[dropcap letter=”I”]ndy native rapper and producer Mathaius Young is just a couple weeks removed from the release of his new album Angel Deep. It’s his first project since 2018’s Take Away the Night 2, and his first since moving to LA back in January 2020. On December 29th, I had a chance to chat with Mathaius on the phone about his new album, his growth as an artist and his new label Angel Deep Records, among other things.
Michael Cottone: I usually start these kinds of interviews by asking what you’ve been listening to lately, so what’s been in your rotation?
Mathaius Young: I’ve been listening to this dude from Cleveland, his name is Bat Boy Bankie. He’s an artist under this dude named Doe Boy. I’ve also been listening to a lot of CHE ECRU, just a lot of guys on the come up you know?
MC: What’s your typical method of finding new music?
MY: Mostly the internet! Or through friends or just hearing something while I’m out and looking it up. I feel like that’s how everybody finds music nowadays, how do you find music?
MC: It’s definitely a mixture of all that. If I’m on Spotify I’ll usually go to the ‘fans also like’ section and find stuff there. It generally trickles down to ‘smaller’ artists which is nice.
MY: And those are the best artists too! They don’t have a super mainstream feel and have a lot of creativity to their sound.
MC: To switch gears a bit, I wanted to ask how you think you’ve grown since your last project Take Away the Night 2?
MY: To be honest, just living life. When I made that album I feel like I was still kind of finding my voice, figuring out what I wanna say. I don’t know, I feel like I’ve been through real situations for this new album that help me make the music I want to make, ya know? Making stuff in real time, like as stuff is happening. I knew for this album I wanted to make it more personal.
MC: And it sounds personal.
MY: Yeah, and that’s kind of new for me! It’s all about feeling comfortable with what you have to say and I feel like I’m at that point now. I’m realizing with the music I listen to and the music I want to make you just got to tell your story honestly. I feel like in a lot of my older music I just wanted to make stuff that was hype. Growing up you know how kids like to go to shows and have fun and jump around, stuff like that. I don’t think I connect with that kind of energy as much now. I make more mellow stuff and I think I’ve become more mellow as a person. That kind of stuff usually goes hand in hand.
MC: It does! I definitely see that the new album is focused on being more melodic and having a smooth cohesive flow.
MY: Yeah, and there’s a harder song on the new album but even that one isn’t like the old stuff. I wanted to paint one complete picture with this album instead of just having a group of songs put together.
MC: Speaking of the new record, I know you’ve been working on it for the past couple years now, can you tell me how it was originally conceptualized or what inspired it?
MY: I mean, I think everything starts off with one song, and once I did the first one on this album – which was ‘Poppin’ – I was like ‘okay, I want to do an album kind of geared toward this.’ I realize that I’m not the type of person to make songs if I’m not feeling anything, I know some people can just pump out songs no matter what but if I don’t have anything to say, I’m not going to say anything, ya know? And I think that’s partially why this album took two years.
MC: And that gives you a chance to sit with it and make sure you got the details the way you want them.
MY: Oh for sure. And there were a couple times where I thought the album was done, but then I’d be like ‘oh something else is missing.’ And a lot of the time was taking songs or things OFF rather than adding stuff. It was originally going to be like 13 songs I think, but I kind of wanted to get to the point, ya know? I don’t think I finished the album until like two months before it dropped.
MC: I loved the song ‘Actors’ particularly. You have a history of collaborating with Tre Capital, correct?
MY: Yeah, he’s been one of my homies since day one. He lives out in LA now. We originally did that song like two years ago and we were just sitting on it, but I went back and made a new version of it which is what ended up making the project.
MC: You’ve been living in LA for about a year now, what do you think is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since moving out there? Was it hard to navigate at first?
MY: Honestly not really! Because I knew people out here before I moved. But the pandemic made it harder since you couldn’t really link with anyone for a while, so it kind of felt like I lost some of the momentum I had when I moved. But the biggest lesson I think I’ve learned is to just be prepared. LA is so random, you don’t want to miss out on opportunities because you’re not ready. Setting goals has been important for me so I can plan around them and be ready for whatever comes my way.
MC: And did the pandemic create any challenges for the record or in general? Or did it just give you more time to work on it?
MY: I think to a certain extent it made me too comfortable. Since nobody was able to link or do anything and just being in the house more than usual. There was a point where I was like ‘man forget this, I gotta move around.’ Angel Deep was supposed to be out earlier in the year, but I believe everything ultimately happens when it’s supposed to!
MC: I know you also produce for other artists as well, including getting to work with Don Tolliver. What kind of challenges are there or what do you focus on in order to work with artists that you want to work with?
MY: It’s really about focusing on your relationships. There’s a way you have to go about handling your business, ya know? It ultimately works out differently for everyone, but I’ve never had a problem getting my foot in the door because I know how to handle myself. Patience is key.
MC: You recently started a company called Angel Deep Records as well, correct? Could you talk a little bit about what the mission of that is and what kind of future you see for it?
MY: Yeah! The goal is to create something that makes a new standard in my eyes. I feel like a lot of people are starting labels for the wrong reasons, but I’m doing mine to give inspiration to other people to set a standard for themselves and to help artists I love. It’s something I made to kind of put all my ideas under. I want to sign producers and artists in the future too, like I have this artist I want to help develop right now. I just want to help! I love helping other people get their ideas out and making their stuff the best product it could possibly be. And coming out of Indiana too, once I get my opportunities I want to give back those opportunities to people that I think are dope from the city and get a chance to be heard properly. Indiana did a lot for me growing up and I never want to forget where I come from.
MC: That’s not a mentality enough artists carry truthfully nowadays.
MY: Period! I want to help make a change. I know a lot of people who carry the mentality of ‘no one wants to see me win, so why does it matter?’ And that’s not true, but a lot of people don’t see that. It’s a matter of giving people hope.
MC: It’s definitely important to be open about your support for people in what they do.
MY: Yeah man, everyone needs some support! It’s so hard to get yourself to do something when you feel like no one’s giving you that. And that’s kind of why I want to do this (Angel Deep Recs), it’s a form of support. To help people get their ideas out. I know a lot of people personally that I think are super dope, but they get discouraged by real life. And real life is real life, I understand, but you gotta see it through! Not everyone has those people who give the encouragement they need, but I want to do that for people.
MC: And for yourself, what are you looking forward to working on in the short-term or goals for the long term?
MY: Just keep building on what I’m already doing. Putting myself in a situation where I can fully focus on creating and where I can also help other people elevate their life as well, that’s the long term. Putting the people I care about in positions to live well. I obviously have financial goals and such, but I feel like if you just do what you’re supposed to and you do it at a high level and passionately, the money will come. It’s more about what you’ll do with that money that will make a difference.
MC: Anything you want to add before we wrap up?
MY: Just keep going, man! Good stuff will come if you keep going.
Be sure to listen to Mathaius Young’s new album Angel Deep, streaming everywhere.