5 min read
ODD!ITY Exclusive - Denzel Curry tells us How important it is to reinvent yourself and How to deal with fake people
18th December 2018
Text: Samuel Ogunfojuri
Denzel Curry has been killing 2018 with everything he touches. The Florida native´s long-awaited album TA13OO finally arrived this summer and was critically acclaimed by rap fans and blog critics. Since then, he hit the road and even came to London for a show to please his fanbase in Europe. While in town he didn't hesitate to burn up the booth by spitting flames for a BehindBarz freestyle with Link Up TV.
ODD!TY: Tell us about your foundations, how did you get started in your field?
Denzel Curry: When I was young you know, 12 years old, my homie taught me how to rap. His name is Premi Sterling, look that name up. He taught me how to rap back in the boys and girls club and then next thing you know I just kept doing it. So when I hit 14 that’s when I started recording, trying it out you know, recording on MP3s, $5 microphones, audacity – whatever I could find to record. Because I was already writing songs and stuff but it was like little freestyles and little stuff. Then I took it serious at 16 when I got kicked out of art school and then next thing you know boom I landed myself in Raider Klan with SpaceGhostPurrp and Xavier Wulf, Yung Simmie, Nell, Rell, all of them. And then went solo, dropped my first album in high school and then its just been like that ever since.
ODD!TY: For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:
Denzel Curry: Unpredictable, epic, versatile, raw and crazy.
ODD!TY: Were you inspired by something/someone specific?
Denzel Curry: At first it was like 36 Mafia and then Outkast – basically southern rap. Then it started to be other forms of music that I started to get in to, but initially it was like Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi, Kanye West – Early Kanye West! Not new Kanye West, I don’t know about all that – Just a disclaimer. At the same time I was influenced by like stuff that I really enjoyed and things were different from the norm. Now its just life that I’m inspired by.
ODD!TY: You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?
Denzel Curry: I mean its life. I just take what happens in my daily life and what I see on a regular and I just put it in to songs. If I’m really feeling it that the process. When I’m really feeling it, writing is easy. When I’m not feeling something then I stray away from the norm of writing it - I’ll freestyle then go back to it later.
ODD!TY: What musician would you like to collaborate the next and why?
Denzel Curry: Probably Andre 3000. I want to collab with Juice WRLD and I want to collab with Kid Cudi too.
ODD!TTY: Do you have a favourite piece of creative work and why?
Denzel Curry: I’d say all my projects, you know.
ODD!TY: From an artist perspective how important is it to reinvent yourself
Denzel Curry: It’s really important because, they don’t want to keep seeing the same thing over and over and over again so I’ll always reinvent myself every year into something else. Even if its not hitting right there I’m going to find something else or something that’s going to hit. Straight up.
ODD!TY: Did you expect the music business to be the way it is?
Denzel Curry: Yep. Well actually no I take that back because I didn’t expect like your own homies to hate you. I didn’t expect like jealousy to come from all fields, stuff like that you know. Just people and the egos. Fake people working, I didn’t expect that because I came in the game oblivious and naive so now I’m just like hey, it is what it is! I don’t take no offence. I just fuck with who I fuck with, I just do what I gotta do and I just leave it alone.
ODD!TY: Can you share one of your best moments in your career so far (and why)
Denzel Curry: Ayy the wrestling thing. My clash between me and Flatbush Zombies, I think that’s my favourite part of this year right now.
ODD!TY: How do you respond to criticism?
Denzel Curry: Oh, not very well. I don’t respond to criticism very well. I hate criticism. I hate when somebody tries to tell me what I should do when they are not in my shoes to do it or have the talent to do it, you feel me? So don’t tell me how I should do something.
ODD!TY: If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now
Denzel Curry: Making comic books, being a real g, being on the block, serving… nah I’m kidding. Err, I’d probably just be making books, writing, probably be in college, trying to be a psychologist.
ODD!TY: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/?
Denzel Curry: Having fun, going to Six Flags, having sex, drawing, listening to music, working out doing, martial arts… yeah.
ODD!TY: As mental health is an important subject matter what do you do to maintain yours
Denzel Curry: Shoot, I just like take a break. Well not take a break. I just keep to myself, collect my thoughts, you know. Try to work out as much as possible, stay active, just stay fresh in the mind, just like recycle things, process things, let things go just and just work on myself.
ODD!TY: Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety? If yes, how did you overcome it
Denzel Curry: Nope
ODD!TY: What do you do when you felt like giving up?
Denzel Curry: Do something else and then come back to it.
ODD!TY: How do you feel about social media as tool for promoting your brand?
Denzel Curry: Hey, It’s a necessary evil to have. You need social media because nobody knows where to find you, who you are or how to connect with you so I’d say its like a necessary evil to have because like everybody can see what kind of person you are, what you do and however you portray yourself online. You never know it’s for people’s entertainment so it’s getting to know them when you can’t get to know them personally.
ODD!TY: If you can have your fans remember one thing about you, what would it be
Denzel Curry: That I kept evolving no matter what it cost.
ODD!TY: Looking back is there anything you would chance since being in the rapgame
Denzel Curry: Nah, nothing.
ODD!TY: One key piece of advice you want to pass on to any aspiring creative?
Denzel Curry: I’ll say this once and I’ll say it again – don’t get bored!
ODD!TY: If you would have to compare your London fanbase to your fanbase in America, what would you say are the fundamental differences?
Denzel Curry: I don’t know - but London goes crazy though. I’ll say London always goes crazy.
This ODD!tY Magazine online exclusive has been produced by
Talent: Denzel Curry
Art Direction and Styling: Nayaab Tania
Photography: Thai Hibbert
Words: Samuel Ogunfojuri