For MC/singer/songwriter, Pries, the last few years have been nothing short of a whirlwind. After shadowing well-respected DJ Frank E (B.o.B, Justin Beiber, Flo Rida), his bravado, catchy hooks and clever lyrics quickly earned him the attention of MTV and BET, making him an overnight YouTube sensation. Setting himself apart with smart lyrics surrounding complex topics, Pries is an artist to keep your radar.
This week, the Denver native is not only celebrating his 22nd birthday, but also the debut of his video for “Contact High” and opening for Lupe Fiasco on Thursday at City Hall Amphitheatre. Our friend Brianna Hernandez of Early Bird // Night Owl chatted with Pries about living and performing in Denver and his upcoming projects. Read the interview below and check out special ticket offers at the bottom of the page.
BH: You recently addressed your critics, posting on Facebook “Oh, since I’m a nerd and a geek and don’t talk about money, hoes, clothes and drugs all day I’m not good enough.” What topics and issues do you address in your songs and why aren’t you compelled to rap about “money hoes, clothes and drugs?”
P: I like to address the things we as people are too scared to talk about. The things men are too prideful to admit, like being lonely, being broke, scared of the future that awaits, or being in love and the hurt after. Of course money, hoes, clothes and drugs will be around in a few rhymes but I wanna give the people more.
BH: You are a pretty humble guy. Even though you have a song called “Look At Me (My Cocky Song),” you spend most of the song thanking your mom, God, your church, friends and being gracious and thankful. Who are some of the people who inspired you to pursue a career in music and who are some of your biggest supporters?
P: The people that inspire me to keep going are the people that listen and understand my struggle. My biggest supporters are the people that don’t believe in me – they give the motivation to change their minds.
BH: Denver’s music scene is largely dominated by electronica, indie and jam/bluegrass. What is Denver’s rap and hip-hop scene like and is it difficult being a rap artist in a city like Denver?
P: The music scene in Denver all around is beautiful. I wouldn't call myself a rap artist. I’m more like a musician, or a kid that shows his feelings through music.
BH: You released your album, No Glue 2 for free earlier this year. What was that album inspired by and what was your goal for releasing that album?
P: No Glue 2 was inspired by my struggle and the come up of my future. I just want people to hear there is good music out there that still has substance and feeling. I give a lot of my music out for free because I just want people to hear me. I have a voice too. Sometimes artists get lost in the business and stop focusing on why we do music the first place.
BH: You are currently working on your forthcoming project, William. What can fans expect from William and how will it differ from No Glue 2?
P: William is the me people don’t see. My full name is Le'Pries William Brooks. Le'Pries is this nice kid with all these dreams, Brooks is the struggle I was blessed and cursed with, William is that side of me that is so hard to read. “Incompris” is French for misunderstood – that is William. I want people to cry, laugh and understand the missing part in themselves.
BH: What can we expect from your opening performance for Lupe Fiasco?
P: You can expect to see a kid finally making his dream a reality. I have a song called “I’ve Waited.” When you see and hear my pain on that song people will then say, “That’s our star, our voice.”
BH: What’s your favorite Lupe Fiasco album?
P: Lasers is hands down my favorite Lupe album because that’s when he was the most controversial in his career. Outspoken – I love it.
BH: You just wrapped filming new videos. What songs did you film videos for and what are the videos about?
P: I just filmed three videos. “Contact High,” “Hometown,” and a record from William called “Voodoo.” “Contact High” is Pries, it’s fun. “Hometown” is Brooks – my truth, my home, love and hurt. “Voodoo” is William.
BH: What are your plans this summer? Any upcoming tours or events associated with William?
P: Finishing the album and taking my time. Of course, I will be traveling on No Glue 2 shows and tours.
Pries will open before Lupe Fiasco along with The Foodchain, DJ MU$A, and Spoke In Wordz + Myke Charles. This 18+ show starts at 8:00PM at City Hall Amphitheatre. Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door, or if you act now you can take advantage of these special package deals courtesy of The Collective 360:
Buy 2 tickets for $40 each and get 1 ticket for FREE!
Buy 4 tickets for $107.50 and SAVE $65!
The offer only lasts for 24 hours so take advantage of this deal while you still can! Click here to purchase the SPECIAL OFFER! Be sure to check out Early Bird // Night Owl for more happenings around Denver.