Sometimes it can feel like artists move through the world in their own bubble, orbiting around each other but never touching, especially in hip-hop when biting and copying is a cardinal sin. But the truth is, music isn’t made in a vacuum. Everything is a re-arrangement and remix of what’s come before, and the best artists know how to draw on a world of influences and experiences and mold them into their own sound. That’s why we’ve started Real Recognize Real, a new interview series dedicated to talking to artists about the real music and people that inspire them.
Just this morning I was driving when Fragile came on and I'm not going to front, I definitely had a "I TOTALLY KNOW THAT GUY ON THE RADIO!!" moment. It's now been more than eight years since we first featured Wrekonize and the band he's a part of, ¡MAYDAY!, and in that time he's continued to gain recognition not only for his skills as a rapper, but as the world heard on Fragile and songs like Here, as a songwriter and singer. So who does Wrekonize recognize as some of the other artist out there who deserve your ear? Read on...
Who is the first artist or group that you remember hearing, which motivated you to pursue a career in music?
My parents are big music heads. Both played in bands and were songwriters. They "took me" to shows while I was still in the womb and immediately when I was old enough to properly attend. First show I can remember going to was a Duran Duran show, followed by Peter Gabriel, and then a Pink Floyd show with Roger Waters. If I had to cite an inspiration for who made me want to pursue music it would have to be my mother and father. [They] both held music in such high regard and recorded and performed music with such a passion, it was quite infectious and as long as I can remember I had caught the bug.
What was the last full-length album you listened to... from start to finish, uninterrupted?
"Nabuma Rubberband," by Little Dragon.
For you, what makes for a complete listening experience?
Really being away from distractions is key. Most of the time headphones in a quiet spot does the trick. But I'm also a fan of driving to ingest my music. Nothing like a late night drive on empty streets with an album to properly experience it all.
Name a fellow new school artist, whose music you're currently listening to and would recommend to others.
Why did you choose Isaiah Rashad? What about his music is attractive?
I'm big into a lot of what's coming from TDE right now. I also love SZA's last few drops. It's a refreshing style, musically. It's nice to find a pocket of artists together who speak to you on multiple levels like their camp is doing right now.
Fill in the blank: I would lose my sh*t if I found out that _______ would like to collaborate with me on a record.
Name an occupation outside of the recording industry that you respect and think would be fulfilling in the absence of musical creativity.
Something in film. Either editing or writing.
What do you have coming up in the next few months, which you'd like your fans and our readers to be up on?
We just released our collabo album with MURS, "MURSDAY." We have some new videos on the way and we'll be hitting the road for a big fall tour. And of course, more music is definitely on the way.
[Nathan S. is the managing editor of The DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. He also occasionally talks in podcast form and appears on RevoltTV. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]