Climbing to #1


Free-styling, a style of rap in which the lyrics are improvised, was always something that came naturally to senior Evan Straw, and it was also something that he saw himself having a future in. Straw kicked off that future in 8th grade, recording his first original song with his Turtle Beach gaming headset. From then to now, Straw seems to have made tremendous progress.

 “I went from a gaming headset studio to a $1,300 studio, so I’ve made a lot of progress hardware-wise,” Straw said. “I’ve also gotten a lot better as a songwriter.”

Currently, Straw has 53 solo songs and 2 mixtapes posted online to Soundcloud. Whether it’s freestyling or lyricized raps, the songwriting process varies.

“My writing process is different,” Straw said. “Sometimes, I just freestyle so it takes no time to write, but I usually write a track in about 1-2 hours.”

Straw finds his inspiration from things he observes and the way he feels. With all the songs he’s created, Straw shares how he feels about his own music.

“I’m steadily making progress,” Straw said. “But I’m nowhere close to where I want to be.”

Rapping isn’t always something Straw does on his own. He has actually been rapping with a group called Zillagang for four years. He has recorded and posted three songs of theirs to Soundcloud.

“We’re a family,” Straw said. “We never really fight. We’re always roasting each other, though.”

 Straw said that the group’s best moment was their first gig at Malibu bar.

“We came to my house to practice before the show,” Straw said. “We felt confident coming in and got the crowd to come forward, so it went well. They felt the energy.”

What Straw ultimately wants from all of this is to make it his career. He keeps himself motivated by reminding himself that he isn’t where he wants to be yet.

“I want to make this my living,” Straw said. “I’m not a Drake or a Tupac yet, [but] that’s where I want to be.”

Of the 53 songs Straw has created as a solo artist, he is not satisfied with any of them.

“I’m not proud of any of them,” Straw said. “I haven’t made a number one hit yet, so I gotta keep working.”