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    Orlando’s Cognac & Roses Sits Down For An Exclusive Interview

    So I guess we should begin with introductions, how old are you and where are you from?

    I am 30 years old. I am originally from Jacksonville, North Carolina but Orlando, Florida raised me.

    What got you started making music?

    I started making music in middle school. A bunch of my friends just started trying to battle at lunch and in the hallways. I started going home and looking in the dictionary for words that rhymed and I just started saying some crazy shit over the course of time.  I stuck with it while a lot of them stopped.

    When you’re not making music what are you up to?

    When I’m not making music I’m being a Father to my daughter. Having her got my head out of the streets and it made me focus on shit differently. I also read a lot. Right now I’m doing two books a week. I felt like before when I didn’t read I just felt stuck mentally and it kept me in a slump creatively. Do the same thing every day and it’s like you’re the hamster constantly running on a wheel thinking you’re going to get somewhere. Then theres working out and looking up vegan recipes.

    Do you have a process for song creation or is it more of a spur of the moment thing?

    My new process is to stop overthinking shit and just do it. I’ve always just let the beat talk to me . As weird as that sounds. If a beat doesn’t make me move then it’s not the one. A lot of my new shit is freestyles on the voice memo’s and pushing myself to finish writing/freestyling a record in a certain time. Putting a 30 minute timer on my phone pushes me to not overthink so much and be more creative while creating a record. So I lay it down and do last minute edits.

    Did you have any early music influences? Who were your favorite artists growing up?

    In the beginning stages of my music, I was influenced heavily by Biggie, 2pac, Jay-z, Dipset, Ugk, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, Eminem, and so many others. I’ve always bounced back and forth with genres. So you guys would probably get a book if I  gave you all of the artist that influenced me.

    In what ways have your music changed since you began making music? Were these changes consciously made, or did they naturally happen?

    My music has changed so much from when I first started doing music. Before I was more focused on just rapping. I grew up in a era when singing in the hooks wasn’t cool. People I looked up to in music locally would shame you for trying to switch things up. It wasn’t their fault that was all they knew. So I get it! But I did what I wanted eventually and it really happen naturally. I grew up in the south. Just that alone comes with a strong influence of melodies and harmony’s.  It was like the Universe was telling me “nah n***a you are more than a rapper”.

    What has been your proudest moment in this process? What was a moment in which you could see the results of your hard work?

    Before artists were having their own festivals. I had my own festival in Orlando, Florida during Memorial Day weekend. Rose Fest is one of my proudest moments.  To draw a crowd out for a bunch of amazing independent acts is big for my city and my brand. The first year we drew in rolling loud acts. Marco XO, Danny Towers, and Rackz God pulled up and Marco Xo did a surprise  performance. The next year we had two nights in a row. So this year is going to be even more amazing and I’m going to make sure it’s sold out.

    You’ve been releasing music steadily for a while. How has the industry changed over the years, and how have you had to adapt to it?

    The industry has changed so much since I started. Cd’s are prehistoric, vinyls and cassette tapes are slowly coming back as novelty’s. It’s all about social media presence and streams now. If you can’t figure out a way to be slightly different and use Facebook ad’s as some type of targeting to your audience than what artist are doing is a loss cause. Also, the whole having to run your city before you blow is a outdated mentality especially with the internet running everything.

    If you were to describe your sound, how would you describe it?

    To me, my sound is my sound. I don’t sound like anyone because I am telling my story and no one can tell my story like the way I tell it.

    What’s your recording process like?

    Everything for me is about having fun. The moment the fun stops is when the overthinking happens and the feeling of dissatisfaction in your work becomes shackles on your feet.  If I am songwriting for someone else I try to get a backstory of them so that I can create their own point of view when I’m writing out their records. When I write my songs for my catalog. I focus on telling my story the best way that I can.

    What is next for you? What do you want your supporters to know about you?

    So much is next for me. This year I will be releasing a record every Friday starting in June. So I’m constantly writing and throwing ideas into my pad. Rosefest 3 is going to be insane but it won’t be during Memorial Day weekend. Swidlife is definitely invited to the event. I’ll send you guy’s tickets and merch. On top of all that I will be releasing my own book this year and a clothing brand with a childhood friend. 

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