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Conversations with Darren Lewis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Darren Lewis.

Hi Darren, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I started writing music when I was younger with my brothers, but I stopped as a teen due to my identity as a queer man. After doing some inner child work during the quarantine this past year, I started writing as a way of healing. My initial thoughts was that I wanted to get back into songwriting. I had no idea I would be writing an EP, but it just came so natural. So, I basically got back into rap mode as Money Mike and just allowed myself to have fun.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I think the rough patch was telling myself that I was going to do this again. I think a lot of people had this perception of me already because I model. A lot of my thoughts centered on people saying things like “he’s a model trying to rap” or something along those lines. But then I thought, I really don’t care what anyone thinks of me at this point in my life. But also, I knew I had bars and content that could carry me as an artist. A lot of it was just voices in my head and nothing else. But I learned to silence my thoughts and bring myself into the present. The present said it’s time.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m a model, songwriter and rap artist.

I think what’s mostly different about my artistry is a lot of my foundation is in southern trap. A lot of rap that is trending now has a pop emphasis on it which I love a ton. However, I feel like southern rap and trap music influence a lot of artists that we listen to today. When you listen to my music, anyone who is familiar with any southern rap, they can hear the influence from artists like Three 6 Mafia in the content that I write. My goal is to always bring listeners in with the bars and storytelling. That’s my goal when you listen to a Money Mike record. I don’t want to ever rely on the production to carry me on a song.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I have a ton of people I have to thank for the everlasting support. My brothers who always made me write even when I didn’t feel like doing it. My big brother, Anthony would always bring up rap whenever he would call me. Even when I wasn’t writing, and he doesn’t know how much that means to me. He always saw it in me. I love that.

My best friends. I really love them and will do whatever for my QUEENS! I love our group chats because all we do is constantly affirm and push each other to be better. They’ve seen me at my lowest and never judged me. They actually loved on me harder.

My engineer, Idrise who is also a dope ass artist as well. I enjoy recording with him because he always gets my wheels turning. He pushes me in the studio and asks me to try things I probably wouldn’t think of at the moment. He makes me want to get better every time.

Last is my producer, Sonny D Walker. Sonny is a sick ass producer, and I’m not even sure what be going on his mind to make the beats he creates. I appreciate him so much because he encouraged me to actually make the record and is one hell of a listener. I give him feedback and he’s great with correcting things. This process wouldn’t been possible without him. He’s the MVP of this project.

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Image Credits:

Photographer: Vincent J. Walker Instagram: @vincent.j.walker

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