Exclusive interview with Young Reela
ARN: What is your legal name and age?
YR: My legal name is Kenny Noel and I am 25 years old, soon to be 26 on September 20th
ARN: Where are you from?
YR: I am from a small city called Miramar in South Broward County.
ARN: Why did you first start making music?
YR: I actually started battle rapping at first and then when the battles stopped coming, I was so in love with the craft that I started writing. My big brother seen one of the tracks I wrote down and I performed it for him right then and there. The next week he ended up buying me a microphone to make music as I please.
ARN: Have you heard the theory that some musicians write their best music while they’re depressed or going through a bad time?
YR: Yes, I have heard that theory. When I first heard it, I was like why do people when their favorite artist to be unhappy in order to make the best music as possible? Until the theory happened to me. I’ve personally found music to be the healing component in a lot of my issues because in my case, I rap about what I’ve gone through and what I know to be true. Therefore, when it got dark for me, I went to the one thing that can’t judge you or make you feel less than for feeling like you’re feeling. I also found that, it feels like the songs almost write themselves.
ARN: What’s your best advice for handling criticism?
YR: Well a lot of times, I think we have to analyze where the criticism is coming from. Certain blogs and journalists get a kick out of calling an artist or their art trash as opposed to fully digesting it. Then once you rule out from where it is coming from, you have to remove yourself from listening to it as an artist and listen as a fan of music. I know for me and my circle, I invite harsh criticism because when it comes to this craft, I have no ego. I tell my team that you either want your ego, or you want your product to be good, but you can’t have both.
ARN: What’s your latest release?
YR: I’ve released two projects. My double disc debut album with Arone called “Broward County” and a mixtape, which is called ReelOSSM 3, the last installment of the series.
ARN: Who do people say you sound like?
YR: I’ve heard the likes of Wale, Rick Ross, J. Cole, Drake, and Meek Mill. These days all I want to do is sound like myself though!
ARN: If you could only listen to 3 albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?
YR: Good Kid M.a.a.d City by Kendrick Lamar, Born Sinner by J. Cole, and Teflon Don by Rick Ross
ARN: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your music?
YR: There is a song on my album “Broward County” called “Reel Fears”. While Arone and I was working on the album, there were some personal issues that Arone was dealing with and Arone was just in a place of darkness. Me and Dre Major couldn’t get in contact with her, but we knew where she usually hung out and we ended up finding her that night after going to like 3 or 4 spots. I ended up recording a voice memo and a piece of that song is part of the voice memo that I recorded. The three of us sat and spoke for about two hours. We ended up finishing the album but while we were mixing and mastering it, I told Arone where to place the voice memo. Arone later admitted that the link up, along with the song basically helped her come out of that dark place. Personally, I’ve had other people come up to me and tell me that my song was powerful or that they can relate, but to help someone in such close proximity to me beats anything out as it pertains to compliments any day.
ARN: How do you currently feel about the state of Hip Hop in general?
YR: I actually am on the fence about the current state of Hip Hop. There is more money than there has ever been for the artists, along with the path of being an independent artist being as easy to accomplish as it’s ever been as well. I also think that the art of an album or an album roll out feels diluted somewhat because week to week there is a new album to digest because the market has so many creatives. I think I’m leaning towards liking it though, because you can pick who you really like and you have easy access to them and their music.
Purchase Young Reela album on Apple Music: