PropaneLV, of Portland, has a bigger online presence than any other rapper in Oregon. His fan base knows him best for a series of cover songs he’s released via YouTube. Yesterday he released his debut album Varsity Blues which peaked at number 25 on the iTunes hip hop charts.
We caught up via G Chat this morning.
How are you doing today?
I’m good man, drinking coffee and watching fights on worldstar
Is it the one where people are yelling “Worldstar!” in the background?
Yeah, You can’t even see what’s going on because people on the sidelines are too busy yellling worldstar into the camera
Sounds like a rookie director mistake. How are you feeling about finally getting your album Varsity Blues out?
Good. I went through a long period of feeling like it wasn’t good enough for lots of different reasons. But, at the end of the day I wanted to finally tell my story and prove that I can make hot original music and I think I did that.
Most of your fans, are your fans because of the cover tracks and videos you’ve posted on YouTubes. Are you nervous about how they will receive your original music?
I was to a certain extent because I had put out random singles that didn’t do that well inside of my fan base. I think partly because the singles were so out of left field. I kind of just dropped an EDM Pop single on them one day. If you’re used to me rapping on industry trap beats thats a big switch up. I think what I’m doing in a lot of ways with the remixes is 2013 Mixtape game, and to hear me trying to create what can be radio friendly music can rub some people the wrong way. At this point I’m not nervous, I feel like the casual fan can love Varsity Blues and the people who are searching for more in their music will be able to dig deeper into my actual content as well.
So one day after the release, how are you feeling?
I’m feeling good. It’s going better than I thought it would actually. Lots of people are buying something they can also download for free so that means a lot to me. The one thing I’ve learned in the last year is that good content will stand. It may not have 100k views the first day but if its good people will enjoy it, share it and always come back to it. I feel good about the product, now we just need to get it in front of as many people as possible.
So far you’ve been pretty un-involved in the local scene. Is this intentional, or is it something you think will change in the future?
Before moving to Portland I was aware of guys like Luck and the scene here. I can remember watching a bunch of videos from various Portland artists when I first moved here and I felt overwhelmed. I was just like I don’t want to be another artist from another city. I want my route to be mine, whatever that may be and it became the internet, but that can only take you so far. I’ve got some cool shows locked in I’m just waiting to announce them. To answer your question, yes that will change. I plan on doing my thing here.
Do you feel like there are other artists in Portland that would work well on your team?
I’m not sure, I think personalities and how they work together is huge when trying to accomplish something. If you think about how small Portland is in comparison to other cities its really incredible how much talent is here. I like being a lone ranger, but I’m def a fan of a lot of artists here.
oh I meant to say, and I don’t personally know many of the artists here… when talking about personalities working as a team
I know you have the LTRMN crew working behind the scenes pushing the album to as many people as possible. What are you guys doing to get the album out to various markets and demographics?
We’ve got a guy doing PR for us. Through the Monster Audio love we are getting we are going to be sending the album with headphones to all the big magazines and blogs we haven’t been able to crack. I think that package will include pizza as well actually. I’ll use my coming remixes as a platform to push the album and my next goal personally is for us to be able to hire PR full time year around. Reconnecting with booking agencies and finding where I can fit in is Colin Landforce’s next job. Personally though my next goal is for us to be able to hire PR full time.
I’ll keep an eye out for my headphone and pizza package. How did the headphone deal come together?
We wanted a sponsor for the album, initially we were thinking clothing company. Our (anonymous) Jordan guy contacted them, sent a couple songs over and they were into it.
So you wear their headphones, and they gave you free gear to send out with with album. Or is there more to it?
That’s it for now. They have some real big dog artists I’m sure they pay, like Swizz Beats. If I move up in the world I’m sure it could be more than that but at this point its basically product in exchange for product placement.
Still a really good deal it sounds like. Do you have any tours in the works?
Thats the next step. Over the last year pretty much every touring agency has contacted me, but their hesitance to putting me on has been due to not having an album. Now that we have the album the next move is to get something squared away. I don’t think I have the fan base to tour myself, at this point I think working tour support is the right move for me.
Trill. Thanks man. Anything else you’d like to talk about on record before we start talking shit about people?
Haha naw just that Varsity Blues is start to finish a cohesive solid project. I wanted it to sound like Oregon in the fall, and I think that’s what I accomplished.