BRASH! is kicking off July with an artist who has been greatly inspired to strive for greatness. On his journey, he looks to motivate/inspire others as well. Stiff Lauren is not only a dreamer, he is a doer. With his passionate lyrics and hard work behind the scenes, this New Jersey native is doing what’s necessary to step out of the ordinary. Check out his exclusive interview with BRASH! below:
B!: How did you start your journey in music?
Stiff Lauren: My journey in music began about 3 years ago when I first heard a motivational speech by Les Brown titled “Its Not Over Until I Win”, that speech was absolutely life changing. Growing up, I’ve always had a passion for poetry, writing, and music. I would hop in and outta cyphers, off the top of the head, and spit to entire beats top to bottom, and every single time I would spit, people would go crazy, and at the time I never really took it serious. More time went by and I began to notice the same pattern/reaction from people. Each and every time I rapped people actually cared to listen and pay attention, and I began to notice that a lot of them were actually deeply impressed. That led me to wonder, what If I really put my time into perfecting this? Because if they are complimenting me for something that comes so easy to me, if I put time into it, I may be able to go somewhere with it. It wasn’t until after I heard that speech that I realized that it was possible for me to make a living, doing what I love to do. The very next day, I wrote the intro to my debut mixtape, and remained consistent ever since then.
B!: What is your favorite project thus far, and why?
Stiff Lauren: My favorite project thus far has to be “Until I Win”. Not only because its my introduction to the world, but I can honestly say that I watched myself grow from having a common mediocre mindset and outlook on life to the mindset of a winner. This project has taught me resilience and faith, two of the most important traits that will lead to living a successful life, in my opinion at least.
B!: What type of messages do you like to give in your music?
Stiff Lauren: For the most part, I aim to inspire others to tap into their greatness. I believe that we were all given great talents and opportunities to be great. Many will talk about it, many will act on it daily until they find it. Those are the ones who I personally target, the dreamers.
B!: In your song “Learning to Fly” you used a part of Eric Thomas’ speech “The Secret to Success”. What was it about that particular speech that inspired you?
Stiff Lauren: That “Secrets to Success” speech by Eric Thomas will forever by one of my favorite motivational videos to watch today. To watch Eric Thomas come from completely nothing and turn his situation into a success story was unbelievably inspiring for me. It allowed me to open my eyes and realize that true success isn’t about talent, resources or any of that, but about how hard someone wants something and how hard they are willing to chase it, face disappointments, and continue to fight. So I thought a snippet of his speech would be most appropriate for “Learning To Fly”.
B!: What avenues do you use to reach your fans?
Stiff Lauren: I am very big on connecting with other musicians and fans online. While everyone else is at the club or on Instagram, I am on the web, searching all over for opportunities where I can gain organic exposure, mainly on SoundCloud.
B!: How do you feel about the current state of the Hip Hop & the music industry?
Stiff Lauren: Hip Hop has drastically changed from its original roots and I feel that social media is 100% responsible for that change. No one is really telling stories anymore. No one is really delivering timeless inspirational tracks like how they were back then. Its too much flossy floss going on right now. The finesse music is cool and all, but their certainly aren’t enough positive rappers in the mainstream industry today.
B!: Not only are you a recording artist, you’re an entrepreneur. Tell us about OOTO Lifestyle.
Stiff Lauren: OOTO is a brand that depicts the lifestyle of unique individuals who are Out Of The Ordinary. These are the individuals that stand out amongst the masses through innovative styles of fashion, music, and Artistic expression. By recognizing these aspects, OOTO is out to promote and identify those standout individuals. Those who are Out Of The Ordinary.
B!: What’s next for you?
Stiff Lauren: Be on the lookout for my newest single “Passion”, the audio has been out for about a month now and the official video will be out soon. The reactions I’ve been getting from it has truly gotten me fired up. Its another motivational record, so for those of you who dig that, go check that one out asap.
B!: Where can we listen/purchase your music?
Stiff Lauren: My entire mix tape “Until I Win” is available totally free on SoundCloud.