IAA: What city and state are you from?
LIKWID FLOWZ: I was born in North Bergen, New Jersey. I was raised everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. My father was in the U.S. Army throughout my childhood. I’ve lived many places and consider myself to be significantly cultured. I was the first person in my family from both sides to be born in the United States of America. However, I do love the city where most of my family can be found, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. As a child, I hated the constant changes in my life, but I grew to appreciate the way I was raised.
My mother is where I get my passion from. After my parents’ divorce, she explored many cities, meanwhile, raising two children (almost ten years apart), seeking happiness and comfort. After a series of events in her life, she relocated to Nashville, Tennessee where I feel like she found her comfort zone and happiness.
I was sixteen-years-old when my mother moved to Nashville, living there until I was twenty-three-years-old. This was the first time in my life where I lived somewhere for such a long period of time. I feel like everything real I ever went through was in Nashville. My first car, first heart-break, and such… lots of firsts—not that first, but many significant firsts for me transpired in Nashville. Eventually, I came to a point in life where I knew I had to mature and grow up mentally and emotionally, but I didn’t feel like I could do that in Nashville. I was miserable and just tired of my environment in general. So, with that being said, I left. I had $26 and no destination. I hit I-40 West determined to make every single one of my dreams surface to reality.
I hustled my way to Austin, Texas eventually running out of money. Therefore, I went job-hunting. I walked into a small bicycle shop in the middle of the city and asked if they were hiring. The person I asked just so happened to be the owner of the shop and he handed me a blank sheet of computer paper. He instructed me to write down my contact information and anything that I think would help him make a decision. I wrote down enough to cover the front and back of that paper. He called me later on that night and told me that I did not have any of the skills he was looking for at all, but I just have heart. So he hired me. Unfortunately, he ended up letting me go a week later claiming that he truly couldn’t afford it and just wanted to help me out. I understood, but it still hurt me. I felt like I needed to pray about it and thought at that moment, I had so much to pray about. But when it came down to it, all I said was, “Dear God, I don’t know what’s going on right now—but thank you for bringing me this far. Amen.” Within the next three days, I had a new job, a new girl, and a roof over my head (which I didn’t have at all).
Nowadays, I’m still living in Austin, Texas- with that same girl and one of my best friends from Nashville- in a house we recently purchased in the suburbs. Life is good and my music reflects the way I’m feeling—awesome. As I progress through life, it’s not difficult for me to remain humble because of who I am, which I am because of where I’m from. I know that I’ve accomplished a lot thus far and I greatly appreciate my blessings and continuously count them. I love this city and partying with the wonderful people of “ATX.” It doesn’t hurt to know that this is the Live Music Capital of the World and the fastest growing city in America.
IAA: What is your music background?
LIKWID FLOWZ: Music has always been a grand part of my life. I’ve been known to listen to all kinds of music. Naturally, I’m attracted to hip-hop because of my talent, but I enjoy all kinds of music. Because of this love and passion for music I enrolled into the International Academy of Design & Technology at Nashville and I must say I truly enjoyed my time spent there. I’ve been performing my music since I was eighteen-years-old, which would make that seven years of experience on my behalf in the performing arts. Music is my complete background. It is very much so a part of my life. I rarely even watch television because I’d rather be listening, playing, or making music.
I grew up listening to Merengue and Bachata in my house. I’m Dominican, so that’s what my parents and I listened to throughout my childhood. My father has plenty of radio station experience since before I was born. To this present day, he has been spinning records for various stations. When my mother would get sad, I would play some Bachata music and dance with her. So, it’s safe to say that Dominican music is very much a part of my background as well.
I once got a keyboard for Christmas as a child I instantly fell in love with. I actually still have it and use it. I remember I used to skip school with D-Sharp and J. Turner and we would go to Guitar Center for hours upon hours where they would pretty much show me how to play the keys. Well, I’m still not as good as those guys, in my opinion, but I can play a chord or two– if you know what I mean. I often play the piano to myself just to listen to the music coming from my fingertips.
Music is where I spent my extra-curricular activity hours throughout my early childhood up until high school. I was in my elementary schools’ choir from first grade to fifth grade as well as playing the trumpet in middle school. In high school, I chose to get more involved with sports but I still took a number of music courses. I also took several drama courses and did a lot of voluntary work in different forms of performing arts, such as improvisational acting and miming.
Music is in my genetics. My grandfather, Luis De Peña, plays the saxophone. My father is a DJ. I am a lyricist/pianist/trumpeter. Even my little brother, Anthony (almost ten years younger than me), can play both the clarinet and baritone. My cousin in the Dominican Republic, Laura, is amazing on the keys; and her brother, Omar, can sing exceptionally well and also knows how to play the clarinet. My cousin in New Jersey, Frankie, is a beast on a drum set; his brother, Manny, can produce great beats. I could honestly go on and on about different family members of mine. We just all have music in our bloodstream.
IAA: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
LIKWID FLOWZ: I feel like my music is amongst the best this country has to offer. I go through my playlists [composed of various artists and genres] and I always find myself bumping my own music. I am extremely confident in my ability to be successful in today’s industry. I have been told that my ambition is unmatched. I literally enjoy my records. They’re fun records and my fans feel the same way. Besides the obvious reasons such as financial independence, I want to spread love, joy, & happiness through my music and touch the world in a different and special way.
My music is my voice. The government tries their best to silence me because of their human judgments, but I understand that God created me as a King in my own right. With that being said, I always felt as if my voice deserves to be heard. My music gives me that opportunity. And not to mention, music is apart of me. I’m going to record and release my own music no matter what— win, lose, or draw. My talent is ordained from God himself, and no one can take that from me.
So, in essence, I want to record and release my own music because I deserve to.
IAA: What are your songs about?
LIKWID FLOWZ: My songs are about the lifestyles of fun-loving, cool people. They’re about the rollercoaster of highs and lows we encounter as a people throughout our connecting lives; and about real things that real people do and go through. I try my best to entertain various avenues and cater to several different lanes. My songs are something that the masses can enjoy. I’m a very deep person with many sides to me. So it’s only natural for me to be able to relate to many different audiences and backgrounds.
I’m the type of person that can spark up conversation with pretty much anyone. I truly enjoy meeting new people and connecting with them. My music reflects the interactions that I have with these people. My overall goal when I create these songs is to ensure the enjoyment of any crowd I have the honor to rock.
I can’t forget about the female influences, though. Much of my archive was composed with sexual intentions in mind. This is not said for people to judge me, but to know that I am an honest person and I’m just simply real like that. I love women. I love women so much. I was raised by a woman, my best friend is a woman, and I live with a woman. I just can’t front about it—women are the center of my universe. Making women happy makes me happy and that’s real. I never have intentions to degrade any woman. I will say that I strive on a daily basis to be as honest as possible with myself and everyone around me. I just call them how I see them. I do think that I “push the envelope” at times, but I believe I do it in a way that overall gratifies females.
I’ve been through many things and lived in many environments and places. To put it in a bit of perspective, I do not know anyone-not a soul at all- from my childhood. I’ve moved around *that* much. Besides that, the random periods of incarceration did not help the situation any. I’m talking stretches, too. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is that I’ve been through many things that a lot of different people can connect to and these are the things that my music is based upon.
My songs are liable to be about anything. I’ve created wonderful images of various subject matters: from enhancing myself as person, to weed, to fighting people, to being in love, etc. So you can look forward to diversity when experiencing a Likwid Flowz record.
IAA: Who is your fan base directed towards?
LIKWID FLOWZ: My fan base is directed towards young adults. My maturity has grown overtime to the point where I can relate to young adults, mainly due to my wealth of experiences. I feel as though my music has a grown sound and feel to it. Not to say that younger and/or older people cannot relate to my music, but I think that my music is true to the person that I am— and I am a young adult. I feel like my fan base is directed towards people that want to live life to the fullest and have a great time right now. Not yesterday or tomorrow, but right now. That is because this is the place that I personally am in life at this moment if you ask me. I want to live beyond my wildest dreams, and I also want my family, friends, and fans to have all they desire. I love to see happy people.
My fan base is directed towards people with similar aspirations to mine. These types of aspirations are undoubtedly most commonly found within young adults. Although, I do believe the perspective my lyrics are coming from have the potential to attract many demographic markets. My fan base is predominantly made up of young adults between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four.
The music I create is made to appeal to myself and my peers. I’m proud to be a part of this generation because this will be a generation to make a positive impact in the world, in my opinion. My music represents “now.”
IAA: Who are your musical influences?*
LIKWID FLOWZ: My musical influences are many. They vary from different artists such as everything from “Tupac Shakur” and “Jay-Z,” and stretch as far as “Future” and “2 Chainz.” I admire anyone that reaches certain levels of success with their craft. I could go on and on with names of different artists if I wanted to. These kinds of artists influence me because they inspire me. I just feel it’s my responsibility to pay homage to all those that paved the wave for artists such as myself. So, I pay attention to things older artists (and just elders, period) say and do. When they present advice throughout their music and/or other ventures, I listen and try to learn at least one thing from that piece of advice that I can keep and apply to my career.
But even though several artists influence me as a person, I think my music itself is simply influenced by the same things that influence my daily decisions. I like to make music based upon my emotions. My life in general is just a grand influence on my music, and I try my best to stay true to myself in order to produce music that I like. The places, people, and things around me greatly affect the music I choose to create. For example, when I made records such as “Break Me Down” and “Sometimes,” those lyrics came from a bad place from me in life. Not to say that these songs were negative at all, but the come from the struggle and the lyrics illustrate that. Where as, when I created “On Me” and “Roll It Up,” you can hear the happiness in my voice.
IAA: How would you describe your music to people?
LIKWID FLOWZ: I tend to find it rather difficult to describe my music to people. I consider myself to be a very versatile artist, and I believe my music reflects that. I made a song called “Flying Above” that’s about stunting on haters with a southern feel and swagger to it. Next thing you know, I’m making a song called “The One” that’s about being in love. Then, I turn around and make a song called “Tryna F***.” The thing is, all of these different subject matters and angles I conjure honestly do relate to the person I am.
My music is enjoyable. I believe that positive energy makes the world turn, and my music, I would like to believe, expresses just that. I try my best to stay away from negativity as an artist, just as I do personally. There are moments of negativity in my records at times, just as there are in life itself; but I keep it positive for the most part.
IAA: What makes you stand out from other artists?
LIKWID FLOWZ: I think there are a plethora of attributes that make me stand out from other artists. One thing that makes me automatically stand out from other artists is that I’m bilingual. I can fluently speak, read, and write both English and Spanish. But aside from that, I legitimately invest a lot of time into my music. I use my mind and try to create a new, fresh, and innovative vibe behind my lyrics, which usually ends up being turned into great-sounding music. I’m not afraid to be myself. I believe in individualism and I think it shows through my personality. My charisma and personable nature allows me to connect with my fans in a way that other artists may not be able to. The fact of the matter is, my capability to make my words resonate in my fans’ ears is something genuine, and an authentic vow to the relationship I carry with my listeners. People understand, appreciate, and identify with my music and that is truly something beautiful.
I bring the kind of energy that is undeniably contagious. The energy I put behind my music is similar to the kind of energy that comes behind a smile. When I step on that stage, I aim to make sure everyone in the room has a good time. Moreover, my professionalism sets me apart from other artists as well. I love learning the business as I go through it, and it shows through the medium of my decisions, thoughts, concepts, and approach.
IAA: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
LIKWID FLOWZ: I’m working on my debut record for the city of Austin, Texas right now. I love this city and I want to do things the right way in order to provide this city with an incredible movement. I have been doing shows, but I’m really focused on this current project because I feel like I’ve personally grown to a new level as a human and an artist. I’m very proud of what has been going on in the studio lately. We’ve been making some really good music. The more the buzz grows the more my network does too, so needless to say, I’ve been blessed in that aspect of life. I am living life one song at a time and enjoying my time here on Earth. It’s hard for me to look at my music as a task because I do it so often and naturally. I don’t even write my lyrics. Music is my therapy. I do enjoy the business side as well, but I separate that aspect from my music; just as I separate my musical opinion from my business. With that being said, it looks like this summer is going to be a memorable one. I will make sure to show the industry my work ethic and the world my talent.
The main focus is laying down a good foundation for my career. I’ll lay the rest brick by brick afterwards, but I’ve centralized my main efforts into laying down a proper foundation to build an empire on top of.
IAA: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
LIKWID FLOWZ: I’ve always envisioned myself surfacing beyond the music. I’ve always been into other things such as drama. I have plenty of acting and fashion experience, not to mention general business experience. My career goals are based upon my vision. In ten years I see myself making movies, owning establishments, beginning foundations that actually help people, and starting scholarship funding programs as well as other non-profit organizations; all while maintaining a major musical status within the industry. The combination of my talent and work ethic will elevate me to great levels of success.
I believe that I am the mind ‘Pac promised he would spark. I will make a positive major contribution/change in this world before it’s all said and done with. I have deep, well-thought political views and concepts that could help get us, as the human race, to more overall happiness. I feel so passionately opposite from “the shakers and movers” of our society that I don’t think it’s possible for me to exist in the world for ten more years without either it or me changing. I’m never going to change.
In ten years, I believe I will be amongst the elite in the history of music. I have so much unmatched drive and passion for music. I’ve learned from my past mistakes, and I’ve grown and matured to the point where I can now maneuver my way into a position I would like to be in– as far as my career is concerned. I had to learn every lesson the hard way, but looking back at it, I wouldn’t change it if I could. A wise man once told me, “You can make any mistake in the world…. Just don’t make the same mistake *twice*. That’s the key!” And that sticks with me to this day, so I definitely foresee a very fortuitous future lying ahead of me.
In ten years, I believe I will be amongst the elite in the history of music. I have so much unmatched drive and passion for music. I’ve learned from my past mistakes, and I’ve grown and matured to the point where I can now maneuver my way into a position I would like to be in– as far as my career is concerned. I had to learn every lesson the hard way, but looking back at it, I wouldn’t change it if I could. A wise man once told me, “You can make any mistake in the world…. Just don’t make the same mistake twice. That’s the key!” And that sticks with me to this day, so I definitely foresee a very fortuitous future lying ahead of me.
IAA: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
LIKWID FLOWZ: To find my music, fans can go to www.reverbnation.com/likwidflowz, www.soundcloud.com/likwidflowz, www.youtube.com/likwidflowz, or www.ourstage.com/likwidflowz. And to contact me fans should follow me on Twitter @likwidflowz Also, if you e-mail me at email@example.com I’d be more than happy to send you music, pictures, and more. But twitter is definitely a great way to get in contact with me, and not only should you follow me, but you should also follow: @JMoPro_, @TrillReal_1914, @LilBuddy615, @KRUSH04, @cavaili_james, @dezzbo, @djsirswift, @Kmob10_16 and others that I won’t name in order to respect their privacy. All of the mentioned people know how to get my music to you and/or contact me. And yes, that was a #shamelessplug.