Shotty Mills is a rapper, born and raised, in the heart of Drayton Valley just short of seven thousand. Despite growing up, in a small town in Alberta dependent on the oil and gas industry. Shotty’s astounding passion for music runs deep into his early roots of his hip hop and rap days. At a young age at around the age of twelve “Shotty Mills” was inspired by the greats of hip hop: Eminem, Notorious Big, Tupac Shakur. Also, Shotty Mills is inspired by modern hip hop artists as well: J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar and numerous other rappers. Sit down with me as we explore what kind of artist is Shotty Mills.
Who is Shotty Mills, What kind of music do you make and what is your music about?
When I was younger, in English class I would always be writing poetry, and performing raps in class. As I continue to embark on my journey and make my mark on the music industry, some may ask: what does Shotty Mills music entail? The music that I create is music deep within the heart and soul. Soul hip hop is what I delivers to my audience.I have encountered numerous struggles throughout my life, and I aim to express through my music. I will conquer the world, and change the world through my musical landscapes. In a way that’s what music is all about speaking from the passion of the heart. And through this, I aim to serve as a surefire for other people to be inspired by my creative works.
Whenever I rapped in front of people they would always get excited to hear me. And this became my kick starter for where my rap journey came to the forefront. They all believed in me because they knew the passion was coursed into my veins with spectacular work ethic.
I bring a unique mixture within my music with my old school influence of hip hop. This serves as a fabric for me within my musical influence. But it’s through my music that I strives to encourage people to unleash their inner true potential.
A diverse background within my music provides listeners with a unique style, in which I have honed my craft over the passing years. From studying the greats that have come before my time.
The first music album that I listened to and admired was Eminem’s Relapse album. I would stay up studying his multi-syllable and internal rhymes.
It mesmerized me how Eminem could place rhymes and syllables in such a clever fashion. And how all his raps exhibited a story line that ran deep into the souls to entice it’s listeners. I encourage others to listen to their heart, and always stay true. Since as long as you create music that’s true and genuine people will relate to it on a deeper creative level.
Paint us a picture of a typical day in your childhood growing up half Filipino and half Canadian?
Within a typical day of being a half Filipino and half Canadian. I remember growing up in my household in Drayton Valley. My family and friends would come over and gather at our place. We would sit around the fire, and enjoy everyone’s company in the comfort of our backyard. At this point, I had no idea how important my roots would become an inherent part of me. And a part of me that could never be taken away from me. The hospitality and generosity of Filipinos runs deep within my every fibre and my soul. All of our extended family would always come over to our place, and help cook food. Through this particular culture instilled within me, I established myself and allowed me to see life and place more value on my culture and background.
As we gathered together, we would invite over family, friends and neighbours. This strong connection fostered my identity, as a Canadian and Filipino artist coming from a humble beginning. In particular when I was young my family demonstrated to me the importance of valuing my identity and accepting myself authentically.
With me being half Filipino and half Canadian. It brings a diverse background within my musical influence. Growing up in a Filipino and Canadian household really became apparent. As being diverse allowed me to connect with different branches of cultures.
In other words, it allowed me to place more value on what was truly important. Core values as a whole is what moulded me to become the Filipino and Canadian music artist I am today.
What is your first memory with music?
My very first memory with music dates back to Junior high back in English class in grade seven. I remember writing and performing my very first rap I wrote called “Guess Who”. This rap was intended to impersonate my rap idol Eminem growing up. The rap that I performed was a sixteen bar verse that I wrote exhibiting the whole landscapes and struggles of Eminem’s life. And how Eminem’s life struggles throughout his life shaped him into rap prodigy he is today among the greats. At the end of my rap that I performed in front of my very impressed classmates. They had to guess who I was at the end of my rap. And they guessed who I was correctly, I was impersonating my rap idol Eminem. Still, to this day this stands, as a long standing memory within the scope of my rap career. And from this day forward I knew that rap was destined for me, and knew I had to express this and be true to my roots.
When I heard the claps of my classmates I knew this was what I forever wanted to pursue. From this moment on, music became an important aspect in shaping the whole picture of my life before my eyes. At any chance I would write lyrics on a piece of paper, and scribble out some rhymes. For hours I would spend writing rap lyrics and performing them out loud. I always loved writing poetry and writing. This was something that others noticed in me as well, and it made me prominent among the crowd.
Similarly, to my idol Eminem coming from a humble beginning, my first memory with music served as purpose to bookmark my journey towards making a mark. By overcoming my struggles, barriers and uncertainties that flashed along my set path. And I will continue to entrench memories behind with the music that I create for the world to see throughout a musical legacy.
Talking about dreams, who is your dream collab?
Everyday that I wake up, I have a dream of pursuing my long awaited rap career. You know that feeling of being present on the stage, and you know you have the ability to make the world your stage. This is something that I envision each and everyday of my life. I have that dream of fans and the world chanting my name from the whole vision of a venue and concert. And at this point, I want to look up at my mom and say to her, “Mom, I made it, and I did it for you. I hope you are proud of me for what I have sacrificed”. And now that my dreams are starting to manifest themselves, I can now see how my ambitions are pinning on the map towards great places.
My dream collab would have to be with: Eminem, Locksmith, J.Cole, or Kendrick Lamar. These are like my favourite rappers out in the game, and I just feel like all these artists bring something uniquely to the table. It motivates me even more knowing that the student always becomes the master. And once I know that this dream of mine comes true, I will be grateful for all the struggles that I have encountered.
I have dreams of pursuing my rap career, and continual pursuing it. To reach the zenith of the hip hop industry, and continue to make my marks for decades to come.
Eventually, I will advance within the stages of the music industry. Not only do I want to collab with these artists. But also I want to develop strong ties with them. To create music that will connect with people on a much higher level. With the diversity among my influences, it brings me closer to my heart and allows me to speak from the soul. This is why my dream collabs would be these artists, because their music connections with the soul. And this is what I want to be valued for within the rap culture: someone who speaks and connects with others on a more intellectual level and soul speaking level. In all, I want my music to bear within the heart and souls of my listeners, so that my legacy within the music industry will live on for all eternity and be immortal.
What is the end goal of you making music?
My end goal of making music is to eventually run my own record label within the near future. And I want to be doing worldwide tours, and inspiring everyone around the world through the scope of my overall music. And also, I want to give back to charities and to those people that were with me during my most humble beginnings. Like I want to give back to where my family resides in the Philippines and help them develop a relief project.
To help feed the sick and hungry that are less fortunate than me, and create a program to help these people in these circumstances. It’s not all about taking, but I would love to give back in the form of service for others. To show my fan base where I stand as a brand. And how I want to establish myself, as an artist that is humble, compassionate and provides value to people. In other words, I want to serve as an inspiration for people to live out their true potential.
Furthermore, I want to aim to change generations to come through the powerful messages and vibes from my music. So that everyone on a global scale will realize, you can achieve greatness and live out your true potential. If you are willing to sacrifice, persevere and have the mindset of changing the world for better outcomes. Overall, my end goal is to continually create, so I can establish myself and make the world a more humble, compassionate, and prosperous place.
Where can fans find you?
I am active on all my social media platforms. Fans can interact with my Shotty Mills pages on my:
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Raphael Tigno is the Founder and Creative Director of the magazine website vibeant.com. VIBEANT is an online magazine bridging global culture in fashion, art, music, culinary, subcultures, and lifestyles across the world. Pronounced as "VIBE" + "ANT", a literal translation of "ANTS ENERGY" a reference to "BAYANIHAN" virtue of Filipinos.