Whitney Peyton | Live @ Vans Warped Tour 2019

Photos courtesy of Linette Wainwright | Twitter & Instagram  

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Interview w/ Songwriter & Rapper Whitney Peyton |Vans Warped Tour 2019

On the last day of Warped Tour in Mountain View, CA The Camera Affect Promotions had the honor of sitting down with Philadelphia rapper Whitney Peyton. With her yellow pineapple pinata in tow, we discussed everything from headlining tours and released albums to the rap industry and being an independent artist. Check out the interview below:

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TCAP: What was your first reaction when you found out that Warped Tour was ending?

WP: It felt like a new chapter I guess, because Warped Tour is a very nostalgic thing, so it was just one more thing cementing that I was not a kid anymore, so that’s kind of sad. This is why I have things like this (holds up a pineapple pinata) to keep me childish. I think Warped Tour is just a big staple in the music scene so it definitely felt like the end of an era. 

TCAP: And what did it feel like when you were invited back to play the last Warped Tour?

WP: I was surprised because I didn’t know it was going to happen again, they resurrected it. I was stoked to be playing it because I did play last year which was the final one where they did the full tour and I just had no idea that I was going to have the chance to do it. I was like “okay it’s over, I won’t get the chance.” It was kind of a bucket list thing to do, you know, and then being invited back this year made me feel like they liked me last year, they must have liked something, I did something right which is rare, so yeah it felt really good. 

TCAP: Well that’s good!

WP: “It was terrible, why am I here, I hate it.” Don’t do that, don’t make that the clickbait, I’m going to be looking for the title.

TCAP: I will not make that the clickbait, I promise I won’t make that the clickbait. So last year was your first headlining tour, correct?

WP: Yes! Full country headlining tour.

TCAP: I know you toured with Twiztid before. How did that feel going from a supporting act to a headlining act ?

WP: It was so weird because you know what, besides Twiztid I’ve done over a dozen national tours and I’ve toured with Three Six Mafia, Cottonmouth Kings, acts like Blood On The Dance Floor, so yeah, I’ve even done shows with Borns of Osiris and that’s super heavy for me to be on. I’ve always been such an eclectic like, every single lane, because when you see me they don’t know where to put me, booking agents don’t know where to put me. They’re like ‘okay here’s this rap-rock chick, what can we put her with,’ so I end up going out with everybody which is awesome, but at the same time when I went to headline I was like ‘oh my god, what’s this going to be like?’ Is this going to be like a melting-pot type of all different people which would be dope, but then I’m hoping that they’re able to mesh together and not just be segregated like the high school kids tables. Like those are the Juggalos and those are the punk kids and I just want everyone to kind of mesh, but luckily with the way music is going now with everything being a fusion, with MGK being rock-rap and Yungblud being like an emo-rap-rock thing it’s kind of like blurred lines and there’s no rules anymore.

TCAP: Did you find that people don’t take you seriously as a female in a predominantly male dominated industry?

WP: Yeah of course, I mean my DJ is a girl and I work with Gina over here who’s also a girl if you can’t tell. I work with a lot of women and I think it’s kind of like, I even tell these guys, on my set when I come out, I make sure I don’t even step onto the stage until I’m actually rapping so I don’t even show myself until I’m doing my vocals so they’re being hit with that at the same time so they have no time do prejudge what it’s going to sound like, they can only go off of what’s happening right there. Yeah you’ve got to prove yourself a lot more. A lot of people think it’s an advantage because you’re the only chick, so everyone gravitates toward it because it’s different, but being a girl can make them interested in it, it’s not going to make them stay. The music is going to make them stay, so that’s what we want, the ones that stay. 

TCAP: And you were primarily an independent artist but you were just signed to Tragic Hero Records, correct?

WP: Correct. I did my last album Iridescent with Tragic Hero with Warner Brothers Distribution but my next album is going to be independent again. It was cool, it was like this metal label so that was dope. I just like being independent. I wanted to try something new with them and they did awesome for me. I charted on Billboard, I was Top 10 in rap albums first week. We were on Heat Seekers, like 4,200 copies first week and that’s pretty crazy in a day and age where everything is digital because most of them were physical albums, so I’m blown away by that. 

TCAP: Is there anything that drove you more towards being an independent artist?

WP: I’m a control freak! Yeah, I just don’t like being told when I can drop things and being told this is who’s producing you and this is who’s writing your songs. I write all my songs. I’m up to co-write songs with people and stuff but no one can tell my story. I want it to feel genuine to the fans. The type of fans that I have currently I’m so thankful for and it’s because I connect with them and I don’t want to risk losing that connection by having someone else write what I’m saying. 

TCAP: Yeah, you want to keep the authenticity.

WP: I think it’s achievable to do both. I think a lot of people believe that you have to have these writers and you have to have these producers to be able to have a breakthrough song or something and I just completely disagree. I think maybe it’ll be harder because you have to get the platform yourself and you’re not just grabbing their platform but I think the genuine stuff will shine through at the end. 

TCAP: Last year you released your sophomore album, Iridescent. What was the process like going into writing your second album that was different from writing your first?

WP: Man, the thing is that I tour so much. The last couple years I was touring like ten months out of the year so the Firecracker album I did in like eight days or something like that. The Iridescent album was pretty similar in the sense that we did it in less than two weeks. Sometimes that makes me upset because I like to take time to write and sometimes I’m like, it captured a moment in time, so it was a snapshot of a moment in time. As much as sometimes I’m like, ‘I wish I had more time to do the album,’ I’m the kind of person where if you give me too much time it’ll just never come out because I’ll be like no we can make this better, no we can do this, no we’ve got to change this and it’ll just never end up coming out because no one is forcing me to put it out. In a way there’s got to be a middle ground where I have a little bit more time for the next one but someone is still giving me a deadline so I’m not like, ‘no we can make it better,’ ‘no let’s rewrite it,’ because it’ll just never come out dude.

TCAP: What has been the most difficult part of your career so far? Have you ever questioned if this is really what you want to do?

WP: I’ve never questioned if it’s what I want to do because it’s a great release but I think the hardest part is that I have a lot of anxiety especially being on tour, which you wouldn’t think because I tour so much, but I do have a social anxiety a lot of times so it’s difficult at times to be surrounded by people and also in the genre I’m in I feel like everything is competitive, like there’s a competitive air around hip-hop. I especially like playing Warped Tour because I think a lot of the rock dudes are just kind of more laid back and like ‘yeah we’re in it together,’ and I wish hip-hop was a little more like that. Hip-hop stems from the era of battling and battle raps and it still has a lot of that sense about it where everything is like ‘I have a better car than you, I have a hotter girlfriend than you,’ you know, so sometimes it gets really tiring feeling like you have to step out with this confidence that you might not always have. 

TCAP: They try and one up each other.

WP: Right, and that’s pretty exhausting. 

TCAP: Alright last one. I know since they announced that this was going to be the last hurrah for Warped Tour a couple of smaller pop up tours have been touring the country. Do you think that there’s ever going to be anything like Warped Tour again or do you think that this is kind of it to this level?

WP: I definitely think we’re it to this level because we’re in such a digital age and every festival is getting smaller I think. You have a lot of artists touring too because they’re not making as much money digitally, so they’re touring to make up for it. You have so many options so you’re like ‘oh I could see this person tonight or this person or this person, they’re all coming through town.’ Before it would be like ‘this is the show we’re all going to.’ I think Warped was kind of bigger when it was more about being there and now it’s like ‘well we can watch it on YouTube.’ I mean there’s nothing that’s ever going to replace the sense of a live show, but I do think that’s going to be on a smaller scale unfortunately. 

TCAP: I know Kevin (Lyman) has said that he’s kind of hoping that someone steps up and takes the reigns for Warped Tour, do you think that will happen?

WP: I think people will step up and try and do something similar but I don’t think nothing will ever be able to imitate it, you know what I’m saying? I think it’ll happen, I hope it happens, so we can keep it going and keep it punk-rock. 

You can keep up with Whitney by following her on social media and find her music on both iTunes and Spotify when you search Whitney Peyton.

Whitney’s socials: Twitter | Instagram| Website

Interview & photos courtesy of Linette  |** full photo gallery to come **

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