Here at SO FN Dope Magazine we spend hours upon hours searching for new artists to feature in our digital and online magazines and honestly it's not an easy task. However, every once in a while we get lucky and receive dope artist submissions that quite frankly makes our search much easier. This young man is one of those artists. His message is as inspirational as his music. We are so glad we had an opportunity to interview this new artist. Check out this SFND Exclusive interview with Rodrael.
SFND MAG: Wuz good Rodrael!!! Definitely appreciate you for taking time out your schedule to interview with us. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?
RODRAEL: I’m a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) singer, songwriter, and educator/youth advocate. I’m a Californian from the Bay Area. Currently, I am a high school teacher in Oakland.
SFND MAG: How long have you been writing and performing music?
RODRAEL: I have been performing and writing music for about ten years. I studied creative writing at a performing arts school called Oakland School of The Arts (OSA). I had a secret passion for singing and would record myself on my computer. Eventually, I started to combine my love for singing with writing, and started recording those ideas in the studio. Ten years of practice and hard work, I continued to grow, record, study music and voice, and cultivate my sound.
SFND MAG: We had a chance to check out some of your music from your debut EP “Show Em”. Your new video “Any Second “ is SO FN DOPE! What was your inspiration behind this particular record?
RODRAEL: “Any Second” is an autobiographical song about my journey pursuing music in the last ten years. It starts off with me talking about who I was at 17. Back then, I imitated artists like Usher and Aaliyah and practiced their dance moves. Simultaneously, I would do a cappella covers of Musiq and Donell Jones on my computer.
The second verse talks about me chasing my dreams without regrets. Ultimately, I am saying that I want to be remembered for my music. I want to leave this earth knowing I put my energies into making my dreams come true.
Last, this is an anthem for dreamers. At one point in the song I call out rappers, dancers, musicians, athletes, and scholars to chase their dreams no matter their circumstances or adversities.
SFND MAG: In what other ways do you hope to inspire those who hear your music.
RODRAEL: I hope to inspire listeners to never give up on their authentic dreams. I hope to inspire listeners to push forward.
SFND MAG: Is there a release date for your project?
RODRAEL: Friday, July 14th, 2017- available on iTunes and all major streaming services.
SFND MAG: Tell us about your project EP?
RODRAEL: Show Em EP is my first official project.
The “Show Em EP” is a body of musical work about resiliency and fight at heart, and also discusses issues like police brutality, domestic violence, and spirituality. Tracks like “One By One” are dedicated to the many black lives that were killed in 2016 due to police brutality. Whereas, “Deserve That” is about the women I know who have experienced mental and physical violence in their relationships with men.
Also, this project is for folks who feel isolated, or feel like they don’t have a place in this world. It’s about showing folks “your cards” even when you are the most vulnerable, underestimated, and misunderstood.
The EP is my story and equally about the communities I grew up in. It’s for black and brown communities, growing up in socio-economically and historically marginalized communities.
SFND MAG: So we had a chance to do a little research on you Rodrael. We see that you have worked closely with some major record companies in the past. Tell us a little about that and how those experiences have shaped your perspective about the music industry.
RODRAEL: I was an intern at Universal Music Group (UMG)/Hidden Beach Experiences in LA. I learned that the music industry is about being creative and flexible. As the industry changes, both creative and industry folks have to continue to collaborate and strategize ways to make monies as the tech industry leads new trends.
Additional, I learned that major labels no longer have as much power and or resources. Because of social media, Soundcloud, YouTube, and streaming services- independent artists have more autonomy then they once had in the 1990s and prior.
SFND MAG: What is your perspective on the Major vs Indie debate? Do you think that in this day and age that signing a major record deal is necessary to be successful in the music industry?
RODRAEL: I think that a major label can fiscally help an indie artist. As an indie artist, it can be really difficult to fund recording, producing, mixing, mastering, media, press, and music video costs. As a DIY artist, these are things that I fund myself as I maintain several jobs outside of music in order to continue to pursue my dream. Overall, there are many talented indie artists that don’t have the resources to distribute and promote their music.
Dually, I think that it’s beautiful that the indie artist has freedom, control and ability to compete with an artist on a major label. Today, social media allows for indie artists to become as popular as signed artists. Thus, I think that signing to a major label isn’t necessary. That being said, an indie artist needs a solid team and a thorough understanding of the music industry.
SFND MAG: Where can your fans and supporters find you online?
Also, you can purchase my music on iTunes and listen on ALL popular streaming services.
SFND MAG: How can we find your debut EP “Show Em” online?
RODRAEL: ALL popular streaming services!
SFND MAG: Rodrael, Thank you once again for interviewing with us. We look forward to seeing and hearing much from you in the future.
RODRAEL: Thank you SoFnDope Magazine!