After recently returning with his stunning comeback single 'HOLY SPIRIT' earlier this year, Atlanta-based rapper Von Graves is back once again with his wondrous new effort 'CHURCH HURT'.
Lifted from his forthcoming new album 'For Heaven's Sake', which is due out soon, 'CHURCH HURT' makes for a powerful return from the artist at the helm. With his smooth and shimmering flow layered across a progressive production throughout, he is definitely one of the more enchanting names rising through the ranks right now.
So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and what has been inspiring him most lately.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Lol. The saxophone. My dad used to listen to a lot of jazz music when I was growing up and I was obsessed with learning, “That’s the way love goes” by Janet Jackson on sax. I wanted to play in the school band but we couldn’t afford one so the school let me borrow a used baritone. I remember it had this huge dent on the side of it and the mouthpiece was used so I just quit and never thought about it again.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
I listened to everything from Jazz music, to gospel, and especially R&B. The music gave me goosebumps and could always take me to places emotionally. As I got older and got more into hip hop music I still looked for those feelings in it. In hindsight I think that’s why I was such a big fan of artists like Kanye, Drake, J. Cole, Common, Tupac, Outkast, 9th Wonder, etc.
What was the first album you remember owning?
Hmm.. that’s tough. I know I was obsessed with Michael Jackson being a kid and owning this MJ ring I used to wear all the time. I also know the first concert I ever went to was a Lil Bow Wow concert being from Columbus. I guess by the time I was old enough to buy music (or at least ask my parents to) it was probably either Bow Wow or Lil Romeo since it didn’t have a lot of cussing in it.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
This is kind of embarrassing but I vividly remember in high school wishing I wrote, “Birthday Sex” by Jeremih. That’s super random and I have no idea why lol.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
Traditionally I spend several years developing a concept, storyline, and overall vibe for a new album. Really just processing what’s happening in my life and how it’s shaping me (good or bad). I’ve always been a writer/ storyteller at heart, even more-so than an artist in a sense, so I’m always looking for the story in every season of my life. Music to me is like a timestamp I can always refer back to to see where and who I was during that particular time.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
I’m always drawn to authenticity and with the world being so oversaturated with trends, algorithms, and hype-beasts the artists that have stood out the most to me aside from myself are Madison Ryan-Ward, Brent Faiyaz, Sondae, recently I’ve been listening to Damani (T.I’s son), among a few others.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Easily J. Cole, Kendrick, or Kanye.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
The ability to make someone not feel so alone in their thinking, perspective, and world-view. Also, the ability to create something cohesive that will literally live forever.
And what is the most frustrating part?
The natural concern with other people’s opinions and feelings towards your art.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Not to do it for money.
Von Graves' new single 'CHURCH HURT' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.