Roach Gigz will be bringing his "Bugged Out" tour to Portland on Sep. 24 with a show at The Backspace. The up and coming Bay Area artist has released a series of successful mixtapes and was featured on MTV2's Sucker Free last year. He sat down with The Skanner News to discuss the new tour and his love for hip-hop.
Bruce Poinsette: How long have you been doing music?
Roach Gigz: I've been in love with hip-hop, been doing talent shows since the third grade. As early as that, I performed Snoop Dogg songs in the talent show. I never really took the idea of a career seriously until the end of 2006 when I was in high school and me and a friend of mine made a song that was really popular. It ended up on the radio.
BP: What song was that?
RG: It was called "Get It" with Lil 4 Tay. Once I heard myself on the radio I was like "F that, I can make it happen".
BP: Why did you fall in love with hip-hop so early?
RG: I can't really explain it. The radio station of choice was 106 KMEL. We always used to listen to it driving to school. It just happened. One of my first favorite songs was "Summertime in the LBC" by Dove Shack and I can't explain it. It just happened. Ever since then I've had posters on my wall and the whole thing.
BP: Would you say growing up in the Bay Area helped shape your music in any way?
RG: Completely. In the Bay Area we're on a whole other wave length. We have a different type of sound, different type of dance, different type of feel to the way we do things. It probably has to do with how culturally diverse it is and the amount of things going on in such a small place but we're definitely a little bit different.
BP: What were some of your favorite artists growing up?
RG: Early on my all-time favorite was Tupac. As I got a little bit older, in middle school, I started listening to Mac Dre, who is also from the Bay Area. And he is, to me, my idol. He's one of the main reasons that I do rap as a career and probably my biggest influence musically.
BP: Can you describe yourself as an artist?
RG: I would say that I'm on a, I look at things in a unique perspective. I don't try to follow trends. I don't try to do what's popular. I just do what I feel like doing, what sounds good to me. I'm really heavily Bay Area influenced. I can make up-tempo party stuff. I can make serious stuff. I'm really versatile in that type of way. As long as I can make my lyrics on point I can make music for all occasions.
BP: Can you talk about the "Bugged Out" tour?
RG: It's like a West Coast tour. We're going all up and down California. Obviously we're going to Portland, Eugene and Ashland and Seattle and Spokane. It's my second headlining tour of this year, as kind of a promotional push for my album, which dropped on Sep. 4. It's my first official album. We're just going to these different cities rocking out.
BP: What's the album called?
RG: The album is called "Bugged Out". It's the first piece of music I've actually had for sale in my life. It did pretty well. It started on the national hip-hop charts.
BP: You performed up in the Northwest that much?
RG: No, the only time I've been up there was earlier this year. We went for the first tour. It's the second time we've been up there.
BP: Was Portland one of those cities?
RG: Yes it was. I forgot where we performed at. It wasn't the Roseland, it was somewhere else. It was cool. It was a Wednesday so it was cool. Portland definitely showed me some love. I'm definitely looking forward to coming back.
BP: Have you got any upcoming projects in the works?
RG: Right now everything is focused on the album I just dropped. I'm trying to just push that. I'm also working on a couple of EPs with different producers. I'm in the process of collecting beats and starting to get back into recording for these next projects I'm creating. But there's no name or none of that yet.
BP: Lastly, is there anything else for fans to know before you come up here?
RG: I mean, I'm bugged out. I'm coming to Portland and the Bay Area is going to be in the building. Hope to see you there.
For more information on Roach Gigz and the "Bugged Out" tour go to http://roachgigz.com/.