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Taylor Swift's Cousin is Pioneering Pop Drill

If you’ve been paying attention to the underground scene in New York City, then Icyslug is a name you’ve come across a few times. Standing out as a multi-faceted student-athlete, the young artist also has a penchant for penning some catchy hooks over a variety of beats. Ranging from Drill, Jersey Club, Pop, and even dabbling with EDM. Recently though, Icy appears to have added another moniker to his name - Talor Swift’s cousin. Having interviewed Icyslug in the past, I felt the need to hit him up and figure out what exactly the connection is there. Below is a (shortened) transcription of our conversation:

Enrique: So, I saw on the timeline a little bit ago, that you’re related to Taylor Swift. 

Icyslug: (laughs) Yeah, that is something [my family] has known for a bit, but only just started putting it out there. 

E: I definitely need to hear the story there. 

I: Well, my great-grandfather was a man named Martin Ratick. He was the older brother of Rose Baldie Douglas, who is Taylor Swift’s grandmother. Specifically, he was Rose’s half-brother, and they shared the same mother.  

E: Oh [Expletive], that’s actually crazy. So you’re great-grandfather was Taylor Swift’s grandmother's brother, there’s the cousin connection. But why make it known now? And, on top of that, why is rap the outlet you chose for your music? 

I: I think that now, I finally understand the direction I want to take my music in. I listen to so much music, and I know and believe that my songwriting works across any genre. And Why now? Well, I feel like - I’m just done catering to people now. I want to be more myself moving forward, and I think part of that means letting people know this music [expletive] is really in my blood, you know? (laughs) As for ‘why rap’, like I said, my songwriting works across all genres, and Drill is something I’ve been a fan of for a while. But I want to make it more relatable, more accessible, which is why I call this newer sound something more like Pop Drill. 

E: Interesting. Can you break it down for us a bit more? What makes it Pop Drill?

I: Of course. Pop Drill is like, the next big thing that people don't know about yet. [Henny & Bacardi 2] is the first one to start that wave off and really introduce people to the sound. I’ve dabbled with that before, but I think this one is the heaviest I’ve gone into that sound so far. 

E: Okay, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing that sound evolve. I know we have to wrap it up, so my last question is: what’s next after Henny & Bacardi 2?

I: After this, I’ve got this really fun song called “What The Hell.” It’s something I think a lot of people are going to be able to relate to, while they’ll still be able to have fun with it too. Kind of embodying the whole Pop Drill [sound] I’m going for. And then after that, I’ve got something coming with Jamie Dolan. It’s this short film/music video project we’ve had in the tuck for a long time. But I think by then, it’ll be the right time to drop it. 

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