Ready for lift-off: Prince Waly
His first solo project ‘’Boyz’’ has just come out, but Prince Waly has already made an impact on the rap scene with his songs focused on 90’s nostalgia. Saying that his work excites us is a bit of an understatement. Prince Waly grew up in France and started his career with the crew ‘Big Budha Cheez’ and is now ready for lift-off with his new EP on the way.
What inspired you to become a rapper?
When I met my high school friend, Alfred, aka Fiasco Proximo. He’s now also a part of my crew. At the time he made me listen to a lot of American rap songs and they became my biggest inspiration. When I was a kid, I used to watch MTV clips and wanted to rap like them and ride in cool cars.
In high school we started to record proper tracks in the studio and we did our first gigs in Paris. People sent us love and were digging it, so we knew we had to continue.
How are you seeing the current evolution of rap?
Personally, I’m super happy about its evolution. It’s grown into a really popular music genre, you could almost say that rap is the new pop and that’s really cool. Not too long ago in France, rap was perceived as a niche genre, something difficult to understand and get into. It felt like not everybody could (enjoy) rap, now we can see that has changed.Read more
Where does your stage name come from? Why Prince and not King?
It’s sort of an homage, because Waly is my dad’s name. Also, I still think I’m just a prince, not a king yet. This all started with the movie ‘Boyz n the Hood’. At some point, the son asks his dad why he’s always the one that has to take care of the annoying housework. His dad tells him that because he brings in the money and takes care of the household, he’s the king of the house and the son is just the prince. I saw some of myself in this, hence why I picked Prince.
Your style is quite old-school, are you nostalgic?
Well, I own the 90’s style, probably because I was born during that time but didn’t really live it. I was 5 or 6 years old during that era and I was living it through my big brothers and sisters. They introduced the music, lifestyle and fashion to me. When I rap, I refer to 90’s movies because I love them, and I still watch them.
What is the next step for you?
I’m already working on a new EP that will be launched around June. I don’t feel quite ready for an album, I don’t feel mature enough yet. A first album is super important, it’s your baby. It has to be perfect, you need to give it all of your energy, everything you have. For now, I need more maturity and in the meantime I’ll focus on smaller projects like EP’s.
With this campaign, Foot locker broke the code by deciding to turn look books into platforms to launch up-and-coming artists.
What did you think of this campaign?
When they chose me for this campaign, I thought it was a perfect fit because I’m a huge sneaker fan. I also think it’s awesome that they didn’t pick big stars but more up-and-coming artists. It makes a lot of sense for them to collaborate with us and help us launch our careers. Plus, it was so great to meet Brand and Manik MC who are just so talented and incredible. When I performed on stage, it was super impressive how the lights interacted with my voice, it felt really futuristic.
Do you have any childhood memories of Foot Locker? Like a first pair of sneakers you got when you were a kid?
Oh yes, the first time I stepped into a Foot Locker store was with my older sister. She used to go there every week to get the latest pair of sneakers. I was 8 and I was seriously in heaven, seeing all those shelves full of cool shoes. I was obsessed with the iconic bag with the black and white stripes and the salesman’s shirt, I wished they were for sale.
If you had to pick a single item from the collection, which one would it be?
I think my favorites from the collection are the Nike Air Max 720’s. They are so comfortable and look dope!
We’ve all gone through style changes throughout our lives, how do you think your personal style has changed?
Honestly, I’ve tried every kind of style. In my early teens, I used to love wearing baggy clothes and Timberlands; the OG American style. Later in high school, I went through a more classical phase where I wore darted pants and shirts. Then I had a skater phase with skinny jeans and big skater shoes. Today, I’d say that my style is more “OG thug”, leather jacket, Levi’s jeans and Nikes on my feet.
If you had to describe your style in 3 words?
That’s a no-brainer: Vintage, OG and sportswear.