What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is artist, Yuwaku. Yuwaku is straight out of Mesa, Arizona. The rising Arizona MC has performed alongside Wifisfuneral and gained considerable traction in the Arizona area. Yuwaku's sound is melodic and grunge similar to the artists we've all grown to love: Uzi, Carti, and XXX to name a few. We can definitely see Yuwaku performing on stages such as Rolling Loud or Coachella. The Mesa based MC has been on our radar for a while so we had to tap in with him! Check out the interview below.
Westleaf Staff: What's up, Yuwaku? Your sound is dope. When did you start making music?
Yuwaku: In 5th grade I had a teacher that would let us turn in written songs instead of doing essays, so naturally the more and more I did it the more I liked it. I started recording myself around 8th grade on audacity but it was never really good enough to release. I didn’t drop my first track till freshman year of high-school, I would be in and out of music because of personal issues, it wasn’t till junior year (2021) that I started taking my music more serious.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! What city do you represent?
Yuwaku: I’m from Mesa, Arizona, a desert that is very under appreciated, so not only do I make music to represent me and my story but I also want to help represent the desert that I come from. My friend and I (@b4ckwood) actually did a collab EP called “The Desert 4 Ever”, it’s purpose was to display mine and his versatility in music put together, I think it came out very well. We even performed it at our own headlining show.
Westleaf Staff: Shout out to Mesa. Y'all definitely have some talent. So how did you create your stage name?
Yuwaku: I got the idea “Yuwaku” from watching an interview of XXXTentaction talking about how he got his name. My name is temptation but in Japanese, the reasoning is I suffer from temptations of life and it reflects the most in my music. It could be addiction or anything really, i’m just not the best with self discipline.
Westleaf Staff: That's a dope name and it shows that you know yourself. So how did your early life shape your interest in music?
Yuwaku: My entire life revolves around music, it’s my love. I didn’t have the best upbringing and was surrounded by a lot of negativity growing up, music was really my only escape from the world around me. I have social anxiety and have a hard time talking to people so making music was really my only way of venting, a microphone will listen when no one else does.
Westleaf Staff: So who is your biggest Musical influence?
Yuwaku: I can’t really pick my favorite, it’s balanced between 3 artists really. Not in any typical order but, XXXTentacion, Capital Steez and Lucki are definitely my goats in the music industry. I respect the raw emotion that is attached to all their music and it inspired me to make my music in that way. Each of those artist all have songs that mean so much to me, beyond music.
Westleaf Staff: They're definitely all legends! Next question! What's been the defining moment in your music career thus far?
Yuwaku: Definitely opening up for Wifisfuneral, I listened to his music a-lot growing up and I loved Member’s Only so opening up for one of their bigger artist was definitely a dream come true. That show changed my life in a way, for the better, it made me realize that i’m not alone and that my music has a genuine connection to people, that feeling changed my entire outlook on life, I feel like I have a purpose.
Westleaf Staff: Wow! That's super dope. Congrats on that show! So what makes you a unique artist?
Yuwaku: I would say just how genuine I am, I want the best for not just me but everyone around me. I’m part of a talented collective called TTGPRODUCTIONS (@ttgproductions222) and come from an amazing area where there is all sorts of undiscovered talent.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! So what does art mean to you?
Yuwaku: Art can be anything, it’s just someone’s creative process put into the product they create. Anyone can make music, anyone can paint a picture, what makes it art is that someone is putting emotion and thought into the product being made.
Westleaf Staff: True! That's deep! Where do you see your music career going over the next few years?
Yuwaku: I hope to bring me and my team (@ttgproductions222) to the next level in the music industry. I’m and audio engineer myself and have been recording and mixing for the past couple years and I have a dream to open my own studio called “Waku’s Cave” in the near future. As for my music? I could careless about stats or anything, as long as my music is helping at least one person i’m going to keep going.
Westleaf Staff: I wish you much success! Before we go, describe music in three words.
Yuwaku: Escape from reality.
More from Yuwaku:
Follow Yuwaku: https://linktr.ee/yuwakuu