Sidewalk Pkasso is one of the hottest artists coming out of Anchorage, Alaska. Sidewalk Pkasso brings heat from a place not really known for its hot weather or music. Pkasso’s up tempo songs like “Ride Foreign” and “This Is My City” are must listens. His music connects with real people and real life situations. His songs embody the struggle, love, hustling, celebrations and family. Born in Petersburg, VA and migrated to the cold of Anchorage, Alaska. His flow is that of the south with a clash of the northwest.
Born in 1979 in Petersburg, VA Pkasso was raised by his mother and Grandmother alongside two brothers and a sister. Life was not ideal. Going months without running water, electricity and food, poverty was something he decided he will never see again. Pkasso grew up on Commerce Street amongst the drugs, the shootings, and the poverty of life that surrounded him. Pkasso’s mother worked many jobs and was able to move them into a house. Watching his mom work 3 jobs and the bills still not get paid Pkasso started his own lawn mowing business, cutting grass for neighbors and giving his mother the money. In 1992 after losing their house Pkasso and his family moved to North Carolina. There they live in one of his uncle’s trailers. Although he had always enjoyed music this is where he fell in love with music. Coming from a very religious family he was made to attend choir practice. This gave Pkasso not only a love for music but an outlet for his thoughts and emotions, Pkasso’s style begin to take shape. Pkasso has been doing music for many years, when asked how long; Pkasso jokes about how he would stuff paper into the corner of cassette tapes and record songs between two different cassette recorders. “That should give you an idea of how long his journey has been”.
Pkasso moved to Anchorage Alaska in 1994, music wasn’t so much on his mind as was money. Remembering the days he would sit at his father’s car lot watching hustler, drug dealers and businessmen conduct business. These were people he looked up to people he called uncles and cousins. Coming from a life of poverty obtaining money and lots of it was what he thrived for. A boy friend of his sister showed Pkasso the ropes, before long money wasn’t an issue. Along with his brother and a few close friends they set out to obtain as much money as they could without drawing attention. That only lasted so long; opening a clothing store and his own car lot he was making money the legal way. This is when Pkasso became more flamboyant, driving corvettes to old schools and luxury vehicles; the spotlight was now bright as it could ever have been. “When you come from nothing and end up obtaining everything it’s hard not to let it be known.” After marriage and his first son Pkasso left the street life alone and started to concentrate on music again. Meeting DNA which is like a brother to him now, DNA had a lot of the knowledge that Pkasso was missing when it came to music and actually producing mixing and mastering a track. They clicked instantly and been running strong ever since. After a short time they were in the studio day in and day out working on what is now known as M.O.A.H: Mind Of A Hustla, which was released in 2013. By this time as life always does things started to change in the home front. Shortly after the release of his debut album Pkasso divorced from his wife of 13 years. No longer in the streets, the close of his businesses, and now taking care of 2 households the finances Pkasso worked so hard to build had dwindled to near nonexistence. After many shows in and out of the state of Alaska Pkasso took a break to focus on what was most important.
In 2014 Pkasso spent less time on making music and more time networking with artist and promoters in other states preparing for the next step. Learning the business from mentors and others Pkasso has a platform filled with veteran music business associates that has molded the business side of this game into a formula that creates several different revenue streams. 2015 will be his best year yet!!!
NO MATTER WHAT OBSTACLES ARE PLACED IN FRONT OF YOU, NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM. TAKE THE GOOD WITH THE BAD AND FIGURE OUT YOUR NEXT STEP!!! – SIDEWALK PKASSO
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: I was born in Petersburg, VA and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1994. The move was supposed to be a new beginning for us. We were leaving behind a life of poverty, struggle and pain. I was 14 years old and really didn’t know what to expect. I remember thinking igloos and dog sleds, but Alaska is just like everywhere else. We just dress for the cold and snow here in Alaska the same way as someone in Cali would dress for the heat. -10 to 1 degree we function, there’s not too much that stops everyday living for us. “The grind don’t stop because it cold outside”.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: I have a lot a family back in North Carolina (Enfield) and every Sunday we were in church. Eventually moms made us start going to choir practice with my cousins. Although I was no singer, I followed the rhythm and the beat. This was something that I hid because “RAP” music was frowned on. I continued to write lyrics and putting together songs; the writing became therapy for me. The very first song I recorded was on a cassette tape. We plugged the outside of the cassette with paper; this allowed us to record over the tape. We played the instrumental from another cassette player while we recorded to a different one. This is old school so you know how long I been doing this lol. S/O to my fam Jermaine Alexander, he recorded with me back then… we thought we was the illest too!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: Music has been a way of letting my thoughts out, a release emotionally. I always found myself writing my thoughts on napkins or menus. I would write the way I felt about things or how a certain situation made me feel. I would then take those thoughts and mold them into lyrics. I know there are many others out there that feel the way I do and think the way I do. I’m trying to connect with the world but really connect with those with like minds. MUSIC is my passion! There’s something about listening to that beat and waiting for it to talk to you, waiting for it to pull those memories out of you, those life moments that best compliment the beat. Music changes lives and helps in so many ways. My music is my life, my memories, my struggles, my victories and my defeats. Music is life!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: My songs are about my life, situations that I go through on a daily basis. Situations most have gone through or have experienced in some type of way. Songs like “Suzy”; this song came about from the way I was living. We hustled out of necessity not some fad or trying to be cool. I came from nothing you dig…. after my dad left my mom we lived in some of the worst conditions imaginable. No running water, no lights, we would heat cans of beans on a grill using pine cones. “Are you ready”, another song off my freshman album was basically going down memory lane of a past relationship. Giving all the good and bad things that were done throughout the relationship. The struggle of me being gone or being in the studio or on the road doing shows. My songs are very much reflections of myself and my growth. There are also celebration records like “The Good Life”, “Ride foreign” and “This My City”. For everyone reading this go check out M.O.A.H: Mind of a Hustla. This album is full of songs that will help you get to know me better and the life I have lived. “No Fabrications, just real music for real people”.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: I have so many! I listened to 8Ball’s “My homeboys Girlfriend” and fell in love with storytelling; painting the picture with your words. I felt like I was sitting there watching all of this unfold as I listened. Master P with the way he handled “no Limit” and turned his brand into one of the biggest to do it. Jay-z, Tupac, 50cent there are so many more I can name. Some of the reasons I like these guys has nothing to do with their music but more so the business of it and how they grew their BRAND into something recognized by the world.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: My music is my life!! Every song is a little bit of me. A lot of my music is situations that many others have gone through. I just turn that situation into a song… breakups, struggles throughout life, love, hate, celebrations, victories and defeats. My music is something a typical man or woman will experience in their lifetime or already have. Many different people can relate to my songs. My music heals, educates and just walks you down memory lane. In every song I try to paint the picture and really give you a feeling of where I’m coming from or what I have been through with the song. I don’t really put my music in a box, it’s just good music. Period!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: My truth! I’m not fabricating anything; these are situations in my life that have been put into my music. No one can do me like I do me, and I’m very original. I’m cut from a different cloth; I have a very old spirit. Even from when I was younger I was always around older cats because of the knowledge they would give or advice. My older cousins really instilled in me to be me and not try to be like everyone else. To stand out by being different and being me…. because no one else can do me like I do me… I say that a lot because they really pushed that on me. Going through the things I have been through in my life sets me apart from others. I give you everything; I bleed my heart in these songs.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in your music career and how did you overcome?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: My challenges are daily, just navigating through a lot of the bullshit and finding like-minded people. This music game is a beast. Everyone will promise you the moon and the sun until you break bread with them. Then they slowly fade away. I have a strong team behind me now, very business minded individuals. They are building their brand and they want me to win just as much as I want them to win. Right now the right relationships are what I’m working on. Think about the old saying it’s not what you know it’s who you know.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: I’m working on my sophomore album which is not yet titled. I’m about 7 songs into it and it should be released later this year. 2014 was more of a growing year for me as a person. I learned a lot of hard truths about who I was as a person and the things I valued. 2015 my team is working hard for me and my brand. Slimm keys one of the nicest producers I ever heard… my right hand man DNA has been one of the reasons the quality of my music is shutting down anything coming out of ALASKA. I’m working on a mixtape with my group RSO: Real Spittaz Only that should be out later this year, I am also working with Delinquent Eye on his debut album which will be released through my label Music Den Records Alaska. I have my freshman album on iTunes so please go check that out and support one of the real ones doing this. I have a few records being worked on with some artist from ALASKA. I’m also working with Boot Camp ENT, on something pretty big and I will just leave that like that. 2015 is about to be a big one!!!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: I’m building a brand, through my music and will be branching out through many of the people I have in my circle. Networking with others and building multiple revenue streams. This is only the beginning and you will see more of what we have in store but only when the time is right. At the end of this journey, myself and my team will have branded many different markets with many different ventures. You’re only seeing the music. Alaska is untapped. You just have to stay tuned and continue watching for what’s next!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
SIDEWALK PKASSO: First, let me give a shout out to everyone that has supported me to this point, and thank God for allowing me to make it this far because i shouldn’t be here. To my kids Daddy loves you. my family for all the support over the years
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