Cazwell has new music for our playlist.
The track is Taser In My Telfar Bag – it’s a collaboration with Trace Lysette and Chanel Jole.
The video is directed by Abiel Hernandez.
We’re into it.
Ice Cream Truck
Cazwell has revisited one of his classic tunes with an updated version and a new video for his track Ice Cream Truck.
Every inch is delicious.
The Cazwell interview
What was it like growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts as a young gay guy?
It was kind of hard growing up gay in Worcester. It’s a tough city to grow up in – gay or straight. But, by the time I was a sophomore in high school, I found other kids like me that weren’t necessarily gay but were involved in the arts. It’s important for kids to have more options than just sports in high school. I was lucky.
When you first discovered your love for music, why was rap and hip hop the genre that appealed most to you?
My love of hip-hop came a little later than my love of music. I grew up listening to a lot of pop music, as well as The Cure, but didn’t realise I had a talent for rapping and writing songs until I was about 17 years old. In my early years, as a kid, most rap didn’t speak to me.
My ultimate rap heroes were definitely the Beastie Boys.
Did any of your rap or hip hop heroes end up disappointing you?
Dr. Dre has always been one of my favourite producers. I remember in 1997, he had an interview with Kurt Loader who asked Dre if he cared that he offended gay people with his homophobic slurs. Dre said – ‘No, I don’t really care with those people think.’ When he said ‘those people…’ it really struck a nerve.
I’m grateful that the temperature in music today wouldn’t allow for that, but it taught me that – when you’re gay – sometimes the people that you look up to are the same people that don’t care if you die.
What gave you the confidence to move to New York City to pursue your music ambitions?
Before I moved to New York City I’d already started my career in Boston. I dropped out of college to pursue music full-time. It was pretty obvious that you can only go so far in Boston as an artist or musician.
At the time I was in a group called Morplay, and we were getting gigs in New York, so we figured we should just get up and move there and make it happen. New York can be very intimidating at first, but it’s a beautiful city where you have access to everything to make your dreams come true.
Your music and your videos almost seem to defiantly embrace the label of ‘gay music’ or ‘gay hip hop’ or ‘gay singer’ – has that always been a conscious decision?
No, absolutely not, but I totally understand how I can be labelled that way.
When I write music, make a video, or perform, I’m doing it from a gay man’s perspective. Keeping it real about the gay man’s point of view, and keeping it as relatable as possible is what’s kept me in the game so long.