ARLIS MICHAELS: THE PROFESSIONAL HUSTLER

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK | ARLIS MICHAELS

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK | ARLIS MICHAELS

INTERVIEW: KB TINDAL [@KBTNDAL]


BED-STUY BROOKLYN NATIVE ARLIS MICHAELS, IS A HEAVY STAPLE ON THE ENTERTAINMENT SCENE IN NY. HE’S BEEN AROUND FOR YEARS AND HAS RELEASED SEVERAL MUSIC PROJECTS AS WELL AS HIS CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED WEB SERIES “THE PROFESSIONAL CHILLER,” WHICH HAS GARNERED OVER 21 MILLION VIEWS WORLDWIDE. YOU CAN CATCH ARLIS ON THE STREETS OF NY CONSTANTLY HUSTLING AND PUTTING IN WORK OR YOU MIGHT CATCH HIM COURTSIDE AT THE BARCLAYS CHOPPING IT UP WITH THE HOTTEST CELEBRITIES. EITHER WAY ARLIS MICHAELS IS A NAME TO GET FAMILIAR WITH. VALIDATED MAGAZINE GOT THE CHANCE TO SIT DOWN WITH THE CREATIVE SOUL THAT IS ARLIS MICHAELS AND HERE’S WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT.


VALIDATED: WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED?

ARLIS: I WAS BORN IN THE SOUTH BRONX AND RAISED IN BED-STUY BROOKLYN AND WHEN MY MOTHER GOT DEPLOYED TO FIGHT IN THE MILITARY, I STAYED WITH MY GRANDMOTHER IN ROOSEVELT LONG ISLAND FOR 3 YEARS AS A TEEN.


VALIDATED: WHAT'S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP HOP CULTURE?

ARLIS: I’VE BEEN INTO HIP HOP SINCE I WAS YOUNG. MY UNCLE WAS A DJ AND HE USED TO PAY ME $20 TO CARRY HIS CRATES. FROM THEN ON I KNEW I WANTED TO BECOME AN ARTIST.


VALIDATED: GROWING UP, I KNOW YOU PLAYED BASKETBALL. DID YOU HAVE DREAMS OF MAKING IT TO THE NBA AND WHAT HAPPENED?

ARLIS: I DEFINITELY WAS INTO BASKETBALL. I WAS A NATIONALLY RANKED COMBO GUARD AND EVENTUALLY EARNED A COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP AND AS TIME PASSED I FELL MORE IN LOVE WITH MUSIC AND MY HOOP DREAMS BEGAN TO FADE.


VALIDATED: WHAT KIND OF MUSIC WAS PLAYED IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?

ARLIS: KURTIS BLOW, DOUG E. FRESH, CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS, AND AL B SURE WERE ALL PLAYED A LOT IN MY HOUSEHOLD.


VALIDATED: HOW DID YOUR LIFE GROWING UP AND NEIGHBORHOOD INFLUENCE YOU AS A PERSON AND CREATIVELY?

ARLIS: I’VE BEEN THROUGH A LOT AND I’VE SEEN A LOT IN MY HOOD GROWING UP THAT MADE ME THE MAN I AM TODAY.


VALIDATED: ARE THERE ANY ARTISTS THAT HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR FLOW, DELIVERY, PUNCHLINES, STORYTELLING, ETC.? IF SO WHO ARE THEY AND WHAT MADE YOU ENJOY THEIR SOUND?

ARLIS: THE ARTISTS THAT INFLUENCED ME WERE LL COOL J, BIG DADDY KANE, LORD FINESSE, JAY Z, MASE, B.I.G., AZ, AND NAS. I THINK THEY ALL BROUGHT A UNIQUE STYLE TO THE GAME ALONG WITH GREAT LYRICS AND GOOD STORYTELLING.


VALIDATED: I KNOW YOU'RE A MAN THAT WEARS MANY HATS, SO WHO DID YOU LOOK UP TO AS FAR AS YOUR BUSINESS ACUMEN IS CONCERNED?

ARLIS: I THINK JAY Z, 50 CENT, AND DIDDY ARE SOME OF THE BEST TO EVER DO IT IN BUSINESS.


VALIDATED: WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THE YOUNGER GENERATION THAT FEELS THE ONLY WAY TO BE SUCCESSFUL IS THROUGH MUSIC OR SPORTS?

ARLIS: NEVER LIMIT YOURSELF AND EXPLORE EVERY AVENUE. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF WAYS TO MAKE MONEY.


VALIDATED: SEASON 3 OF “THE PROFESSIONAL CHILLER” SERIES IS COMING SOON. HOW DID THE CONCEPT FOR THE SERIES COME ABOUT?

ARLIS: ONE OF MY CHILDHOOD FRIENDS AK MURDA USED TO SAY "I BE PROFESSIONALLY CHILLIN," SO I JUST SHORTENED IT TO “THE PROFESSIONAL CHILLER”. MY APARTMENT WAS ALSO THE HANGOUT SPOT AND MY FRIENDS AND I WERE ALWAYS CRACKING JOKES SO ONE DAY WE JUST CAME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THE SHOW.


VALIDATED: WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE YOU STARTED THE SERIES?

ARLIS: I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT CRAFTING A WEB SERIES AND BEING ABLE TO CREATE GREAT CONTENT


VALIDATED: HOW HAS THE RESPONSE TO “THE PROFESSIONAL CHILLER” BEEN?

ARLIS: THE RESPONSE FROM THE WEB SERIES HAS BEEN EXCELLENT AND WE HAVE 21 MILLION VIEWS OVERALL AND GREAT FAN BASE OVERSEAS.


VALIDATED: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON YOUR CITY'S CURRENT HIP HOP SCENE?

ARLIS: THE STATE OF HIP HOP IS GOING BACK TO BARS, WHICH IS A GREAT THING.


VALIDATED: WHAT SACRIFICES HAVE YOU MADE IN ORDER TO PURSUE YOUR DREAM OF BEING A CREATIVE SOUL, ARTIST, ACTOR, ETC?

ARLIS: I SACRIFICED A LOT IN MY PERSONAL LIFE IN ORDER TO GET MY MUSIC AND ACTING TO WHERE IT IS TODAY.

VALIDATED: AS A HIP-HOP ARTIST, WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE HIP-HOP CULTURE?

ARLIS: MY RESPONSIBILITY AS AN ARTIST IS TO BRING CREATIVITY AND STYLE.

VALIDATED: WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU MUSICALLY?

ARLIS: MY NEW EP CALLED “THE PROFESSIONAL CHILLER 3” IS DROPPING MARCH 9TH.

VALIDATED: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TRACK ON THE PROJECT?

ARLIS: MY FAVORITE SONG ON THE EP IS CALLED “LUV”, PRODUCED BY MUGGA MANCINI. I BASICALLY BROKE DOWN A MOVIE CALLED “LUV” FROM BEGINNING TO END.

VALIDATED: WHAT DO YOU WANT LISTENERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR MUSIC AND ITS MESSAGE?

ARLIS: I DROP JEWELS AND GREAT QUOTES IN EVERY SONG. IT’S REAL LIFE S***.

VALIDATED: TELL US ABOUT OTHER VENTURES YOU'RE CURRENTLY WORKING ON.

ARLIS: I WRITING A MOVIE CALLED “LANDLORD”.

VALIDATED: WHERE CAN THE READERS SUPPORT YOU AND YOUR MUSIC ONLINE AND FIND YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

ARLIS: @ARLISMICHAELS ON EVERYTHING.