it when you were angry about being taken for granted as a rapper and artist, and that passion clearly shows. What’s the most important thing you want people listening to your music for the first time to understand?

I want them to understand that my experiences are different from everyone elses. I want them to grasp the creativity behind everything I do. Most people didn’t really understand me I feel. I don’t want to be put in a box solely as a rapper but as an artist that is saying something within his music.

The bars on that track are slick as hell, too. Any one line stand out as a personal favorite?

“amazing you claim you the plug nigga, you do not show us the love nigga, please don’t test my intelligence”

Throughout this experience, I have heard so many people claim that they have connections, that they know people and that they can connect me with the right people if they wanted too but yet they just talk at the end of the day. Same guys that claim they got so much music to share but never go to the studio. It got on my nerves. Being me that takes this seriously . A few of my boys from Broward that I’m coming up with felt the same way so I put in the song also on their behalf.

The beats you’ve hopped on from your project “The First Blink” up until now span all kinds of different sounds and vibes. Who are some of the producers you’re working closely with at the moment and, since there doesn’t seem to be one particular factor, what is it that you mainly look for in a beat?

The first thing in a beat that has to grab me are the synths and the chords. Those are the key substances in my opinion.

Like the First Blink was my first real project. I co-produced most of it with my close friend in Sweden, David Teymouri. He is the one I turn to if I need songs with more diversity. Other than that I work closely with only a few producers I feel I share a special bond towards. I have never been the type that likes taking beats off the internet and doing covers and I never really wanted to ever to pay 500 dollars for a beat that plenty of other people have already rapped on.

What’s coming next in terms of tracks, videos, projects, or just an overall message you’re looking to get across ?

For this next project, I’m going to not overthink it as much. The beats are going to be a lot heavier on the bass and the flows are going to sound even more confident. No filtering and even more grittier than “The First Blink”. I’m calling it Wilcox Ave. I want the raps to really hit and show people that I can rap on this style of music too. A lot more wittier bars.

My sole intention was to focus on the music.

Finally, where’s the best place to keep up with your latest moves online, and where are you going to be playing live in the near future?

Well people tend to follow me more on Instagram than anything else. My Soundcloud link is in the bio so people can have easier access to the music. I’m planning on getting more shows this summer in LA. I just did a show hosted by sneakerhead. Hopefully I can perform a few singles from the upcoming project in the near future too. The updates will be on my Instagram/Facebook page (all links further down).


Follow Darrell Simms on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Soundcloud

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