If you're ever speaking on the current state of New York rap, it would almost be a crime to not mention Pro Era. Jumping on the scene in 2012 with the release of Joey Bada$$'s debut 1999, this collective of young guys from Brooklyn had a plan to fulfill; a plan to show that New York never fell off in the first place. It was just time for something refreshing. We had the pleasure of going out to New York to speak with one of the founding members and main culprits of Pro Era, Powers Pleasant. Powers is a producer but has also served as tour DJ over the years for Joey Bada$$ and The Underachievers.
Things were taken to the next level for Powers Pleasant and Pro Era earlier this year in January when Joey Bada$$'s 2016 single "Devastated" went platinum, and that was co-produced by Powers Pleasant. He has since signed with Commission Music and has began rolling out his full-length LP, which is expected to release this Summer. The first single from the project is "Pull Up," a banger featuring Joey Bada$$ and A$AP Ferg. We spoke to Powers Pleasant about the formation of Pro Era, Brooklyn, traveling and much more. Check out the conversation below.
You just signed with Commission Music. Tell me what felt right about that situation and what made you rock with the good folks over at Commission.
They were managing me at first, but its always been family. I’m very hands on and have complete creative control. You know thats something thats very important to me. They believed in me and believed in the vision.
Just going back in your story, you're one of the founding members of Pro Era, tell me about those early days of formation. What were some of those initial conversations like between you and Steez?
Shit, we were just very like minded people. Everyone in high school was very vain and superficial. He was the only person I could have deep conversations with.
How did your new single "Pull Up" come together and did you know you when making it that it was a beat specifically for Joey and Ferg?
Nah, Joey and I were originally making the song for a movie but they ended up passing. We thought Ferg would be dope for it. Got some more surprises down the line.
What can we expect from your upcoming EP this Summer?
Shit, I don't know what to even expect myself but its really dope. Gonna be some really dope songs to set the summer off. I’ll get to showcase my skills as a producer and call in some friends to do features.
Tell me one main thing you appreciate about being born and raised in NYC. Brooklyn more specifically.
Brooklyn is the best city in the world. So many creatives in one place. The vibe is unmatched.
You've been all around the world traveling as DJ for Joey Bada$$ and Underachievers. What's your favorite place to be outside of NYC and why?
Probably London or Australia. London is very similar to New York. Australia is just heaven on earth. Such a beautiful place.
As a producer, do you prefer to be in the studio when someone makes a song to your beat?
Yeah, I like to fully formulate an idea and turn it into a song. And you can connect with the artist more when you're working on the spot.
Last but not least, how does it feel to know that you make a living off doing what you love and knowing that you didn't have to compromise to get to where you wanted to go.
I mean, it just went from being a dream to reality. Can't really call it a job 'cause I love it. It's just cool to get paid for things I would do for free.
What does the future look like for Powers Pleasant?