The Atlanta rapper opens up in an exclusive interview.
At this point, does Pollàri need an introduction? His quirky, eclectic, and innovative style has attracted the attention of Rick Rubin. He’s also worked with many of your favorite artists. The punchline? He’s still growing, destroying, and rebuilding his sound in an endless cycle to be the best at what he does.
Llari’s been putting in overtime in 2017, constantly working around the clock to conciliate fans voracious sonic appetites. We jumped at the chance to talk to the Atlanta native and get some exclusives. We talked about everything from his new project ‘Lil Llari Galaxy’ to his relationship with peers in the industry. We also went in deep into Soundcloud rap territory, extracting some surprising yet realistic responses.
Read our full conversation below.
Trey: It’s been a long two years since our last interview. You’ve grown from the creative artist you were back then into a powerhouse of unique sounds and stylistic choices. How’s the journey been for you? What’s it been like to see so much growth?
Pollàri: To be honest, its fire. I love every second of it. When making my art became my job, I was a little skeptical at first but the turnouts have been good. We blessed now.
Lil Llari Galaxy sounds like a new sonic direction for you. How’d you come up with the concept for the project?
Well, my first real complete EP was ‘Lil Llari World’ in 2016, so around the same time this year, I wanted to give the continuation of it. Galaxy was my first full-length mixtape, so now I can focus on the big goal with no time restraints: the album.
The videos that you have with Cole Bennett are amazing. What was the process like filming “Calling Me” and “Lil Elroy Jetson?”
Cole really just the G.O.A.T. in his own field. We’re all artists, ya know? Some use words, some uses stills, some use moving pictures, some even use more far fetched shit. But it’s all art, so when we collaborate it’s just like when I do stuff with other artists in my field. We bring what we both best offer to the table and create something beautiful.
Speaking of ‘Lil Elroy Jetson,’ that track is phenomenal. What was the creative process behind that?
I made Elroy on one of Sensei‘s trips out here to LA. I had been working with lots of different producers since I signed my deal with Rick, but I never felt as connected to they shit as I did with Sensei. We did that song in like 10 minutes with our engineer out in LA, Jake Goodman. The only two people who know what to do with my voice are Jake and Sensei, and they were in the same room, so we kinda had to go crazy.
How did you meet Rick Rubin? How’s the relationship between you guys?
I met his A&R first, this guy I call Mr. G. I love Mr. G, he keeps me sane when I be like about to lose it out here. He took me to Rick’s one day after me and him had talked a few times and it was wild. I was low-key scared. I always compared and thought of myself as Kanye-esque growing up and then I met and got signed to the guy who helped kinda craft him. I love Rick though, he’s inspiring. When I get to work with him he listens and points me in the right direction. I love his team a lot too; Mr. G, Todd, Ashley and them. They’re the real deal. For crazy guys like me, its good to have solid people around.
What do you think about the term SoundCloud rap? It’s become both a meme and movement that mainstream Hip Hop follows closely. Do you think the Soundcloud scene will continue to grow or will it stagnate?
I might be one of the only people who feels like this but I’m down for whatever they want to call us. You can categorize it however you want but these ‘SoundCloud rappers’ are selling out shows, getting signed by legendary people and labels, going on international tours, fucking pornstars, paying for they parents to get out the hood and even more. Let these people call you what they want, just strive ya know. Soundcloud rap is the industry now, I got singles out here doing better than Ray J, its our time.
How exactly did you find your sound? It’s unique. A lot of people struggle with determining what works best for them.
I just try a lot of different shit. I record all the time. I just go with what feels best at the time.
It seems like SenseiATL is the NoID to your Jay-Z. What do you think attributes to the chemistry you guys have on tracks?
Me and Sensei just real deal friends. A lot of kids make up this click numbers and name and shit but we really from 3200 Lenox Road. We really didn’t have shit together. We really were recording every day every night ganged up house like 10 deep and shit. It was just crazy back then. Living through that shit just makes you stronger. And he really helped me craft my sound. No one sounds as good as me on Sensei production, and he never producers naturally better for anyone than me, and we don’t even be trying. That’s my blood, that’s my heart.
What’s it like working with Zaytoven?
Fire, he’s an OG. When he send packs to me and the Larrys and shit, it’s like a blessing. And it’s always so random, it just lets us know we doing right haha.
Looking at the list of features you’ve had in the last couple of years, it seems like you work with a lot of artists on the verge of becoming household names. You’re kind of like Gucci Mane, similar to a street A&R. Do you remain in contact with these people? Do you believe that the work you do with them contributes to their success?
Yeah, it 100% does. One thing I pride myself on is working with genuine artists. So when I catch wind of certain artists and most of them are already fans of me or know someone I know I always rock with them when they reach out or reach to them. Most of them I do stay in contact with because most of them are real. But to be honest not all of em. Some literally come, pretend like they love you and everyone around your gang and just steal the sauce, blow up with it and move on. Fortunately now, we’re blowing up ourselves, and the right way, and the people love it. I’m out here taking photos with niggas grandmas now. I’m never negative, I believe in God, and I believe in myself, just like the kids do. Me and 3200 gone be here forever.
What’s the next career move for Pollari?
So we did world, the EP… we did galaxy, the mixtape, so I guess its finally time for the album. I’ve been working on it since April of last year and its almost done. Me and my team are trying to figure out who we want to release it with now, and how we want to release it. We got a handful of surprises before tho, including me and Cole’s next movie for ‘Llarkelly,’ but it’ll be here soon, haha.