In the early moments of the music video, the camera sneaks in slowly onto a rooftop where Raury Tullis is napping. A wide brimmed Sun Hat that momentarily sighs in a passing breeze covers his face. The sound of church bells is palpable even at a distance, rumbling and restless, pounding to the chorus of children playing. I was primed to expect something going into 'God's Whisper' given the cues; there's even a definition for the word 'church' and a tagline on YouTube that reads "lord have mercy on the ignorant youth".

"I haven't been in church since I was 7" says the 17 year old artist Tullis on whether or not the striking religious references he has rendered in his words make him a religious person. "I want to wake my generation up" his voice shivers slightly, "and I want to inspire them to chase their dreams and stop worrying what everybody thinks". He calls this message the "whisper" - a dramatic utopian ideal upon which he has a built a personal mythos.

In March of this year, Billboard premiered 'God's Whisper', and according to Tullis he wasn't shocked by the sudden attention, because he expected it to happen. He clicks from kid to campaigning so quickly that within minutes he's quoting Edgar Allen Poe and then brainstorming graduation pranks. If anything is clear about Tullis from speaking to him, it's that he is delightfully charming, determined and fiercely passionate about what he wants to do. We chat about how he got discovered, what's missing from Atlanta's music scene and what 'Indigo Children' are.

What were you doing when you were 17?


I see you like to spell your name in front of things, apparently your hat is called the "Raur-hat"

I love this question man - I'm a humble person and I know how far to go, but there's other sides to me too and I think I'm great so I like to put my name in front of stuff. Like "Raury Allen Poe" and "Raury Hendricks". I think it's real stupid and immature but I'm a kid.

Do you have a favourite Edgar Allen Poe quote?

"Young and love and dipped in folly I fell in love with melancholy." I probably didn't say it right.

Do you listen to a lot of somber music?

Yeah I listen to a great deal of sad music. It's the music that really connects with most people in the world 'coz it's constant therapy whether we know it or not.

I've read how old you are, but I need to hear it...

I am 17 years old born June 10th 1996.

I can actually hear my wrinkles forming. So over the last few weeks you've caught the attention of everyone from Billboard to BBC - How does this sudden fame feel?

I'll be honest, life hasn't been the same for me but I feel I've been handling it is very well. I'm not shocked because I really expected this to happen. I have been working on this project since I was 15. I could have released something then, but I kept developing and growing and getting to new points of my artistry.

How did you finally get discovered?

I go to Tucker High School, and that's the school Keri Hilson graduated from and she had family there - Kipper Hilson, and I made good friends with him. In the beginning I saved all my money and I'd catch the public transportation down to his place and pay him for that one-hour. It's where I met my current manager now, Justice Baiden. We're a young team man we're like brothers. I don't know what you call that moment but that moment I met Justice, you could say I was discovered.

How involved is Justice in shaping and molding your image?

He's my right hand man, and I go to him every time I wanna talk about anything. Like if someone follows me and I don't know who the hell they are you know because I'm uncultured, and I don't know what Huffington Post is. It really took a village to get this done, so kudos to them.

It's clear you have a variety of interests, but what was the thing that got you fired up the most?

The one thing that pushed me the hardest was Kid Cudi Man on the Moon II. I was in 9th grade and I had transferred into a school and I was really depressed and he kept me sane. When I was three years old growing up and looking at iconic people, specifically Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan - all I know is I'm gonna be that, I'm gonna bring that type of a good feeling to that many people in the world. I've always had an urge to see the world, I've been living in the same neighbourhood all my life you know.

Do you see yourself ever moving out of Atlanta?

Oh of course. I would like to go where it snows and have a nice cabin.

That's exciting you sound 85 years old! Gemini speaking?

[Laughs] As outgoing and as social as I can be I'm definitely a Gemini and I have a polar opposite side of me and like to be away from everybody sometimes. I'd like to go to Japan and Amsterdam and smoke a lot of pot you know.

Are you trying to make the awful parts of being a teenager feel beautiful?

Definitely, especially with 'Gods Whisper' it's a story about how everybody's life path isn't the same. I want to wake my generation up; I want to inspire them to chase their dreams and stop worrying what everybody thinks, and to just follow that whisper.

Explain the Atlanta music scene to me - what's missing from it?

What I think missing right now is authenticity and sheer creativity. It is there because you have Future who I believe is a genius and Young Thug and they bring it in an urban way. It's just so over saturated with urban content. You can come to a concert and they play something and the people don't even enjoy the music they just sit there and look around and bob their heads and pretend to have a good time. I feel Atlanta is lacking something overwhelming, something shocking, fresh and frikkin' cool and dope. Most people follow in the footsteps of the past, the 'Kings of Atlanta', like Gucci, TI, Luda and there hasn't been anyone to break that on Atlanta's abstract side and I think someone else needs to come out with a modernized version of that because. I feel as if I am that.

Is that where the concept of the Indigo Child comes from?

It started on the Internet I'd be seeing special star children popping out at random, from outer space. One thing I really believe is happening in the world is the shift of the Internet age and that's what these indigo children are - people grew up with this unlimited source of information in their face. Some people use all that info to their advantage and they become very great at what they do, like me I learned how to play the guitar over the Internet, but I feel like people still look down on us.

Do you feel people have judged you before?

Yeah of course - I don't like people who straight up write reports about me and call me a rapper, I'm like did you not hear that song?

You're now also getting to work with some big names, I see DJ Swivel is mixing something for you and are you going to be working with Mac Miller?

It's not set in stone for sure, he just wants to hang out during Spring Break we just gonna vibe you know.

Tell me about your collaboration with SBTRKT

I don't think he wants people to know.

Didn't he recently say something about God's Whisper?

I been working with him in New York and we were talking and he was telling me about how he likes to keep the mystique of every artist on some of his features so people can really search for this person. He just wants to keep it until the album drops at least. So I'm just keeping that in mind.

How was the experience of working with him?

Aaron is a cool guy we actually have a lot in common as far as our personalities and how we look at things. I like that about him because those kinds of people are rare.

What subjects do you tackle with the new EP?

There's a lot of concepts about progressive different crazy ass music that's more along the lines of 'God's Whisper', really groundbreaking and different you know it's never been heard before and there are some really easy listens for instance like 'Bloom' - did you hear 'Bloom'?

I actually heard it after Gods Whisper, which I was quite happy about as it shows such a different side of you. How have your family and friends reacted to your sudden fame?

My sister was a complete douchebag she's a lot nicer now. Overall everyone has been normal, it's more the strangers, but my mom has become more protective, She's staying on me double headed about school she wants to make sure I graduate, you know I wanna graduate too of course.

When do you graduate? What are you going to do on your last day?

May 23rd I believe and lord knows I'm glad you asked me that 'coz I got to begin plotting. I was thinking of my senior prank and what I would do, I had this one idea: the water facility is right up the street from the school and if I could get enough seniors to put in to buy $1000 worth of Kool-Aid and put that in the schools water supply, but all my ideas would have me locked up for a long time.

You can visit Raury by heading here.