In an exclusive WRBB interview, Raury reminds kids to read a book and why “hope is dope” while Chicago’s O’My’s hint at their upcoming project.
Both interviews were conducted by Media Team Rep, Kenneth DuMez.
You were in XXL freshmen last year, on the cover, pretty big deal. What was that experience like? Like when you first approached it, how was that?
Raury: That was one of the very little things, that I also always dreamed of, like when I was young and coming up like yo, I really wanna be up there, so yo I was extremely grateful, I couldn’t believe it, you know, especially being the artist that I am, the person that I am, you know, like I don’t really know where I fit and I’m fine with that. So, with that being said, it was an honor, it was an honor to be up there with Los Ave, Maco, Fetty, Dej.
Cause you’re a much different artist than those names that you said, cause you don’t fit into the typical Atlanta trap/rap scene. So how is that different for you when trying to establish a fanbase with your different style?
Raury: It’s not that, the things that we see as different are only different because it doesn’t get the same coverage. Cause people shouldn’t be thrown up by a kid like me coming out of Atlanta, cause there are so many kids like me there. Like Atlanta, it has a trap scene and it has like five other scenes that are just as popular. You know with the way the world works, people like the trap. You just gotta not worry about it, you just gotta fucking be you and not worry about anything else going on around you. I was born with the name Raury, you know what I’m saying, not Marcus, not Keith or Ed or something, which I wish I had. I’m used to just being a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit anywhere. And, fuck it, who the fuck said we’re supposed to fit anywhere or into any kind of genre, that’s so limiting, anybody that wants to do anything. You’re doing computer science, so well how are you going to fit into the website making, I mean that’s not, (laughs) but you can do all kinds of shit. A person who speaks to language of technology, like what the fuck, you can do what you want, so sometimes that hard look at it whenever I’m asked how do I fit into hip hop, like no, I just speak the language of art and music you know what I’m saying?
So tell me a little a bit about LVRN (Love Renaissance) and Weekend, that fest you had?
Raury: Well what I’d like to do is bring in my good old tour manager, Junior, in the conversation and have a word, cause he’s a back bone of Love Renaissance. Like Love Renaissance was pretty much the whole collective that I was was picked up by when I was like 15, but he was 19, my manager was 19, and they were all just kids in college, like you, imagine you right have a 15 year old artist. That’s what happened and now here we are.
How old are you now Junior?
Junior: 24, so, we’ve been here for a minute. But the weekend, it’s kind of like a series of events, that basically the whole idea is to give back to Atlanta in a way. There’s actually a growing scene of creative kids, much like Raury, much like myself, that are either great at music, or art, or they’re connecting with people. They’re inspired by meditation, by all types of things that are kind of like, not what you would expect from Atlanta, so that’s the whole idea of Weekend, to give those people a voice, and kind of a pool to swim in. So the Weekend consists of Raurfest, which is an actual festival, that Raury has headlined for the past three years, that’s the music portion. Last year we had Post Malone, Big K.R.I.T, Trinidad James, SZA, shit it was going on. Marie Mariba, Tunai, who was there along with Kilo Kish, and Joey Bada$$, so yeah it’s going, but that’s pretty much the weekend.
Cool, so it started two years ago? Three years ago?
Raury: The first show was just me and nobody else and I didn’t even, I never had enough money to go to a festival, let alone know what a festival was. It just sounded like a cool name so I named it Raurfest and then I go and I tour and do festivals and like hm, I have show called Raurfest next year, how are we going to do this now? So damn, it’s a festival now. So that’s crazy about how stuff just plays out when you just say it before you even know it’s realistic, you know what I’m saying? Because if I knew what a festival was, when I did my first show, I would not have called it Raurfest and I would not have had a festival, I would have been like ‘oh what the fuck’, but like I didn’t even know so I just called it Raurfest and bam look at that so you know what i’m saying, be in over your head.
Yeah that’s good advice honestly, cause a lot of people are afraid to take that jump.
Raury: And also remember, because even I forget the same shit I’m telling you right now, you know what I mean. I mean I’d be telling you read a book and you’d like really, really get some good things from it, and you just forget weeks later. I just got this book called The Book, on taboo against knowing who you are about Allan Wise, I got it from my drummer, Chris Arsenal, just to shout him out, but I’ve been checking this one out and I’m trying to digest it and get it real good so, read books.
That’s important advice, one more question, so in some of your music you have some…
Raury: Booty butt cheeks (Laughs) There a few of those.
Some booty butt cheeks and some religious influences?
Raury: (laughs) The perfect balance.
Did you, growing up, were you in a religious household or how does that sort of play into your music?
Raury: Um, me and my sister cried every morning before going to church because we really did not want to go. We cried. and I don’t even know, I didn’t even know why I didn’t like going there, it just hot and I did not want to be dressed up and…I didn’t like wearing clothes as is so like to be dressed up in a suit was just something I really didn’t want to do and all that perfume and cologne and stuff. That’s why I didn’t really like it but, I was raised in a Christian household. My mom wasn’t too gung-ho about making us go to church or reading scripture and things like that. I was just raised by only my mother so, she wasn’t around enough to enforce much anyway, I mean I kind of got away with a lot of bad shit. But I did find myself being like a very hopeful person, you know what I’m saying like, if all the atheists and out there, and all the zealots out there..first off, I believe that a lot of religions are pointing in the same direction, and doing the same things at times, and if you’re an atheist, one thing I advise you to do is have hope you know? Not hope for a God existing or anything like that, but just hope; belief if it’s in yourself or whatever cause you know, when you have no hope, all the magic is gone, all the spirit is gone and you’re just walking through, like thinking you’re just a mess of flesh. Nothing wrong with atheism at all, I just think hope is really dope. Hope is dope.”
So how did you all meet and come together as a team?
Maceo: Um…damn thats crazy. Me and the keyboard player who’s not here, Nick Hennessy, started the band like right when we got out of high school or…it wasn’t a band when we started out of high school, it was just me and him. I got some studio time and realized I didn’t have any music together or a band and he had a little bit of music and I had a little bit of music and we put it together, and then since then it’s been in and out a lot of different members, a lot of different generations, a lot of different sounds.
Because i know that you guys had a lot of brass instruments before.
Maceo: Yeah we had brass for a long time, up until last year, yeah Donnie Trumpet, JP from Kids These Days, and a whole bunch of other folks played in the band so yeah, this generation has been together for probably the last two years, with the exception of Eddie, this is his first show.
So this is your first show, wow, so how did you get involved?
Eddie: Um, I grew up looking up to these guys, and my dad taught Donnie Trumpet so when Nico was playing, his name is Nico Segal, when he was playing with them in high school my dad was teaching him at my house, so, he showed me them and I just got really into them. I’m friends with the original bassist Karlaine, and skipping a lot of stuff, I just like had a really long summer just playing a lot of music. I play a lot of music with Boyang in my group Burns Twins, which is a production duo with my twin, then I wanted to take a gap year to play with them cause they offered and I said hell yeah I’ll play with you guys, been looking up to you guys since I was like 10. You’re Chicago legends. (group laughs) Play a bunch, play a bunch in the city we love. I remember your show last winter at the Metro, that was insane.
Sold out! So growing up in the Chicago scene, and there is a big community there, cause like you said, you’re talking about some other great bands, a lot of talented people, Kids These Days, Nico, so how does that shape your sound? Growing up with all these different influences, how you guys did evolve?
Maceo: So I mean, when we first started playing in the city, there wasn’t the community that there is today. Um and that’s I think a testament to the folks that started writing and creating and making music together. Like soon after we started a couple years after and a couple years younger generally. In the past five years it’s been a dramatic change, a lot of really talented and intelligent artists that all work together, all know each other, all people that you know I grew up with or know through someone I grew up with. That has, I think, really helped shape the vibe and the sound in Chicago, mostly because of how many talented people are working. You know any day that I don’t feel inspired I go and hang out with my friends making music and go, ‘oh shit i need to get back to the lab’ and um, so, that is a lot of support. Generally in a lot of music communities you don’t have as much support like, people aren’t hating on each other or shitting on each other, people are genuinely interested in as much good music and art coming out of the city as possible and it looks like that, it sounds like it so.
Yeah most definitely, so what now, as The O’My’s in this current generation, what are your plans now? Are you gonna put out another record?
Maceo: Yeah yeah, we’re in the process of working on a new project. We actually haven’t been playing many shows at all for the past year, just working on this project so once that’s done ideally, I think it’s dropping sometime in February or, sometime like that, and so once that’s dropping we’re gonna hit the road with our new material.
So an O’My’s tour coming up, in the works?
Maceo: Yes in the works, so yeah that’s kind of the plan, finish the new material, which is a lot of different sounds, a little bit, or definitely different than previous records, but still, you know, our music, but just a lot more experimentation in the studio.
Very cool. So do you think you’ll stay in the states or you going abroad?
Maceo: Ideally get the fuck out of here (group laughs)
Kaina (manager): Before Trump becomes president (group laughs again).
Maceo: Right, right. Just trying to please as many people as possible.