Emerging Local Artist: Frames
>> If you haven’t seen the lineup for the Floated Alternative Culture Issue Two Release Show then this is news for you! Frames, a local hip hop artist, is going to be opening for KZA K’Lee, another local rapper. Who is Frames? Frames is Will Mangiamele, and not only does he produce his own beats but he also writes his own lyrics, everything is fresh and he stays true to himself! Why the name Frames? “Honestly I just wanted something because I just played around with so many things. I feel like my last name no one knows how to spell and there’s guys like J Cole and Kendrick Lamar and Drake that just go by their names, but Mangiamele is so long and not American. People can’t spell it most of the time. I was just kicking around names with one of my friends real late at night after we did some photoshoot for an album and I was like, ‘what about Frames?’” Frames was inspired by the glasses he has worn since eighth grade, before that style of glasses were even considered hipster!
Frames moved here from the Chicago area sixteen years ago, possessing deep roots in the music and a natural charm for rapping. He started playing the piano at seven years old, “I got this yamaha keyboard and I would jam on that. Then my mom got me piano lessons and I hated it. I was like, ‘yo this sucks, next.’ I quit piano lessons but I kept playing. Started playing everything by ear, that’s how I learned. So I didn’t know how to read any music, I got my neighbor to teach me and I just fell in love with it. I’d write my own songs.”
Always eager to learn Frames was constantly (and still is) searching for a way to improve. High school wasn’t a very encouraging environment for his music, but when he got into college with all of the work he put into producing beats and creating lyrics inspired by Drake, he was admired by his peers. “[In high school] I put out this one song and I did a music video with my friend who wanted to be a videographer and it was a really raw song. I wasn’t good yet and so throughout my whole high school career all the people would be like singing it to me in the hallways and I got patronized for that. That’s why at first I didn’t really put out a lot of stuff, it wasn’t until college when I had four years under my belt of producing and rapping and people actually liked it.”
This hip hop artist wasn’t originally into rap and hip hop. His influences stem from his brother, “My brother got me into it [hip hop] he was a huge Lil Wayne fan and I really didn’t like Lil Wayne that much but I listened to it because my brother put it on my Ipod and was like, ‘yo it’s tight!’ I really looked up brother and thought, ‘oh if he listens to it I’m gonna bump it’ and I blew out three pairs of ipod headphones turning it up all the way just wanting to listen to Lil Wayne. I just got into Drake after that. He’s like a huge inspiration to me and so I just wanted to replicate that. I just wanted to produce for Drake.”
College has brought Frames even closer to his audience, his friends and peers listen to and love his music, “It’s cool how it’s a two way street. I put out music, they listen, they give me feedback, they want more. It’s a really cool interaction.” All of his fans are eager for his appearance at Anthology this upcoming Saturday, April 1st. Everyone has been really supportive and it has only pushed him to create more! He doesn’t just create for his fans, he also creates for himself, “I am transparent and 100% with my music. I am going to do this whether everyone is listening or no one is listening but the music is more for myself but if you want to listen to it hell yeah!” This mentality is something that you rarely see, creating something without expecting anything in return is truly inspiring!
Discussing the struggle of making it as an artist in a city that seems to be overtaken by the music scene Frames had the perfect insight, “It’s hard for any artist really to get exposure and that’s why I think if the product is good it’s going to sell itself. That’s why I just keep working on getting better because I’m not happy where I’m at now, I just want to keep getting better. I feel like there is no limit to how good you can get so I just want to get better and better!”
This attitude has led him to where he is today and I can tell there are big things in store for someone like him, with this determination and eagerness to always improve! Frames has a new song, that has not been released, that he will be performing at Anthology be sure to come early and jam out to his killer beats! <<