The Power Rangers franchise is always growing in unexpected ways, and that extends to the world of music. We're not just talking about a new theme for the show either, as Power Rangers Ninja Steel's very own Red Ranger William Shewfelt has teamed up with Hip Hop artist ATO Worldwide to create a brand new track called Rising Son, and you can check out the new track in the music video above from Crimson Vision Studios. As you can see, Shewfelt, who played Brody in Ninja Steel and Super Ninja Steel, seems right at home in the studio, and ATO Worldwide is no stranger to the franchise either, making this quite the team-up. ComicBook.com had the chance to chat with Shewfelt and ATO all about the song, the upcoming EP, and what led to this partnership in the first place, and it all started with ATO's love of the Power Rangers franchise.
"I'm day one MMPR alumni graduate," ATO said. "I'm from Angel Grove. I'm a big fan brother. It got me through depression, I used to suffer from depression when I was 14, 15 and it got me through, it literally got me through. I am a fan of the brand. I love Power Rangers, I can tell you front to back, who did what, why they did that, who should be doing it, I can tell you that. Something that I've always wanted to do was to attach myself and add to the universe, and when I met Will, I just told him, 'Brother, I'm a fan of your season dude, I like you. You have a voice and I think you have the potential to do this.' He was like, 'Okay, cool,' but this is after he told me that he wanted to hop on the track because originally I was just going to make the song for him. His marketing stuff, his businesses, everything he does, I wanted to just give it to him because I liked him, he's a dope dude."
Shewfelt wanted to actually be a part of the song though, and ATO was all for it. "He hits me up and says, "Oh, hey man, I want to hop on this song,' and in my mind, the Scooby-Doo thing pops in my head, I'm like 'are you serious? You can do it!' So he comes down, I book the studio, he does the session, and let me tell you, I knew I was right. This dude comes down and he buried it. I was so impressed, and it didn't stop here, as we have more songs. The way that he can take direction, he is growing, he's so anxious. He's always hitting me up every day, like what's the next thing? What are we going to do with this beat? I love that, and I've created a monster."
"I'm happy with that though," ATO said. "He's William Shewfelt Brody. Everyone knows him. He's the workout guru, he's the inspiration master, he's all those things and then he does that. I told him, it's going to be expected for people to be shocked because it's not BS. It's dope, it's organic. There's more to come, and I'm truly honored. I'm happy every day, man, we talk every day, and it's like a dream."
ATO started weaving in things he liked into his music early on and eventually started bringing his love of Power Rangers into the fold as well, but it stands apart from other mashup endeavors.
"I started with anime, fashion, and sneakers all that great stuff, and those are the things that made me happy. I used to incorporate all of those things that made me happy into my music, and the thing is, typically when a person makes a song about something that they love, it's always something ... and I hate this, and I don't mean any disrespect by it, but it always comes out like super corny," ATO said. "You don't take it seriously. When a person knows how to actually rap, and they write, and they love music, they know how it works and then on the flip side, pop culture, you know how pop culture works. We all love the stuff that the majority of people that grew up in our time are afraid to admit that they love it until another person that's cool says 'oh, hey', and then it is the it thing. Because now the forefront of films is all pop culture."
As for Shewfelt, he's been a fan of Hip Hop for quite some time as well and is pretty in line with ATO on that front. "In terms of musical inspirations or rap inspirations, I mean, it's crazy but ATO and I actually linked up on quite a few of those, like he was talking about how Rick Ross is one of his favorite rappers. Dude, I was like the only guy in college listening to Rick Ross," Shewfelt said. "So I'm a fan of his, I'm a fan of a lot of the old gangsta rap. I'm also a fan of a lot of the new guys. My musical inspirations are all over the place."
While Shewfelt loves music, there was more to his decision to jump into the studio. "The reason behind wanting to rap was, I just get little intuitions every now and then that there's something I should try and this is one of those times man, I don't know if it's God whispering in my ear or what, but ... this is one of those things where it was the last thing on my mind. I had no plans to do that, and we were just going to go through with the track and I was driving and it just popped into my head and I was like, all right, well, let's see where this road takes us. I'm very happy that I did because it was an exciting challenge and it was cool actually getting in the studio. I was thinking, man this feels just like getting into acting."
The two actually met at San Diego Comic-Con thanks to Dino Charge's Brennan Mejia, and after their chance meeting ATO sent Shewfelt his Shattered Past track, which puts a Hip Hop spin on Shattered Grid, and it didn't take long for the two to start working on a project after Shewfelt heard the song. That song was originally created for Colin Bass' Shattered Past series, and that kickstarted this crazy journey.
"Originally I reached out to him, we talked we chopped it up, and I said, I'll make a song called Shattered Past for your Shattered Past series," ATO said. "He was like, all right, cool. I'm like no, I'm dead serious." At that point, ATO made the song and sent it over, and that sent things into overdrive. "Boom! Just doing that one song, Walter Jones reached out. Blake Foster, Faunt liked it. I'm like, okay, I'm on to something."
Soon after he ran into Shewfelt at the convention, and after giving him the track to listen to it didn't take long for Shewfelt to reach out. "He hit me up just like that. Within the hour he was like, 'Brother, this song's sick.' And then I say, "'Take my number down if you ever want to do something, do some music, whatever if you down for that, whatever let me know.' He hit me, he literally texted me, and then from there, the rest is history. But that Shattered Past song opened up the door. If it wasn't for Shattered Past I wouldn't, me and you Matt, and Will, we would not be talking today. It's because of that song, and the passion that I had for it."
So, now that Rising Son is out, we had to ask about the next single, and both are incredibly excited for fans to hear it.
"Will is anxious, he's been so buzzing about this song," ATO said.
"There's a hit that song is...man, It's too damn good," Shewfelt said. "So yeah, we've got another song that we finished. We're constantly refining it because the thing is, it's got some crazy potential. Honestly, I think when people hear this they're going to be like, okay Rising Sun and Shattered Past both were amazing, but this is something else. So we're pumped about it for sure, this one's going to be good."
The good news is that even more music is on the way, as they hope to have an EP by the end of the year, and the music will definitely embody an inspirational vibe, something that is important to Shewfelt in his personal life as well.0comments
"Because a lot of my life has been about the process of setting goals, of going after things, of achieving, of being a person of character, I try to live my life by those things," Shewfelt said. "So we wanted to encapsulate those with the song. I didn't really know what the reaction would be. I thought it was a cool song and I enjoyed it, but I didn't know what the reaction would be, and people have really vibed with it so far. So we've actually completed another song, and our goal is, we're putting out this EP by the end of the year."
In the meantime, you can check out the Rising Son song and video above, and be on the lookout for more music from the duo soon. You can also check out more from our interview with the duo right here on ComicBook.com, and make sure to hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things Power Rangers! You can also find William Shewfelt on Instagram here and ATO Worldwide on Instagram here.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.