“I want to be able to bring music to the table that fans feel like represents real life.”
Adrian Stresow, one of the hardest working independent rappers to make noise in a big city we have in the industry today, isn’t letting up — even after dropping 13 albums by the age of 20! Based in Frisco, Dallas, the prolific artist mixes all his own music, toes the line between pop and rap, and has just released his new album It Could Be Worse. Gang linked with Adrian over some coffee to talk more about his musical journey, his music-making process, and what’s next for him.
DailyChiefers: Adrian, what’s up man? I wanted to get right into it, and and talk about your earliest memory or music. Which one spurned your taste in music today?
Adrian Stresow: I definitely remember listening to Lil Wayne and Eminem in 7th or 8th grade. I started messing around on Garageband at the same time trying to produce. That stuff lead me towards wanting to make my own music.DailyChiefers: Do you have a musical family?
Adrian Stresow: My dad played guitar when he was a kid, nothing serious. I didn’t really get taught music. I learned it from youtube and going to class sometimes.
DailyChiefers: How much of the first song you wrote do you remember?
Adrian Stresow: I remember I said I was going to blow up like C4. I wrote it when I was in like 7th grade. It was my first song ever. I remember announcing it to everybody before I’d even wrote the song and made it. So I kind of had to force myself to make a song and put it out by the next day.
DailyChiefers: Have you given a thought to adopting a stage name as opposed to Adrian Stresow?
Adrian Stresow: Originally when I started rapping I had some corny rapper name but I ended up just picking Adrian Stresow because I couldn’t come up with anything else. I ended up putting out songs and it stuck so I just had to stick with it.
DailyChiefers: What gravitated you the most towards the genre you make today?
Adrian Stresow: When I heard Jon Bellion in 2014 or 2015, it kind of showed me what I could do with the music I already liked and the music I knew how to make — kind of that pop style, but also that real hip-hop element, that’s something I wanted to do. Usually when I make songs like Call Me Up, just like that banger style I perform at shows, it’s just me having fun making music. I don’t really use it as a way to vent. It’s like let’s have some fun. But for sure, I have introspective songs where I talk about what’s going on in my life and how I’m feeling at the moment.
DailyChiefers: How does your writing process change when the album release date’s near?
Adrian Stresow: If I’m making songs and there’s a time limit going on, I’ll make more time to make music. It’s never a good thing to create under stress so I don’t advise it to other people but sometimes you do what you have to do.
DailyChiefers: What’s your label situation?
Adrian Stresow: Right now I’m unsigned, we’re still pretty much doing everything self-funded. If a label situation comes, that’ll be dope, I just want to make good music and connect with the fans.
DailyChiefers: What’s the music industry like in 2018?
Adrian Stresow: Music is more accessible than it’s ever been. You also have a lot of people without a passion for music trying to make it in the music industry, but I don’t look at anything as a bad thing, I love to see everybody win. But, for me, I just like to focus on myself, make good music, not worry too much about the business side that comes with it. I try not to worry about that business side when it comes to other people but I’m more focused on my own shit.
DailyChiefers: Has Post set a kind of model for Dallas artists?
Adrian Stresow: There’s been a lot of artists to pop from Dallas but the most recent ones in rap being Post and Tay-K, I feel like they’re still not necessarily a model for how a Dallas rapper needs to come up. It’s something I’m trying to lay down and hopefully give to other people as a blueprint and just help out the kids from Dallas. But if you pop off from here it’s a big deal because there’s not many who pop off from here in hip-hop.
DailyChiefers: What is the biggest misconception about Adrian Stresow?
Adrian Stresow: If there’s any misconception about me it’s that It Could Be Worse is my best project. If you’re a fan of me, you can expect me to get better. Every time I make music I want to get better. Whatever I come up with at the end of the year will be better then what I had at the beginning of the year.
DailyChiefers: Do you remember the first day you sat down and started to plot this album out?
Adrian Stresow: It was one of the longest processes I’ve ever had when it comes to making an album. I’m creating it while I decide how I want it to sound. I made a few records and ended up scrapping them, before getting into the meat of the project, which was about January to April. It really kind of comes as I go.
DailyChiefers: How long did the mixing and sequencing take for the album?
Adrian Stresow: What makes me different from a lot of artists is I mix as I produce and record. When I send it to my manager and the homies, it’s already mixed.
DailyChiefers: On what song do you feel like you hit the pocket?
Adrian Stresow:The second song I made for the album was the intro. I knew I wanted to follow a vibe like that. To bring pop chord progressions with hip-hop drums with rock instrumentation, I think it definitively creates a sound that’s modern music. That’s something I wanted to do more.
DailyChiefers: What was the last song you recorded?
Adrian Stresow: The last one I did was Ain’t Done Yet. I got a new mic in the mail for that, and used that mic to record the outro.
DailyChiefers: How did you come up with the album art?
Adrian Stresow: I usually let Kevin do what he feels is best at the end of the day but we always have a conversation about art direction. I flew out to Vancouver, linked up for a few days. We came up with an idea of putting myself in a phone booth on top of a mountain which turned out to really resonate with the fans.
DailyChiefers: How conscious was the decision to have two features out of ten?
Adrian Stresow: It was definitely a conscious decision. I like to have songs done as quick as I can. I don’t like waiting too long for verses. I trust myself to make a song be a hit at the end of the day. If I let someone else on my song, I’m counting on them to deliver. That’s why I’m picky with who I feature.
DailyChiefers: Who or what are you inspired by the most in the studio these days?
Adrian Stresow: I’m honestly getting inspired by whatever I’m listening to. Right now, I’m listening to Drake like the rest of the world. I also have a bunch of old music i like to listen to and a bunch of music I listen to that other people don’t. That sets me apart from people who only listen to rap.
DailyChiefers: What’s one thing you’ve learned about making music since the album came out?
Adrian Stresow: I’m thinking about the person receiving it, and how I can connect with them. At one point, I was a kid, and and I wasn’t an artist, I was a kid consuming music that I related to. I want to be able to bring music to the table that fans feel like represents real life and not just rap about stuff that isn’t relevant to them.
DailyChiefers: On June 26, you were already back in the studio working on your next project.
Adrian Stresow: What a lot of people don’t realize is I put out music since I was 13. I’ve put out 13 projects. I know from experience one album is not going to make you pop off. I’m back in the studio ready to do the work to get to where I need to get.
DailyChiefers: What’s next for 2018?
Adrian Stresow: More music, better music. Better music, better everything.
DailyChiefers: What are your thoughts on XXXtentacion?
Adrian Stresow: Honestly, his music for me definitely resonated. You could tell in his music he wanted to make hip-hop, radio, songwriter, etc. I could relate to him being a creative with multiple genre influences.
Support his latest album below!