Photo courtesy Midwxst
ON THE SURFACE, Edgar Sarratt III seems like a typical Indy-area teenager. A Park Tudor graduate, the 18-year-old’s favorite pastimes growing up included going to the Indianapolis 500, competing with friends at White River Paintball, and watching sunsets in Carmel cul-de-sacs.
When he’s not doing normal kid stuff, however, Sarratt III stays busy making hyperactive rap music under the moniker of Midwxst. With more than 475,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Sarratt III released his latest EP, Back in Action, on the internationally acclaimed label Geffen Records in August. Slated to perform dates in Chicago and Los Angeles later this month, Midwxst will also head to Las Vegas in November, appearing alongside acts like Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott at the massive Day N Vegas hip-hop festival.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Sarratt III moved around a lot in his younger years before eventually landing in Carmel about a decade ago. Although music was always playing around the house throughout his childhood, Sarratt III says he never really tried his hand at it until attending Park Tudor.
“I met a bunch of friends who were musically talented there,” Sarratt III says. “It was a really cool environment because it jump-started me in liking music as a whole.”
As part of Park Tudor’s fine arts requirement, Sarratt III played trumpet in the school band from sixth grade to sophomore year. “I was a band kid,” Sarratt III says. “Not really the band kid that people know who was the weird one or anything like that, but I was definitely in the band.”
After butting heads with a teacher, Sarratt III decided to move on from school band his junior year, shifting focus to his own music instead. Early on, the rapper and producer says his songs fit more of an old school hip-hop mold.
“I grew up listening to Nas and N.W.A. Wu-Tang was a big one too,” Sarratt III says. “I was like, ‘I want to be able to tell stories.’”
Fast forward to 2020, when Sarratt III released his breakout song, “Trying.” Marked by its catchy verses and supercharged choruses, the song quickly gained steam, giving the world a proper introduction to Midwxst’s electronic-infused rap sound.
“That song went absolutely nuclear because it had been on YouTube’s Explore page,” Sarratt III says. “It jumped up from 200,000 views to 756,000. I was just blessed, man. I started gaining social interactions and all these things I never expected.”
During this time, Sarratt III was without a manager, so his mother Karin helped the budding artist sort through next steps like signing with a record label. “Imagine getting home from school. You’re about to go upstairs and do homework, and Mom’s like, ‘We have a Zoom with (insert label here),’” Sarratt III says. “It was a weird point in time, but it was also an exciting time because it made me realize, ‘Oh my god. People like my music so much that they want to give me an even bigger platform for it.’” Now, even though he has a manager, Sarratt III says his parents still play a crucial role in steering his music career.
“Whenever I have a show, you’ll see my parents go with me,” Sarratt III says. “My mom critiques me every now and then, like, ‘Okay. You yelled a little bit too loud at this point and the microphone was distorted.’ It makes me better than before, so I love to hear it.”
Since signing with Geffen Records, Sarratt III has found a team that also supports him like family. “It doesn’t feel like we have Zoom meetings—it feels like we’re all sitting at a big table in somebody’s room,” he says. “It’s a place of acceptance. Everybody can be themselves, and they care for me personally.”
Following the release of his Back in Action EP, Sarratt III has gotten back out into the world for some live performances, encountering many of his supporters for the first time since coming to fame during the COVID-19 pandemic. While recently in New York, for example, Sarratt III was approached by a fan who recognized him at the Krispy Kreme in Time Square.
“We were waiting in line, about to get some food, and someone was like, ‘Yo. Is that Midwxst?’ Every single time that’s happened, it’s been nuts,” Sarratt III says. “It just makes me feel so good.”
Currently studying Audio Engineering Technology as a freshman at Belmont University, Sarratt III is balancing schoolwork with his music career, touring on the weekends as he works to achieve two goals at once.
“College is such an important thing to me because I grew up working so hard for it,” he says. “I’m not just going to be like, ‘Yeah, my music career is poppin’. Screw it, I’m out.’ That’s just not how I operate.”
As he continues working his way up the ladder in the music industry, Sarratt III hopes his songs can have a greater impact on those in his generation searching for peace of mind. “I want my music to touch millions of other people,” he says. “Even though I may already have that many streams, I want to build my fanbase up to a point where I can help kids understand that it’s OK to be vulnerable and talk about how they feel. If they have problems that they can’t talk about, there’s always another option than what you may be thinking.”
As he continues reaching larger and larger audiences, the multi-talented artist has no plans to shy away from his Midwestern roots either.
“If I can do that while still putting on for Indiana and still being myself, it’s the least I can do,” he says.