If you’re looking for an artist with strong versatility and infectious energy to add to your playlist, West is an emerging hip-hop artist you should have on your radar. West’s colorful catalog includes heartfelt serenades to bygone lovers, and confidence boosting hip-hop anthems. The diversity West exhibits can be traced to his early years. He played multiple instruments and explored genres from melodic pop hits to hip-hop classics. Based in sunny Los Angeles, West began penning tracks in his UCLA dorm, creating approximately 200 unreleased tracks. After making the decision to pursue what he felt was his true calling, he exchanged his career in consulting for one in music. 

West is now going on four years as a musician, with over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify. West’s career reached new heights thanks to “Euro$tep” taking off on short-form video platforms. His TikTok and Instagram reel of the song’s drop combined to a total of over 5.5 million views. Tracks like “Shooters” and “Like This” also amassed well over 2 million listens, proving his immense growth as an independent artist. 

Fresh out of a meeting with a sound engineer, West took a brief pause from the studio to join EnVi for a Zoom call. West walked through his personal journey of perseverance leading up to the viral success of “Euro$tep,” and his newest release, “Checks.” 

Rising In the West

West was born in New York, raised in the Bay Area, and graduated university in Los Angeles. Wherever he goes, his sincerity for creating music follows. In his previous career as a consultant, West felt an immense lack of purpose. In 2019, he decided to follow his heart and give music a go. Although the transition from one drastically different industry to another seems like no easy feat, West reflected that it wasn’t as difficult as many perceive. “The work that is required to be ‘great’ in any industry is the same,” he shared. “It was maybe even easier because in my past career, I learned to work hard in something that I hated. When I went into something that I loved, it required the same amount of commitment, but I was just enjoying it.”

West doesn’t recall having an isolated epiphany that inspired him to pursue music, it was just a feeling he had all along. West reflected on this major transition and said, “When you have something that is your calling, rarely is it shouted in your face, it’s really like a whisper in the back of your head that you have to pay attention to. So I think it was more, like, the path that I was on wasn’t what I was put here to do.” After embarking on this new path, West would organically grow his fanbase with his empowering messaging and unforgettable melodies.

Photo courtesy of Impulse Artists.

Bold Strides Toward Success with “Euro$tep”

West’s 2022 single “Euro$tep” saw exponential success with over 20 million Spotify streams and 300,000 videos on Instagram and TikTok. “Euro$tep” kicks off with a countdown over an intercom, which segues into a hard-hitting beat drop complete with heavy bass and an orchestral-like synth loop. This introduction makes for the perfect transition-audio for short-form video content, like counting down to fit pic poses, exercise ideas, and even soccer highlights posted by the UEFA Champions League. West shared that he was thrilled to see how the song resonated with varying crowds across the internet. He crowned the most memorable use of the audio to Manchester United’s Instagram reel announcement of Newcastle United player, Martin Dúbravka, joining the team on a season-long loan.

Continuing on the discussion of sports, West is a known basketball buff boasting lyrical references like “I’m winning like I’m Curry and Klay” and “Lead the league in scoring like I’m Oklahoma Kevin.” This made ESPN NBA’s use of “Euro$tep” for Sunday Showcase on ABC all the more special for West, as well as his family of fellow basketball enthusiasts. West shared with a small smile that his family didn’t exactly realize the scale of “Euro$tep’s” virality until this instance. Reflecting on being a lifelong fan of the NBA, he said, “I used to sit down and watch TNT with my dad and we’ve bonded together over basketball. So when they saw that, it was just a cool moment for me and my dad, and me and my mom, and my grandpa who doesn’t know a lick of English, but he’s a basketball fan… That to him was the coolest thing to see.”

West is immensely thankful for “Euro$tep,” commenting that it’s affirming to receive this level of viral reception. Humbly, he reassures his listeners and supporters that it is just the first step of his upward trajectory as an artist.

The Checks Got Big and I Came Up Fast

Continuing the confidence exuded by “Euro$tep,” West dropped his newest single “Checks” on July 7. The song’s beat is driven by a bouncy piano and flute melodies, which befittingly pairs with West’s witty lyricism. The official lyric video features West in his element, vibing along as he raps on a hanging microphone. West appears in an all-black ensemble in front of a baby blue backdrop, with lyrics and animated effects appearing on screen. The video’s simple aesthetic allows listeners to concentrate on the positive messaging West aims to share through “Checks.” 

In “Checks,” West remarks, “Even when I had no fans, I still knew one day I would pop.” West attributes the driving force in his career to his ultimate fulfillment in life, pursuing music. “In our time here on Earth, it’s everybody’s duty to seek out what it is that they do best, something that’s the intersection between their passion and their talent, and try to make the biggest impact on people while you’re here,” he said.

What is most definitive about West is his unrelenting self-reliance, which is further exemplified in “Checks.” On maintaining a positive attitude, West said, “You can go through life in two ways. You can either go through life thinking that things are hard, and that you’re not going to be able to do whatever you want. Or, you can go through life saying, ‘I’m the shit, and whatever I want, I can make happen.’” He emphasized the importance of having healthy confidence, and wants to relay the same confidence he received from listening to artists like 50 Cent and Eminem to his listeners. On inspiring confidence, West quoted Mike Tyson: “Confidence breeds success. Success breeds confidence. Confidence applied properly will supersede a genius.” 

The Path I See, Yeah It’s All On Track

West wants to preserve his individuality as an artist through his musical endeavors. Whenever inspiration strikes, whether it’s through a ballad or hip-hop track, he wants to share these authentic inspirations with listeners. West doesn’t categorize his music as one specific genre, nor conform to a specific image. “My goal from the beginning was to purely come off of the merit of the music… If you go down being like, ‘I need to make this type of song, then that magic is kind of lost,’” he said.

West envisions a bright future ahead, confident that he will eventually become “the biggest artist in the world.” He believes his accomplishments are only a sample of what he aims to bring to the table as an artist. But, West reassures that these goals won’t deter him from preserving his current values. He seeks to continue to spread inspirational messaging, solidify a loyal fanbase, and live authentically through his passions. 

If you want to check out what else West has in store, be sure to follow him on Instagram and TikTok! You can explore his music on Spotify, YouTube, and Soundcloud.

Interested in more artist spotlights? Check out EnVi’s interview with TOSHI here!