A SOTB Interview with Visto

We at SpeedontheBeat.com (read: mostly me with the occasional post from True God, since #DARBusiness) pride ourselves on giving back to the community. One of the ways the site accomplishes this is through setting up Q&As with artists, entrepreneurs, social activists and more. Today’s interviewee is no exception. You may’ve seen him performing at events around the region. You may’ve caught a glimpse of his newest video “On Fleek Tonight” on a number of sites. You may’ve just seen him walking down the street, spreading positive energy throughout. It’s my honor to link up with the one and only Visto of the Hippie Life Krew and ask him about the movement, his musical plans and style, activism and more.

SOTB: Let’s start it off with a bang. Can you tell me more about the HLK movement?
Visto: Most def my hippie! It started simply on a musical note and grew as the collective grew. We are a collage of mindsets, gifts, and personalities merging with the same purpose which is self love, peace for all, and just accepting things and people for who and what they are. As of now, on the music side you have myself, Itz 2 Eazy, Pinky KillaCorn, and Bonnie Rash. I admire all of my hippies in different ways so it’s a pleasure to work with them. Our team is big though, we have cool hippies like Seth, Ralique who is a clothing designer, Gia who models, Jolie who does makeup and models, Chelle who handles business behind the scenes, and you got our hippie Doesha who is an artist and big tune advocate for the Hippie Life Krew lifestyle. We are a big family of hippies and hippstresses and looking to expand! 

SOTB: How long have you been doing music?

Visto: I’ve been recording music for about 4 years, and writing poetry and songs all of my life. Creativity has always been my getaway and strong suit. 

SOTB: How would you describe your style to someone who’s never heard your music?

Visto: I would say it’s a melting pot of individuality. A cauldron of unique sounds and familiar sounds. I love music, so I really grab from all over to create my sound, which by the way is still taking form. 

SOTB: What do you bring to the table as an artist and as a young man from the DMV region?

Visto: I bring myself to the table. I bring my Hippie Life Krew and a new mindset. We aren’t idols, we are just ideal in spreading love. I want to bring encouragement to the table through my art. To encourage others to never look at any man like a god, for them to see the god in themselves. I bring awakening to the game. 

SOTB: Who would you say was the biggest influence on your approach?

Visto: Life is my biggest influence, I would say. Living, experiencing, or feeling it vicariously. Either way life draws my whole aura.

SOTB: So, what sparked you to get involved in community activism?

Visto: It is our duty to stand up for one another, I want to stand for something in my life. Me and my hippstress Kia went and protested in the CNN building in Atlanta and shut it down. It honestly felt great to stand for others. I felt strong with everyone there. So the spark is just in me. 

SOTB: I remember a while back you led a few demonstrations near the Capital. How do you think those were received? First, by those in attendance and then by those you were trying to reach?

Visto: Our “Love Not War” campaign was received extremely well and it was an act of pure action. No thought, we just ran with it, no real planning and overall it reached hippies and hippstresses. It made a statement and we continue to do so on grander scales. 

SOTB: How did the idea of Hip Hop Yoga come about?

Visto: That is actually Paperboy Prince of the Suburbs’ genius idea so you gotta hit up my hippie about that one. But if you are in the Atlanta area, join my hippie Eazy at one of his yoga classes. 

SOTB: Ah, dang. My apologies. I’ll definitely reach out to him to find out more about that. It’s an interesting subject. But, with all that in mind, what are some of your thoughts on the DMV scene these days?

Visto: The DMV scene is learning, it’s growing, it’s made mistakes, but we all do. The DMV scene as of now is the DMV scene. It will take more togetherness and selflessness to create a real scene so we will see. We will see if egos or awakening prevails. 

SOTB: I’ve asked a few artists this question, but do you think that the DMV needs more networking events like #MadeInTheDMV?

Visto: Absolutely! Not just for the artist sake, but for the traveling A&R or label head looking for the spot to find premium talent. It’s a consortium for the artists to meet the resources to reach new heights. 

SOTB: How do you respond to people who do not yet get what your message and movement is about?

Visto: There is nothing to say. We lead by example. We do and encourage change with action. So, the ones who don’t get it, will get it my hippie. 

SOTB: Is it hard being so positive in a world that isn’t always painted that way?

Visto: It does get frustrating, but it wouldn’t be worth it if it were easy. There are plenty of positive people in the works, plenty. We just have to focus on the good energy opposed to our media and our social networks. We should promote peace and love more. They won’t though. 

SOTB: How’d it feel to get Raheem on the remix to “How That Pxxxy Taste?” I mean, I know you and Raheem both work on and with 368, but that’s still gotta be a crazy feeling.

Visto: It was a great feeling to have an artist you admire musically to want to do a record with you. It really solidified my knowing that I was a good songwriter. The feeling was really dope though. I remember playing the song back over and over, just thinking, “Wow, my mom won’t believe this!” Much respect to Raheem and 368. 
SOTB: Between “Pxxxy” and “Everything Gorgeous,” you show your skill for making videos and songs that are both “real” and somewhat NSFW. How do you find that balance between artistic, respectful, “real,” and just kind of “freaky” (laughs).
Visto: No balance, all feeling. My life is based off of feeling, so I go with what I feel, hit or miss. 

SOTB: So, onto the newest Visto track to hit the world. What was the inspiration behind “On Fleek Tonight?”
Visto: “On Fleek Tonight,” produced by Kid Cannibal was literally a random song. Me and Kid linked up a few times before the session where I recorded “On Fleek” and we couldn’t catch a groove. So I said, “Today, we are recording something, we are gonna make a song.” 45 minutes later we had “On Fleek Tonight,” very organic, very magic in that way. Me and Kid Cannibal work incredibly together. 
SOTB: The video isn’t exactly the type of video one’d expect for a track like “Fleek.” Can you give a bit of insight on how the video came about? 
Visto: The video is just genuine. Real friends, real people, great vibes, a bonfire, cool style, just authentic to who I am, authentic to good energy. We also shot this video in three hours total. We did this one just having fun. Much love to my videographer Ali Dope and JR Wes of State Of Fresh

SOTB: That track’s blown up crazily over the past couple weeks. Has the response been kind of mind-blowing?

Visto: I don’t get caught up in the awe of a song any more. I’m just putting out music that I hope will catch and give you a form of feeling in an emotionless world. I’m so happy though, it just dropped this week and has gotten played five times on WPGC. Much love to DJ Chris Styles, Tony Redz, and DJ Heat. 
SOTB: How are you planning to build on the success of that track? Are we getting another Visto project soon? I know we still have the amazing Before Euphoria, but anything else coming soon?

Visto: Soon. We are still shooting videos from Before Euphoria, but most definitely. I have a few projects I’m working on, stay tuned. I won’t let the DMV or my Hippie Life Krew down. 
SOTB: Where can people reach out to you and the rest of the HLK?
Visto: You can follow us all on Twitter and Instagram: @vistohlk and @hippielifekrew, on the web at www.officialvisto.com and soon, the Hippie Life Krew website will be up and running. 

SOTB: Do you have final words of advice, shoutouts, et cetera?
Visto: I just want to say thank you for the interview. I appreciate you checking in on a hippie. Make sure you grab your ticket to my “Love Riot Live!” show at the Fillmore on January 23rd. Tickets are just $10 at ticketmaster.com. Peace to the world, love within, and a hippie is out.

Speed on the Beat

Whatever you need to know about me, you can find out on speedonthebeat.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s