It’s a Sunday. You can tell it’s spring, cause even though we’ve got a beautiful sky and the sun shines proud, you would think the sun isn’t working by how cold it is outside. But the optimism in the air infiltrated the JC4Me camp, and that’s reflected on this day, as we take a walk before we interview the latest to release from our camp, Rootsta. The 15 year old producer has produced tracks on all the JC4Me Records releases so far, but (other than a very sly beat tape) hasn’t released a full project of his production and his ideas. So on the advent of his campaign for his upcoming untitled, undated project, here’s a little ‘get to know ya’ interview, conducted by great friend of the JC4Me Collective, Oscar Chatterji.
Oscar – So Rootsta, when you are producing for JC4Me, would you say your work is heavily inspired by JC4Me
Rootsta – Um, yeah I guess so. They sorta helped me start music up! Well, obviously I played piano and stuff like that beforehand, but I guess they sorta helped to expand on what I could do, not just play piano but sorta produce my own music and stuff like that. So yeah I guess they helped quite a bit.
O – What was it like producing with JC4Me, cause seeing you at two live shows, you’re quite heavily involved, and it seems like you’re the backbone of the group
R – (It’s true, he is) I don’t think I’m the backbone, I’m more like support for that. I support in that if I’m asked to do something, I’ll do it so I can help out. I’m more of a helper, I wouldn’t say I’m the basis of The Collective. I mean, I’m the youngest in the group, so I can’t really do as much as everyone else. So I wouldn’t say I was the back bone, more just helping out, and doing what I can do for the group.
O – You mentioned earlier that you used to play piano. Do you like playing and using it in your projects?
R – I don’t use it in my production as much as I probably should do, but, I don’t know. I enjoy piano but I enjoyed playing more than I did learning it. I thought the learning was a bit dragged out, I don’t know. I just enjoy the fact that I can play an instrument. That’s quite cool. Yeah.
O – Could you tell us about your upcoming project?
R – Yeah, I’m working on an EP slash album slash I don’t know what it is yet. We’ll just call it a project. It doesn’t have a name yet, nor a concept. Well, there’s a slight concept and ideas have been thrown about every now and then. So yeah, still sort of an open thing going on. All the beats are done, just waiting on a few features.
O – What would you say is the mood of the beats that you’re doing?
R – Well I guess beats that you could sort of enjoy listening to, but still think. Music that you enjoy listening to but at the same time causes you to reflect on what’s being said in the song, not just ‘Oh it sounds cool’ or ‘I like the beat and the rhythm’, but how can this relate to me? Even though it’s a bit hard for most people to listen in that way cause if the beats cool and the rappers sound pretty cool on the track or they sing quite well then that’s pretty much it, they won’t really listen to what’s actually being said. So I’m hoping whatever is said on my project is meaningful, it’s not just empty words.
O – Are you planning to have a say in what is said on your project?
R – Yeah of course! I’ll maybe put a bit of writing to it, maybe for each track saying what is being said to help people make sense of the tracks.
O – So you’re a Man Utd fan?
R – No, I support Chelsea
O – Disgusting.
R – I didn’t mean to offend you.
O – Too late. I’m offended.
R – You know how you can support a team but not really follow them? Yeah that’s what I do.
O – How long have you been producing?
R – My whole life man! Nah, maybe like 5 or 6 years. I started at 9 or 10 I think. Obviously not producing proper beats, it was more like, prerecorded sounds and melodies. I’d just put them together and see if they worked. Some of them did. Most of them didn’t. In fact, only a couple really worked, I’m not gonna lie. But yeah, early on it was more just playing about and doing it for the fun of it, whereas now it’s more trying to get a message across. I dunno, I just really enjoyed the idea of making my own stuff.
O – And when did that start, trying to get a message across, through production specifically?
R – I guess it was when I started listening to JC4Me. They were making music and I enjoyed the idea of ‘Oh! Why not put something behind this?’, and instead of making a track and just leave it, why not make a track and put meaning into it?
O – And you’re a Christian right?
R – Yeah
O – How do you feel your faith impacts your music, if it does at all?
R – Well, I don’t know. You try and make sure the words that you’re sampling can relate to your faith and that it’s not too biased towards one thing or another. I don’t like being biased towards anything unless I feel I need to. I don’t know, I don’t think it impacts too much, not as much as at it should. I think it impacts what I do. It inspires me to make more music, but at the same time it inspires it to be done, not the technical aspect.
O – And finally, why don’t you rap?
R – I can’t. I don’t have the voice for it. I sound like I have a cold 100% of the time.
Make sure you guys keep an eye out for further details on Rootsta’s upcoming project!