by Thomas Bedward December 10, 2020
Fritz David Saint-Louis, known professionally by his musical moniker of St. Laviathan, was born in Miami, Florida where he spent better part of his childhood. A quiet and imaginative child, Fritz David proved himself to be a talented young emcee, writer and entrepreneur, and after discovering a copy of Louisiana Rap Legend Mystikal’s debut album in his Uncles’ CD collection, he took to hip-hop with a relentless passion. At age eleven, Fritz David began crafting his first rhymes, building his sound and style from the late iconic Tupac Shakur, DMX, Nas, and Eminem, along with groups like Outcast and 50 Cent and the G-Unit.
In June of this year, Fritz David founded Laviamata Records LLC and released his first single ‘Saint Is the Victor’, garnering some well-deserved critical acclaim. Now, with his second single, ‘Laviamata’, slated for release later this month, we thought it would be the perfect time to sit down with St. Laviathan and find out what makes him tick.
Great to meet you Fritz David, we’ve been enjoying your tracks ever since ‘Saint Is the Victor’ dropped. How did it all begin for you? When did you start making music?
“I’d always been a fan of Hip-hop music. The concept and competitive nature of battle rap specifically is what ultimately drew me in to rap. I started writing my first rhymes when I was eleven and recorded my first songs at around fifteen years old. Earlier on, I was inspired by Mysikal, OutKast, and Eminem. Later, my influences would expand and grow to include Tupac Shakur, Nas Escobar, 50 Cent and the G-Unit, and DMX. I started off in a group called the Street Heataz back in High-School, with two of my close friends James and Ahmad. The group was short lived however and from that experience I gathered that I would be better suited as a solo artist.”
“I always moved to the beat of my own drum, and I’d have free range to experiment with my sound as a soloist. My style of rap isn’t a common thread where I’m from so I would spend a better part of my artistic journey, developing and crafting a style that’ll be able to cut through the ‘norm’, while simultaneously appeasing the masses. My favourite rappers were all unique in their own right, so I took that and made it an ever-increasing point of mine to be different. Once I told myself that I would be committing my life to this artform, I wanted to make sure Saint would an entity that existed all in his own.”
It's a powerful story, and it sounds like you have a clear vision as to your style and sound. How would you describe your musical style to those who haven’t yet experienced your music?
“I would describe my sound as classic, hardcore, unpromising hip-hop. I always dug the hard shit coming up. Although I do have those more radio friendly, club anthem type records at my disposal… for instance, I have a record called ‘Beast’ featuring my homeboy and artist on ‘Laviamata’, Deuce Boi, that is geared to the ladies. It’s a sexual, fun, strip club anthem but my favourite records are always going to be my more lyrical, personal songs. I take the technical nature of my artistry very seriously. I enjoy jumping in and out of pockets and switching up cadences on the whim. I enjoy challenging myself as an artist.”
I know you’ve already mentioned a strong roster of influences, but are there any other icons or artists that inspire you?
“As an artist, I draw a lot from Tupac Shakur, DMX, and Lord Infamous. With the Tupac’s and the DMX’s, I gain how to tell an effective story. Those two men were exceptional at painting a picture. You felt like you were there in the apartment with X when you first heard ‘ATF’. You felt the emotion from Tupac in ‘Dear Mama’. Lord Infamous, albeit dark and satanic, he was able to paint a picture vividly with his words, and he was masterful in his delivery. I wanted to bring that creativity to Florida. I’ve gotten a lot of comparisons to Tech N9ne of Strange Music, I would conclude, due to the moody, menacing vibes of my songs in addition to the flow.”
We’re pumped to hear the news that a new single is on the way. Can you tell us about it?
“I will be releasing my next single ‘Laviamata’ produced by the incomparable Joey Trife to all digital platforms later on this month. Much like my debut single ‘Saint Is the Victor’, I feel like ‘Laviamata’ displays me at my best. It was inspired by a fallout I had last fall with a woman that I consider to be my twin flame. She’s an artist too. You’ll be hearing from her real soon, she’s dope. I moved to Las Vegas in 2019 to be with her and start a new life. We had a really bad breakup. It went further than it should have. I’m still healing honestly. I felt broken and the most uncertain about my future. The spark to write again had returned upon my arrival and I remember just needing to get so much off my chest. I wanted to be honest with myself. It wasn’t about proving that I could rap anymore. I wanted to prove to myself that I could be more in life. That my situation then wasn’t my final destination. When you listen to ‘Laviamata’, that’s the last war cry of a warrior in battle. ‘Saint Is the Victor’ is my Hip-Hop record. ‘Laviamata’ is me in my power. The single will be available December 26th, 2020. We got the video out right now on YouTube. I shot that with my brother Jabari Payne. The prices bout [to] go up! Y’all been warned! LOL.”
What is your songwriting process when approaching a track like ‘Laviamata‘? How does it all come together?
“I decide on what I want to talk about first, then I search for the instrumental that best matches the vibe and mood of what I’m going for. From there it’s just me, some weed, and the beat. I’ll sit and marinate with the beat for hours, sometimes days on end, until I felt like I accurately conveyed my message. Once the words come together, I rehearse the verses or verse constantly until I know it word for word without the notebook. I like to have my verses memorized prior to recording. I have record on the ‘Laviamata EP’ called ‘Venus’. It’s probably my favourite on the album and one of my fastest verses, and to prepare, I remember waiting for my engineer Jedd to setup, going over and saying that verse at least fifteen times before we got in and laid it.”
Two singles in and you’re already setting a strong precedent. What’s next for you as an artist?
“At the moment, expanding my label Laviamata Records, and growing as an artist. I plan on releasing my first official project at the top of 2021 called the ‘Laviamata EP’. That will be followed up with the ‘Saint Is the Victor EP’ and ‘Love Is A Mystery’. I also have a project I’m doing with a talented producer from Australia named Whiz Capone due out next year as well. I had been creating all quarantine and I’m really just excited to showcase more of my work to the world.”
What’s the most important thing for you when you’re writing a song, is it the message, the flow, or something more visceral?
“Execution. The goal is to ensure that I conveyed my message clearly and effectively, while still retaining the essence of who I am as an artist. You’re either going to like what you hear or don’t. My goal is to gain a new listener every time, and if you don’t walk away a fan necessarily, you won’t deny my talent.”
Collaborations have always been a massive part of modern hip-hop, what would you dream collaboration be?
“Man, that’s hard one! I have so many! I’m inspired by so many great artists, rap and non-rap. I know one day I want to collaborate on a project with DJ Paul of Three Six Mafia. I would love to get in with him one day and go over crazy some DJ Paul production. My single ‘Saint Is the Victor’ was heavily inspired by Lord Infamous and Three Six Mafia. I also admire Lil’ Wayne a great deal. He has a record called ‘Shoot Me Down’ from his ‘Carter 3’ album. That song speaks to me spiritually. I’ve grown to respect and admire Tune so much more as the years have progressed. Yeah, right now, next to working with DJ Paul, I would have to say my dream collaboration would be with Lil Wayne.”
Your career is only just really getting stated, but what would you say has been your best moment as a musician so far?
Releasing my first single ‘Saint Is the Victor’ under my imprint and seeing the response it has gotten from people on the internet. In addition, to having it critiqued and reviewed by a reputable source such as Broken 8 Records.
That’s very kind of you to say! One last question before you go, what advice would you give to band’s who are looking to make it big?
“Perfect your craft and don’t be apprehensive about investing into yourself. Nobody is going to give you anything and you’d be remiss to be under the impression that they owe it you. Believe in yourself and carve out your own lane. Have faith in a higher power and allow yourself time to grow. Learn as much of the business as possible on your own. Try to do as much as you can on your own. Understand that this is not an overnight thing and it may take a considerable amount of time before you start picking up steam. Always have a strategy and execute.”
Thanks so much for your time, it’s been great chatting with you.
You can stream an early release of St. Laviathan’s new single above, with the video starting at the thirty second mark, and be sure to check out our official review of ‘Laviamata’ ahead of its release on December 26th. For more, be sure to connect with St. Laviathan on his social media pages below so you never miss a beat.
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