Generation NEXT: Spree Wilson
Rapper/Singer/Songwriter Smashes Musical Boundaries
12:00PM ET April 30th, 2011
Contributor : Hip Hop Blog Staff
A Rocky Williform Company
Spree Wilson is the kind of hip hop head that name-drops Brian Wilson and Duane Eddy. He's as influenced by 3 Feet High & Rising as he is Highway 61 Revisited. The emcee/singer/songwriter's latest mixtape, "Never Ending Now," showcases his myriad of influences and the Atlanta-raised, NYC-based artist isn't afraid of pushing boundaries. And he proclaims "Never Ending Now" as the closest you can get to Spree Wilson: Unfiltered.
"The approach I took was [this would be] the kinda music a person would make if they were left to their own devices," Spree explained to HHB. "I just wanted to make the music that I've been influenced by since i was a kid. And I wanted to make it at such a high quality that other people would enjoy it. This is all my ideas, unfiltered; anything I wanted to put on it. All of my wildest ideas. like a song like "Love You Better" where I purposely put New Orleans funeral music in--just stuff that I like."
Spree credits his childhood influences for expanding his taste at a very young age. It also instilled an impeccable sense of songcraft to his musical abilities, which is evident all over his latest project.
"I always wanted to be a songwriter first. I always wanted to be considered one of the best songwriters," he shares. "The people I listen to are great songwriters. I grew up listening to a lot of the Beatles. I grew up listening to a lot of [Bob] Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Neil Young, [Jimi] Hendrix. I always wanted to be a songwriter. When I take that approach to my songs, I gauge my songwriting up to the best legends from way back. if you wanna be great you gotta listen to the greats. I pulled apart everything I liked about their music. I put it all into a big pot, shook it up and that's what gave Spree Wilson his voice, so-to-speak."
With a rise in hip hop singer/songwriters, Spree resists any attempts to box him in. Foregoing any kind of 'artsy' pretentiousness, Wilson says he enjoys collaborating with artists from all corners of the musical spectrum and loves the anticipation of what kind of great work could come from working with those artists.
"I don't make judgments on who I work with. I'll work with anybody as long as they're creative and willing to push themselves," he says. "It doesn't matter if I'm working with Gucci Mane or Neil Young or Esthero. I'm just into working with people who push themselves. There are a lot of artists that want to put their collaborations in a box. For me, I don't know what I'm gonna make with somebody! If Jeezy calls me tomorrow, I don't know what I'll make with him. I don't ever want to deny something that could be great!"
Follow Spree @spreewilson on Twitter