T H E S H O R T…
Name: Isaiah Rivera
Nickname: Lil Zay From Out The Bridge
Birthday and Astrological Sign: March 20th, 1997 – Pisces
Born & Raised: Born in the Bronx, Raised in Palm Beach
Currently Residing…: Palm Beach
The Last Song You Played: “#FreeSmoke” – Drake
Lyrics That Changed Your Life?: “Chypo the wizard, Chypo the magician, Chypo Lil’ Blizzard, I’m just chillin'”
Hidden Talents: Head spin
If You Weren’t Doing Your Current Job What Would You Be Doing?: Doing drugs & selling drugs
T H E L O N G…
Why is your artist name what it is?
Basically, when I came up with the name WIFISFUNERAL, it started off with meeting my DJ. His best friend had committed suicide when we were like thirteen. So, that’s how me and him became friends– so that’s where the FUNERAL part comes into place. And just WIFI because I wanted the music to be worldwide. I want people from Germany, China, like all over the world being able to feel comfortable listening to my music. You know what I mean? Everybody’s got wifi.
Basically, WIFISFUNERAL is death to the stigma of whatever is going on on the internet–because if you notice within internet, a lot of these artists that are getting signed, it’s either off gimmick or just by the graces of God that they just so happened to make a hit record, you feel me? They get put into a box or whatever. We’re trying to kill all that and just let the music speak and nothing but that because there’s not a lot of artists that don’t really let their music speak. You see they have a campaign or an idea or like we’re just going to do this, we’re going to do that. We’ve been doing nothing but music and then building the fans off nothing but music because I’ve been releasing music online since I was like eleven years old. So, I have like a cult following that has literally watched me grow up to a grown ass man.
How old are you now?
20 years old.
Tell us about your process. What inspired you to make music? I read that your dad made music. He’s a rapper?
Yeah, my dad was actually a battle rapper in the 90’s. He used to chill with like Black Rob in his prime, Fat Joe. My grandmother’s building–the 750 Towers on 179th Street in East Tremont Avenue– That’s where I’m from, that’s where I was born. That whole shit is a legendary ass place. All of the hottest rappers in the ’90s stepped through my grandmother’s crib, smoked blunts…High Bridge right down the block. Fordham right up the road.
So did your father get you into it?
My father never really raised me growing up. My father left my life when I was six months old. So, I would talk to him through the phone occasionally. I’d say, probably, like three times within the expansion of about two years. And I never had really anything to talk about. Whenever we’d be on the phone it would be like, “Oh, how’s school going? What are your doing?” But I never had nothing really in common with him to keep a full conversation. I ain’t know who this man was. I was just talking to somebody through the phone that I know looks like me. And I used to complain about that shit to my mom and my mom was like, “Well, if you feel so bad about you and your dad not having a relationship, why don’t you try finding something that you guys have in common so you guys can build a conversation off of it.”
So, when I was seven years old, I went to school and was supposed to be doing my math homework at the time because I didn’t do it the night before– I remember this day vividly. I wrote that whole class period a whole sixteen, called my dad, spit him the sixteen, he was like, “It’s aight.” It was just cool to him that I was rapping. And then I didn’t really think that I wanted to be a rapper, but it looked like something that I seen myself being comfortable doing and I noticed that at such a young age. I saw the “More Money, More Problems” video by Mase and Puff Daddy and I was like, “This is what rappers do!? This is lit! This is what I want to do with my life!” I saw that music video and I dragged my mom by her shirt and I was like, “THIS is what I want to do with my life!” She was like, “You don’t want to be a fire fighter? You don’t want to be a lawyer? You don’t want to own a business?” And I’m like, “No, I want to do this. This is all I want to do with my life.” And ever since then, I’ve been releasing music on Myspace since I was like eleven.
How would you describe your music?
Gumbo rapper. I’m a gumbo rapper.
I’ve never heard of that. Explain that.
Well, a gumbo in a sense is basically like random ass things put into one and you’re not going to know what you’re getting, you feel me? So, my type of music, I’m not really necessarily boxed in. I’m not a boom bap lyrical rapper, I’m not a trap rapper, I’m not a R&B artist. I’m none of that. But it just so happens that I can make every single type of music. I guess I was blessed to just really write and make music. So, that’s why I consider myself as a gumbo rapper because all the versatility doesn’t just show you oh, he does this or oh, he’s primarily known for this. I’m just primarily known off of the music that I make period.
Now, that you make music, how has the relationship with your father changed? Is he supportive? Is he interested?
He’s always been supportive. But it’s just a weird thing talking to my dad because, you know, when someone didn’t raise you for twenty years of your life and then like they just try to insert back in again. And they try to insert back in from a musical stand point instead of actually trying to solidify like, “Yo, I ain’t raise you. So before we talk about anything, let’s knock that out the way first.” You know what I mean. We haven’t been able to actually sit down and actually have that conversation. So, my relationship with him is really rocky. It’s like a love/hate relationship. It’s like I hate that nigga because I look like that nigga. But without that nigga I wouldn’t be here. And my mom.
So, what does your mom think about your music?
Well, my mom is a Jehovah’s Witness. So, she loves the fact that I’m making music and I’m doing exactly what I want to do with my life and I made my dream a quote, unquote reality. And we’re not the road to keep making it a reality and keep it relevant. But she doesn’t approve of everything that I say because I’m a very honest person and I’m a very honest soul. So, when it comes to my music and things that I talk about in my music, I’m talking about my past experiences. I never really claimed to be a thug ass nigga, regardless of all these face tatts. I’ve never claimed to be a thug ass nigga and sell drugs. But, shit, who hasn’t sold drugs in their life, you feel me? That shit is normal now of days.
With my music, I just talk about past experiences and how dysfunctional my family was and– not saying that they were a bad family or anything like that– but a lot of shit that has happened to me in my life it just fucked me up in the head and that’s basically what I’m talking about. I’m just talking about experiences and if you so happen to relate to those experiences then that’s great. If you don’t, it’s like thirty million artists in this world. There’s like what? 7.5 billion people in the world? So, yeah, I’m pretty sure that a good 80% of them are trying to rap as well.
And that’s a good point. Someone asked me what did I believe set me apart from everyone else? And it was funny because I never thought I was fortunate or I was blessed. I just thought that I just got out of what I wanted to get out of.
You just wanted change, you wanted better.
But then when that person asked me I had to address when I was a kid, I really felt like there was bigger and better for me. And I always felt confident in myself, but it wasn’t like an ego it was just like, I just know.
What do you think that was for you? What was that confidence and where did it come from?
It just came from me actually finding something with my life that I finally felt like I was good at. Because I was never good at playing basketball. All the hood niggas ain’t fuck with me because I wasn’t always trying to hit licks, but when it happened I just was like, “Alright, fuck it. Let’s do it.”
I guess that just really separates me from a lot of people because with all the positions and all the predicaments that I was in in life– Like my nigga X said, “I knew what it felt to wake up and be in front of a lot of people and still feel alone because all those people don’t have the same mindset, the same motives that’s your own.” But at that point in time, you can’t do anything with your life because you’re not even at either an age or a position to take yourself out of that position. So you’re forced to just be around people that you know you don’t need to be around. That you know you have better intentions than half of these people in here. So that’s where it really falls into place I guess if that’s to answer your question.
How do you see yourself and the trajectory of what you want to do?
My whole overall goal with music and my whole overall purpose I feel like within myself and with making music is just to inspire kids. And it’s no disrespect to no other artist when I say this, but not everybody gotta do exactly what Lil’ Yachty is doing. Not everybody gotta do exact what you see Carti doing. People that people are highly influenced by. And I’m not saying that these type of artists aren’t showing these kids the right way but I really feel like these kids are thinking that that’s the only way to do it. I don’t really think kids now of days necessarily sit down with themselves and manifest themselves and think about what do I want to do? How do I see myself? Am I comfortable with the type of person that I am? Just because I’m seeing that this is hot and this is what I want to do with my career, is this the route that I need to go? Or is this going to help my fans? Or am I just going to live by what people think I should do instead of what I know I should do. Because if ain’t going to fuck with what I know I should do then they not a real supporter of me at the end of the day. But if they just fuck with all that extra shit and they’re just fucking with me because of that extra shit, then it’s like I don’t know what to tell you. Those are the types of fans that I’m like, “Yo, you going to be disappointed when that whole project don’t sound like that.” Because that’s not my intentions at all. Like I want to make every single project, every single song, down to the fucking ad-libs, I want everything to be evolution. I don’t want anything to ever sound like anything I’ve made from when I was like fifteen until now. Because with most artists, they’ll see their art and be like, “Alright, we just going to run with that.” Or “Well, I see when I drop funny videos on the internet that this is how I’m getting all my plays on Soundcloud.” Like I’m trying to kill all that. I want to actually see artists be known and be respected as artists, purely for the music that they release and the type of people that they give off and the type of energy that they give on to other people. That’s really what people connect with at the end of the day. When you actually sit down, talk to them, have a conversation with them– Or not even have a conversation with them just off the drip just giving off that good energy and that good karma.
For people that are now tuning into you or will tune into you, how do you want your music to be perceived?
I just want my music to be perceived as something refreshing and new. I’m not saying that I want to be the hottest artist out. Shit, if I’m not the number one artist out and I don’t have the most number one album in the record, I don’t give a fuck. If it happens, it happens. Do I want that to happen? Of course. I think any artist with their career would want that to happen. But am I about to just sit down and keep beating myself up about that shit, nah. Because I’m not going to fucking go nowhere. And if I just worried about nothing but that I feel like I wouldn’t be doing half of the things that I’m doing right now and even be in the position that I am right now if I gave a fuck about just that.
For instance, for a nigga that listens to nothing but Yung Dolph and Gucci and he listens to my shit, I want him to be able to understand, “Damn I really fuck with this.” Not just because it’s sounding like the shit I listen to but because you could hear the pain within my voice. You can hear the pain within the beat. Everything is just one big true emotion.