South Florida-bred artist POORSTACY lives outside the bounds of genre or style, relentlessly following his instincts to create a sound all his own. Working with producers like Nick Mira (Juice WRLD, Post Malone), the 20-year-old rapper and longtime guitarist infuses his infectious melodies and captivating beats with the energy of live instrumentation, mining inspiration from hip-hop and punk and even heavy metal. And in his lyrics, POORSTACY delivers a raw outpouring of feeling, bravely revealing his struggles with anxiety and isolation and steadily building an unbreakable bond with his audience.
“I’m doing all this because I love connecting with other people and helping them understand themselves better,” says POORSTACY, who signed to TenThousand Projects in early 2019. “I feel like I’m getting more and more comfortable with expressing how I feel without any filter, and I want to keep on being as transparent as possible.”
Born Carlito Milfort, Jr., POORSTACY grew up in Palm Beach and learned to play guitar from his father as a little kid. “There was always all kinds of music and instruments around my house,” he says. “I always loved rock music and punk because it’s just pure melody—that’s where most of my inspiration came from when I was younger.” From the age of 12, POORSTACY immersed himself in writing and recording his own material, eventually forming a band and playing local shows. “After a while I started introducing my band to the rap shit I was doing and they’d play it live, and it was just crazy,” he recalls. As he built up his body of work, POORSTACY soon gained a major following, thanks in part to tracks like “make up”—a March 2019 release that racked up over 35K SoundCloud plays in under 24 hours.
With his artist name nodding to legendary skater Stacy Peralta (who found fame as a member of the iconic Z-Boys in the mid-1970s), POORSTACY draws inspiration from all eras and art forms and disciplines, including everything from art-house horror films to the study of biological philosophy. Listing artists as eclectic as British alt-rock band Arctic Monkeys and rap-metal group Slipknot among his influences, he’s now focused on elevating his sound and introducing a more expansive and cinematic element, partly by adding more organic instrumentation with the help of his band. (“Playing with my band is the most ecstatic I ever get,” he notes. “It’s me being able to bring all my friends together, like one big family.”) In that process, POORSTACY has reinforced the free- form spontaneity he’s long brought to his creative output. “Everything I do is very in-the- moment—it’s all based on the frequencies and the emotions I’m feeling at the time,” he says. “I’m just trying to let things breathe and be as free as possible.”
As he continues to evolve and push his artistry even further, POORSTACY’s ultimate goal is to leave a powerful and positive impact on his listeners. “I make music partly to try and figure out things that I might need to get over or change, old ways of being that I need to finally let go of,” he explains. “When people listen to these songs, I want them to come to a better understanding of their own emotions, but I also just want them to just feel in general: feel the vibration, feel the frequencies, feel the tone—just sit back and let themselves feel everything.”