KINGSTON — Local rapper Sellz’s debut record, “Memory Lane,” would’ve come out last year — if everything had gone according to plan.
But, as is so often the way, it didn’t.
“I was working on that project for a year, closer to two years,” Sellz, whose real name is Raselle Mason, said. “I had it all done last summer, and the computer at the studio crashed and I lost everything.”
Which sent Sellz back to the proverbial drawing board.
Rap had always been something the vocalist, 22, played around with — “I always rapped, I rapped for friends at football games, he said — but it wasn’t until 2016 that he began to take it seriously. That was the year he put out his first single.
From there, things took off pretty quickly. His first single ended up on WCLH, Wilkes University’s radio station, and he said there was a lot of positive feedback. Then, after working hard to promote himself, Sellz found himself opening up for nationally known acts like PnB Rock, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Cardi B and others.
Throughout “Memory Lane,” Sellz focuses on a croon-y, pop-twinged version of rap, but he’s not afraid to deviate into a more aggressive sound. It’s no surprise, then, that he lists Drake and XXXTentacion as two of his biggest inspirations, adding that he plans to get a tattoo in honor of the late X soon.
And while Sellz lists other, diverse artists like Tracy Chapman and Chris Stapleton as inspirations, it’s perhaps his personal relationship with Lil Skies that drives him the most.
Sellz says he grew up with Skies in the Chambersburg area, and that the chart-topping rapper is one of his closest childhood friends. It’s Skies’ success, Sellz said, that drives him.
“Seeing that happen makes it more real, more achievable,” Sellz said.
After the shocking loss of his entire record, Sellz said he totally started from scratch, which changed the entire direction of the record.
“And it definitely changed for the better,” he said. “It paid off.”
The emcee says he’s just trying to make something for everyone. He said he wants it to be music to bump in the club, “But I’ll still play it in the car with my grandma if I have to,” he added with a laugh.
“Memory Lane” only dropped at the end of August, but Sellz says he’s already back in the studio, planning to put out another full-length project in October, which he promises will have a totally different sound.
“I feel like I have so many sides of what I do, that I just want to show them all,” he said.
If you’re interested in keeping up with the sides of Sellz, his music is currently available on all major streaming services. You can follow along with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, on all of which he goes by the name NCG Sellz.
Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan