Lead singles tend to scream “look at me!” but in the case of Wrekonize’s “Anxiety Attacks” from his upcoming album The War Within, the song is saying “let’s vibe out a bit.”
First impressions go a long way, and for Wrekonize to make his first single be one that showcases his vulnerabilities speaks volumes of his assurance and originality as an artist. We talked to Wrekonize about his decision to release “Anxiety Attacks” as the jump off, what gives him this anxiety he raps about and what’s next for The War Within.
Most people come out with some hype shit when they drop the first single for their debut album, what made you decide to drop “Anxiety Attacks” as the lead track?
Well, really to be totally candid about it, at the time when we were selecting sampler songs – because we where we were at with the mixing process – I was waiting on features and there was a lot of records that weren’t ready yet. So there was a smaller selection of records that got put on the sampler, and out of those there were a couple of hype songs but the one that I felt at the time was the strongest was “Anxiety Attacks”, so that’s why we submitted it and ended up rolling with it.
I just felt like it was the strongest song and had the most depth to it and I thought it was going to be a good contrast from all the hype shit that’s going down.
What’s the response been like so far to the song on your end?
It’s been really good actually! It’s been really good. Everyone seems to dig it and digs the subject matter. Now we dropped the video and the feedback on the video has been good too. It’s a subject matter that a lot of people can relate to. It comes across well you know? I’ve only seen a minimal amount of people who are just not into those kind of records or they just only like the hype shit. Every now and then you run into a couple of people like that, but so far so good. The feedback’s been really good.
Being signed with Strange, one of the hallmarks of the label is the honesty of its artists and their willingness to delve into subject matters such as this. Did that make you feel more comfortable about releasing this as your first single?
Yeah man. I think that, I dunno, I think growing up over the years there’s certain vulnerabilities that you can never get from hip hop music. There are only certain artists that will go and do records like that. I felt like our crew was always good at delving into a little bit more of that stuff. I think ¡MAYDAY! has done records before that cross into that realm and have done stuff that people would never expect, and I thought that’s dope because I always liked that because our genre lacks that sometimes and it’s a very small pool of artists that do that because it’s not commonplace to do it. To get that kind of music and to hear some of those kinds of vulnerabilities in an artist, you have to cross into a different genre.
I was surprised personally when I heard this record because you always come across as a guy who’s super cool with whatever and on top of his shit. What gives you anxiety?
I don’t really delve into it a lot or really dwell on shit like that but it feels really good to express that in music. I’m the type of person that really tries to not let that shit eat me up every day. That’s kind of the way you vent it out, through expression, so it helps to actually keep me sane and not fly off the handle by cutting music like that and to express moments like that where you feel that the world is caving in on you.
On a personal note, how do you handle anxiety. Is it an internal process for you or do you have to talk about it and get things off your chest?
I’ve actually always been the kind of person to internalize. Right before we started recording Take Me To Your Leader I had a very severe anxiety attack like I never experienced before and that’s when I started to realize that internalizing it could be a real problem and could really break you down if you don’t start to vent or talk to somebody or just realize what’s going on. I would definitely be the kind of person to internalize up until about three or four years ago, and now I’ve started to realize that there are moments when you really have to take a breath and take a second to decompress, otherwise your head explodes.
Do you find that music is a good avenue for that as well?
Yeah 100% dude. There’s a million groups and a million songs out there that fit those vibes. I love hype music and I love music that just makes you feel good too, but then there’s moments where you’re not in that mood or in that state of mind and those songs that share the emotion that you have – you can only be sad or negative in a way – those songs can be really helpful in keeping you from feeling like you’re in solitary confinement.
To wrap this up, what can we expect next from you and The War Within?
We’re going into video mode right now. We’re about to shoot a bunch of videos, but I’m hoping that the next single that I end up dropping from the album is going to turn it back up, you know? I’m glad that there were some fans out there that appreciated that we dropped this record and went out on a different vibe than a club single, or a party single, or something hype or whatever, but now that we’ve gone and done this I definitely want to turn it back up for the ones that are ready to hear a different variety. The album is tough to figure out which song to go with because the album has so many different looks. I definitely want to turn it up and raise the energy level for the next one.
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