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Revealed in Backstage Confessions: Ace Pariston's Journey from Obscurity to Hip-Hop Sensation with 'Saints Row'!

Inside Scoop: Ace Pariston Spills on BTS Inspiration, Gritty Hustle, and the Making of a Mixtape Phenomenon!

Ace Pariston, a trailblazing artist from Stockholm, Sweden, is redefining the hip-hop landscape with his debut mixtape, "Saints Row." Known for his unique fusion of modern hip-hop elements, anthemic hooks, and high-energy performances, Ace brings a fresh perspective to the genre. Drawing inspiration from BTS, his work is a love letter to the classic come-up story, presented with a distinctive twist. "Saints Row" showcases Ace's versatility, blending auto-tuned melodies with sharp flows and punchlines. With tracks like "Poison" exploring themes of love and toxicity, Ace's mixtape is a journey of melancholy and rebirth, marking him as a rising star in the hip-hop world.

TJPL NEWS Interview with Ace Partiston about his debut mixtape 'Saints Row'
TJPL NEWS Interview with Ace Partiston

"Saints Row" is described as a love letter to the mixtape concept of a classic come-up story. Can you elaborate on how this theme is woven throughout the mixtape?

In each track you can hear the hunger, drive and passion I have for this music thing. The sort of emotion that says "I have to make this work, It's this or nothing else". I think I portrayed this naturally throughout the track list because that's my current real life situation. I'm working a regular job to pay my rent while I invest the rest of my time and resources into furthering my music career. I'm the type of person that can't live in the mundane, the "normal" doesn't satisfy or fulfil me in any way. That's why I've always dreamt bigger, it's why I won't stop till I achieve my goals within music and you can certainly feel that energy surging from within me when you listen to "Saints Row".

How has BTS influenced your musical style, and how do you incorporate these influences into your unique sound?

They were the ones that inspired me to become an artist in the first place. Seeing how they performed, hearing that unique sound that they crafted, their styles and personas just awoke something within my creative spirit. Now I'm at the same stage that they were at during the start of their careers, working unrecognised to prove myself to the world with that relentless thirst for success and adoration.

Your mixtape showcases a range of sub-genres within rap. How do you maintain your artistic identity while exploring these different styles?

I've always had a broad taste in music, rap just eventually became a core genre for me personally. I think it has to do with the rawness of it, it's usually not as polished and crisp which resonates with me on a personal level. The way you can write and incorporate different sonics into rap music is one of the main reasons I chose to adopt and evolve that genre as an artist. "Saints Row" is my first full on rap endeavour where I tried my style with every sub-genre I could think of, putting the "Pariston" stamp on each track. To me it all feels like it just fell into place which made me realise that I might have a natural nack for hip hop.

Can you describe the songwriting process for "Vince Carter" and how you captured the theme of hustle culture?

You know I always loved watching basketball and drawing the analogy of the hustle mentality between hooping and rapping just feels like a fitting theme for a track about stunting on people and coming up in the game. It's like the saying : "rap or go to the league", those are two career paths that can lead to greatness with the right amount of hard work and dedication. Vince Carter is obviously a legend and who better to reference in a track when you're talking your sh-t. I of course also shoutout the G.O.A.T (MJ) to really drive home and encapsulate that feeling of greatness and proving oneself with this track.

You worked with a lot of your close friends who also happen to be artists on this project. How did their contributions shape the final sound of "Saints Row"?

Working with my fellow friends and comrades on this one was really fun and engaging. It had been a long time for me since making music with other people in the studio, ever since I moved to Stockholm I had been by myself recording as opposed to when I was still in school making music with my classmates everyday. The shift was necessary for me to grow as an artist but I must say it felt good coming back to that feeling of creating in group. The reactions from people after hearing a certain part in a song over the speaker system, coaching each other on the mic and the chemistry you build is like nothing else. Really glad I could get people involved on this one and the results speak for themselves.

Blood, Sweat and Tears: The themes of working hard and climbing the ranks are central to this Mixtape. How do these themes reflect your personal experiences or artistic vision?

Since that’s basically my day to day mindset at this stage of life I felt compelled to make the Mixtape center around that. Hip-hop has long been used as a tool and an outlet for artists to reflect on wanting more for themselves in life. Wether that be economically, gaining more recognition and searching for praise and glory or simply wanting to make it out of a bad situation.

I myself come from a good background of working middle-class parents, they instilled me with good values and always supported my decision to pursue music.

That being said, I always wanted something bigger for myself. I wanted to build something on my own, something I could take pride in and be praised for across the world. I landed on music and rap eventually became my means to achieve this dream.

Can you share any interesting stories or challenges you faced during the music video shoots and promotional activities for "Saints Row"?

Definitely, this time around me and my long time videographer-collaborator Nico (Nickelarpa) chose to incorporate multiple people in the video for “Saints Row”. That came with it’s own challenges of scheduling, organising and directing etc. But since the people we chose were my piers (70SAINTS) the process eventually went over smooth due to their unwavering loyalty and dedication for the movement.

Now onto the next difficulty, the climate. So as you know I come from and currently reside in Sweden, as this video was shot in the middle of the winter (December) we were faced with increasingly low temperatures during shoots. I’m talking -15° Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit), during one day of filming it even got to the point where Nicos camera froze-in and stopped working, so we had to shut down. But we kept going like we always do and finally persevered with our best video to date in my opinion. Check it out on YT : “Ace Pariston 'Saints Row' (Official Project Trailer)”.

How has creating "Saints Row" contributed to your growth as an artist and a person?

I learned a lot about how to use my natural voice this time around, meaning on tracks were I didn’t make use of any Auto-Tune. Since pitch correction has been a huge part of my sound and shaped the sonics of my voice as an artist, this was a new and challenging process. Just getting used to my voice without any correction was a hurdle, for the longest time it didn’t sound right to me. I just wanted to add auto-tune everytime, but eventually I learned to understand it’s context and how it sonically blends with certain instrumentation way more adequately than if it were to be pitch-corrected.

Taking the time to write lyrics and actually planning out rhyme schemes was also a new addition with this project, since I previously almost exclusively punched in and freestyledd every line and melody. While that’s an art in and of itself and saves a lot of time, actually sitting back and thinking about the lyrics you’re writing and making them mean something for the track contextually can be just as impressive. I like to work fast so slowing down the process to take time and think over the lyrical contents of every track was not the easiest for me. In the end all of this forced me to grow and improve upon my abilities as a songwriter and creator, so for that I’m glad I chose to take on these new tasks.

After the release of "Saints Row," what direction do you see your music taking, and are there any new themes or styles you're eager to explore?

I’m a workaholic when it comes to music, so I’m obviously already working on the next one (hehe). What I can tell you about the next release and the approach I’m taking is simply put : “Chaotic”. This time I’m mixing my new found style of rapping with that signature Auto-Tune edge to the melodics. To say I’m “experimenting” is an understatement. I want to find a way to commercialise the niche-side of my artistry, make it digestible for the masses while still retaining this uniqueness that “Ace Pariston” curates. All I can say is expect a new side of me that’s coming, something groundbreaking if I do say so myself. In the meantime enjoy the start of the year with “Saints Row”.

What message do you hope fans take away from "Saints Row," and what do you want to say to them as they dive into your mixtape?

That if you have goals or aspirations of a bigger picture, something far outside of the box, whether it be musically like me or in any other aspect, please pursue it. Use this Mixtape as the soundtrack to fuel those inner desires and really put that work in to see it through. I’m rooting for each and everyone of you that feels this way. We’re all on this path, walking through the Saints Row, that’s what this tape is all about. It’s the real world we’re finally taking on, it’s up to us to leave a mark and to make something out of ourselves. Every time it gets extra hard, put this tape on and let it bring you back to reality. I’ll be cheering you on as the voice within your headphones.

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