Please introduce yourself to our readers
I am Don Trapović The Smooth Suave Serbian Super Villain AKA Traphouse Tattooer AKA Trapavelli The Slavic Internet Sensation Inspiration For A Generation. The one who brought the new vibes to the forefront. Globalising a movement connecting worldwide.
What was the most important thing that happened to you this past year?
Deeper philosophical answer is that some things have happened that I may not know the value of until life unfolds later revealing to me its importance. It’s done shit like that in the past, you never know what shit really means till it plays out. Determinism. All the shit is meant to be and what was meant for me will be. My personal feelin of what the most important shit that’s happened to me this year is an acknowledgment of self, I realised fully that I couldn’t give a fuck about nothing, I’m on my shit, doin what the fuck my heart feels and that’s what it will be. I ain’t adhering to fuck all, ain’t tryna please or play to no one, I don’t do nothin I don’t wanna do, I’m tryna live my movie as close to what I want it to be as possible.
Originating from London, how has that influenced your life and how does it inform your craft? Majorly, I think London has given me so many influences from all typesa weird angles an unorthodox places. Fuck, this city is unlike anywhere else in the world. I’ve spent the past coupla years travelling with this shit and seeing the world some more, realising how much of an impact London has had on me, it’s in me; I feel I exist as a part of it. I'm like a walking talking Big Ben. Monumental vibes, haha nah for real i feel like it’s in my DNA. Whatever I created has tangible traces of London threaded throughout it, my music or my art or whatever I’m creating.
When and why did you start tattooing?
I always liked tattoos, I got tattooed up to fuck when I was young. To be honest the idea to chase it like i did was out of spite in 2016 I got dumped by someone I thought I loved coz she couldn’t be with a criminal that was never going to amount to anything other than a gangster doing gangster shit.
I always knew deep down I was capable of more, just never had that push and drive to do something positive and legal above board shit. Plot twist, she came crawling back in the DMs talkin bout how she regrets leaving blah blah blah but it’s too late now, I’m on my way up ;)
What is your favourite part about tattooing? Your least favourite? Why?
My favourite part is the connection I make with the fuckin' Gs that come to get my art on their skin permanently, that’s a big thing, I fully appreciate that, it’s a real humbling thing, such a achievement for me. I value it a lot, like, it’s got to the point the shit I’ve worked on for so long an out my heart an soul into has got people all over the world wanting to put it on them. That’s fuckin sick, like for real, I fully fully rate that. My least favourite thing is this lockdown where I can’t do it. I miss it.
What makes you the people’s champ?
Moral integrity. I could ring off a list of shit, but I think the fact I haven’t is more important. I ain’t gotta try convince no one. Them neeks who have no integrity, no morals, no values. They fear me, they know I know what they’re up to. I’m cut from a different cloth. Rarer to find people that keep it real than most of everyone who’s out here desperate for some glits n glamour bullshit, fuckn idiots. I think they got some insecurities and inner issues or some shit like that.
If you had a choice to stop wearing masks with no consequences, would you get rid of them or no? why?
Ooooooh this is a deeper one, I think right now while I’m underground and still building my foundation, wearing a mask protects a vulnerability. I’d say it’s only a matter of time till I get in a better position as a business as an artist as whatever it is I am. Then the mask will come off an I’ll be out there, fully.
When did you first decide you were gonna have a go at music?
Have a go at music haha kinda condescending way to ask bout mans craft, for fuck sake. I been making music from a kid, youth club times after school makin beats n shit, doin grime bars n that. I’ve always kept a laptop or something to make beats on my whole life, it’s only now that I’ve got a little attention for my other shit that it’s even given a little light to my passion for music. I will always be a musician over a tattooer but I’m known for tattoos, not music, at this point.
We read somewhere you said “I'm grime culture, not tattoo culture.” Can you explain? Kinda continuing on from my last answer. I don’t feel like I’m tattoo culture, i didn’t come up in it, I wasn’t part of it, I started off tattooin out a hotel room I was livin in n trappin from, had my laptop making music there too, just felt like what I was part of was more connected to grime than to anything else. It’s hard to articulate coz it’s a feeling. Even now, I don’t feel like I’m tattoo culture. I fully feel like a separate entity closer associated to music than anything else.
You’ve been pretty open about your past in drug dealing etc. How did you transition from your old life to your new life?
Creative shit took up more n more of my time leaving no time for any of that shit. I don’t have any negative feelings about my past hustles, I don’t like how certain people talk bout it like it’s a fuckn bad thing, I’m not shy or ashamed about what I did, I am who I am and did what I did, I’ll say it with my chest. Fuck the people that have a problem with it, they don’t understand, through their ignorance they have their little judgments, I couldn’t give a fuck less bout em. I know the real ones connect with what I do. Some middle class cunt from the suburbs wants to chat shit on a forum. Fuckem. They can suck my big thick long dick. I do what I love, I did what I had to do. You can’t judge a man on assumptions, you don’t know the full picture.
What is the best advice ever given to about your line of work?
Accumulated advice from a lot of people and places, a summary of it all would just be focus. Focus is important, you don’t realise how important it is while you’re distracted, hear nothing from no one else but your own self, bare opinions bare comments whatever fuck em. Fuck anyone else’s idea of what you should be doing, you do you for you, not for them. I’ve always been aware that my journey is my own and will be at my pace, I can’t judge myself in comparison I can’t base my happiness on my idea of success, I can’t control anything other than what I’m doing, so I focus on what I want to do and do it. Fully, whole heartedly, put my soul into it and do it. Fuck everything else.