Suigeneris might be your new favorite Bay Area rapper, and he’s only 15 years old. Hailing from San Jose and reppin’ all things 408, the Suinami recording artist remembers writing songs at 10 years old and dream of being able to record it. Fast forward to 2019, he hails 359K followers on Instagram alone with a big cosign from Lil Skies. Read more…
To be able to create that melodic, trap sound this generation is known for at such a young age is both impressive and humbling. Recently, Suie threw an epic listening event with EMPIRE in light of his new project where fans, friends, and family conjoined to celebrate.
What part of the Bay are you from?
San Jose, California!
You never meet a rapper out of San Jose!
That’s what a lot of people say. They’re like “you’re from SJ, what?” I’m just trying to get San Jose out there. It’s awesome because a lot of successful rappers don’t really come out there, so the kids down in San Jose don’t have hope. “I can’t be a rapper.” But ever since I started going up, I see a lot more rappers coming up in San Jose. It’s a blessing.
Being that you’re only 15, when did you start recording?
About a year and a half ago. I’ve been making music for a long time, but I haven’t been recording it. When I was around 10 or 11 trying to write songs, it was a dream to record it. It’s not something I can maintain, $50 an hour for studio time is pretty hard. I got $50 every 3 months as a kid, so I couldn’t do that. I just tried to rap, tried to write music, just practiced.
Who were your biggest influences growing up?
A lot of people are influenced by other famous people or rappers, but I’m influenced by the people around me. Like my pops, he made music too. I ain’t gonna put him on blast like that. [laughs] My uncles, my cousins, they were all making music. It just inspired me to make it. Seeing my pops thrive at music for years and years growing up made me be like “yo, I want to do music.”
What do parents think now?
My whole family loves it! Even the people who stopped making music in my family (ever since things didn’t work out for them), they’re coming back into it. I’m helping put ‘em on. I’m helping get their streams out there since I have bigger platform, so it’s an awesome thing all around.
At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
When I first seen the numbers going up! I just had to see something on paper to know it’s real. I could always think “oh I made a hit song,” but you don’t know until you get the streams back, the money back, etc. Once I started seeing my first song “Pull Up” go up and hit 2,000 views — 2,000 views is a little bit but early on, I don’t know anybody with 2,000 views back then. Seeing people hate me is when I knew it was for real. When the haters came in, it was real.
What was the inspiration behind your name?
Growing up, I was a unique person in a lot of ways. I could explain for years why I’m a different people. I’m just unique. Sui generis is ‘unique’ in Latin. Think about this, not a lot of people can say they’re original. They’ll be like “oh I’m unique, so my rap name’s unique!” But you’re not unique because you chose a generic name. I was like ‘unique’ works for unique, so literally this is more unique than ‘unique’. Suigeneris, that has to be somebody big right now.
Congrats on Suinami. How are you feeling now that’s out?
It’s amazing! People don’t understand how long ago I recorded that music. Literally from a year to “NOW” featuring Lil Skies to Suinami, it’s insane. Not only did I grow as a musician, I also grew as a teenager. My voice got deeper, my songs sound getting more mature, I can catch a flow better, I know what I want. You can hear it in my lyrics, in my voice, in my emotion. It feels awesome to have my amazing work out that I can stand behind and be proud of.
What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
To get better as an artist! This has been my goal my entire time rapping, to get better to a point where — ‘cause I get into the studio, I’m sitting there, and I’ll have no motivation. I cannot record today, then there will be 2 weeks of that. I want to be able to go in there and be certain I can knock out a banger.
You’re only 15. Wtf do you know about the music industry?
I know a lot more than people would expect. [laughs] I have to know a lot about it because this whole time, it’s really been me, my pops, my brother, and my mom doing it. I have to know everything, the deals. I know how to upload all my tracks, a lot of stuff with the music industry.
Talk about your journey into Empire.
I signed like a year ago. Dropped my first album with them, The Cheat Code. I dropped a single called “Beware.” but it was real hard. Everything was lot harder when I didn’t have Empire, I’m blessed to have a team like Empire behind me. It’s amazing.
What did you do with your first advance?
Went straight to my family and my living situation, so my family could eat. Put as much as I could back scramble into my music.
How important is social media for your career?
It’s important not only for me, but a lot of people’s career. It’s become a big thing in marketing. People go to my IG to see if I posted a new song. They could go to my Apple Music but they go there because it’s easier. I’d still get streams if I didn’t have social media, but I love having social media to interact with my fans. Show them more of Suie, because I can’t go on Apple Music and post a picture of me making food.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Suie wakes up around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, because I sleep around 5 or 6am every day. I make my best songs at night. During the day, I’m not trying to make music, I’m not alive. It’s so random, my life is different things every day.
3 things you need in the studio?
Me, myself, and I. I’m just playin’. The most fire beats. Shout out everybody who’s ever produced for me because you have fire beats. I only get on fire beats. I record all my own stuff, I recorded my entire album. I like to have Hot Cheetos, Arizona’s, Trap Ramen. A lot of my supporters know about Trap Ramen.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
When a fan comes that I recognize from another show, it’s on another whole level. I try not to call them my fans because that distances them from friends and family. I consider everybody who supports me a friend, because they support me and my dream. That’s something only family and friends would do. Now I have 300 to million peoples supporting my dream, I consider them all family.
Top 5 artists?
Favorite rapper, favorite musician, Tupac. Love his music, everything about him. I grew up listening to Tupac because my pops would have him on. He would tell me things about the songs, things he liked about Tupac. I listen to a lot of NBA Youngboy, there’s a lot of deep meaning behind his music and a lot of emotion put into his songs. Same with Tupac, they’re kind of similar in a way.
I listen to Bob Marley and Gregory Isaacs, love their music! I love Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven.” Those songs have meaning because my grandma and grandpa passed away last year. When I hear those songs, they just make me happy ‘cause I think of them.
Talk about working with NBA Youngboy.
NBA Youngboy, bro is a real, down to earth, genuine dude. I pulled up at one of his sessions with one of my homies, he was doing magic for him. He talked to me, we had a real conversation. Ended up becoming friends. I pulled up the next day and we made a song. I fuck with him heavy. I’m probably gonna call him later and try to link with him ‘cause I’m in LA. I fuck with Youngboy long way. He’s kept it 100 with me the whole time I known him.
I want to work with Bad Bunny, a lot of Spanish artists. Artists out of my range. An artist you can’t see me on a song with, is an artist I want a song with. Because I want to show people that I’m versatile. I hit up artists with 5000 followers, 1000 followers who are coming up who do Spanish music, just to get a feel for Spanish music. I have a Spanish song in the vault. I don’t speak Spanish, but I put it together. Every different artist, singers, female artists, everybody.