Writing and co-writing songs for Iggy Azalea (“Pu$$y,” “Hello”), Skylar Grey (“He Did It”) and Teyana Taylor (“Her Room Remix”), and sharing the stage with Wale, Tyga, Rockie Fresh and others provided walterFRENCH an entrance into the music industry. His forthcoming debut EP, The Francais Project, should make him rap’s next superstar.
“Performing all over in front of various crowds and being exposed to different lifestyles, I realized I had the ability to provide a good time,” he says. “No matter what, everyone values a good time and truth, and that’s what my performances and music represents.”
The passion and perspective represented in walterFRENCH’s music comes from a lifetime of learning and from the valuable experiences he had growing up while moving back and forth between his native Marietta, Georgia and Oceanside, California as part of a military family. “It made me learn how to be diverse,” he says. “I had to get along with different ethnic groups and adapt to being in different cities, states. I learned how to vibe with anybody.”
So when walterFRENCH made what he thought was a routine trip to one of his friend’s houses in Georgia, he had no idea life was also about to change. When his friends asked him to rap, walterFRENCH was transformed. He realized he had found his life’s mission: to be an up and coming artist of hip hop.
Machining himself to become a natural entertainer, his easy-going personality transferred itself nicely to his rhymes, which were delivered seemingly effortlessly and with remarkable detail. walterFRENCH participated in several rap battles and quickly emerged as the best rapper in his school and, soon thereafter, in the city.
Though he used different monikers early in his career, he decided to go with his given name after having a meeting at Interscope Records. “They thought it was a fake name,” he recalls. “They thought it was such a creative name. They were like, ‘How did you come up with that? That’s crazy. That’s a star’s name.’ It was weird.”
While promoting his early material in 2012, walterFRENCH was introduced to the STRZ, a rising production team that has worked with Vali, Wiz Khalifa, Zendaya and Bailee Moore, among others. walterFRENCH quickly bonded with the STRZ’s AV and recorded the song “B.A.D.” An atmospheric ode to a beautiful woman, the club-ready cut served as a dramatic artistic statement and a testament to the chemistry walterFRENCH had with STRZ. “Everybody loved it,” walterFRENCH recalls. “We established a connection early and had a lot of fun in the studio while recording. From then on, the chemistry was just 100 percent and we kept going.”
walterFRENCH then hit the studio with STRZ, recording what would become The Francais Project, his debut EP whose title is a play off his last name. “There are big elements of me in this EP that will make the clubs rock and the streets follow along, and that reach will effectively introduce me to the world” he says. “The blueprint and foundation that The Francais Project will provide is as solid as it gets.”
The EP’s “Drop” is another mesmerizing high-energy club anthem, while the ultra-smooth “Got It” details a remarkable night out with friends. “People tell me that it sound effortless when I rap, that things sound like second nature,” walterFRENCH says. “It’s easy when you’ve got dope producers dishing out amazing sounds for you.”
With “Down To Earth,” walterFRENCH displays his sly songwriting, something he picked up from his favorite rapper, Ludacris. “I was a jokester and I was always making people laugh,” walterFRENCH reveals. “Ludacris, he did good music that was fun and had creative lyrics. It was different from what everybody else was doing. It was for the clubs, for the street, for the car. He made all-around great music.”
walterFRENCH does the same thing throughout The Francais Project, as evidenced with the keyboard-driven “The City,” which pays homage to Los Angeles. “LA is the spot to be,” walterFRENCH says. “When you’re on the highway and you’re playing music, you have a different feeling about yourself. You feel cool. Even if you’re in traffic, you feel cool because the sun is shining and you’ve got your car washed. That’s what I thought about when I heard that beat, just cruising through LA.”
As he was working on his rhyme craft, walterFRENCH went to school for video production, something that helps him craft visual lyrics. “Every time I hear a beat, every time I’m writing something, I see a music video, a movie, a story,” he says. “So when I try to make my music, I try to make it so the people can visualize and understand where I’m coming from.”
One person who will appreciate walterFRENCH’s material is his daughter, who was born in 2012. She serves as his inspiration, with her birth serving as extra motivation for him to realize his rap dreams. “That really drove me,” he says. “There are times I wanted to give up, but she’s the reason I kept going so hard.”
Now, with the impending release of The Francais Project and a rock-solid foundation with STRZ, walterFRENCH is set to become rap’s next premier act.
“I knew I had the talent, the music,” he says. “I just had to find the right people to believe in me. I knew I wasn’t going to stop because the right people were out there somewhere. That kept me going.”