LIVARI, the 19-year-old rapper from New York has been steadily getting more and more plays on his latest music video Stereo Type directed by Jason Lindner of Highdeas Productions. His rapping abilities and skills continue to improve those who press play on his music, and he has been going viral on Twitter.
Not only is sound that of hip-hop, but his ambition and grind are inspiring to those who want to pursue their dreams or keep going. Even though this generation has been glorifying drug use, sex and mumble rappers are the new wave, LIVARI stays true to himself and his sound. Of course, there is room for both, but his ability to stay loyal and be respected by true lovers of hip-hop music is uplifting.
I got the chance to chop it up with LIVARI about himself as an artist, upbringing, his influences, his collective, being misjudged and more.
To those who don’t know you as an artist, how would you describe yourself to let those know who you are and what you represent?
My name is LIVARI, I am a 19-year-old rapper. I’m from Yonkers, New York, and then I lived in upstate New York as I got older. Now since the music started clicking in a couple of months, I’ll be living over here permanently. I’m a versatile artist focusing on creating my sound organically. I find flows and pockets as a rapper, and as an artist, I am consistently growing and learning new ways to create my music. I make music for the kids who have felt the same way as me. Feeling unaccepted, like people would look down on you or for people who were overlooked. I want my music to help anyone it can. At the same time my music is the controversy, and currently, we are in a very important time where I think people’s influences are largely impacted by music and what we listen to defines us, no matter who you are or what you do. So everyone who listens to what I have to say is something I can appreciate. It’s something I will never take for granted.
Being a relatively young rapper from New York, what age did you start delving into music and did anyone specifically inspire you to take that leap of faith to start recording music?
Since I was younger, I was always into music. I would listen to what was on around me when I was little and as I got older I found out that Hip-Hop music was a big influence on my life and mentality, which wasn’t really a surprise when my family has 50 Cent, Outkast, Eminem, Erykah Badu, etc. playing in the household. As I got, older these guys were bumping in my headphones on the regular along with Kanye West, Kendrick, J. Cole, and much more. My boys have always been messing around with the freestyles since elementary school, and from there I knew I could do something with it. People like my grandfather made me know this is what I would be doing because after he had passed, I locked in and was like ok, this is what I have to do. He inspired my confidence and focused because after that I realized that we all get one shot and if I’m not doing the music there is nothing else I want to do or will do. I started rapping since I was about 15, and since then I’ve been progressing and proving that I’m really about this.
Your OUTSIDERS EP has thousands of streams, with the track No Help having 12.8k streams. Did you expect so many to relate and genuinely dig the music you’ve created?
I recorded OUTSIDERS EP when I was like 17, and honestly, I didn’t expect for people to gravitate towards it the way it did. You can hear the progression and difference from then and now even 2 years later. I’m happy that everyone was rocking it with it because that let me know that this isn’t a dream anymore and I could do it.
Your part of a collective; Unknown Outsiders. Tell me more about that and how it came to fruition.
Unknown Outsiders is a collective of music, media, production, engineering, all of that. Everything we have done is in-house with my friends around me. We built this from the ground up from the mixing and mastering to even how we do drops for music. It’s also a representation of how I’ve always stuck to myself and found myself working on music all the time. I sleep in that studio, and it’s all I think about. I could be locked in for days, and some of my friends may not even hear from me, but they know where I’m at for sure. So as a collective we represent being unknown and being on the outside of things where either it’s getting excluded, or just looked at differently because you aren’t the same. And I think that’s why a lot of people gravitate to my music is because they can really relate and feel what I’m saying.
Your track Stereo Type has gained a pretty big buzz, and the music video is highly increasing in plays, having the potential to blow up. How do you feel about that and does it scare you in any way?
Stereo Type is a very controversial song because I am a young kid speaking about some things that I have seen and I also confront things going on currently in our world. I also believe that the controversy of a young, white kid saying certain things almost instantly provokes a reaction. Since I posted the snippet about three weeks ago, it went crazy on Twitter. It doesn’t scare me because I believe the things I mention in the song are necessary and a lot of people enjoy the song because of how raw it is. I felt very motivated and inspired to know that my work is getting looked at on a massive scale.
You sampled Capital STEEZ’s voice at the beginning of your track Untapped Potential from your mixtape; Hudson Dreams. How have the influences of his music influenced your sound and why do you stay motivated to create those real hip-hop vibes. In a world that has steadily been increasing with mumble rappers and content with no real value really, how do you stay in your zone of elevating others through your music?
Capital Steez is my favorite rapper of all time. I felt like he was rapping about things that I was watching right in front of me. His music put me on a level of perspective to see things completely differently. So when I put that on Untapped Potential, it’s a reminder of why Steez is a big reason I stuck with the music and found out my real potential. The things that keep me motivated is my ability to adapt and be versatile as I grow. Hudson Dreams shows my serious potential and how this all started for me. It represents the people who laughed at me, the people who pushed me to keep doing it, me doubting myself, my struggles, and ultimately my hustle to make this work. As an artist, my motivation comes from having someone tell me I can’t do this or sound like this and completely breaking that wall. There are no boundaries to this so my influences put me in a state of evolution for my music and it shows how I can do more as a rapper and artist. Everyone will hear soon with new music coming out.
Has anyone ever misjudged your ability to rap based on your age and skin color? How did you deal with the situation?
Of course, all the time, and that’s the “Stereo Type.” Some people like to stereotype or put you in a box based on how you look or your age. So when people see a young white kid who is out here doing this, I’m sure it gets a lot of different reactions. I am the controversy with my image and my age. But once you get to hear the music you start to see things differently. I think that’s a good thing that I am the bridge in the gap in the era of such a divided place we live in. A lot of people looked down on me for music which I took as motivation. Because at the end of the day if they don’t fuck with you then fuck em. And that’s how I look at this whole thing. People aren’t going to hop on the wave if it’s not big enough, so that is motivation for me keep grinding because the way we are coming at this whole game is so different.
What keeps you inspired to keep creating and chasing your dreams?
At this point, the people around me like my family and U.O. Keep me motivated and on my shit. There is no backup plan for this because this Is what we are doing and will keep doing until I’m gone. There is no plan A, B, or C. I stay inspired and motivated by writing all the time of everyday situations around me. The inspiration comes from loving music and everything about. This is my purpose, and it saved my life.
What can we expect next from LIVARI?
More videos, more music, more collabs with big artists, and more moves being made by us.
Watch Stereo Type Directed by Jason Lindner below on Youtube.