Coming off the release of his impressive 4-song EP “Cocoa” which dropped late last year, Kansas City-based rising artist Paris Williams shares the double video for his standout tracks Youth in Revolt and Paradise. Having spent over a year since his last video, the 22-year-old comes back fully recharged. With an EP set for later this Summer and another in the Fall, we had the chance to catch up with the budding artist and talked inspiration behind the new video, creative process, and what’s planned next. Check out the short Q&A down below.
How did the idea for the videos come together?
I’m a huge fan of the 2000s era when it comes to music videos. Especially what Missy Elliott was doing then. Watching the “Get ur freak on” video as a kid was super impactful. I’ve just always liked that style of video. I think it opens so many different possibilities. Tyler, the Creator is a big influence as well and I love when he does that.
For every release, it seems like you have full creative control. How do you maintain that consistency outside of music-making?
I try to put that same attention and level of detail I approach the music within everything I do. Musicians are way more than just artists nowadays. We’re full-blown brands. When people get something that’s attached to the Paris Williams or Bittersweet name I want them to know they’re getting a certain level of quality. I have to give a lot of praise to my team as well. They’re the reason I can make any of these ideas possible, honestly.
While working on these videos, is there a part of the process you enjoyed the most?
My favorite part was definitely being there shooting with a ton of my friends for the video. Some of the people I’ve known since I was a teenager, and some only for a few months. I love the rush of being on set and being able to really bring a song to life!
You’re currently finishing up a couple of EPs correct? Let’s talk a bit about the one you have sent for later on this Summer.
Yeah! I’m currently working on two at the moment. It’s funny, the one I want to drop last is further along than the second [laughs.] I’m just experimenting a lot with my sound and really trying to take things to another level.
You definitely bring something new to the table with each release. Not boxing yourself in has allowed you to tap into multiple genres. Where does that musical influence come from?
I was always open to different types of music as a kid because I would be in different environments. My mom loved Neo-Soul and RnB. When I’d see my pops, he loved Three 6 mafia, Boosie, Gucci, etc. When I would hang out with kids I grew up with we would talk about hip-hop. But a lot of kids I met later on in high school mainly listened to pop-punk and rock. I just try to take a bit of everything I like from my favorite artists and make something original.
Since we are all desperately missing live music, you actually have a live stream performance coming soon, correct?
Yeah! That should be out sometime in May. There’s a new company called Studio on Sunset that’s going to be hosting it. Tickets will be $5 I believe. We’ll have some clips of it available on my YouTube as well.
It seems like you’re finding your footing and feel confident with the work you’re putting out there. What’s some advice you’d pass off to someone who’s starting?
I love these questions! When I was first starting I wish I had someone I could ask for advice. If anyone that listens to my music ever wants to reach out I try my best to respond to everyone. But I would say stay true to your vision no matter what. Even if it takes longer, it’s worth it in the end. Be open to criticism but trust yourself most. Don’t get caught in seeking validation. Find people with the same goals and create a community. You can only go so far alone.
Any last thoughts?
First and foremost, thank you Swidlife for hosting the video and being so supportive. It means the world. I wanted to say thank you to everyone on the team who helped bring this video to life. Literally wouldn’t have been able to do it without Brad, Kennedy, Ashlin, Daniel, and Jerry.