What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is rapper, Ace Matayo. Matayo, is a part of this generation’s vibrant and promising collection of young musical talent. Equipped with his ever-changing flows and dynamic creativity, he is most certainly set to thrive in today’s music scene.We can definitely see Matayo performing on major stages such as Coachella or Rolling Loud. The rising 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, Matayo? Your music is dope! When did you start making music?
Ace Matayo: I started music at the age of 11 when I wrote my first song. My first song was very basic and was just about the north star. Even though I knew the song was bad, it kind of unlocked an instant yearning in wanting to write more. Originally writing songs for R&B, I quickly realized that my voice wasn't quite good for singing, which made me go on and off with music. After time though, around the age of 14, I discovered a passion for rap. I started writing for myself and my friends in 8th grade and continued afterward.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! What city do you represent?
Ace Matayo: I represent Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Westleaf Staff: Shout out to PA! So how did you create your stage name?
Ace Matayo: I went through a journey of stage names in just the last 2 years alone. Previously, my most recent stage name was Jayke (pronounced like Beyonce), but I ditched it due to the number of artists I saw with that same name already surprisingly. As I brainstormed for a new name, I knew that I wanted to have a first name and last name combination. Just so that I can play around with the name a lot more. I then came with Ace, as I thought about me symbolizing the Ace of hearts (since my last name is Hart), and also the ace of rap since I'm the one. I can play high or low, it is up to me, just like an Ace. Then Matayo just rolled off the tongue, and when I searched up the meaning of the name it already was speaking about how Matayo is a creative person, and artistic. Some of the behavior traits sounded like me. So I kept the name Ace Matayo.
Westleaf Staff: Wow. You really put in. work for your name.That's a dope. So how did your early life shape your interest in music?
Ace Matayo: I grew up in poverty, so it was pretty tough for me to really find much of an interest in much. I've experienced homeless for a good chunk of my childhood. Living in a car with my mom, stepdad, and four little sisters made things pretty difficult. Since I was the oldest sibling and got in trouble a lot, I had to endure a lot of traumatic experiences. Going days without eating, 3 outfits to my name, and constant punishment, I tended to escape my reality by daydreaming. Daydreaming allowed me to constantly come up with new songs in my head, which I rarely had access to write down. Since I was constantly coming up with new things, my imagination and creativity were just expanding. When I eventually shared with my parents that I wanted to become a recording artist they made me write a song every day, and only allowed me to eat after I presented a complete song to them. Overall, in my opinion, these. experiences made me become a really good songwriter and increased my potential for musicality.
Westleaf Staff: Cool! So who is your biggest Musical influence?
Ace Matayo: The biggest musical influence that I have who just inspires me overall as an artist is Canadian rapper Tory Lanez. Even though there's a lot of backlash behind his name, his music has been such a blueprint to me. The ability to switch flows so easily and have such high flexibility just always motivates me on where I want to be with my skills. I also love seeing him performing, the way he's able to really get the audience involved is such as key power, that I hope to mirror, and possibly even surpass, one day. Not to mention his range of skills, from rapping to singing, songwriting, producing, video editing, and even executive producing. In my opinion he definitely a top-tier artist.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! I feel that. That's a unique perspective. What's been the defining moment in your music career thus far?
Ace Matayo: The defining moment in my music career so far actually isn't that big, but it's pretty significant to me. A while ago, me and a few of my friends recorded a hype rap song called "I ain't the one". We released it on all streaming platforms expecting nothing of it until we checked back a year later to see it was growing thousands of streams on its own with 0% marketing. We barely told anybody about it, but somehow we're getting streams in different states and countries. That kind of was an indicator to all of us that if we could do that with that one song that we barely tried to push, then what would it look like with a song that we actually put effort to?
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! Congrats on the success oof your song. So what makes you a unique artist?
Ace Matayo: Personally what makes me a unique artist is my everchanging flows, the energy that I bring on and off a track, and lastly my creativity just coming from outside the box. Along with the idea that I am so good at networking and just finding people who fit in specific places.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! Staying outside of the box is definetly needed these days. So what does art mean to you?
Ace Matayo: In my opinion, art is both a form of expression and a means of mass communication. It has the power to influence and be influenced at the same time, which is actually pretty cool.
Westleaf Staff: That's deep! Where do you see your music career going over the next few years?
Ace Matayo: I can see my music career definitely becoming inspiring over the years. I plan to do a lot for the community, and overall just the people. I plan on working with many artists and companies. There's a lot in store for the music lovers.
Westleaf Staff: I wish you much success! Before we go, describe music in three words.
Ace Matayo: Adaptable. Creative. Expressive.
Facebook: Ace Matayo