RESPECT. caught up with Derrick Milano, a rising artist out of Philly who recently moved to California. Milano just dropped his first project, A1 Mixtape, on Soundcloud. In this interview, we find out what Derrick has been up to since dropping the tape, and what’s next for him now that he is gathering some buzz.
RESPECT.: Derrick, where are you from?
Derrick Milano: I’m from Pennsylvania.
RESPECT.: Then how did you get mixed in with Rich The Kid and Famous Dex? Aren’t they out of Atlanta?
Well I went to college in Orlando, and there I meet my friend Billionaire Business. He told me to come out to LA because he was doing a lot of video work for them. So he had me come out there and that’s when I started being surrounded by their cult. Dex was there a lot and Rich The Kid was there. It was just a relationship that was built in.
RESPECT.: The first track that I heard from you was your “Cellular” record. How did that track come about?
Basically, I had a fall out with my old management, where I couldn’t release any music. So I wasn’t able to get into any studios at the time. But I knew this one dude who had a studio at his house and I brought my engineer out there.
We made the track before we went out for dinner, almost as a joke. Then I put it out on Soundcloud, randomly, and I wasn’t able to promote it at all; I had to promote through Twitter and Vine videos. Then it just blew up. Some dancers in LA did a couple of dance videos to it and the videos kept coming back to me. I could see the views on them getting bigger and bigger. Then I linked up with my new manager, who I have now.
We ended up coming out here and linking up with the original dancers from the videos to do a professional one. Then we worked with ShelovesMeechie, the guys who did the “Hit Dem Folks” dance and did a video with them. We put that one on Worldstar and a bunch of smaller blogs started posting it. It happened randomly but it wouldn’t have happened without the right people behind it.
RESPECT.: Would you say that “Cellular” is your breakout record?
It’s hard to say, it definitely is my hottest one at the moment.
RESPECT.: The A1 Mixtape just dropped. What has been the response so far from fans?
Yeah the response has been really good. It’s just getting the tape on a bigger platform. I’ve been getting a lot of 8/10’s for a project with 16 songs that show off my versatility. Not every track has the same sound. I got Skippa Da Flippa on there, Famous Dex and Rich the Kid. I also just shot the video for a track on the tape “What Else.”
RESPECT.: Your new single “Inside” was just released to Soundcloud, it has a more R&B vibe than most of your other tracks. Are you trying to showcase your vocal abilities more?
Basically you know how Tory Lanez was coming out and he was showcasing different avenues he could go with his sound? I do this because not everyone likes hip-hop and I want people to be able to pick and choose from my catalog. So with this song, I’m going to promote differently. Instead of funny videos I’m going to use Worldstar candy videos and put the song during the performances. It’s going to be like eye-candy but you will think of the song.
RESPECT.: You just recently dropped the visual to your record “What Else” featuring Famous Dex . How what was it like shooting it?
My homeboy Billionaire, who got me out here, was debating with me on how we should set the video up. Me and Dex were going back and forth on the track so it made sense that we set the video up the way we did. So I picked the gas station and Billionaire had picked all the angles and composition shots. When we fished the video and went to the editing phase. We realized that we need a little bit more instead of just the video. So we sent the video to this dude in Orlando who’s company is called Trippyville or something. He added some animations for us. They really brought the video to life more than what it already was.
Bro the jeep legendary lol. https://t.co/4bts8Fx4hq
— Derrick Milano (@DerrickMilano) August 30, 2016
RESPECT.: You’re going on tour with Dex and Rich The Kid soon right?
They actually moved it back. 300 Entertainment said that they wanted everyone on 300 on the tour- Shy Glizzy, Rich The Kid and Famous Dex. So they’re wrapping up their tour right now and they just moved it back.
RESPECT.: what has been your favorite record to perform off this tape?
I like “Play” a lot but on a universal level, I like “A1” and “She Just Wanna” because they show my R&B side.
RESPECT.: Who’s the coolest Co-Sign you have gotten in the industry so far?
Kodak Black. I actually got a feature on the hook of a song for his next album. It’s kind of him talking about not going back to jail and that it’s his time. The track is more positive but still feels like Kodak.
RESPECT.: Got anything special coming up for the fans soon?
I’m trying to start up a pop-up situation. I can’t talk about it too much because a lot of it is still in the works. I have a couple shows in Orlando soon and a little situation with DGK. We got smaller stuff in the works we are just taking our time with it.
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