THE MAIN EVENT. Meet I.C. Will: The Educational Rapper!By Tsadiqwah Scarville | August 3, 2015 | Gal Approved, Gals On The Town
You Divas ready for a #MainEventMonday that starts off the week with a #WBWD? Tsadiqwahchats with NYC’s own rapper I.C. Will about his art, his educational career and his global music connections!
I’m a Caribbean girl, who speaks Patwah when I get excited from the thought of my mother’s homemade ginger beer! Oh and reggae! Girl, I will dirty-wine my way into the club! But recently I got to check out something new … Inside of an unplugged recording session at Beethovan Pianos in New York City, I rocked out to the most funkiest, bluesiest folk music, from one of FranceΓÇÖs biggest indie bands, The Celtic Social Club!
Amidst harmonicas, wine and seven hot Frenchmen, I sat down with Brooklyn rapper I.C. Will, who says he tapped into his Scottish roots for one hot collaboration. With a little wisdom on women from his twin sister, I.C. helped create a fresh, pop-rock, urban groove sound that all the ladies will be echoing to this summer.
Our conversation started with I.C. asking, “so am I officially the White Boy you’re digging?” Of course, I gave him our stamp of approval. He then commented, “You’re very beautiful. Can I get you something to drink,” and quickly getting me a glass of white wine q and a smile. This is gonna be one fun interview!
Where did you get name I.C. Will from?
My name is Ian Willie and I got my name from my parents.
(laughs) No, your stage name!
I’m just playing! I.C. Will is made up of my name and it comes from the hope that sounds like it’s embedded in the initials. “I see will” …The hope piece is very big for me. I’m also a teacher. I’m an educator and assistant principal in Washington Heights.
I see you’re repping the birth place of Hip Hop…
Well I was born I in Austin, Texas. I’ve moved around a lot. I’ve live in Illinois, Atlanta, Louisville, Ky. That’s where I started rapping at 12, and now I’ve been in New York for 10 years.
What kind of rapper are you?
There are so many different types of rap, where do you think you fall into?
Good question! I enjoy making stuff that is popularly entertaining and that also has something impactful to say. I was influenced by a lot of different rappers style wise, but content wise: Gangstar, 2Pac and rappers who had messages behind their words were huge to me. And now I tie all it altogether. I feel like the future of Hip Hop is that. I feel like people are coming back and saying more and I want to be part of that.
How did the idea come about to fuse hip hop music with Celtic music?
This came out of nowhere. I was doing performances at The Shrine in Harlem. The Celtic Social Club had a connection with the booking there and they needed a rapper. They already had this idea of fusing rap music into it and I was like, “oh Celtic music!” I feel like I got some family back there, like Scottish. I heard their music and said this sounds interesting. But I’m always down for some type of multicultural collaboration. I feel like that’s what keeps us all evolving and growing. I was interested, they gave me an opportunity to record some songs with them, and took me to France for the Versailles Charres Festival, and I performed with them in Germany last month. It’s all been an amazing experience. I know these guys from France now and it feels like family. It’s different from the music I make myself.
Speaking of your music, what are you working on now independently, and what can people look forward to?
I had a successful video, The “Bored of Education,” where I’m intertwining my hip hop life with my teacher life, and adding a message to it about education which is near and dear to my heart. I’m also working on a couple of new videos right now. One has a more environmental love story, tragedy thing going on, and the other one is picking up from where The “Bored of Education” video left off. I’m most excited about a big performance called Lush that I did with an LA crew called The Wave last month. I performed and shot one of my videos with them.
┬áDivaGalsDaily is all about the ladies! Are there any female artists that stand out to you, who would you love to collaborate with?
Oh man we can do this forever! If I was going to make a song with any female right now, the first one who comes to mind is Lauryn Hill. Lauryn where are you?! I also think Aaliyah and Selena. Selena has been a great influence for me living in Dominican land in Washington Heights.
How does your music speak to women and issues that involve us?
I have two songs: “Sorry Been Busy” and “Biggest Fan.” The video I’m working on now actually gets into relationship challenges and abuse. I’m sort of playing the white dude, who’s also a metaphor for humans and how our relationship with earth is somewhat related and somewhat similar to an abusive relationship between man and woman.
You write and produce…what’s your favorite part of the creative process?
Every part! I have my hand in the dreaming about the process, the creating, and then I’m all the way nitpicky about editing. Video dudes hate me because I’m like, “no you got to tweak this.” I love every part of it!
Get more information on I.C. Will music and tour dates on ICWILL.com!