Can you share more details about your early experiences in the small home studio attic on the south side of Chicago and how it shaped your passion for music?
During my formative phase in the small home studio attic on the south side of Chicago, I dedicated many years of my adolescence to trying every type of genre and every type of instrument I could get my hands on. I was able to gig out of the attic once or twice a week playing drums at various venues in the city from age 13 to 18. The more hours I began to place in the craft, the more calls I started to receive. I was fortunate enough to catch the attention of influential mentors during my artistic journey. As I progressed, I made the decision to expand my skills into lyricism and production. It may seem like I just started in 2020 because that’s when my first release on a digital streaming platform (DSP) happened, but the reality is that I had already dedicated a significant amount of time and effort, accumulating my 10,000 hours of practice at a much earlier stage and age in life.
Your musical influences include industry giants like Pharrell, Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs, Kanye West, and Zaytoven. How have these influences contributed to the development of your unique sound, often described as “underground” with a captivating charm?
The likes of Pharrell, Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs, Kanye West, and Zaytoven have had a considerable impact on my music. There’s magic in that undeniable allure. Their styles and creativity, coupled with my personal experiences, have influenced my sound’s evolution, enabling me to create a distinct and captivating musical identity.
“Rockstar Trap Music II” delves into themes of resilience, love, and the challenges of pursuing dreams. Can you elaborate on the inspirations behind the album and how these themes are reflected in the tracks?
Let’s explore the inspirations behind each track and how these themes are reflected:
The Meeting (Prod. Temper): This track sets the tone for the album, capturing the determination and ambition to succeed despite obstacles.
Barbershop: Reflecting on personal experiences and interactions, this track touches on the importance of community and support.
Time Of My Life (Prod. Temper): Celebrating the highs and embracing the moments of joy and accomplishment in one’s journey.
Standing Ovation: A song that signifies the recognition and appreciation received for perseverance and hard work.
Protocol (feat. Juicy J) (Prod. Anno Domini Nation): Highlighting the rules and codes one follows while navigating the music industry and achieving success.
POV: Providing a glimpse into the artist’s perspective and personal experiences, bringing depth and authenticity to the album.
Forever Tho: Pondering longevity and the desire to leave a lasting impact in the music industry and in the hearts of listeners.
So So Special: A song that celebrates individuality and uniqueness, emphasizing self-worth and confidence.
HYRB (feat. MLE): This track explores the dynamics of relationships, the ups and downs, and the loyalty implicated.
Rebel Rendezvous: Embracing a rebellious spirit and challenging societal norms and expectations, urging others to follow their own path.
Jimmy Woodson: Paying homage to influential figures who have inspired and paved the way for the artist’s own musical journey.
Do What I Can: Encouraging listeners to give their all and do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals and dreams.
West Side Shorty: Representing and honoring the artist’s roots and upbringing, while acknowledging the struggles faced in their neighborhood.
No Caution (feat. Jadakiss): A collaboration that showcases fearlessness and confidence in pursuing success, regardless of obstacles or doubts.
Rockstar Baby, Pt. 2: The culmination of the album, portraying growth, resilience, and the artist’s evolution through their musical journey.
These tracks collectively paint a picture of my experiences, emotions, and the drive to overcome challenges while chasing my dreams. The themes of resilience, love, and the pursuit of one’s passion shine through in each track, engaging listeners and inviting them to relate to my journey.
Your music has been described as an innovative fusion of traditional Hip Hop and contemporary Trap sounds. How do you approach blending these different elements, and what do you believe sets your music apart within the genre?
One of the key factors that sets my music apart within the genre is my commitment to innovation. I constantly push boundaries and experiment with different sonic textures, melodies, and rhythms. This mindset of exploration and pushing the envelope helps to create a fresh and distinct sound that stands out from the crowd.
My music incorporates storytelling and introspection. It also has elements of rock and pop sure to get you moving out of your seat. I believe in using lyrics to convey meaningful messages and emotions, allowing listeners to connect on a deeper level. This combination of innovative production and thoughtful lyricism contributes to the uniqueness of my music within the Hip Hop and Trap genre. Because I am also a producer, there can be no missed targets when we bring the instrumentals to life. That’s what makes trap music so dear to me. The process of the creation. The originators of trap music like TIP and Guwop started a movement with no end in sight because it continues to reinvent itself in new ways. Ultimately, my goal is to create music that captures the essence of both traditional Hip Hop and contemporary Trap, while still offering a fresh and innovative perspective that sets me apart from other artists in the genre.
Fans and industry insiders alike have praised your mesmerizing flow and catchy hooks. How do you approach creating a balance between your lyrical prowess and the overall sonic experience to captivate listeners?
I typically let the production tell me where to go. Ultimately, it’s about finding the right balance between your lyrical skills and the musical backdrop to create a captivating and cohesive listening experience.
The album features collaborations with some of the biggest names in the Hip Hop industry. Can you tell us about the process of working with renowned producers and artists and how these collaborations contributed to the overall vision of “Rockstar Trap Music II”?
The collaborative process often begins with finding a shared musical vision and artistic chemistry between the featured artists and producers. This synergy allows for a seamless integration of different styles and influences, resulting in a cohesive and integrated sonic experience. Overall, collaborations with renowned producers and artists contribute to the overall vision of an album by infusing it with diversity, expertise, and fresh perspectives. They help elevate the production quality, enhance the creative direction, and attract a wider audience, ultimately making the album more compelling and resonant with listeners.
How did you approach crafting “Rockstar Trap Music II” to build on the success of your previous work?
“Rockstar Trap Music II” has been described as my magnum opus, showcasing my multifaceted talent as a producer, artist, and songwriter. Who am I to disagree? I’ve been blessed to wear these hats before but this time I came with a sound and plan in mind before I pressed record. Other projects seem to be more ‘off the cuff’ and more intuitive with the added politics of modern-day social dilemmas in urban culture.
Were there specific lessons or experiences from earlier projects that influenced your creative process for this album?
Listeners can expect a refreshed sound on “Rockstar Trap Music II” because I’ve have had time to mature, and experiment. The original “Rockstar Trap Music,” had a particular grit and approach. Building on that foundation, the new album showcases growth, maturity, and an expanded cognitive and musical palette resulting from the experiences and experimentation. The last year or so has been a journey of self-discovery, artistic exploration, and personal growth.
You express a desire to push the boundaries of the genre. Could you share specific aspects or elements in the album where you intentionally aimed to challenge the norms of Hip Hop and Trap music?
They are two standalone genres and they do exceptionally well individually. My job isn’t to take away from the reverence of these styles but to add to them. Perhaps, craft something new that people haven’t heard before. Boombap beats are timeless. So are 808s and crossticks! I believe you have 10 seconds to gain a new listener every time they check out your music and/or content. If the genre-mix doesn’t capture you within that margin of time, then I’ve missed the mark completely.
The release of “Rockstar Trap Music II” has been eagerly anticipated by fans. How do you navigate the expectations that come with such anticipation, and what do you hope listeners take away from this album? Where can we find you online?
Navigating this anticipation, I am motivated to surpass the bar we have set previously and further cultivate excitement. My ultimate goal for this album is to provide listeners with a sense of liberation, where they can confidently play it in any setting, knowing that there is a vibe tailored for them within its tracks.
To stay connected and find more about me check me out on all digital streaming platforms and social media at ‘Vandes Jackson’.