On Our Radar: Mitchell Lawler [Interview]
Edmonton, AB – Up-and-coming Edmontonian MC Mitchell Lawler is only 18 years old, but he’s already acquired quite the hometown following. Following up to the release of his first mixtape, New History, Lawler is in the process of completing his second mixtape Rookie of the Year as well as opening for Travis Porter and RiFF RAFF later on this month. Between preparing for his engineering studies at the U of A next year, and his dedication to the hip-hop scene, Lawler caught up with HipHopCanada to introduce himself. Peep his remix video for Childish Gambino’s “Freaks and Geeks” and check out our interview after the jump.
HipHopCanada: What sparked a love of hip-hop in you, and what steps have you taken to be part of the scene?
Mitchell Lawler: My dad was a DJ in his younger years so seeing all his records and whatnot really pushed me towards the genre. One of my biggest influences is definitely B.o.B, his versatility inspired me— so I had to try it.
HipHopCanada: What elements of hip-hop culture appeal to you most?
Mitchell Lawler: The MCing definitely appeals to me the most. It’s something about making words bend the way I want that really gets me going. I love the producers and DJs, because without them I’d be doing everything without a beat. I’m looking to dabble in b-boying this summer so we’ll see where that leads. I’ve tried to mess around with street art and graffiti before but I certainly wasn’t a natural.
HipHopCanada: Specify your craft – what part of it you are the most talented at, and what do you work the hardest on?
Mitchell Lawler: I probably take the most pride in my punch lines. It’s always been a focus of mine to be as clever as I can be when it comes to rhyming. In a close second though I’d have to say my flow [and] delivery. It really took the back seat when I first started. But I’ve been learning to switch it up and develop that aspect of my craft as well.
HipHopCanada: Who do you feel you represent?
Mitchell Lawler: I fall under the age of new style hip-hop, so I represent those listeners. I absolutely love Edmonton so I would say I represent my city. Then last—but not least—I represent my supporters everywhere.
HipHopCanada: What are some signs of success in your musical career?
Mitchell Lawler: Definitely my immediate online presence on YouTube and Facebook. The views and likes came in pretty quickly when I first started, which was amazing. But the best part is that they’re pouring in even faster now. Also, the completion and supportive response for my first mixtape New History and the demand for my next mixtape Rookie Of The Year. I recently opened for KYLE in Edmonton and I will be opening for RiFF RAFF on Jun. 15. And for Travis Porter on Jun. 21.
HipHopCanada: What have been some of the biggest roadblocks and how have you surpassed them?
Mitchell Lawler: Finding time around school and social life was really hard to do at first. But I’ve really got into the groove of things and made music a top priority in my life. In doing music you receive positive reinforcement, but then you also get some seriously negative and hateful feedback. So at first that discouraged me. But now I see past it and it doesn’t bug me at all.
HipHopCanada: What is your overall goal for your career in hip-hop?
Mitchell Lawler: At the very least, world domination. Not actually. But the more my music is heard by the masses, the happier I’ll be with myself. I really want to be able to live comfortably off of record sales, touring, and etcetera. That’d be a dream come true.
HipHopCanada: What people or groups do you see as being instrumental in helping you to achieve that goal?
Mitchell Lawler: Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I definitely surround myself with hard-working positive people with similar interests as me. I work with Resonate Music in the studio and for production; Thinkitem for graphic design and great ideas; Pearl Entertainment and Easy Love for promotion; Aspen Zettel for photography and— most recently— ClinksTV for the motion picture side of things. I’ve also started to work with Cannibal Kings on a series of things. The circle will extend beyond these people in even a month or two and I’m really excited to see my crew grow. My fans are definitely something I can’t do a whole lot without. They are easily one of the most important parts of my team and I can’t thank them enough.
HipHopCanada: Where can fans find you? Both in person and online?
Mitchell Lawler: I live in Edmonton—so definitely there. I frequent Whyte Avenue often enough as well as the U of A. So keep an eye open and maybe you’ll see me.
YouTube | Mitchell Lawler Music
Facebook | Mitchell Lawler Music
BandCamp | Mitchell Lawler
HipHopCanada: Any last words for the HipHopCanada community?
Mitchell Lawler: My second mixtape Rookie Of The Year is shaping up really well and will definitely be done this summer and available for free online. So keep an eye out for that. Besides that, I’ll be sticking around for a long while. Thanks for your support.
Photography courtesy of Mitchell Lawler