Smoove’L talks about becoming Smoove’L and his debut studio album ‘Ice Cups And Shootouts’


Smoove’L looks back on his musical journey and his new album ICE CUPS AND DRAWINGS.

Bedstuy’s own Smoove’L became popular soon after dropping the “Apollo” tube. What may seem like an overnight success is in fact a story of triumph of over 4 years of hard work. Smoove remembers growing up listening to his mother play Mary J. Blige and R. Kelly, but outside the house it was his older brother Joey who introduced him to the studio. Having a brother who raps motivated Smoove, but it wasn’t until Grade 10 that he got attached and started taking music seriously. For 15 years, Smoove has been studying the ins and outs of gambling while successfully graduating from high school. Smoove went from expecting 500 views to millions of people thanks to his diligence and incredible focus. Smoove’L knew “Apollo” was going to take off. It was his plan. After carefully calculating each step, he knew “Apollo” was.

A year later, we find Smoove’L releasing his long-awaited studio album ICE CUPS AND DRAWINGS. Although it has been a difficult year due to Corona, Smoove is not fazed. Last year Smoove’L performed at Yams Day, his hit album “Apollo” was included in the New York Times’ List of the best songs of 2020 and signed with Interscope Records. After earning several accolades last year, Smoove’L is on the road to success and doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon. Check out our full interview below.

The Knockturnal: Tell us about your stage name. How did you end up on Smoove’L?

Smoov’L: It was first Smoove’L Da Finesser. I did a song where I said ‘Smoove’L L L. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the song and just started calling me that and I pulled out the “Finesser” and I ran with.

The Knockturnal: What was your upbringing? Musical influences at home? Your brother raps, doesn’t he?

Smoov’L: My mom played a lot of R. Kelly and Mary J. Blige. I’m just a kid from Brooklyn, that’s all, I run around the streets playing basketball. Yeah, my older brother Joey, well done Joe. Joe in a band called the Pop Out Boyz, they signed by Quavo.

The Knockturnal: What was your upbringing? Musical influences at home? Your brother raps, doesn’t he?

Smoov’L: He started rapping first and I was just in the studio. What you drag, you become.

The Knockturnal: When you were in the studio with your brother, did you know you wanted to make music or was it just for you?

Smoov’L: No, I never took it seriously, it was regular, but I knew how to download songs.

The Knockturnal: When did that change happen when you started to take music seriously?

Smoov’L: Around grade 10 or 11 I was trying to do whatever took me off the streets so I tried playing basketball but it wasn’t working so I started rapping and ran with. I started to see myself as a rapper around 15/16.

The Knockturnal: When did you write your first rap?

Smoov’L: I was 11 when I wrote my first rap and it was for a girl.

I wrote a nursery rhyme to a girl when I was in 6th grade.

The Knockturnal: What have been the greatest highlights of your musical career so far?

Smoov’L: My very first show at Yams Day, well done A $ AP Rocky, he got me out.

The Knockturnal: Did you think Apollo would be as big as he is?

Smoov’L: Yes, I really felt it. I wrote it, so I planned it. It was under construction. I watched my footsteps accumulate with each song. It was piling up so I knew this one was going to go. I had grabbed my first million, when I grabbed the million I think it’s already lit. I used to strive for 500 views so 1 million was crazy for me.

The Knockturnal: How did you feel to see your song “Apollo” listed as one of the New York Times’ best songs of 2020?

Smoov’L: It’s a blessing there, it was great. I came from nothing, so all I really get is a blessing.

The Knockturnal: How did the signing with Interscope go? What is your favorite benefit of being signed?

Smoov’L: My A&R Baroline, she contacted me and kept calling me and calling me and she phoned me and said, “No one else will get you”. My favorite advantage is the push. A label will make sure you are everywhere. This is what I love the most, marketing.

The Knockturnal: How does it feel to release your first studio album? ICE CUPS AND DRAWINGS? How did you get to the title? What does leaving this project mean to you?

Smoov’L: My men told me before I was Smoove’L this is the crazy part and I just remembered it and all my men agreed it was fire. It is based on what I have lived and experienced. I worked hard on it.

The Knockturnal: Will there be more visuals on the way?

Smoov’L: Yes! “4 The Fashion” is out today and I have more visuals with Jerry Productions coming up.

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