A while ago Maybach Music Group recording artist, Rockie Fresh, stopped by our office while in town for the New York leg of his “The Headquarters Tour.” The Chi-town native spoke about going overseas for the first time, eating foreign food, and the difference between fans in the U.K. and the U.S. He also discussed his experience in the studio with producer Lil Silva and how it opened up his mind musically.
Mass Appeal: When was your first international tour?
Rockie Fresh: My first international tour was last month with Mac Miller. We went to the U.K. and did 10 days out there. It was actually my first time leaving the country, period. It was a super dope experience.
MA: What was your most memorable moment being out there?
RF: I think it was the type of people who came to the shows. All the shows were sold out. Everybody knows Mac’s got a real strong fan base, but I think a lot of his fans are aware of the music I been putting out too. To see how far it reaches from Chicago was just the dopest thing.
MA: What is the difference between your U.S. fans and your U.K. fans?
RF: I’ve been blessed to have some real U.S. fans. But I guess in the U.S. sometimes people come to shows and certain events cause it’s the thing to do for the night. Not really for an actual show, but just to be in the building. In the U.K. everybody that was there was there for a good time, everybody appreciates in the music. I didn’t see a lot of people not putting their hands up and not participating. The participation was a lot better.
MA: Besides the music, what did you come across in the U.K. that made you say, ‘Okay, this is some dope shit. I wish we had back in the states?’
RF: A lot of the architecture, you know what I’m saying? Like the buildings they had were super dope. This one area I went to, I forgot the name of it, but just the energy and the type of people that were there, and how the restaurants were going for blocks and blocks and blocks. It was such a chill environment especially compared to where I’m from. You know in Chicago when you get something like that it gets a little ratchet. So for me, to have a peaceful time at a place like that, it was cool.
MA: Any good food finds over there?
RF: I found out about this place called Wagamama, which is in the US too. But I didn’t know it was in the U.S. until I had it in the U.K. I end up eating it a lot. It was a Japanese joint, it was super good.
MA: As a new comer to touring do you find it exhausting?
RF: Naw, I got real bad sleep habits anyway. I rarely sleep no matter if I’m touring or not. I’ve kind of gotten used to the touring thing; it works real well for me. I’m always down to get up early and make moves and yeah, it’s pretty cool.
MA: What is the post show life like? Like do you go clubbing or do you just take time off and chill?
RF: It’s mostly the studio you know what I’m saying. If I get some money to go to the club I pop out but that’s really it. I’m not a big club kind of guy. I love being in the studio, that’s like my club. So we are always trying find a nice studio in the city we are in, get in there and rock out.
MA: I saw some footage of you in the studio with Lil Silva. You definitely have an electronic sound in your music and the U.K. has a history when it comes to electronic music, like Drum N Bass and that kind of stuff. So how is the vibe with producers out there compared to dudes over here?
RF: It’s a lot more channeled by things that go on in the world that we really don’t have control over. Like how the wind may hit the trees or seeing the different colors of leaves. That’s what Lil Silva was getting inspired by for his music versus trying to stunt on somebody or take over the club. He really wanted to bring out certain parts of life that people don’t normally think about in the rap world when they listen to music. I think that was so cool about working with him, that it opened up my mind to more of the real things out here that we can appreciate. Just the beauty of certain aspects of life that we kind of take for granted and how sonically we can make people feel those emotions.
MA: That was an amazing fucking answer. When you first started talking about the wind hitting the trees I’m like, oh he’s getting on some philosophical shit. But then as you started breaking it down, I’m like okay that’s ill.
RF: (Laughs) Naw I was kind of tweaking too when he first told me and then I was like, man you got to explain that shit. So once he started explaining it I’m like, ok I totally get it. Then once he played the record afterwards it made it a lot easier to see it. I think when you hear the joints that we got together on my new project it’s going to give you a real fly emotion that isn’t no weirdo stuff. Just some real life type of music and it isn’t a sample, he uses his voice a lot, he samples himself a lot, it’s got a real good vibe, and I’m excited for people to hear it.