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Interview: UV Scutti

The best way I can describe UV Scutti is that he is an energetic rapper that has the “fuck what you think, I’m saying it anyway” mentality. His energy is only heightened during performances at local venues in Richmond. The former WRIR Radio show host released an album back in March called Fall To Your Death available on Soundcloud that to me, perfectly defines rager rap music. His energy is incomparable and his humor is top tier. Whether he makes songs about wanting food stamps over pussy in F****n' Lit or putting on for his set in various songs, Scutti carries a unique ambiance. He is a part of the GRLGNG collective featuring a variety of creatives from Sean King, Big Dame, LVBXSH, and more. In 2020, he released a full-length project Fall To Your Death, and with DJ Wonton, he re-released a chopped and screwed variation of Fall To Your Death. We talked about the local indie scene, his possible venture into politics, and the pandemic.

Jay: How did you start making music?

UV: I recorded officially in 2012 with IceNiceWithIt. We would hang together after high school. He brought his recording stuff to my crib when I was in Norfolk. He gave me a beat, we recorded it and launched it on the same day on Soundcloud. The first time I ever rapped, I freestyled with my uncle in 3rd grade over Magic Stick by 50 Cent as it played over the radio.

Jay: What were some lessons you learned early on in making music?

UV: First off, it’s not as easy as people make it seem. People would think it's as simple as going into a studio and laying something down. It's never that simple. There's a slim possibility that you can go in and instantly make some magic. You may, but it is very rare to make a million-dollar hit the first time you record.

Jay: What are some things good and bad things that you see going on in the Virginia indie music scene?

UV: Well, first off people are gatekeeping. People aren't showing love. In the same breath though, people are showing love. There are people out there that will spite other artists because they feel like they aren't getting the love they deserve.

Jay: I feel like that there is love being shown but it's displayed more so within certain circles. For example, let's say the mumble rappers demographic here don't show love to the backpack rappers but they have a lot of admiration for people within their own sound bodying the scene. I do feel like, within the past two or three years, there has been more inclusion of different types of artists showing each other love.

UV: But there are some people in the scene that do show love and get that there's much more music out there beyond their field of music.

Jay: You used to host a radio show for WRIR. How did being a radio host change your perspective on networking?

UV: It made me comfortable by doing interviews and being on podcasts. I wouldn’t say I was a radio personality. It did make me more comfortable being live on air. It helped me start my podcast as soon as I get the Logic back, I got to have you on it. The show is called Match One Radio. We do write-ups and more.

Jay: Did the pandemic change your approach to how you handle the music?

UV: Actually no it didn’t. When the pandemic first hit, we opened Titan Towers Studio so it’s like I didn’t have any issues. I released Fall To Your Death right as the pandemic was beginning. During that time when everything was closed, there was nothing much to do but make magic.

Jay: What was the best no that you have ever received and why?

UV: Honestly, I can’t even put that on one thing. The pandemic taught me the power of rejection. If someone told me no, something better comes of it so I can’t even put it on one instance. I learned to accept the power of no. I only take lessons now since I no longer see losses as losses. Not every lesson is good but it’s a lesson. Actually, I got one. My no is when every person that told me no for a feature or we’ll link and never did or overcharge me for a feature, I’m seemingly doing better. That’s the best no of my years.

Jay: Who are some indie artists or producers that you would like to shout out?

UV: Ix (Ice), LVBXSH, CVC, and GRLGNG. GRLGNG got some great things coming. Riley Houston, Bougie Vuitton, DUB LYFE, all of Area 51. Shout out Jay Guevara for documenting plenty of what goes on here. Man, you inspired me to do something crazy like run for mayor, we can talk about that later though. Big bane, Monae, Plus, Sean King, and Tim. My brother Jamari Miller. He started designing his clothing brand Fork and Knife (@fnk on Instagram). I can't forget my Match One Radio host, Sarah. Shoutout to TMA one of the first people to threaten me with violence and stop making music. He's a great reason that I even put out Fall To Your Death. After Iight So Boom, I was actually going to stop making music, but TMA and others were like "Nah you gotta make an album". TMA threaten to beat my ass if I retired. I gotta give him a shoutout to even make that album.

Some of the GRLGNG roster. The top row from left to right are Sean King, UV Scutti, Smlwxrld Mvrco. The bottom row from left to right are Monae', Diary 6, Big Dame. @_grlgng on Instagram to find all the artists.

Jay: If you had to host a show in the following weeks, who would be on your card and why?

UV: I would literally go with some of my favorite underground artists. The only one mainstream would be Baby Keem. I see how people were disappointed in Kendrick's verse, but Baby Keem has the potential to be the next Kendrick. Like Die For My Bitch was great but his newer project was excellent. Lvbxsh. Shini Gang. Zero The God. ZERO IS NICE. Fuck man, there are so many. DuctTape Jesus. I want to get him drunk and have him perform. Lil Percy. Way too many to name. Rated R Levar. I would for sure throw him on that bill. All of these people can bring different people. This new surge of artists is crazy.

Jay: Hell yeah. I definitely see the renaissance in Virginia music for sure. To even tie this back to our conversation earlier about the different cliques here. Virginia's music is so dope because of the wide diversity we have from the battle rap scene, to the backpack scene, trap rappers, ragers, r&b artists, and more that I am forgetting. Our diversity is PHENOMENAL. However, like the issue I see with my alma mater VCU, the diversity is there, but there is a lack of inclusion within the various types of artists. Even after I graduated from that institution, I still see the everlasting issue of diversity versus inclusion in almost any situation.

UV: I realized that too. That's a good point. Diversity and inclusion are needed equally. I remember performing Ace of Spade with Riley and people were surprised I made that type of song. Bruh, everyone knows I don’t have just one lane of music. I have actual fans that know that I will crank a pop song out and r&b and do stuff like that. Y’all only go to y'all clique events. I got people from different cliques to go and perform at different events. It’s crazy. More and more people have been offering us including GRLGNG. I will say that you have to understand the vibe of the place that you're performing at. For example, if you go to a Rated R Levar show where people are raging, no country song is going to be playing at a show that promotes raging. If a show is at a strip club, nobody is going to mosh there.

When I made Fall To Your Death, I honestly made it with the thought of having more white fans. How can I cross them over my type of sound? How can I incorporate rage aspects but not sound like [Playboy] Carti? I remember listening to LV actually and seeing him perform. While making FTYD, I was figuring out the formula and record putting my heart into it and saying something. Rage music doesn’t be saying anything usually but I FEEL LIKE I AM SPITTING WHEN I SCREAM MY RHYMES. When I say "I GOT MONEY, BUT I AIN'T RICH!!!" from Iight So Boom, I captivate my audience because of the heart I put behind my lyrics.

Jay: Let's get into what influenced you to even consider running for mayor.

UV: It started with the riots here last year. People don’t have faith in systems and the people running them don’t do anything to reassure us that the system is for us. We have people running the system that we can't relate to. The people that running it hadn't slept on their grandma's floor or even struggled to eat. I'm looking at stuff like roads are bad and stuff we pay taxes for to be fixed and shit that is half-assed. I would want to be mayor to represent the little guy. The average citizen rather than someone who smoothly transitions into that position of power. People say ooh what are you doing this for? Do you fear that they'll bring up your music during your campaign and other things you do? I really don't care I want people to know I'm not perfect but I'll bring back geniality to people.

Jay: Hell, former wrestler Kane used to burn people and electrocuted Shane McMahon's testicles in a promo and he's the mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee. We had The Terminator (or Conan The Barbarian if you're older) in Arnold Schawarzennager be governor of California.

UV: Exactly! Me being real with yall but letting yall know this is what we want and need. All that shit doesn’t matter if we don’t truly know who running our school council and local boards. People stay in power and blame it on one person. It’s the motherfuckers who have been in power for forty-plus years and ain't shit change. Yet, we change mayor every two years. At this level, we don’t understand politics and some people rely on Facebook for their political lessons. It all starts on a local level. This is what’s going on. We shouldn’t be struggling to get our resources. We pay tolls fees, parking tickets to go to make the city a better place. The only thing going up is a budget for the police. I'll stand up for the little guy regardless of what's going on distracting us from the actual fight. Even if I don’t win, I won by having someone inspired saying "if he can do it, I can do it too."

Written by: Jay Guevara @justinhisprime on all social media.

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