Press: Interviews, Articles, & Reviews
Hip Hop is an ever-changing and evolving art form, with new artists contributing their own unique style and interpretations to the genre. When it comes to keeping the party vibrant, Byrdie a.k.a. ‘The Enormous Gorgeous’ is no slouch. Hailing from the incredible Pacific Northwest, he is an emcee in every sense of the word – well known for his flare and smooth energy.
Byrdie has embraced the musical art form, and his love of songwriting is embodied in his debut album entitled N Flight. Each song on the album accents a different aspect of his personality and unmatched charisma. He incorporates catchy hooks and skillful harmonizing into the musical backdrops from his top notch production line up, which includes rising stars Vitamin D and Bean One. Byrdie explains that his process of writing songs comes from a place deep within, with few external influences. “The music I make is a reflection of my personality,” he says. “From my sense of humor to my political beliefs, my music is multi-dimensional. Sometimes I feel like changing the world, sometimes I feel like partying. I do not want to be put into a box, categorized as one particular kind of rapper.”
Having been a Hip Hop fan for years, Byrdie incorporates the original battle rhyme aspect of Hip Hop into his repertoire, with stunning metaphors and on-point delivery. Like the icons he most admired growing up, he has the mark of a true lyricist. “My earliest influences were Run DMC and LL Cool J,” explains Byrdie. “I was drawn to emceeing from the first time my ears were exposed to it.”
Initial experience writing rhymes happened when Byrdie was a mere 10-years-old. He and his elementary school friend Tone Tone started a group called the Lyrical Delinquents and began making their own homemade mixtapes. The two friends would rap for anyone and everyone, even to retail cashiers at the local Music Land store, hoping to land a record deal. “I had no idea artists even got paid,” explains Byrdie. “I had no ulterior motive for rhyming – I didn’t come into this culture with the intention of capitalizing from it. I did it because I loved it and it was fun.”
From beatboxing and banging on the desk at school, freestyling in the lunch room and on the school bus, Byrdie’s talent flourished during his high school years. Lyrical Delinquents added a new member to their group and changed their name to Presumed Guilty. The biggest challenge for the trio was finding an affordable studio that would take them in, as producers and engineers continually told them they were too young to record an album. The group eventually disbanded, but Byrdie pressed on and joined yet another group called FTS. When all was said and done, it just seemed a better idea for the young emcee to take his own path, and he set out as a solo artist. His good friend Aaron Angeles joined him to assist with both business and creative endeavors, and everything began to take off.
When Byrdie dropped his debut N Flight album in late 2004, Seattle radio picked up on the song "Wanted", a track that was not necessarily intended to be a single. The song was on KUBE FM play list from August of 2004 all the way through February of 2005. Despite the lack of formal BDS spins, Seattle urban station X104.5 KMIH FM had the single “B.Y.R.D.I.E.” for several months as well. Support from deejays and tastemakers in the area helped to push the music, and a phenomenal buzz surrounded the video for “B.Y.R.D.I.E.”
The thriving music scene in the Pacific Northwest has given the world a plethora of rock stars, although Hip Hop success on a major scale has been minimal. Platinum selling artist Sir Mix-A-Lot blazed many trails for the next generation of artists, but few have been able to follow. “What inspires me is the fact that no one has commercially made it on a mainstream level in Hip Hop in the Northwest since Sir Mix-A-Lot did back in the late ‘80s,” says Byrdie. “There are people that believe if it hasn’t happened by now it never will. I think that’s ridiculous, but that train of thought inspires me. It gives me the drive to become successful.”
Byrdie has performed at various shows in the course of his career, and has been perfecting his already-captivating live show. As his schedule continues to get busier by the day, he recalls his best experience on stage thus far as the time he shared the bill with Public Enemy and Nas at Seattle’s annual Bumbershoot Festival in 2004. “The vibe was really good that day – it was around the time of the presidential election. All the acts encouraged the crowd to get out and vote. At one moment I told the crowd to make an oath with me. I told everyone to raise their right fist and repeat, ‘I Will Vote’. To hear all those voices and see all those hands in the air gave me chills.”
Byrdie’s focus on the belief that music should be positive and thought provoking stands out in his work, and he creates songs that ignite your thoughts and emotions. The N Flight project is not only about Hip Hop, it is about taking off with a new, refreshing blend of music – and, in turn, a timeless album. “I want to give other artists inspiration,” explains Byrdie. “I want the kids in the Northwest to have someone to look up to – I want them to be proud of the Northwest. In order for me to do so, I have to lead by example.”
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