Ahead of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2017, we got to ask Dwynell Roland a few questions. Read what he had to say below, and don’t miss him at First Avenue on Friday, January 5.

Mackenzie O’Reilly: When did you decide you wanted to get into rap for a living?

Dwynell Roland: High school my junior year is when I really put my mind that I wanted to do this for a living. Since then I’ve been making the steps to make that happen. So far so good I think. *laughs*

MO: Who influenced your style the most?

DR: I have no idea honestly. I like all types of music so I try my best to dabble into everything. When I was younger it used to be Mystikal actually (if you listen to my earlier stuff you’ll see what I mean).

MO: Who do you feel like you’re making the music for — the public or yourself?

DR: Well when I’m writing it and everything I make it for myself. Since it’s at the moment but I tend to put lyrics that other people can relate to while relating to my own work as well. So I wanna say both. I never really attach myself to my songs or anything. I just make the music and after that it’s for everyone to hopefully relate or like it.

MO: What can the audience expect from your performance?

DR: A lot of energy and just having fun honestly. I just want people to have fun and enjoy themselves. That’s my plan every time I step on stage so this event will be no different!