- Pain - Phyzic
Donelle Smith born October 13th, 1994, better known by his stage name Phyzic, is an American Hip Hop Recording Artist, Songwriter & Producer.
In 2015, Phyzic recruited his local fellow Virgin Islands artists Jay Jayy and Vanquish for his highly anticipated single “This Is Me”, which gained him great attention in his hometown in the islands. Now currently residing in California, Phyzic has taken his studies to The Art Institutes of California – Hollywood, participating in the Audio Engineering program to acquire his Bachelor’s Degree, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking his career as an artist to the next level. He has networked himself through the industry having worked alongside platinum producers like Frenzy Beatz (Fetty Wap’s Producer), Ace Bankz (Chief Keef’s Producer), EspoTheProducer (Rae Sremmurd’s Producer) and CashMoneyAp (SD’s Producer); whom he also teamed up with on his newly released 2016 single “Pain”, which has accumulated some good attention on music platforms like SoundCloud and Spotify. He has also amassed over 11 million social media views due to being involved in viral Vine & Facebook videos with the likes of social media influencers DeStorm, Melvin Gregg, Wuz Good, Page Kennedy and more.
As he continues to build relations in the industry, Phyzic has come to spread name amongst a few and is starting to turn heads. With more experiences still awaiting him, Phyzic is determined to make his mark as the next breakout artist in the entertainment industry.
What is your background? tell us where you grew up and some information about your upbringing/experiences as a youth:
I was born in the United States Virgin Islands on the island of St. Thomas, but I was raised in the British Virgin Islands on the island of Tortola. My parents divorced when I was like 2 years old but they still played active roles in my life. Around the age of 5 my mother took my sister and I and we moved to London, but our father remained in the islands. We stayed there for 4 years. I never did fit in really; I was bullied; not physically but a lot of people didn’t see me as an equal so I barely had any friends. I remember my mom used to work at McDonalds as well. It wasn’t easy for us back then. I even have her badge from McDonalds when she was awarded employee of the month, which I didn’t get to see until years later. That’s what drives me, seeing her badge reminds me of those difficult times and enables me to push myself harder every day. A little before my 10th birthday we moved to New York. Here is where I became introduced to Hip-Hop/Rap & R&B music but my love for it never clicked I just liked to hear it. Here was where I saw first-hand people on the streets hustling trying to make a living for themselves. Being that I was still quite young, I didn’t understand what I was seeing, I just knew that this wasn’t a position that I could see myself in. New York was a rough place to be, I made friends but became influenced into one or two fights, and I started to curse a lot. I wasn’t a bad boy or anything I just started speaking like one. I honestly didn’t like it at the time and being that I was also in school my grades were going down and it was at that point that my mother decided to take me back to live with my dad in the British Virgin Islands. My dad is an Adventist, so he had me in church every weekend. I honestly didn’t like it but being that I was living with him I had no choice. I got into church choir and started developing my voice more. My father put me into Pathfinders which is like a church boy & girl scout program. I completed it during the course of elementary school learning survival skills, hiking, swimming and a whole lot of nature stuff. I’ve used some of those skills since completing it so I don’t regret being a part of it. I remember as I was growing up I liked to draw and even told some of my family that I wanted to be a game designer when I grew up. My aunt bought books for me that illustrated how to draw certain characters like superheroes, villain’s, and even robots. I was able to look at something or someone and draw them, maybe not exact but good enough. The thing was I couldn’t picture something in my head and bring it to life on the paper like how a lot of my friends in school were able to, so I quickly let that dream fade. To this day I still have the ability to draw something if I look at it but I don’t really do it that much so I feel a bit rusty. High school wasn’t really a memorable time for me. My father got married again but this time I was at the age where I understood things more, I was like 11 at this time. My father and step mother argued a lot, sometimes because of me, sometimes for other reasons. It wasn’t easy being in the house hearing the exchange of words, I often didn’t even want to come home it was a scary reality for me. Through most of my high school life, they argued. I had my mind so focused on getting them to see eye to eye that my work suffered and I failed high school. So that summer of 2011 I relocated to my mom and did my last year of high school over and graduated the following year. After graduating, I relocated back to my dad. When I reconnected with him I came to find out that he and my step mother had divorced. I’m still close with her and they both still talk but it’s just difficult for me sometimes thinking back on everything.
At what moment did you know that music was part of your life and what feelings did you have towards making an active impact with your music?
At the age of 14 I started to get into music. I used to go by a close friend of mine Devon Smith every Saturday evening, he’s like a brother to me now, we just used to get beats for the songs we liked and remix them. We shared the songs on our Facebook for our friends to hear. Being that I wasn’t all that and I wasn’t fully into it at that time I never pushed myself to go hard for music. Even though I was in choir I never pursued becoming a singer. I went through high school just remixing songs and the more I did it the more I got pulled into it. It wasn’t until I turned 16 is when I realized that music is what I wanted to do. In the summer of 2012, I got my very first studio session. I had two songs I wrote so I recorded them. I got my first performance at our festival for local artist night. I was nervous but I had people supporting me. I took to the stage, performed my two songs and just went with it, I can honestly say I’ve never felt anything quite like what I felt that night. I felt free and I had everyone’s’ attention. It was at that point that I knew this is what I wanted to do. Having everyone cheer for me, seeing all those phone lights up just made me feel alive, I felt as if I had accomplished something very huge and that it was only just the start of something great. If I remember correctly it was in 2013 when my mom bought me my first mic, interface and everything I needed to record, that’s when I went full throttle with the music. I started writing my own songs and working on my overall self. I also started experimenting with making beats. It honestly took me about 3 years to understand FL Studio lol cause I guess I was being stubborn with learning it but I don’t regret the learning process because to this day I could make a beat, whether it be dope or stupid as hell haha I can make something.
What artists inspired/influences you and if you could collaborate with any artist (alive or passed) who would it be and why?
The artists that inspire me and influence my music are Big Sean, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Future, Nas, R. City, Meek Mill, Mark Battles, King Los, Lil Wayne, Diggy Simmons, Caskey, Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, YG, Ace Hood, Post Malone, Tory Lanez, Justin Bieber, Khalil & Lil Twist. I would collaborate with Post Malone. Reason being he’s a dope new artist on the scene and he’s poppin. I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to know him. Before he went on tour he lived around the same area as me here in LA, so I’ve been able to get to know him in person and just build a genuine friendship with him. I’ve never been able to get that close with any artist in the industry.
What do you think about the current state of hip hop/mainstream music?
The current state is a mess honestly. Music doesn’t really have a meaning to it anymore people just say anything that first comes to their head. We have these new rappers or as people are calling them “mumble rappers” who continuously say the same things about drinking lean, banging multiple woman, smoking weed, cheating on their girl, shooting up things. I mean some artist lived like that so they talk about their experiences, I get that, but others say it just because they feel like it and it just makes hip hop look bad. It makes music boring now, there’s nothing to look forward to in a song anymore.
Currently, what projects do you have in the works that you are most excited about?
I don’t have any projects in the works right now. I’m just working on singles at the moment. I believe I might put a project together soon but as of right now I’m strictly focused on making great singles.
What are your short term career goals within the next 6-10 months?
I would like to be doing more shows. Being in college it’s a little tricky to get out being that I’m so pinned down with work, but I do try my best to find shows to get more exposure and to put my music out there.
What are your long term career goals within the next 2-5 years?
Within the next 2-5 years, I see myself collaborating with some of my favorite artists, booking a lot of shows, doing radio interviews possibly even traveling.
If you had one song out of the catalog you have created to show a person what song would it be and why?
It would be a song I released entitled Pain. Reason being it’s the deepest song I’ve ever written. I got robbed back in February of this year 2016, I lost over $3,000 worth of belongings, it hurt me and I struggled to find myself again. It was hard going about my daily life as usual with that burden. I started writing how I felt and put it into a song, I just let the feelings flow through the words and that’s how Pain was created. I took me maybe an hour to write it but it came from the heart, it came from raw emotion. It isn’t easy going through something like that and I know other people have been through that so it’s me speaking for them letting them know I know how they feel, but it’s ok the world isn’t over, just keep your head high and keep moving.
To the person who had never heard of you what is it about your music and story that you would tell them to entice them to be a supporter?
I don’t believe in making music about something I’m not about. I make music to portray my experiences. People have been through the same thing as me, but don’t have a voice for themselves. I feel like I’m the voice for those people. The world doesn’t get to hear enough real music so that’s what I’m doing. I’m not studying what everyone else is doing, I’m doing what I feel, I’m doing what I know and that is giving the people something they could hold onto.
If your music could be described in five words what would those five words be?
I would describe my music in five words as “Real life through the music”.
What do you bring to the game that is unique and different?
For starters I can’t freestyle. People say in order to be an artist you must have the ability to freestyle. I want to change that. Why must I be able to freestyle? I rather sit down and gather my thoughts and create something that to think of something on the spot and spit it out. That’s just how I am. I don’t believe in following what others are doing. My style is a mix of new and old, meaning, I rap on new school beats like those Future/Drake/Tory Lanez sounding beats and fuse that with real conscious old school flow lyrics. I’m Caribbean raised, so I can switch up my accent and talk like an islander in my music even though I don’t do it that much. I do a bit of producing on the side, not too many artists in the game can make beats. That’s what sets me apart from most.
To the aspiring artist who is considering a career as a musician what lessons or advice would you give them to inspire them or to uplift them in the journey?
Be patient. Work on your craft, don’t be in any rush to release material, yes you have to be consistent but do it on your own time. Build a strategy on how you’re going to do things and then pursue that. When you work on you, people will come eventually it’s all about timing.
What are your social media profiles and where can people purchase/download your music?
I’m on SoundCloud, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat & Facebook as “RealPhyzic”. People can purchase and stream my music on every digital outlet iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Amazon Music etc.
What are your final words you would like to say to people that you have left out?
Never stop believing in conscious music. There comes a time when you just need to hear something inspirational and motivating as you might be going through something and listening to all that new wave turn up stuff won’t help you cope with what it is you got going on. Conscious music is soul music it touches you deeper.