An Interview with: Lil Altima Riven
Lil Altima Riven was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He still resides in the area. Lil Altima Riven grew up listing to rock bands such as Linkin Park and Metallica. Their music inspired him to pick up the guitar and compose his own work. His songs are completely produced, written, and mixed by Lil Altima himself. His father, a rapperas well, supported Lil Altima’s passion for music. Now in college, Lil Altima Riven is racking up over a hundred thousand views on multiple songs. In just under a a year, Lil Altima Riven has exploded onto scene. I look forward to watching his career grow in 2019, Lil Altima has a bright future ahead of him.
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
Well I was born and raised in houston, texas. I grew up in a county called Alief, and it was kinda rough can’t lie, but it definitely helped me learn the streets quick.
Were you still involved in music when you were younger? Also, What were you listening too when you were younger?
Yes, but not into rap. as a kid i listened to a lot of bands such as linkin park, metallica, nirvana, etc. So because of that i got inspired to play the guitar which is the first instrument i learned.
When did you learn guitar? Were you involved in any bands? What other instruments do you play? And how do you think your early musical influences have influenced your work?
Thanks, i learned when i was like 8 or 9 I think. I was never in a band tho although i thought about it. I also play the piano and other random instruments that nobody prolly knows the name lol It’s definitely helped me a lot tho, I wouldn’t be able to make melodies for my beats as well if i didn’t learn how to play a real instrument first.
That's cool man, so were your parents supportive of your musical ambition and talent? Growing up in Texas, was it a very religious place?
Well, my dad is a rapper so ofc they were always supportive, however they didn’t take me seriously until recently haha It kinda is, my grandma is a Christian but luckily my family wasn’t the type to force religion upon me.
Your dads a rapper? Tell me more about his career, what does/did your mom do?
Yup, his name is Big Shang, he changed it to Jyce The Blade Runner but yea, if i were to describe his style i’d say it’s kinda like ghost face killa. And my mom has no creative talent really it’s mostly my dad, i feel like i get my overthinking tendencies and sharp situation analysis skills because of her. So you could say she’s the brains and my dad is the creative.
While growing up did you enjoy school or any subjects aside from music at all? Are you an only child? Have any siblings?
I was really into writing, especially when they let us do creative stories we could make up. Hated all that essay bullshit though. And no, I have 1 lil brother.
Are you guys close? Did you finish high school?
No not really, we both have always been very individual people. We do play Fortnite sometimes lol Yes, I graduated in 2016.
Did you enjoy hanging out with friends often in high school or did you prefer to be by yourself and focus on your craft?
I didn’t really have any friends like that. I was usually the quiet guy in the back that just does his work.
I was the same way. After you graduated - what were you up to creatively and in your life, did you consider college or immediately hit the ground running on your music?
I’m still that way too haha but as i get bigger it’s teaching me how to be a little more social.
When I graduated, i got a job at Kroger and that process just made me realize that I didn’t wanna grow up just to be another statistic working for one of these companies I don’t even care about.
But I’m in college right now bruh.
Dope! I just graduated from UVM with a degree in English, how do you like college? What are you studying?
Oh wow congrats, i’m studying for a degree in media communications. College is a viable option but for me, I just don’t think it works.
I realize myself that all the money i’ve made is from SoundCloud and has literally nothing to do with my college education or my education at all for that matter.
Thanks man, and for sure, there are a lot of problems with college. One that particularly annoyed me was the lack of ambition and conformity of the students. It's become a degree factory.
How are you enjoying college? Has given you a quiet place to cultivate your music and maybe meet cool like minded people?
Yeah facts, I agree. I do enjoy college tho and just school in general, always have. not for the people but just because it gives you learning opportunities you not always gonna have access too. And i do make a lot of beats at school as well as met some pretty cool individuals. tbh tho i’m still that guy that goes go to the back naturally haha although i’m not as socially challenged as i was in high school.
I'm glad to hear it, so do you have a girl in your life right now? There are a lot of baddies in college. Did you get into rapping or producing first?
Nah I don’t lol. i’ve been single since i graduated in summer 2016.
I was into rapping first, i didn’t start producing shit fr till i dropped "Run it up!”.
Man that song is my favorite, could you describe your production process?
Thank you man. It’s honestly not much of a process, I take about 20-40 mins makin my beat. and then i rap on it. That’s pretty much it man, as for the writing i do write but i freestyle a lot too sometimes and ill just take sum extra takes if i mess up.
That's spontaneous, so where do you live now? Still in the greater Houston area?
Yup, still in Alief.
What would you say are your plans for the rest of the year going forward? Are you into any sports?
Really I just plan on staying consistent with my work and keeping an original sound, I also have some videos coming out as well. And I started getting into basketball when I was like 16 lol so i do play that. But I mostly skate.
What do you think of skatings influence on hiphop/rap? I believe it began with Wayne beginning the crossover in his "Rockstar" video a decade ago - how have you seen the skateboard scene change the past decade?
Wayne definitely did pave the way for a lot of this punk, rebellious style goin on in sc rn. Me, personally, I’ve been skating since a kid, but i didn’t notice any rappers taking skating seriously until wayne hopped on the board. The skateboard scene itself hasn’t really changed tho it’s just been modernized if anything.
What else has been going on in your life recently? And your favorite show? I’ve noticed you have photos of the Fairly Odd Parents, Naruto, and Batman as some of your cover art.
I just recently made some good moves that y’all might be seeing in the near future. My favorite video game is hard to say cause i love a lot of games, but for PC i think i have to say its GunZ the Duel, it’s an old indie game with a dedicated fan base. It’s not as popular today but i just recently got back into it and i still love it. My favorite show would prolly be avatar the last air bender, but i watch a lot of anime, more so then american cartoons so out of those i’d prolly choose hunter x hunter.
Can you speak a little on those upcoming moves at all? And are you mainly a PC gamer? What do you think of Anime's influence on hiphop/rat recently?
Not much honestly but what i can say is that i have a lot of new content ready to go. i started off as a pc gamer yeah, when i was little i’d play world of warcraft lol, then started getting into console gaming as i got older. And i love that anime is finally being embraced by the mainstream because that helps fund it. It just kinda sucks it took them so long to hop on tho being a long time fan
I noticed a lot of your songs start with the chorus at 0:01 seconds in, can you speak on how you structure your music a bit? Also are you interested in politics at all? What do you think is the biggest issue facing American culture today and if you could help it how do you think it should be done? Do you record at home or a professional studio?
i just got outta class lol my b. i have no real reason why i start them like that sometimes, it’s just how i like it structured personally tbh. I like emphasizing certain parts of the song. I am into politics a bit, and honestly america’s biggest issue right now is probably our president himself ironically enough haha. he’s helped small business owners tons but when it comes to anything about rights and shit, yea he a hoe lmaoo. And i record all of my music in my room.
no worries bro, thought so how do you feel about recent songs of your hitting 100k? And is there anything you want to stay before we wrap up the interview?
It’s honestly crazy bro like i would always wish i could one day hit 100k and i thought it’d never happen. But you just keep workin and stay consistent and youll get what you want. And ill just say s/o to the fans or just anybody who supports in me general, i thank everybody for getting me where i’ve gotten to.