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The Takeover Podcast

Hosted by Whitney Peyton & Mike Francolino

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Nerding Out with Whitney Peyton

Whitney Peyton – rapper, PA native, underdog – is an independent artist of immense talent, both lyrically, and in live performance. If you have never been to a Whitney Peyton show, make it happen next time she is in town. You are in for a treat. The direct, matter-of-fact way Peyton engages with an audience in between songs is unparalleled in today’s live music scene. Intimate hip-hop. Is that a thing? It should be.

Do not mistake my use of the word “intimate” to imply that a WP show is lacking in energy. During a typical set, Peyton will no less than crowd surf, crowd walk, rap on top of the bar, rap within the crowd, dance, borrow a phone from the front row and record from her POV, wear your hat, and dance some more, all while never missing a beat on vocals.

Peyton delivers arena-sized excitement.  The performance is just as important as the music.  But it’s not really a performance. This is Whitney being Whitney.

If this interview gives off a subtle fan-boy vibe from yours truly, it’s because I’m that impressed with Whitney Peyton.  She is that gifted. 

There is a high level of intelligence and self-awareness within her lyrics that I connect with, along with her general all around relateability as an artist and performer.

Duane:  The lyrical acrobatics you perform are not only impressive, but they are also story-driven. Every bar is part of a narrative flow that ties into the next line, until the song culminates. You obviously have a love for language and writing within a structure. How much time and effort goes into this part of your craft?

Whitney:  I actually don't think I've hit my pinnacle yet as far as the vocabulary I could apply to writing my songs. I am improving every day and every song is a story that was written based on something going on in my life. I continue to read books and stay sharp when it comes to language!

Duane:  What is your absolute dream collaboration with a living artist?

Whitney:  I would collaborate with Adele! She needs to collab with a rapper and I think we'd make a great team.

Duane:  Do you ever hold specific bits of rhymes over to be used for collaborations/features, instead of using them in a solo song where the lyrics may not necessarily fit within the theme of the track?

Whitney:  No, I would say I work just as hard on collabs as I do my solo work! I write each verse specifically to that song so it's not like I just rip a page out of my rhyme book and try to force it to fit.

Duane:  What current TV show would you most like to make a guest appearance on?

Whitney:  The Walking Dead. I want to be a walker! I think I'm pale and thin enough to get the role! haha

Duane:  You recently performed with a live drummer (Matt Traynor from Blessthefall) at your December 2nd show in AZ. Do you see yourself ever touring with a full live band?

Whitney:  I would love to at least tour w/ a drummer. I have performed with full bands in the past so this was not the first time, but with the right musicians it can add a lot to the live show!

Whitney Peyton performs live with drummer Matt Traynor 12/2/15 at Livewire Scottsdale, AZ. Photo credit Bad Fish Photography

Duane:  You are stranded on a desert island. For some strange reason, you have a CD Walkman and enough batteries for a week. You also have three CDs of your choice. What are your top 3 desert island albums?

Whitney:  Can I have an instructional album on how to build a life raft out of tree bark? HAHA JK. I'd have to say anything by Hopsin, Missy Elliott, and Adele of course (this changes every week I have so many favorites).

Duane:  Your tone and delivery is aggressive, yet vulnerable. I think that’s part of what makes you stand out; the juxtaposition of the two sides. This combined with your lyrical abilities, stage presence, and unique personality truly defines the statement “when there’s a million copies, but only one of you”. This isn’t just a boastful rapper exaggeration. How does it feel to be a singular voice in such a crowded industry?

Whitney:  There's pros and cons. I think because there aren't too many rappers like me it kinda makes it tough when marketing myself because people are always like "who do you sound like?" and I have a very difficult time answering that. On that same note it certainly helps me stand out!

Duane:  Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick?

Whitney:  Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, Jack from Tekken, Bullseye (Marvel). These guys would make the best bodygaurds!

Pre-order Break the FrameDuane:  Your new album Break the Frame will be dropping on January 5. This is extremely exciting. What other surprises does Mrs. Making Moves have in store next year for the Underdogs?

Whitney:  I will be touring a lot in the new year! I am actually already booked through spring. People can see my upcoming dates on http://whitneypeyton.com/tour-dates/