Monday, November 18, 2013

Artist Spotlight: R.O

    Recently I was able to get together a Q & A session with Charlotte, NC rapper R.O. He is extremely gifted in making music and is gearing up for some great releases coming soon. Links will be posted following the article that will direct you to places where you can hear his music! I hope you enjoy this read, because R.O is a really great artist, and a great and genuine guy.

First off introduce yourself to everyone
R.O) If you're reading this you're about to get put on to one of the best underground M.C's out... me! Haa but thank you for checking this out I go by R.O. Poughkeepsie, NY & Charlotte, NC's finest. Shouts to everyone rockin with me. S/O Soul Survivor Ent, MTTS, Team Beats & Byroniks.

Where are you from and when did you get into rapping?
R.O) I'm from Poughkeepsie NY aka Power Kingdom. It's a small town in upstate NY about a hour from NYC; shout out my people in the 845. I started rhyming in middle school with my boy S.I. We'd write raps in class and cypher after school. Around that time I just started listening to hip hop. I wasn't taking rapping seriously it was something we did for fun when we weren't playing ball or chasing shorties.
Who were your influences when you first started rapping and have those influences changed?
R.O) I was influenced by 2Pac man. The 1st album I ever copped was R U Still Down Remember Me? I didn't really "get" what he represented until I got older then incorporated that into my music. Early on The Lox, Jay Z, Dipset, Cash Money & No Limit influenced my rhymes. Back then I was rhyming about shit I didn't do until I got older. Alot of materialistic rhymes about ice that I rocked that was fake. Of course alot of punchlines & battle raps. To be real my music was more generic then cuz simply I didn't know better. Getting older my influences changed to Nas, Lupe Fiasco & Andre 3000. Just the way they incorporated imagery, story telling & views that weren't typical made me more interested in there music. Me maturing and dealing with different situations changed my direction musically. Listening to my music now you can hear their influences.

Since you're from the north, but reside in the south, does that have any influence on your music?
R.O) Somewhat but for the most part I'm staying true to my roots. You'll always hear that NY influence with my delivery & flows. A lot of my records don't have a sound that's catered to a specific region tho; they're catered to people who love hip hop period. I can't front when people hear "Big City Bright Lights" they'll be surprised I took it there on that one...

What do you do to separate yourself from every other rapper?
R.O) I'm telling MY story. This is the soundtrack to my life & the people I know. I'm not trying to emulate anyone else in my music. Most of these rappers talk about the same bullshit that means nothing. My music is so versatile & I touch on topics that most don't. Most rappers can't put out a album solely about relationships without it sounding generic & then dropping a straight up hip hop album that's unlike the majority of releases today.

Any upcoming projects and how are you going to make sure that they take off?
R.O) I have 2 new projects being released this year. The 1st is Love Defies Gravity dropping November 30th for free download. That project is a story about meeting someone, falling in love, not being ready for the responsibility of maintaining that love & wanting a second chance. It's a smooth project & a lot of songs about fucking to be real. It's something different from me musically. I never wanted to be one dimensional. The 1st single "Love All Night" produced by Young Zack has been getting a great response & being played on several online radio stations.

In terms of how they're going to take off I have a few ideas in mind. Shout out to my supporters they're already anticipating both projects. Of course videos & shows through out December into the new year. I've aligned myself with some great people who will be helping me in a few different ways. Shout out to Ty Bru & MTTS, Boss Lady, DJ KG, Soul Survivor Ent & Tilted, who executive produced both projects. We have a few opportunities on the table that I won't discuss until everything is finalized but they look promising. I will be performing in Charlotte & Atlanta. I will also be going to the Bronx to Diamond District Studios to build with some great people.

What do you feel is keeping you from elevating your career and how do you plan on overcoming that?
R.O) I think it's about exposure. Finding the platform where my music can be heard by the masses is always the challenge for Indie artists. My music's been dope it's just about reaching more people. Anyone who really fucks with hip hop will be a fan of my music. My team is reaching out to different outlets to get more exposure online & also at major shows. Networking is huge and that's something I've been focusing on. I've been grinding & it's about sticking to it.

In 5 years where do you see your career?
R.O) Multiple classic projects under my belt. Touring, a larger fanbase & living off my music financially.

What so far has been the highest point of your career?
R.O)There's a few high points that I've had but what means the most to me is when people really feel a song that I put out. I've had people from all over the country and overseas show love telling me how they can relate to my music. My younger brother is autistic & I've had someone tell me that he has a relative in his family who's autistic also. He said that my lyrics in "Due For Reimbursement" about my brother really touched him; that meant alot to me. No award or accolade can't amount to connecting with the people.

What's the biggest challenge about being an artist who for the most part is relatively unknown?
R.O) Like I said before it's about exposure. Some people may not want to listen because they never heard of you but it could be one of their favorite fuckin albums if they gave it a shot. Most people now just pay for the name of a big artist & rightfully so. If they've put the work in they already have that fanbase that will support. But at the same time they can put out a mediocre album and people will still buy it because it's *insert overrated rapper here who fell off* album. Besides that I'm good. I enjoy being out in public and people not causing a riot because they see me. I get to make the music I want to make. I have 100% creative control. Alot of artists in the game can't say that. I do this because I love music especially hip hop; everything else that comes with it is a bonus.

Can you give me a little insight to your next project and how this one will be different from previous projects?
R.O) My next project I'm releasing is "Hope Inside Pandora's Box" dropping in December. It's FUCKIN DOPE. This project is a follow up to my last mixtape "Capture The Essence". There's alot of growth on this project with what I'm talking about. Even the production is different. "CTE" was sample heavy but "HIPB" has more original beats. The theme of this project is trying to find something positive in a dark world or situation. I'm telling more stories on this album & you get to know where I've been since CTE. I can't wait for people to hear songs like "Pandora's Box", "The Assassin's Bullet" & "Dreamz Deferred". The music on there will force you to think like "The Image Of Gods" for example. After HIPB I have a few tricks up my sleeve. You'll be hearing alot of new music from me & my team trust me...

*Check out R.O's music here

No comments:

Post a Comment


Created in 2013, The Under-Cover Album Review strives to bring the world quality music, by quality artists. This motto will continue to be our foundation as we move forward in time.

-Vinny Sciascia, Creator & Operator