Since going viral for freestyling at a party during the 2017 Rose Bowl, former University of Georgia football player-turned-hip-hop-artist Wix Patton has taken his music career on full time.
Signed with Atlanta Global Music, Patton embarked on an 18-show tour over February and March that visited parts of Athens and Atlanta. During his shows, Patton showcased new music from his upcoming album, “Sorry, I’m Late.”
The Red & Black spoke with Patton about his “Sorry, I’m Late” tour and his journey from playing sports to making music.
R&B: Since you've been creating music for such a long time, how has your sound changed?
Patton: When I first started getting into recording music, it was mainly just rapping, not really singing or testing those waters. Then, as I started to record music while I was at UGA, I started getting into more genres and tapping into pop and alternative. Over time, my sound has progressed because I've gotten to try different things out. Through trial and error, I've found my style … [which is] pop music infused [with] hip-hop, rock, R&B, funk and alternative.
R&B: Do you think that football had any kind of influence on your music career? How hard was it to choose between football and music?
Patton: UGA football not only helped give me a platform, but it taught me discipline. It showed me how you have to surround yourself with a team. It was a lifelong dream [of mine] to go to school at UGA and play football, but school was not something that I found myself gravitating towards. I knew the only way to be successful in music was to embrace it fully. There's no way to actually be successful while having one foot in and one foot out.
R&B: You recorded 150 songs during the shelter in place. How did quarantine help your songwriting?
Patton: Because things had been shut down for so long, it allowed us to be in our own space and do what we needed to do without the pressure of having to do shows. When we were making all that music, we were not necessarily making it for a project — we were just trying to make the best songs we could and discover who we were as creatives. It seemed like I had all the songs that I needed to push forward with this tour and project. We just had to get all the pieces to perfectly fit.
R&B: What other ways has COVID-19 impacted your music career?
Patton: I think that for all entrepreneurs, creatives and business owners, it [has] affected us because we're not able to fully embrace the tools that we were given beforehand and we're forced to do things differently. With Atlanta and Athens being open, it's allowed [me] to gain a fan base [and] go through a lot of performances. We're not necessarily at the point where we're playing the big venues. Right now, a lot of these clubs and bigger dive bars are trying to make events happen so we've been able to fill those positions until other things open up. For us, everything has been about timing, and it seems like we've been in the right place. One thing that has inspired me is wanting to push the underground scene and really spark a movement. There's a lot of hustlers out here, a lot of creatives, trying to make something happen. During the pandemic, more than ever, I feel like people can support each other so everybody can win.
R&B: What can you tell us about your upcoming album?
Patton: As soon as we drop the album, I want the fans to expect a lot more music coming freely because we have so much built up that we're excited to show. All throughout February I was performing different songs, and we were able to see different reactions and take that into consideration as we put the project together. Everything is finished now and we expect [the album] to come out in early summer. I’m going to bring something fresh to people. I want to be able to give people something that isn't static, yet feels refreshing.
The Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.