Tonight Castle Lite will be hosting the 2nd episode of their #CastleLiteUnlocks In Bed With Sway live-stream and this time they have the likes of Stogie T, Rouge, and Bas ready to give us some crazy music vibes directly in our homes. The session is taking place at 7:30 PM on Castle Lite’s YouTube page. This time around we got on the call with Rouge talking new music, how lyricism is becoming a “thing” once again, music & more.
Let’s start this off by asking how has Rouge been handling this whole lockdown situation, how has the Lockdown affected you creatively, personally?
Obviously, there are pros and cons to this whole situation which is happening due to this pandemic. So I would say the cons are; not being able to go to my family, not being able to go to my friends and on top of that not being able to perform because that is one-way artist’s fans can connect with us easier and for a lot us it’s just income which comes a lot faster than waiting for SAMRO cheques to come in and losing the privileges of leaving the house… So in terms of the pros honestly I feel like I could speak for a lot of people in the hip-hop game, it seems as if we needed to go into our own spaces, go into hiding without the world’s perspective every single second you know? But now we have no choice but to get to know ourselves better and figure out what we really do, what we really want to contribute to the industry and figure out what roles do we want to play. And I think it has been amazing you know what I mean? From all the verses and stuff, I did with Moozlie which is so awesome music-wise. I’m making so much music and there are so many creative ways to do it.
What I can say is that I kind of have an upper-hand because I know that there are a lot of artists out there that are struggling. What’s helping me is that the Rouge brand is known so it has been helping me to put bread on the table because I still have all my brands, all my collaborations you know what I mean? And also brands are looking for people that they can bank on, people that can still connect with the public, and help spread awareness on their brand and so I’m very lucky in this current situation.
Do you feel like this whole lockdown situation is filtering out the “real” artists that are actually into this whole scene in comparison to those that are just doing it for “clout”?
I do and funny enough I was telling someone that I feel like in this situation is where we will see people fading out and will see the real work ethic. You see people dropping music and if we are being completely honest we don’t care if you are the biggest artist or the smallest artist. People just want to hear something good because they want to be entertained during this period of lockdown. It has been amazing because now is the space for talent, now is the time for those that work the hardest that are going to prevail. Like I mentioned earlier there are a lot of negatives as well but this situation which we are in right now has made us realize that we can’t be comfortable anymore. We really need to start seeing ourselves as artists, as a business and we really need to put in the work ethic, now the talent is showing as well and I think it’s an awesome time in that aspect.
“Lyricism is becoming a “thing” once again, and I will say rap is going to be a massive conversation” – Rouge
Mentally how has Rouge been adjusting to this whole pandemic, how has she been keeping herself sane?
Luckily for me, I’ve always been a homebody, because you know us as artists we are always traveling we never get the opportunity to be home and sit down to have some downtime. We are constantly at it planning for gigs and stuff, so this current situation is giving us the time to be at home and figure ourselves out. I do have to say that in the beginning I was worried but then I realized I kind of need this opportunity because I know I will never get this situation ever again because of all the gigs that will be coming in after this. So I’ve just been here at home making a lot of music, working on my shows I’ve just been doing a lot of work. Because with the economy taking a hit because of Covid-19, the music industry is about to boom as soon as this whole thing blows over. So we have to take this time as artists to prepare, so the work never really stops.
Getting into music the last time we spoke to you, you gave us sort of an exclusive with regards to the upcoming album that you are working on. Has this whole situation altered your plans with regards to that album, is the music you making now going to be part of the project, or is it going to be something completely different?
Definitely, this whole situation has shifted a lot of things for me, I was supposed to drop this album the begging of June but because of what’s happening I have to take a step back and figure out a whole new plan how I’m going to market this project especially during this time where piracy is high. So now I have to figure out different ways to connect to the people without releasing too much.
“Your music has to educate or change a space otherwise it’s going to end up in the back because now people are dropping music which people will want to listen to during lockdown and after lockdown and I’m vouching for that” – Rouge
Don’t you think that right now would be the perfect time to drop music, as people are looking forward to new music to comfort them during this difficult time?
100% I don’t disagree there, singles and stuff are going to be coming out soon. But those that know Rouge when it comes to my projects know there’s always a greater scheme to it, there’s a story I want to tell behind my project. So when it drops it should feel like a movie sort of like an experienced show you should feel like coming and watching, you know what I mean? So this whole pandemic has given me the time to try and figure out new and more creative ways I can reach new fans and connect with my current fans because I honestly feel like right now everyone is doing the same thing so I don’t want my project to be in the midst of all that. But I see this lockdown as an opportunity to get more creative with how I want to connect with my fans and I feel like that’s my call right now. It takes time for people to get used to what I’m doing g because I’m not the most commercially viewed artist in the industry, that is something I’m only building up to now and people are finally looking at Rouge and realizing that this girl is a big deal. That would mean I have to get more creative with how I’m grabbing people’s attention, and make sure it’s not like how every “girl” is dropping right now.
I can’t give too much away but I will say because rap is coming back hard, there are so many freestyles dropping, there so many artists dropping that we are hearing about. Lyricism is becoming a “thing” once again, and I will say rap is going to be a massive conversation. All I can say is that there’s a lot of preparation which needs to be done.
Word. Have you discovered new artists during this lockdown? Which artists have you been checking out?
There’s this girl named Hanna I think she is such an incredible lyricist and I’ve just been “stalking” her [Laughs] because she is so amazing. Like I’ve said it’s not the time where it’s just about the aesthetics you know what I mean? Your music has to educate or change a space otherwise it’s going to end up in the back because now people are dropping music which people will want to listen to during lockdown and after lockdown and I’m vouching for that.