We caught up with hip-hop artist Mishlawi to chat about career highlights, fashion & how he spends his time away from the studio.
How did you first get into the hip-hop scene?
Well, I have been passionate about music ever since I can remember. All I wanted to do was jam and to learn to play different instruments, but it wasn’t until I was fifteen that I decided that I actually wanted to try writing songs and using my voice for the first time to create music. It was just something that I spent hours on end doing every day, I wanted to learn to get better at writing and recording by myself. It wasn’t until about two or three years later that I was picked up by one of the bigger management agencies/indie labels in Portugal that helped me invest in my career to work at a professional level for the first time.
You grew up in Portugal, what’s the music scene like over there?
Portugal is a small country, so it’s not very surprising that the music scene is as well. There is definitely a bunch of musical talent and inspiring ideas floating around but overall its a scene that develops very slowly and an industry thats impossible to make a living off of music through sales. The cool thing about the Portuguese music scene is that festival culture is very big, and artists can make money and sustain themselves in music by touring.
Name three artists you had on your playlist when you were younger…
If we are talking about when I was really young like eight to ten years old definitely Eminem, Mariah Carey, and Pink Floyd. Definitely a weird mix but I got to Mariah by my mom who would always crank her music at home even since I was a baby, she said I wouldn’t sleep if there wasn’t loud music on. Pink floyd is just one example but many rock bands I got into because of my dad’s taste and also because when I was young through a lot of my childhood my dad was in the classic neighbourhood rock cover band in our area in Phoenix, Arizona. Eminem on the other hand was just huge and unavoidable at the time, I remember I used to buy all his albums in CD and play them on a walkman when I was little.
What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Always a hard question for me because I can never just single out one song and say its my favourite…
Your latest rack ‘All Night’ has over 8 million YouTube views and has received huge UK support. How do you feel about the success of your latest release?
Its honestly an amazing feeling to see my music grow like that and have people who appreciate and support my work, its definitely what motivates me the most to work on music everyday aside for my love for creating it also. I think that people should listen to it because I think I was the first to create a track with the mix between latin and trap music and the sound was innovative.
Have you got anymore upcoming releases you can tell us about?
I am going to release an EP before the summer and then my debut mixtape sometime closer to the end of this year, things that I’m working on currently!
Are you hitting up any festivals this year? Playing or Attending?
For the UK I actually have nothing confirmed this year for me to play and no plans to attend any yet, but hopefully that will change! For now I am just focusing on creating music and keeping the growth going and playing my tour that I already have booked, but I would be more than happy to play a date out in the UK soon!
If you could headline one festival in the world, which would it be?
Probably Coachella or Lollapalooza in Chicago.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
Its tough for me to pick just one highlight, to me every milestone is a highlight/every big next step. But for the most part I would say some highlights would be playing the main stage of MEO Sudoeste, which is the biggest stage and arguable the biggest festival in Portugal, and also going to Russia to perform for the first time and getting play for an audience so far away from home and experiencing that was just crazy to me.
Where and when was your most memorable performance and why?
My most memorable performance was probably the first time I played outside of Portugal which was in Moscow, Russia. It was an insane feeling to see people so far away from home enjoying my music and knowing all the words to my songs.
If I wasn’t a hip-hop artist I’d be…
Definitely something else in the creative world, I would probably go into film which was something I was really interested in before the I decided to take music 100% seriously.
Favourite film & TV series?
Favourite film is probably Shawshank Redemption. Favourite tv serious recently has to be Breaking Bad.
Drink of choice on a night out?
Gin & Tonic
If you could have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Describe your style/fashion?
Pretty urban inspired for the most part I love sneakers and comfortable clothes that I feel stylish in but also not uptight or stiff in. I like a lot of different style though and usually will mix it up depending on wear I’m headed or what I’m feeling.
Who’s your biggest style inspiration?
No one specific, just grew up checking the style of so many hip hop and r&b artists that I used to just want to dress like them, now that I’m a little bit older and more open minded I just like to check out and learn about all different styles and what people are coming up with.
What would you wear on a night out?
Really depends on wear I’m going, but if its something chill and not too classy I usually just like to keep it simple/casual and be myself- don’t like to be doing too much or trying to hard with it.
Who’s your dream girl?
Somebody who understands my ambition and the lifestyle that comes along with trying to make music and be in the limelight. Smart, open minded and gotta have a good sense of humor for sure.
What are you looking forward to most in 2018?
Releasing as much good music as I can!
Can you give any advice for those wanting to make it in the music industry?
Focus on making the music that you like and do it for yourself, and never, ever be too picky with what you make – if you like it and it makes you happy its good enough just put it out.
Check out Mishlawi wearing our Pinstripe Woven Bomber.