Coming from Seattle, WA, Highway sees himself as a bridge between worlds. Having a career year, Highway’s been able to find himself on tracks with Dro Kenji and Jetson Made, rank number three underground artist by Underground Sound, and amass a strong following across the US. With a goal to intertwine seemingly unlink-able genres, Highway aims to connect the downcast grunge movement from his hometown in the ‘90s with the narcotized rap that took Atlanta by storm in the mid-2010s. Having began his music journey producing songs at seventeen, Highway is no stranger to the hip hop scene and with him finally receiving his well deserved recognition it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a household name. I had the pleasure of talking with Highway about his growth in the past year and what’s slated for the future, read the full interview below.
Highway got his start in music as a producer, but unlike many others he always had the confidence of a rapper learning to produce just to get on his own beats. From there he’s developed a production style of his own and has actually begun to produce tracks for other artists as well.
“I started producing because I didn’t like any of the beats I was finding so I went in on my own and found the creative sound I wanted, but I got so tied into making beats that I forgot I only started doing it for my own raps.”
From his earliest drops, it was clear Highway was destined for stardom so it’s truly no surprise to see the recognition he’s received these past months, finding himself on Dro Kenji’s breakout project “WITH OR WITHOUT YOU” and releasing an impressive self-titled project of his own.
“I always felt like I had musical abilities that a lot of people don’t usually have, so I felt I might as well put them to use. From the start I always had the confidence to put out my music because I felt like people needed to hear what I was making.”
Taking a step in a new direction with his latest project, Highway has never been one to shy away from experimentation or genre-blending sounds. Typically blending ‘90s grunge with modern hip hop sounds, Highway has already created a sound of his own, but he took that one step further with his self-titled project experimenting with that sound further into a much groovier and relaxing version.
“That project was a much more groovy and laid back sound than I usually do, and I really just wanted to resurface with some good music after I took the time to get out of the sen and build a good body of work. I really just wanted to come back strong with something people would like.”
That experimental approach to music has really been what sets Highway apart from this new generation of rap and set him up to be a leader of the underground. He clearly has the talent, confidence and originality to become a long term influence so I’m excited to see what names we see come up pulling inspiration from Highway.
“I just want to be a leader and someone of influence, take the steps that people can follow behind. I want to do things that people may be afraid to do and show them that there’s a right way to do anything, I feel like that’s what I do musically.”
With over 100,000 songs being uploaded to the internet every day, it’s become nearly impossible to do anything original, but Highway makes individuality the cornerstone of his creative process and it shows as he’s really been able to pave a lane completely of his own.
“Individuality is the most important thing as an artist for sure, the number one thing you can do as an artist is have your own way to express yourself and way of doing things. It doesn’t have to be perfect or along the rules, as long as it’s you and it’s something people like.”