Colossus has been sure to keep its finger on the pulse when it comes to new rappers getting attention. One that we have been watching grow over the past few years has been Blake Fades. Formerly Young Fades, the rapper out of Ardmore, Oklahoma is making waves in the industry, getting attention off his freestyles, and building a solid fan base. His music is raunchy, fun, and perfect for any party playlist. Recently, he took the time to sit down and talk with Colossus about being from the country, Hennesy and Red Bull, and his upcoming album Southside Cowboy.
Colossus Music: Let’s start off simple. How did you get into music?
Blake Fades: Oh man, I’ve been into music since I was fifteen. I always liked rap. I’m from the country, like cows and chickens and shit. I didn’t hear rap until I was like eight then started liking it and went to school with a bunch of people who liked it as well. I fell in love with it. I loved rapping along to the songs. I didn’t try to make my own music until I was fourteen or fifteen. One of my homies was like ‘just do it bro. If you suck, you suck and that’s that.’ People liked it so I just kept doing it. I started a little thing in the city where I am from. Everybody used to come to my house to record. We bought a shitty $7 microphone and took a wire and bent it then stretched pantyhose over it to create a pop filter. We were just doing whatever we could to make music. That’s really how I started and I’ve kept doing it ever since.
CM: So if you didn’t hear rap music until you were eight, who was it that you heard that made you really like the genre?
BF: Nelly! And his song “Country Grammar“. All that shit really. That was my first rap love. Nelly is dope as fuck. That whole Country Grammar album I loved. Then every day after school I would come home and watch “106 and Park”. I just loved it and always thought it was dope. Where I’m from is really diverse. I was just always around rap so I gravitated towards it.
CM: You mentioned your buddies were coming over and recording at your house. Is there a community of hip hop artists in your town or in Oklahoma to help grow you?
BF: Yeah definitely. There are definitely people here. I think there were fifteen or so people who were rappers and would put out mixtapes and songs. Everybody would do songs together and help out. I used to press up CDs and go sell them around town for $5 at the gas stations. Oklahoma too is super overlooked. I don’t know anyone from here who has blown up major. There is definitely a community though. I learned a lot of shit from this dude named LB. He was like the biggest rapper I knew out of my area. He showed me how to record myself, how to edit my vocals, shit like that.
CM: So you have really started to pop off. Last year you had over 2 million streams on Spotify and Apple Music. There is even a video of one of the cornerbacks on the Chicago Bears dancing to “Beeper”. Obviously, you got attention and a lot of fans. How did that come to be? Did it happen overnight or was it more gradual?
BF: Since I was eighteen, I’ve been doing concrete work and construction. One day, I was on my way home from work. I was dirty, tired, and hot. I saw a freestyle on Twitter. It had like 30,000 retweets or something. I was like, ‘man I’m gonna freestyle when I get home.’ So, went home, took a shower, made the freestyle then put it on Facebook. It was the “Ending Racism Freestyle“. I went to sleep then woke up and went to work. When I checked my phone it had like 70,000 views. I was like wtf bro. People were messaging me and shit and it was blowing up. I realized I needed to capitalize on it so I grew it from there. The freestyles were what got people looking at me and then when they realized the music was good they stuck around. I think people like my personality that comes through in the little videos I put out.
CM: How do you now continue that growth into the end of 2019 and further to 2020? Is another album on the way? Music videos maybe? Basically, how are you gonna deliver to the fan group you already have while growing that fan base altogether?
BF: Honestly, I’ve been slacking just cause I’ve been dealing with shit outside of music. I dropped Fades World and I think it’s great but I haven’t shot any visuals to it. I need to capitalize on that, being that it is good videos which will help spread it. I want to drop “Glide” and “Dancer” and maybe “Digital” or “Tms”. Hopefully those will start spreading and while that’s happening I will be working on a new album called Southside Cowboy. That’s gonna be fucking crazy. I’m gonna do all the production for it. If you didn’t know, for Fades World, I produced six or eight songs on there. I helped make “Glide”, I made “Dancer”, “Super Freak”, “Tms”, “2:15”, I made all those beats. I’ve done everything myself. I record myself and write all my own lyrics. For the “Beeper” music video, I helped with the idea and my homie Pat made most of it. It’s all self-driven. We’re independent!
CM: That’s awesome! Walk me through your creative process, especially if you are so heavily involved in the beat production. Does it start with the beat or start with the vocals?
BF: Randomly shit will pop in my head. I will click on the voice recorder on my iPhone and say it in the melody I had in my mind. Then I will use FL Studio and make a beat to it. Then I find the melody that matches up and make a track that way. Or my homie TFitzz will come through and bring me some samples ready to go and I will just come up with the melody off of that. 80% of the time it’s hear a beat, like the beat, turn the recorder on, go in the booth, freestyling a bit, then mumbling to find the melody then finding the lyrics to match.
CM: At the end of the day, a lot of your music is party rap. Drinking, smoking, girls, all the fun stuff. That being said, what is your favorite drink?
BF: Hennesy and Red Bull. Yeah man, it’s delicious to me. I’ve tried Crown and Coke and I used to drink Ciroc all the time. But Hennesy and Red Bull is the shit. Thot Juice. Always.
CM: Now you mentioned this new album that you are working on is going to be titled Southside Cowboy. Even on Instagram, you hinted at creating “Swim Mcgraw” as your country rap alter ego. With that being said, what is your opinion on this new wave of “country rap” with guys like Dababy, Lil Nas X, and Lil Tracy?
BF: For the Swim Mcgraw thing, I’m not even sure if I’m gonna do that really. I was working on this song and I was gonna approached it as a parody country rap. But then I thought it actually came out as an alright song. As for Dababy and Lil Nas, I think it’s dope. It’s fucking amazing. It’s good music and I love all music really. I think its dope because being from the country hasn’t always been that cool but now it seems like everybody loves the cowboy shit. It’s crazy.
CM: Who is your favorite mainstream artist right now that you are listening to?
BF: I listen to so much random shit honestly. The past week I have been listening to a lot of Nipsey Hussle. I usually just shuffle my playlists. I listen to Hank Williams Jr., Elvis, Frank Sinatra, funk music like Earth, Wind, and Fire, Stevie Wonder, really anybody. All kind of music is on my phone.
CM: If there was one feature on Southside Cowboy that you could get, who would you want? You get one who is current and one all-time great?
BF: I would do Drake cause anything that has Drake on it pops. Then I would do George Strait, on a rap song though. Just like how Billy Ray Cyrus worked with Lil Nas, I want to get George Strait on something.
CM: So you just changed your stage name recently from Young Fades to Blake Fades. Why the change?
BF: I was Blake Fades first and then I switched to Young Fades. I did that because I felt like I needed more of a rapper name for some fucking reason. That’s when I came out with “Wave” and all those singles. But all of my fans still know me from Blake Fades. My homie mentioned switching back, so I asked my fans on Instagram what they thought. They were all giving really good points about originality and that Lil and Young are so overused. I switched back because it’s original and it’s mine.
CM: Alright, time for the question that has become standard in all Colossus interviews! If you could have dinner or drinks with any three artists, living or dead, who would they be and why?
BF: Jay Z, P Diddy, and Nipsey Hussle. I want to ask them questions about business models, how they move through the industry, how they went from being independent to billionaires. Just to get knowledge from them really.
CM: And then the follow-up. Is there a certain place you would want to take them?
BF: I would take them to this catfish place that’s in Ardmore. It’s really good. Some real country catfish. Or just to the pasture to shoot some guns. That’s shits fun to blow things up.
CM: Speaking of pastures, I see all the time on your Instagram stories videos of you with cows.
BF: Yeah I own cows. I go out and feed them and put them on Instagram and shit. I still live in the country you know what I’m saying. I feel like me growing up in the country and internet being so prominent, or better yet me being able to see shit from different places made me who I am. I got to see “106 and Park” and Air Force 1s. I don’t have to try and be one or the other, I’m just both. I’d say the internet is what should be credited for that.
CM: Alright, so last question, what do you want the rest of 2019 to be for you?
BF: I want to be popping. I want to be touring. If it’s small tours or a big tour. I’m lacking on visuals. I only have one music video out and I have fifty songs. I want to take Fades World and blow those music videos up. Then I want to release Southside Cowboy mid to end of summer. I want to make summer popping with both albums and hopefully be touring, selling merch, linking up with rappers that are above me and just get moving up. Hopefully, get to around 150,000 followers on Instagram. Maybe that’s a low goal. Who knows honestly!