Wesley Black's new single OUTLAW! is out now! We chat to the musician about the release and more.
Perth rapper Wesley Black has unveiled his new single, OUTLAW!, accomapnied by a captivating visual. Built upon an emotive narrative and stimulating topics, the track and its visual were influenced by a poem written by the musician during his teens. Conceptually, the track navigates overcoming your darker emotions to form the best version of yourself.
The songs music video continues the interpretation of Black's poem, whilst also taking inspiration from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. In the clip, Black encounters his conscious who instead of helping the rapper, could prove to be a figure in bringing abour his demise.
OUTLAW! is out now! Read our interview with Wesley Black below.
Tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey...
Doing poetry and story writing. All those skills helped me craft a character called ‘Wesley Black’ for one of my stories, which I later undertook as my artist name.
Congratulations on the release of OUTLAW!. The track is built upon an emotive narrative and stimulating topics conceptually. What prompted you to explore the themes present on the song?
The whole music video and track were both influenced by the OUTLAW! short story I wrote in my late teens. OUTLAW! is just about overcoming dark emotions, bad consciences and vices to become the best version of you. This song proves that I have the desire to be the very best, and it uses a lot of negative energy to do so. Being the outlaw means that you stand on your own two feet, and you can turn a bad place into the best one.
The track is a heavy mix of electronic and trap elements alongside high energy vocals. How did you arrive at and craft the songs sonic soundscape?
I think after releasing RED! I knew I had to follow it up with something even harder. OUTLAW! is a track that features a much bigger and deeper soundscape than anything I have released. The bouncy 808s and hard kicks instantly made me visualise scenes from the OUTLAW! music video, and the track changes mood so many times, I want the listener to be taken upon a fast journey. From an aggressive into, to a cocky hook, back down to a melodic croon before a trap drop, the track is made to take people on a road they haven’t yet travelled.
OUTLAW! music video is full of powerful scenes and vivid imagery. Is the video clip influenced by the song itself in terms of the symbolism within the clip?
The music video is really inspired by the aforementioned “OUTLAW! Short Story” I wrote in my late teens, but also from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut film. You can usually tell what movies I have been watching when I make a music video, and this one is no different. I had to make sure the scenes were perfect in this, as the story goes so deep for me, and every location helped me achieve this.
Could you tell us about the experience shooting the music video for OUTLAW! and how involved you are when it comes to planning the visuals for each track?
I’m always super involved in all visuals I create. I love to write, direct and edit them all myself, and for OUTLAW! I actually got to work on sound for the first time too. I love to use short and more melodramatic effects when needed, and this was definitely a track for it. I wrote the music video for it over the course of a month or two, and instantly became attached to it.
How important are the visuals to you when it comes to conveying the story and meaning present on the track and how involved are you in the creative process?
The visuals to me, are essentially the most important part of the track. I like to think that every song I create is cinematic in the sense that the listener can visualise every song they listen to, but the music video means that I can show the listeners exactly what I intended them to see. Especially for me, who has many songs based off of childhood stories and characters I created, the visuals are something I am overly attached to.
If OUTLAW! was a piece of visual art, which artwork would it be?
On one hand, I want to say a doll with her hair viciously cut off, as that's what the cover art for the track was. But I also wanna say a beautiful white and gold masquerade mask. I used both of these in the music video, and they stand out as key elements in the story.
What messages do you hope listeners take away from the track?
Listen to your emotions. Overcome the negativity and vices, you’re way more powerful on your own.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording?
Creating this ‘Wesley Black’ character helps. For every song, written or recorded I have to enter the Wesley Black mindset and really become that character. He is so different from my personal self, but this way I can say exactly what I wanna say without holding back, and I can say it as aggressively as I want.
Are you working on any new music? Will there be an upcoming full-length body of work? And if so, what can listeners expect?
Definitely. I have a project full of energetic and insane hard songs. All red-rap. On the other hand I want to follow this with something incredibly raw and in touch with myself. A lot of content will be coming this year.
Did you encounter any challenges whilst creating music during the COVID-19 pandemic, or did it allow you the time and space to immerse yourself within this musical project?
100%. I was supposed to shoot this video around 3-4 months before I actually did. I could’ve shot the video, sure, but I would’ve had to remove the horse riding shots. That’s just something I couldn’t do, and in hindsight I made the right choice.
The current pandemic has obviously put a halt to touring and performing live, what are your touring plans post pandemic? If any, what can people expect from one of your live shows?
My live shows are full of energy, passion and proudly, mosh pits. Expect more mosh pits in the future, harder and bigger. Most importantly, get ready for my live shows to change- they will be turning into something more visual I hope, I want to change the game.
Trippie Redd, Travis Scott, Smashing Pumpkins.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Siamese Dream (Smashing Pumpkins) or Life’s a Trip (Trippie Redd).
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Rage, energy, passion.
A musical release you’re most looking forward to in 2021?
Kendrick Lamar hopefully.
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Run Lola Run would be so sick.
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
The best/most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
Armageddon I or II, both were insane.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Siamese Dream (Smashing Pumpkins)
Best concert you have been to?
Any GOAT show probably, I love Perth live music.
Last concert you went to?
SuperEgo at Mojos, they were insane.
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure?
The Prodigy, or just any 90s rave music.
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
Complete would be sick.
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
Kanye West definitely.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Keep reinventing yourself, think of your next goal before you finish your current one.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
One of my friends told me to keep writing after I wrote her a poem.