Thursday, April 30, 2009
Journey Towards The Sun...The Rising Sun Quest
The Rising Sun Quest is a local MC I've known for a minute. I've heard his music and I can hear the growth in it. Very talented individual who has crafted his skill for over 10 years strong. According to Quest, he's performed many times in his hometown of Waterbury, CT and in venues such as Toad's Place, The Webster Theater, and Tuxedo Junction.
Personally, after listening to his albums, I wouldn't consider his style or music local. I think he definitely has the ability to go as far as he wants. I got the opportunity to chat with him recently about what's going on with him and his music. Check out the interview.
The Mad Bloggers: Where did you grow up?
The Rising Sun Quest: Waterbury, CT aka Brass City / Dirty Water. I lived on the south side of things but really chilled all over the city.
TMB: How long have you been doing music?
Quest: It feels like forever. I guess I started in 1993 but didn’t really get serious about it till '98 or so. It started on mix tapes over industry beats for a good while and then we invested in some recording and production equipment and it was a wrap from there. Early on I wrote verses but didn’t really focus on song structure at all. As time went on I developed the ability to create songs and saw the impact the right formula could have on people.
TMB: Is music your career or do you have a "day job"?
Quest: Music is my passion and I love it. It doesn’t pay the bills though. Getting people to spend money on a CD is like pulling teeth. So yeah, I do have a day job.
TMB: Where do you want to see your music go?
Quest: I would love for my music to be in the minds of all hip-hop lovers. So far I’m happy with the way my music has been received by those who actually have heard some of it. I’ve gotten the type of props that most MCs now won't get. People have told me that my songs have saved their lives or gotten them through tough times. That it truly relates to them and their situations. So for me, it’s all about reaching more people and showing them that there are artists out here that still do it for the love and not the money.
TMB: Who are your musical influences?
Quest: Well I’d say Nas, Big Pun, Canibus, Wu-Tang, Black Moon, and Redman just to name a few. 'Illmatic' to me was the perfect album and Big Pun's Capitol Punishment was the type of lyrical ability and delivery I strive for. I love all music though. Spanish music was a big part of my life growing up and R&B is a must when I need to mellow out and escape.
TMB: In your opinion, what's the state of music?
Quest: It is what it is. Music constantly changes but as we get older our perspective never changes, when it comes to music anyway. So it’s easy for us to reject the new trends and new artists. I’m stuck in the early 90’s and rarely do artists of today bring that type of rawness to the table. The music industry, on the other hand...awful.
TMB: What's the hardest thing you're experiencing that deals with your music?
Quest: Just how hard it is to be heard. I know I’m good at what I do and I know the quality of my art. Yet I’m still in Waterbury with my “day job” and it feels like I’ll never get a chance to show my stuff on the big stage. But I try not to focus on that and just continue to do what I do. I can’t just give up because the few people that do follow rely on me to be their escape from the flashy 'ringtone' rap.
TMB: What's your favorite part of doing your music?
Quest: The listeners who take in what I spend hours of my life working on. When somebody is really feeling my song I love it cause it's like I get to experience it all over again like it was brand new to me. Sometimes I get sick of my own stuff only cause of how many times I hear it before it's done. Considering I mix down most of my stuff I hear it over and over, but when I play it for somebody and see their reaction, it's truly all worth it.
TMB: What projects are you currently working on?
Quest: Right now, I’m working on an EP and I plan to have like 8 to 10 tracks on it. I got about six written right now and I have a few beats gathered up so I’m looking to get in gear with it real soon and try to put it out there by summer of 2009. It will be my 4th project. I have Stellar Evolution (10 tracks), Surviving Life (15 tracks), and Journey Towards The Sun (16 tracks). (According to Quest, the new music he's created is still untitled.)
TMB: Have you performed at any shows you consider memorable?
Quest: A lot of memorable shows, yeah, but more so due to the crowed being amped and not the headliners. The AFA Hip Hop Summits we put together are always live. I got to share the stage with Chubb Rock, which was dope. I remember doing a show with Evil Dee of Black Moon in Danbury, which was big. I performed out at EOW in Manhattan, which is a big Open Mic in the city and also recognized worldwide. Rocked the crowed and represented CT lovely, which felt great.
TMB: Any artists you're looking to collab with?
Quest: I’m willing to work with anybody but right now no names come to mind. Plus I wanna knock this next project out the box before I start building with heads unless of course a real notable cat is willing to work with me. It would be foolish to turn that down, you know.
TMB: Any upcoming shows?
Quest: Right now there is nothing big on the horizon. I regularly rock my crews open mic every third Friday of the month at Cousin Larry’s in Danbury. I got this B-Boy Jam this Saturday, May 2nd at Kriola's in downtown Waterbury, CT but I haven’t really booked anything. I’m trying to cut back on the showcases loaded with rappers and I'm looking to do bigger things if the opportunities arise.
The Rising Sun Quest on iTunes
Why I Write - www.vimeo.com/1982679
Rock to the Rhythm - www.vimeo.com/1896262