Where did Vonny Del Fresco come from, where does Von Alexander come from, and why the change in name?
Vonny Del Fresco came from when I was from 15. People were already starting to call me Vonny just as a nickname cause my real name’s LaVaughn. Del came from Del the Funky Homo Sapien. I got Fresco from a t-shirt I saw Shae from N.E.R.D. wearing in a video or something like that. I liked how the Fresco looked and I was listening to a track off a Gorillaz album that Del was on, so I put it all together and that was Vonny Del Fresco.
Vonny Del Fresco wasn’t sure of himself as an artist yet. He wasn’t complete. Everything that Vonny Del Fresco was doing is the blueprint and the layout for what I’m doing as Von Alexander right now. Everything that was being written and recorded was just build-up, kinda like training. It’s kind of like a caterpillar and a butterfly. Get the cocoon, and you’re a butterfly now, so it’s like that in a sense where you mature and grow and then try to figure out how to mash everything together. As Vonny Del Fresco, my music was all over the place, and Von Alexander has more of an identity, and more of a true identity.
My name is LaVaughn, but it’s spelled too long so I cut it down to Von, and Alexander is my middle name, so that’s what I’m rolling with.
So what exactly does this new identity sound like? How does your upcoming EP differentiate from Memoirs?
The difference between this and anything I’ve released is that it’s actually me giving you me. It’s more of a personal insight to my life, where I come from, what I’m surrounded by, what goes on in my head for real. I talk a lot about homicides and shit like that cause I live on the North Side, and if anybody’s noticed, that shit’s been crazy all summer, all year. I’ve just been dwelling on that, trying to figure out the music thing, I’ve got family issues, so it’s really bringing in all these things from within my world, from what surrounds, like the outside layers to what’s in my tighter circle. It’s like everything in one.
Memoirs was kind of a mix between boom-bap and a newer trappy sound, is that still what you’re going for?
Not at all. I did Memoirs like that on purpose. I started off with boom-bap, with heavy samples and 9th Wonder beats, just real simple shit. And then I felt like I had to become more versatile, be able to come over here, enter this lane, drive over here, enter that lane. I just try to be all-around if I can. So that’s what Memoirs was. I had never rapped on trappy beats before, I was never able to do that, but now I can do that super easy. I didn’t want Memoirs to be too much boom-bap or too much trap so I tried to balance it and put it all together.
Would you say that you’re really evolving, coming into your own as an artist?
Anybody who has ever had a real conversation with me knows that growth and developing is like my biggest thing. I focus on becoming better every time I do something. Every time I do a project, I gotta make sure it’s something I haven’t done already, or make sure I’m including something I haven’t included before. And with that, it’s just as a person too. If I’m gonna be able to grow as an artist I gotta be able to match it as a person with my drive, my inspiration, where I want to be with myself, it all has to keep moving forward and I can’t do it if I’m just stuck in a box, so I’m just trying to keep evolving and be greater than those who I look up to.
And who are those that you look up to?
It’s a lot of people because I listen to different genres of music, but I’ll just stick to rappers. I look up to Jay-Z, Nas, Kanye, Lupe, Common, real veteran kinda dudes. Right now I like J. Cole, Kendrick, anyone who’s really perceived to be on top because if you notice, they’re not on top for no reason. Their work is real, it’s good and it’s just amazing shit.