Artist rMell is not your average producer/rapper, he possesses a vision for the future of music. He’s scheming a come up on the industry regarding him and his cohorts who are referred to affectionately as ‘The Grammy Family.’ Last year the 21-year old composer released his phenomenal ‘NEO GEO’ album turning heads and solidified the groundwork for his mission statement.
In our exclusive interview with rMell we discuss his working relationship with associate Matt McGhee, his influences, talking classic manga ‘Golden Boy’ and what’s next on the menu for rMell.
Who is rMell?
Lol, hmmmm… to keep it simple… rMell is a simple and average dude lol.
FS: haha that is super simple, I like it.
RM: Yeah, I never know how to answer that question.
FS: I get it. I mean people are complex beings and stuff, summing it up in a paragraph is kinda hard.
RM: yeah just a tad haha.
FS: I loved the Neo Geo project, what were the influences for that body of work?
RM: Thanks, man. I appreciate it. I’d have to say my major influences for that particular project was (Too much) Kanye, Jon Brion, Frank Ocean and a lot of 80’s pop.
FS: I heard the Jon Brion/ Punch Drunk Love sample at the beginning that threw me off. I was like wow, because it’s so out in left field of a song to sample.
RM: Yeah, my homie put me on to Punch Drunk Love. I peeped the movie, copped the soundtrack and then figured out that Jon Brion (He did the Punch Drunk Love soundtrack) helped Kanye craft up Late Registration which just happens to be one of my favorite albums. I’ve always been big on finding out who influences or helps out artist that I’m directly influenced/inspired by.
FS: That’s dope, so who are some of your main influences? Of course you mentioned (Kanye, Jon Brion, Frank Ocean)
RM: There are so many influences, off top I can say The Neptunes.
FS: When I was doing research on your music and from talking with Matt McGhee, I heard about the long delay fans endured for NEO GEO. Did you encounter writers block, what was the hold up?
RM: It takes me forever to write songs, so I had to really take my time to make something album worthy. Looking back at it now, I think I loafed around a lot lol. But being a perfectionist, you end up loafing more than often. I get so pressed to make something perfect that I won’t work on anything if I know it will be anything less than awesome. So with that being said, I took a lot of time to just skate, listen to other music, etc, just to take some pressure off of myself.
FS: That’s awesome. I know you produce and rap as well. What’s your writing process like? Does the beat come first or the words? or does it vary?
RM: It varies. More than often I’ll have a beat in mind before any words come up. Sometimes I’ll have like a really good line in my head that I jot down just so that I won’t forget it and then I’ll come back to it months later and use it in a rap, or more so build an entire verse off of those lines.
FS: I spoke with Matt McGhee and we talked how when you two collab there’s a ‘friendly competition’ going on between the two of you. Creatively what do you feel you bring out of each other?
RM: I think whenever I work with Matt I tend to be more straightforward cause that’s just the type of person he is and in order to keep up when it comes to rapping, I’ve gotta be just as aggressive.You’d have to ask Matt what it is that bring out of him whenever work cause I have no clue lol.
Well… if anything I guess you can say I tend to make the work flow a little more relaxed and natural, seeing as how I only really work when I’m into something 100%.
FS: Do you ever have creative sessions where nothing gets accomplished? If you’re not feeling it?
RM: All the time. I’ll have a really good idea in my head or sketched out on paper but once I try to bring those ideas into fruition they turn out super sucky so I just stop for the day. I may come back to it later on in the week or so, but for the moment I just get discouraged, throw up a “whatever” and browse the internet for entertainment or something lol.
FS: What’s your favorite cartoon?
RM: Does Kablam count as a cartoon??? If so then that’s my answer. That show is perfect… that and Goldenboy.
FS: Kablam was like every style of animation EVER! You mean ‘Goldenboy’ that anime about the dude that goes from town to town kinda fixing problems and then he makes the women fall in love with him?…This is me going off memory from a cartoon I saw years ago.
RM: Yep, that’s the one. It’s only 6 episodes long, but it was like the perfect anime. I could see myself being just like Kintaro (the main character) just a little less perverted or “thirsty” lol.
FS: And haha okay so you vibe more with the ‘good guy’ aspect of Kintaro. That’s kinda unheard of in hip hop. Seems like artists have to wear a persona these days. Dude would love to hear some cuts off of that if you still have them. lol was it a six track EP?
RM: Yeah it was. Every song was based off an episode lol. I mean the first song was tight but then the concept just turned out to be “ehhh” to me so I scrapped it.
FS: It would’ve raised awareness about the show. What’s next down the pipeline for rMell?
RM: I’m currently writing and crafting up demos for my next album. It’s a slow start-up process, but I’m definitely preparing myself to out-do NEO GEO.
FS: Does it have a working title?
RM: If it did, I’d have to keep it under wraps haha!
FS: Haha okay kinda figured, can you tell me what’s it sounding like so far?
RM :Hmmm… I’d say it’s sounding real 2003-04-ish. In a good way… of course lol It’s sounding like everything I fucked with when I got into high school.
FS: Was there anything else you wanted to add?
RM: Yeah, one thing. Bill Gluckman is down with the bitches and the hoes.
If you haven’t already download your copy of NEO GEO.