Inside Hip Hop: The Rapper

Thomas Rowland, aka “Rowlan” is an up and coming rapper originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, who now resides in Los Angeles, California. His down-to-earth style comes from his humble beginnings where he struggled with managing “dark thoughts” as a youth. Growing up, he was always different in his struggle and upbringing. Today, Rowlan separates himself from other rappers by avoiding the flashy subjects such as money, women, and fame in his music. Instead, he focuses his interests more on the artistic side of music, writing lyrics about societal issues and content that audiences can relate to.


ZS: For those that don’t know about you, tell us about yourself and how you got into hip hop.

Rowlan: I’m a songwriter born in Hyannis, MA from Cape Cod. I was always kind of a dark kid growing up and writing was an outlet for me. My writing has always been passionate which is what helped me build a fanbase and now my sound is more melodic.

ZS: What or who influences you?

Rowlan: My influence comes from the need for change and improvement in the world. I want to make relatable music that regular or struggling people can just vibe to. As for who influences me, definitely J Cole and Kendrick Lamar when it comes to music and hip hop those two have inspired my music.

ZS: Favorite Rappers?

Rowlan: For me Eminem was always my favorite and as I got older I went through a period of only listening to J Cole and then Kendrick and then I got really into Jon Connor on Aftermath. Now I’m more melodic in my music than before and I’m more open to rappers like Logic, G-Eazy, Mac Miller, and Drake.

ZS: Who would you want to work with in the future?

Rowlan: Well as for long-term goals, ultimately it would be a dream come true to have a song with Eminem or J Cole. As for a more obtainable goal I’d say; Kehlani, Logic, G-Eazy, Torey Lanez

ZS: What’s life been like since you moved to LA?

Rowlan: In Cape Cod it was almost as if there were too many kids trying to be rappers. It was hard to tell who was really about it. Life in LA is great because I feel I have more of an opportunity with my music here. I’m a minority rapper here now, which is good. There’s more diversity and different cultures here, which I love. Also, there are way more connections you can make out here. It's more likely to meet another up-and-comer who is serious about it.

ZS: What’s the best advice you’ve received so far about making it in music?

Rowlan: I recently met William Larsen, who’s a Grammy award-winning producer and songwriter. I was trying to pick his brain for keys to success in music and he gave me some great advice. He told me to make sure you’re ready when your time comes with good music. Having quality product is always essential in however you go about your business. It’ll make your brand that much more legit by already having your sound and production be clean and professional. That’s what I’ve been working on, having my sound be already there so when the rest of the world who hasn’t heard me yet does, they’ll have a good first impression.

ZS: Any upcoming music?

Rowlan: I have an idea for a project in the works, but for now what I've been doing is releasing singles and it's been successful.