The London-based artist rapped his first bars less than two years ago but quickly developed the skills to produce his debut EP, Bedroom Rapper, releasing the Josh Pear directed music video for single ‘WILDIN OUT’. In a close-knitted collaboration with his cousin, Deadcvpri, the pair trade bars for two tracks before LA’PELLE parties on his own to close the project.
Gen B caught up with LA’PELLE to speak about starting his rap career.
GEN B: So when did you first start rapping?
LA’PELLE: During lockdown, I got bored and thought it’d be fun to write some bars. I used to be an actor and write poetry so I wasn’t completely new to the performing and writing side of things. So I took it up quite quickly. After a little while, I hit up Deadcvpri and asked if I could hop in his home studio. Then the rest is history.
Were people surprised you were such a good rapper so quickly?
Haha, yeah they were to be fair. A lot of people don’t know then are shocked when I tell them I only just started rapping recently. Josh Pear, for example, couldn’t believe I’d only just picked up the mic. Again, I think it’s because of my background in acting and writing poetry.
What was the biggest learning experience for you?
I joined DXVL and some of his crew in the studio, that environment taught me a lot. They mostly write songs by freestyling whereas I have to sit down and write. Watching them create helped me learn though. A lot of song-making is just the vibe in the room. However, I’m not sure any music with us together will come out. Respectfully, we’re in very different places in our lives so we’re rapping about different things.
What inspired you to produce a project so quickly?
I started telling people that I’m a rapper but never had something to show for it. I felt like I had to put something out just to show people when they ask to see my stuff. It’s like a representation of the work I’ve done till this point. The project is called ‘Bedroom Rapper’ and I think that shows where I’m at right now. This isn’t too serious to me, it’s just some fun. I think you can hear that in the tracks.
I feel like calling someone just a bedroom rapper could be a diss but to me it’s reality. I’m mostly making these tunes in my bedroom, vibing out, and just having fun. For example, the first track is called ‘Mario Kartin’ All Day’ because that’s how me and my cousin first bonded as kids. We were just talking about that and made a tune about it. All these tracks just capture the fun I’m having.
So is that what this project represents? Three tracks to celebrate enjoying yourself?
Yeah, for sure. I have a good career outside of this rap game, I’m just here to have fun. So many of these rappers are so stiff and serious with it because they need success right now. For me, I’m happy just making music for fun. This is a hobby to me, I’m not going to stop just because I’m not making money.
What is next in your rap career?
Keep making music. Keep having fun. I’m forming a rap collective called Stray Dogs with two of my boys, BAW and Blasé, for a project coming hopefully by the end of the year. It’ll be good to release some music collaborating with people other than my cousin.
Listen to LA’PELLE’s debut EP, Bedroom Rapper, here.
Photography by Josh Pear.