Fatell, the Los Angeles hip-hop artist and radio personality is making waves in the music industry with his upcoming release, “Resilient” on April 14th. Known for his positive vibes, high energy, and magnetic smile, Fatell is not just an MC but also the CEO of Frenzee Broadcasting Radio / Podcast network. His journey into the world of music and radio hosting began in Lancaster, California, where he kickstarted his career as the face of the popular Kaliente Show on 100.9 FM KRAJ.

Despite facing a challenging upbringing with an alcoholic father and a mother caught in the midst of his struggle, Fatell found solace in channeling his childhood anger into his passion for music. Inspired by legendary artists like Notorious B.I.G., Run DMC, LL Cool J, and others, Fatell honed his craft by studying their lyrics and messages. He discovered a love for hip-hop and began battling against local MCs, using his talent to create music that uplifted and inspired others.

Recognized as the Socially Conscience Artist of the Year in 2015 by Power 106 FM and the KHCIA Foundation, Fatell has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the industry. His partnership with Willie Norwood, Sr. and a distribution deal with multi-Platinum producer Donald XL Robertson have further solidified his position as a rising star. In addition to his music career, Fatell also served as a brand ambassador for Vlado Footwear, using his platform to give back to the community through shoe giveaways and initiatives to support the homeless.

As Fatell gears up for the release of “Resilient” and continues to make his mark in the world of music and radio, his story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity. From battling against personal challenges to creating feel-good music that resonates with audiences, Fatell’s journey is an inspiring example of turning obstacles into opportunities for growth and success.

In this interview, Fatell discusses how music turned his life around, how his name, Fatell came about, and how he is on a mission to leave behind a deep and impactful legacy of positivity for the masses. 

How did your name Fatell come about?

I came up earlier in my years as a battle rapper in this industry. I was a young teenager when I watched 8-Mile, and I was really inspired by Eminem. I was kind of like the outcast growing up in school and the class clown. So, as a rebel and someone that was kind of going down a destructive path as a teenager, I looked to music as a way to cope with all of that anger. I was able to put everything into a constructive form through music. Fatell came from a video game called Fatal Fury. I originally got Fatell from that. I just liked the whole name of the game because I couldn’t come up with anything else. With time, I just dropped the Fury and then it just became Fatell. I was working with a lot of artists in the inner city at the time that embraced me. This was back when it was a little harder to get into the studio than how it is nowadays. So, I was able to find a studio in Compton, California and I was able to go back and forth from Lancaster to Compton and get in there. When people started embracing me in the studio, they started calling me Young Fatell. As I got older, I got rid of the word young and then it just stayed Fatell. I would even say Fatell in my raps, I just put a flip on fatal, like, fatality, which is like another video game saying from Mortal Kombat. It’s like a finishing move in the game. It’s not like I’m dark or anything, but it’s just more like I kill what I do and that’s kind of how it all came together up to now. 

Can you tell us about your journey from Lancaster, California to becoming a hip-hop artist and radio personality in Los Angeles?

Oh man, just being an MC. MC means you move the crowd. So, I never had a vision or a goal to become a radio personality in my younger years where I was strictly just driven to being an artist. And I would say in that journey, it was all about me staying consistent. This is why it feels really good to come back with this album now because I didn’t put my music on hold—I’ve still been doing it consistently over the years, I never stopped. But the radio stuff over the past years is really what’s opened a lot of opportunities for me and connected me with a lot of things in this industry. It opened me up to working with more brands and getting more partnerships and things like that, and just having more value to even go to other artists and say, “Hey, I have a platform now that will help give you a place to highlight your abilities and your skills.” I enjoy music regardless of whether I’m hosting or if I’m creating music.  I love being able to move the crowd with a microphone.

Tell us what to expect from your new release on April 14th.

Oh man, the title speaks for itself. It definitely represents my resilient state of mind and my ability to just withstand everything that has been thrown in my path over the years to where I’m at now. I’m coming up on my 36th birthday this year and I can’t even believe it.  I’ve been on this journey more than half my life. I started music when I was 15 years old. I really went all in, put my life on the line, and I sacrificed everything. I’m so proud of “Resilient.” It just solidifies what I’m about and what I’m here to do. What I’m here to do is bigger than myself and it’s bigger than music. So, it’s just really the kind of energy that Nipsey was pushing, like, with the marathon energy that you gotta keep pushing type of energy. We can’t give up and we need to inspire others and strive for greatness.

Let’s talk about your style. You stand out…how would you describe your own personal style?

I’m a big kid. You know, honestly, that’s why I’m still doing it. In fact, that’s the only reason I’m still doing it because I still have fun. I love what I do. I still really hone into what originally got me into this in the first place when I started at 15 years old. So, it’s really important that you have love for what you do because unfortunately this side of the business can get crazy. Sometimes you can get drained from the things that really inspired you in the first place. So, for me, I always stay connected with the root of why I am doing this.

Could you elaborate on your partnership with Willie Norwood, Sr. and how it has influenced your work in the music industry?

Willie really became a good friend of mine over the years, outside of even working together. He was a big supporter of mine in my younger years with connecting me to people. He’s Ray J’s and Brandy’s father. He came up in the church and he’s an amazing vocalist himself. He teaches vocals to other up and coming singers as well. In general, he has a lighthearted spirit and genuine energy. He just embraced me immediately and he put me right in the position. He connected me with my main partner, Donald XL Robertson. I want to shout him out as well. He helped to get me my own record label, my distribution, and connected me to Master P for the No limit Latin division we’re doing together as well. So, I just want to shout out Willie because he’s been very influential in my career. He has always given me positive support and it’s appreciated. 

Being named the Socially Conscientious Artist of the Year in 2015 is a significant achievement. How has this recognition influenced your music and community involvement?

Well, I would say it put more of a light on me. I got connected more with people like Christine Devine, a news anchor in Los Angeles, who I became really good friends with. More people started getting involved and began telling me that they loved what I was doing and the positive message behind it all. When we live in this negative world, and then someone comes along with some positivity, a lot of people choose to embrace that because we’re already so clouded with negative vibes everywhere. That’s always been kind of my thing, socially conscious energy, staying positive, and finding a way to be grounded. I like to do that through the music, and I bridge the gaps of racial barriers, of religious backgrounds, or whatever it may be. I feel like that’s my biggest ability—influencing the culture in a positive way to be able to bring people together that typically wouldn’t be in the same room.  I have the ability to bring those people together and find that common ground. I’m very strategic in how I do that.

As a brand ambassador for Vlado Footwear, could you share more about your community initiatives such as shoe giveaways and feeding the homeless?

Yeah, so Vlado is amazing. They actually shut down not too long ago. They were around for a long time, but they hit the end of their peak, but I want to shout them out because they were around for so many years. Vlado footwear was really instrumental in the beginning of my young career. There was a year where I couldn’t even afford to stay fly for the events and get brand new shoes and they always got behind me by supporting and sponsoring me with shoes, clothes, jackets, and whatever I needed. They made sure I was able to appeal to the masses. They always did that for me. It got to a point where they were giving me all their leftover shoes. They had extra shoes they would have from the warehouse, and I would go out to different organizations, churches, or different public places to find people in the street, homeless people and just randomly walk up and give them a brand-new pair of shoes. We were doing that for a good amount of time to be a blessing to others in the streets. 

Growing up in a challenging environment, how has your personal story shaped the positive and uplifting vibe that defines your music and performances today? 

That’s a great question. Honestly, that’s a deep question. I would say a lot of the previous stuff I mentioned as far as what got me into this as far as my anger and some of the stuff I had going on as a kid did shape me. Music gave me a way to channel all of that. So, I would say this has been a positive thing because it’s helped me have that voice to share things in a positive way to other people. I have all that hurt and pain, and I think that’s always been a driving force for my passion. When I say real deep things it’s relatable because I’m being transparent and I’m ok with talking about those things because I feel there’s not enough people doing that through music. If I’m able to do that and then use my childhood energy and still never lose sight of why I’m doing it, it’s a win for everyone. 

What is something that your friends and fans may not know about you?

Oh man. It would be probably catch people off guard. They would never believe it, but as much as I’m a social butterfly, I try to alienate myself from the world sometimes. I like going on hikes, take long drives, and I like going to the beach. I like doing things that are away from people when I’m not in the mix. I’m like, man, I’m gonna go off the grid for a minute. When I have to do some thinking or spiritual searching, there’s a saying that talks about being still. I have to let the world revolve around me and just be calm and trust the process of what God is doing. Like sometimes in those moments, I like to be by myself. A lot of people wouldn’t believe that because they see me being so busy. It’s just part of what I do and how I deal with everything in my life. So, having that ability to disconnect and then reconnect when I need to, is important.

Tell us about your radio show.

So, I’m a host of a syndicated radio show. It’s called the After Party radio show and I started it some years back, I originally was on Dash radio with DJ Ski and in Hollywood.  From there I kind of took it to another level. Then the pandemic happened and the whole world shut down. Everybody started to get into podcasting and all that, so it started as a podcast during the pandemic. I grew it into a radio show where we were doing the iheart radio platform as well. Now I have multiple stations that we have syndicated on FM and we’re growing the station’s outreach. It comes on every Sunday. I interview a lot of celebrities and different people about the culture. It could be a celebrity, it could be an artist, it could be a politician, it could be a social figure, a brand owner, there is no limit. A lot of people that know me as Fatell are shocked that I’m dropping music because if they didn’t know me from the beginning and where I started, they’re like thinking I’m just a radio guy. That’s why I’m so happy to drop this project and show the world what I got coming up. 

Any other shoutouts you want to give?

I want to shout you out for the amazing job you did. I really appreciate top tier journalism. I really do, and I want to shout you out. I want to shout out God, I want to shout out everyone that’s been supportive of my journey up until this point right here. I want to shout out my mom, my kids, just everybody. I also want to shout out the underdogs out there because great things are definitely possible. Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot make your dreams happen. It takes hard work, dedication, and resilience, be resilient. Everything is possible. Don’t take no as an acceptable answer. Go get it. 

How do you personally define success?

Success is based off your family, your loved ones, your legacy, your kids, and the ability to be able to provide for them. It’s not even always about the financial part of it, obviously that’s important, but it’s providing them with something that’s different and something that will be a long-lasting legacy. Something that they can move on with even after you’re gone. That’s really what I’m focused on doing, leaving a legacy behind bigger than myself, something much larger than me that is going to influence so many people. I’m gonna do it to the day I die, like I’m all in on that mission.

Interviewing Fatell was an inspiring and eye-opening experience. His resilience, passion for music, and dedication to making a positive impact on others shine through in every word he speaks. From overcoming personal challenges to using his platform for social good, Fatell is a true embodiment of strength and artistry. As he prepares to release “Resilient” and continue his journey in the music industry, there is no doubt that his uplifting spirit and unwavering determination will continue to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression on the world.

To learn more about Fatell, follow him on Instagram.

Photo Credit: Aquino Courtesy of Frenzee Broadcasting & Eric Epperson