Knowing he has family in the Democratic Republic of Congo who can’t leave unless someone in the family gets wealthy enough to help them get out has kept him driven in his illustrious music career.
“It’s definitely given me the drive to be greater,” Well$ said. “It drives me to be the best artist I can be.”
Well$, who is opening for Rae Sremmurd at the Carolina Union Activities Board’s Jubilee on Saturday, attributes his love of music to his friends and family, including his cousin Alec Lomami, producer and co-founder of the Chapel Hill record label Immaculate Taste.
In fact, it was Immaculate Taste’s creation in 2013 that led Well$ to move from Charlotte to Chapel Hill in the first place.
“Really because of my friendship with Gabe (Chess) and us both being passionate about the same things, that kind of tied in our relationship with UNC,” said Mike Tambashe, Immaculate Taste co-founder and president.
CUAB president Gabe Chess and Tambashe met each other around August, when Immaculate Taste started making efforts to network with UNC and its students.
“I think its really important to support local music, and I actually think the University has an obligation to participate in the larger Triangle community and our arts scene here,” Chess said.
“I think it’s great that we’re connecting students to an artist that’s buzzing, not just locally but regionally and nationally.”
While working on a project, Well$ listens to a lot of local music, especially indie bands. Well$ said his newest EP, Sophisticated Trap, describes the style of music he is making not only for his friends and family, but for himself.
“I’m just making music. That’s what I’ve learned to get into the habit of — is just making songs,” Well$ said.
“Not necessarily just making them for specific projects or for a specific reason, just making songs to better myself, you know what I mean, to further my craft and get better.”
Chess said Jubilee presents a unique opportunity to see an artist who is exploding nationally, Rae Sremmurd, and to see one who has similar potential.
“At the same time, you’re seeing an artist that is in a different stage in their career but is definitely moving up and working really hard and making a lot of moves,” Chess said.
Well$ hopes that, more than anything, his story can inspire UNC students.
“I hope they take away the fact that I’m just another 20-year-old kid, just like most of the students that are in the crowd that got the notion to chase their dream,” Well$ said.
“I just hope that after seeing me perform, not necessarily even listening to my words, but just being inspired in the sense of — don’t listen to what everyone else has to tell you or what everyone else wants you to do. If you have a dream, and you have the means to chase that dream, chase that dream.”
“And I’m really trying to stage dive. Like for real, that’s my goal. I hope people see this and wanna catch a kid.”