NotGleams (originally Gleams) changed his name as a self-reminder to never forget where he started from in life. No matter where he may end up in the future, he vows to remain loyal to his New York roots that extend all through Harlem, Dyckman, Washington Heights, and Roosevelt Island. We recently got a chance to chop it up with him on Rap Olympus Media. Let’s peep how it went down.
How would you generally categorize yourself?
First and foremost, I’m an artist at heart. I can rap, sing, engineer, A&R projects, and create promotional content when needed. I have total control over my career and the direction it takes. Since I have an in-house studio, I handle everything musically except the beats, mixing, and mastering.
When did music start becoming your passion?
Music became my passion around 2001. Mom moved us upstate from Dyckman to keep me out of trouble. I always wanted to play baseball like every other Hispanic kid growing up, but the teams upstate were already filled. I had no other calling until one day in class, I wrote a rhyme and saw people’s reactions. I fell in love with that feeling instantly.
Who inspired you to start creating?
At the time, I was a huge Jay-Z fan. Even after Nas dropped the Ether bomb, you couldn’t tell me anything. I wasn’t near pro-level yet, so I drew from the underground lyricist of my time (Papoose, J.R Writer, Cassidy). I loved the long freestyles and punchlines. They helped me find my style early on.
What separates you from other artists in your field?
I’ve always been willing to say what I feel, even if it’s not a popular opinion. I’m not afraid to genre jump as an artist, and I don’t follow trends even though I’m well aware of what’s going on. I’m not afraid to bring what I deem as dope to the forefront.
Tell us about your most recent project?
“Slide” is my newest single heavily inspired by Chicago drill music, specifically FBG DUCKs sound. I recently started making commercial music and had to learn to give myself room to experiment. If I want to make this a living, I have to keep the consumers in mind when making music. “Slide” is a positive take on drill music. I’m not dissing any opps or gang banging. I’m just saying how I feel I’ve impacted my city and what we’re doing to feel that way. Also, we’re giving the word “slide” a new meaning, dragging it away from the negative connotation. The term means to do whatever you please and go wherever you want.
You’ve kept yourself pretty busy this past year. What’s next on the agenda?
I’m working on putting out my next album entitled “Q.” Everyone familiar with me knows I use some of my favorite movie characters to correlate my life. Last year we gave the people “Alan” from the hangover, the too cool but weird friendly dude who loves to get into shit. “Q” is Bishop’s rival from the movie Juice. He wants to focus on music, but his friends and family tend to distract him from his vision. This project will show the street side of my artistry and will be a mix of Trap, Drill, and hood love songs.
If you had to introduce yourself to a group of people who haven’t heard your music, what song would you pick and why?
I would have to pick “Slide.” The energy on that record reels people in, and it’s just enough to leave them wanting to hear more.
For more music-related news and business inquiries, you can follow and support NotGleams by clicking the links below. Remember to check out “Slide” on your favorite music streaming platform today.