Artist Q&A: Whitney Peyton

From the outskirts of Philadelphia comes Whitney Peyton, a rising star in the world of independent hip hop. Learn how Whitney has enjoyed success to this point of her career, and learn more about her new album, “Break The Frame,” by checking out our review.

For those who may be new listeners, tell us about your major influences and how they have helped shape you as an artist.
I enjoy artists like Tech N9ne, Chris Webby, Machine Gun Kelly, Hopsin, and so many more. All these artists are independent and have really laid the blueprint for making it from a grassroots level. I think that’s so respectable!

As a Philly-area native, you’ve enjoyed plenty of local and regional success, including wins at the Lehigh Valley Music Awards and the Tri-State Indie Music Awards. How have these honors set you up for larger-scale success?
It all pretty much started from home and then branched out. It needs to start out at a smaller scale as a learning experience. I’ve made a million mistakes that helped me grow. I’m just glad I learned a lot during the beginning stages to hopefully prevent poor choices as I get bigger!

You’ve branched out beyond our region, having toured all over the country with hip hop artists like Jadakiss, Juelz Santana, Three 6 Mafia and many more. How did you make the connections to tour with such high-profile names?
When your online presence and stage show starts to grow, then more agents catch wind of your name and buzz. I was placed on a lot of these tours from artists booking agents seeing me perform or hearing about me. If you build it, they will come.

Surely, you must have plenty of good road stories. Tell us your favorite.
Getting the tour bus pulled over in Detroit during the Three 6 Mafia tour is certainly one of the most hilarious things to look back on. They saw that we were touring musicians and thought we must have drugs or something so we stood out in a blizzard for hours in Michigan while police took search dogs through all of our stuff! They didn’t find anything illegal and we were free to go, but it was such a weird experience at the time. It definitely wasn’t funny then, but it’s funny now that I think of it. I had muddy paw prints all over my clothes from the police dogs!

Calling your live show “high energy” is an understatement. You climb, crowd surf, and get up close and personal with the crowd. What else can people expect at your shows?
I don’t plan half of the stuff that I do, so it’s hard to warn people what to expect. Just come to the show knowing that you will be part of the show!

boombox2015HighResBWLet’s move on to the music. Your new album, “Break The Frame,” was released on January 5. What inspired the new work?
I have fewer rap collaborations on this record than people would expect. I actually have a ton of singers on the album. I wanted to do something different. That’s the whole point of “Break The Frame.” It’s about breaking out of the box and not being stuck in one lane.

Who worked with you on the new record, and where did they make the biggest impact?
Ali “A MAC” McGuire is the main producer/engineer on the album. It’s cool to have a female engineer. People are surprised to see a female MC (I don’t know why — there’s a ton of us now), but then when they realize the person behind the instrumentals and mixes is also a girl, it tends to blow their minds.

You released a music video for the lead single, “It’s All Good (ft. Sounds)”, on Dec. 8. How would you say it’s a creative step forward since your previous release, “Fear of Falling?”
“Fear of Falling” is pretty dark. One of my favorite songs I’ve ever released, “Better,” is from that EP, so it will always have a special place in my heart. “It’s All Good” is from the “Break The Frame” album, and it’s certainly more laid back and positive. I wanted to put something out that made people feel good. I’m so glad my music is relatable!

What are your plans to hit the road in support of “Break The Frame?”
I just finished a short run in support of “Break The Frame,” and I am booked well through spring. All of my dates are always posted on WhitneyPeyton.com/Tour.

If you could go back in time to when you were starting out and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never wait to be discovered. Discover yourself! Luckily, I actually did this for the most part, but sometimes we really feel like we need someone to help us, when we can do most of it singlehandedly! A good team and good friends come as you build!

Give yourself a plug! Where can people find your music and learn more about you?
WhitneyPeyton.com, facebook.com/WhitneyPeytonMusic, on Twitter and Instagram @WhitneyPeyton, and at YouTube.com/WhitneyPeytonMEDIA

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