By Nicholas Jason Lopez
With the goal to spread more positivity in the music industry, Newark, N.J.-based artist Slim da Wit dropped his EP ‘Truths,’ lyrically rooted in transparency and vulnerability and sonically offers a little bit of everything for everyone – funk, hip-hop, pop, R&B and soul.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with the rapper – also known for his rapidly growing fanbase on social media platforms like TikTok (49K) and Instagram (4.4K) – about what he has been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – How did you decide on the name “Slim da Wit”?
Slim da Wit – I already went by “Slim” back in my hometown and at college, but “Slim” alone didn’t seem to be enough and too general. With inspiration from Chance The Rapper and my actual last name being “DeWitt,” I thought it would be clever to change it to “da Wit.” In addition to my desire to jump into film and television, which would make my name in the credits that much more fluent to already established fans – Tylar “Slim” DeWitt.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your single “Let’s Have Fun”?
Slim da Wit – My goal was to not only set the tone for myself as an artist – being that it was my first single, but create what could potentially be a viral sensation. With my approaching project, that would just be an ideal situation.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Slim da Wit – Thankfully, it hasn’t taken any loved ones, so I’m grateful for that much. The pandemic definitely restricted travel for me, so I see my family a lot less. Also, I live where I work – my alma mater boarding high school, so teaching during the pandemic was a mix of Zoom classes, hybrid teaching and socially-distanced everything with weekly testing, so the pandemic, similar to everyone else I assume, definitely changed my way of everyday life! Especially doing everything in a mask. Oh, what a pain.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Slim da Wit – I’m unsure if there was a specific moment, but I’ve always gravitated toward music. Whether it be singing in the elementary/middle school chorus, playing recorder in elementary/middle school, being the only one of my siblings that loved piano lessons, or writing my own little songs starting in the fourth grade, I’ve always just gravitated toward music as an expressive outlet.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Newark, New Jersey to someone who has never been there before?
Slim da Wit – Newark, by reputation, is known for being a bad city – for its gangs, drugs, crime, etc., but when you look past all of those results of systemic oppression, Newark is a strong city, made of strong people. Beneath the gritty exterior, there is immense beauty and art, which is why we are home to Newark Symphony Hall and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. It’s why we’re the home of graduates from Arts High School, people like Michael B. Jordan, Tisha Campbell Martin, Peter Collins and many others! Newark is a hard place, but that’s what helps its residents build the character and heart that I see within all of us.
Music Bugle – How has it been putting together your EP ‘Truths’?
Slim da Wit – To be frank, in its entirety, the process was awful. I feel like everyone I directly collaborated on this project with, in some way, left me to work on it alone. Obviously, without children, I could never truly understand this feeling, but the best analogy I have is that I had a baby with these co-collaborators and they left me to nurse and raise it alone. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that during the process, there were definitely beautiful moments I shared with musically-minded people, helping me realize my ideas into what the EP has become, but yes, in its entirety, 5/10, would not recommend. However, I am very grateful, as this process was definitely necessary to know exactly what I need to do and who I need to do it with the next time around to produce the best results.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Slim da Wit – I think the fact that I don’t necessarily have a style is what’s so exciting, meaning the possibilities are endless! I like to think about Kendrick Lamar or Mac Miller, artists whose sounds evolved, were experimented with and morphed over time. I don’t mean to sound narcissistic, but with my versatility, I could do house music and EDM, then jump into full-on 90s R&B, Neo-Soul, or the new alt R&B, then do a full-on funk and soul project, without ever having touched the “hip hop” category yet. With those possibilities, it’s riveting not knowing what’s next, but knowing that the options are endless!
Music Bugle – What do you attribute your social media success to?
Slim da Wit – Honestly, TikTok and thus, my brand management and marketing team over at Violett Collective. I wasn’t sold on the idea of making one and they pushed me to do it – always shooting me trends to hop on. Since October 2020, I’ve jumped to 49K on TikTok when I was grinding on Instagram for years, just doing covers/remixes to songs – slowly growing past 3,000 followers – most of whom were friends I met. I’d get engagement on Instagram, but not like I am working with this team, nor was the content as versatile and centered around me as a person and artist, rather than just my art.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Slim da Wit – Home. Whatever that may mean at the time for me, I always go to some version of home. Now, first on my list is God, Who without, I’m nothing. God is my restoration, my peace and the continual light that fuels and guides me. Next is my family at home. They recenter me, ground me and fill my heart up. Visiting them is synonymous to going to a rest stop during a road trip. Everyone is hungry and has to pee, the tank is on E and the windshield is covered in insects, but after hitting the rest stop, everyone is reset and ready to continue along the journey. After that is my girlfriend and her family, who have become my family over the course of this pandemic. They remind me of home and supply me with the love and laughter I’m missing while away from home. Lastly are my friends, who have seen me through my worst into who I am growing into and are adamant about keeping me on this trajectory, in addition to supplying me with the love I may be missing while away from home too.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Slim da Wit – Right now, I listen to a lot of friends I’ve made on TikTok – Novoa, Verum, Charlie Curtis-Beard, FreshcoBarz, in addition to big artists like Wale, J. Cole, Mac Miller and those occasional drops from Chance. KAMAUU is also another dope artist I’ve been listening to as well!