Mitchell Lawler may be barely two years out of high school, but he’s already found himself opening for some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including J-cole, Pusha-T, and E-40. This Edmonton native shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, with aspirations as big as those he’s opening for.
How did you get started in the Edmonton Hip Hop scene?
I started taking music seriously in December of 2011 so I’ve been rapping for just over 2 years. I contacted a promoter about doing my first show when I was 17 but he couldn’t book me anything because I was underage. The day after I turned 18 I played my first show in an empty bar in front a few friends and family members. The worst part was that I had got a cast taken off my leg earlier that week because I had snapped my tibia in half playing Rugby. I had a bit of a limp but I still showed up and rapped. A few months later I released my first music video online and garnered a surprising response with how many views it got. This got me fired up but it didn’t satisfy me. The rest is history, I guess.
Who are some of your influences that made you want to pursue rapping as a full time career?
B.o.B, Chiddy Bang, Asher Roth, Hopsin, Eminem and Childish Gambino to name a few. All of these people made music that clicked with me and made me want to listen to it more. Listening to it just got me going and I wanted to try it for myself.
What has it been like to open for so many big names this past year?
It’s been a wild ride to say the least. Crowd surfing at my CD release party for Rookie Of The Year was pretty insane. As I made my way back to the stage the security guard didn’t successfully grab me so I feel in between the barrier and the stage. It hurt but I was too amped up to realize it until later.
I performed in front of 4,000 people as the only local act at the J. Cole concert. The show was at The Shaw Conference Centre, which was awesome to me because I used to work as a server there. It felt pretty good to get on stage and look back at where I was in the very same room only 2 years before.
Where do you hope to see your career take you?
I’d love for it to go as far as humanly possible; selling out stadiums all over the world and going platinum – that kind of stuff. That being said, I’ve got a very long road ahead of me [so] I’m just taking it one step at time. It’s exciting to think about the future but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m living for the moment.
Mitchell will be opening up for T-Pain on March 22nd at Encore, Redman on March 23rd at Encore, and Hopsin on May 9th at Union Hall with DJ Hoppa. He’s also looking forward to the massive Iron Mic festival on April 19th at the Expo Centre.