The DMV Daily Interviews: RLA

WuzGoode With RLA

Do you feel welcomed or alienated by your local scene? Do you represent the Pittsburgh scene if not, what does the music scene in Pittsburgh sound like?

So far everyone I’ve met in the city’s music scene has been welcoming.  It’s been great being able to meet new people and make new connections. I wouldn’t say I represent the Pittsburgh music scene, partly because it’s so diverse.  There are so many sounds coming out of the city from Indie Rock to Country to Hip Hop and a lot of what’s in between. When people think Pittsburgh they usually think Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller who have both had incredible success, but there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface.

How long have you been producing can you tell me about your favorite beats you have made and discuss some of the challenges/rewards of being a singer/songwriter/producer?

I’ve been producing for just under a year, I’m really glad I picked it up soon after starting to make original music.  My two favorite beats on released songs right now are definitely Numb and Tear U Apart. Numb being so gritty and Tear U Apart much more ambient they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum.  The biggest challenge of being a singer, writer, and producer is by far the amount of time it takes up to do it. It requires that you commit a large amount of your time if you want to excel.The upside to that is that I can create and mold my music to just the way I want it.  I’m always in a heightened zone when I’m making music, and I’m very meticulous about the way things sound.  That’s why I mix all my songs and work with the same mastering engineer for every record. Shoutout @HWInstrumentals.

Who are your biggest musical influences and how do they inspire the way you create music?

I find inspiration in a ton of artists, but my biggest influence is probably The Weeknd and Eli Sostre.  What I get from listening to those artists is more mixing and production inspiration and just listening to you learn a ton.  Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of PND and he has some really cool vocals that I tend to get a lot of creative energy from listening to.

What has listening to The Weeknd taught you about vocal engineering, song concepts, and structure?

Great question.  Early on in making music I was finding I was creating melodies and composing with ease, but I was lacking a diverse structure and arrangement in my songs.  Listening to The Weeknd, and I mean 3 AM studio monitors blasting listening, really helped me with structuring my beats to fit the vibe that I was going for.  Vocally, I learned a lot from the way his hooks are mixed and I’ve incorporated some of that into my work. Abel takes a lot of inspiration from Michael Jackson, I think that’s especially apparent on I Feel It Coming, especially in how he does his ad libs, and that comes through in my music as well.

Can you describe your music style and detail how you write, compose, and produce your songs?

I like to say my style of music fits in with Alt-RnB along with some of my tracks, like Numb, being a more conventional Hip-Hop.  95% of the time here’s how my creative process goes: I’ll make the beat, sometimes in one session, sometimes in multiples. I can’t make beats all the time, I have to be in a certain mood.  Sometimes it will last all night and others only an hour. When I’m happy with the beat, I’ll then arrange it and start laying down vocals. Mainly freestyling and then picking out what I like.  I almost never write any lyrics down outside of the studio. 10 bounces later I’ll like the mix enough to stick a final on it and Highway takes it from there.

The Pittsburgh music scene

The Pittsburgh music scene has definitely grown exponentially in the past couple years and I really think it’s gonna be a hub for new artists in the next 5 years.  What’s great is that there’s an active house circuit in Pittsburgh where you get to hear tons of different bands, touring and locals. Most recently Jimmy Wopo was nominated for the 10th spot on the XXL Freshman List, he’s on a path to success for sure.  We all want to put Pittsburgh on the map.

Your favorite music albums

My favorite albums are The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness and Future’s self-titled FUTURE.  My favorite mixtape is Lloyd Banks’ Cold Corner 2, the greatest mixtape of all time.

What does “living my best life” mean to you describe your ideal life detailing your environment, housing, daily schedule, and romantic relationship?

Living my best life means that I’m in an environment with no negative energies around me, at least as much as possible.  This is why ultimately I work best when I’m living alone. When I’m able to be by myself there’s no chance of any outside vibes sneaking in.  I like being productive so there’s not a lot of time I’m sitting around. I can’t really put a daily schedule on my music right now because creative energy strikes at various times.  As for romantic relationships, I don’t have the time or the desire to commit to anything serious right now. Freshly 21, I’m keeping it casual for now.

Is making music easy?

Making music is definitely not easy, especially if you want to be good.  You have to put countless hours in perfecting the craft. That time multiplies if you choose to produce your own music.  I would say making music comes easy to some people, a natural as they say, but everyone has to put time in to be the best they can be.  Once you nail down your creative process the flow of making music becomes much smoother and you can make more good music in a shorter time, but that’s an acquired skill set.

What would a visual for “Never” look like?

A visual for “Never”would be mysterious and mirror the distance the song’s lyrics evoke.  You’d never quite get a good look at me in the video because I’m always gone by morning. The only visuals you’d get from me would be dark and obscured.  I want to create a vibe with every piece of work I do with a goal of bringing out very distinct emotions.

What are your favorite songs you have out right now and what are your plans for 2018?

My favorite released songs are Energy and Drove U Crazy.  They’re both such a vibe in their own respect. I recorded Energy when I was at my boy Gray’s studio. Shoutout Gray (@WhoIsGray).  I spent a week in Orlando at his studio and we cut a lot of records, Energy being one of them. I have big plans for 2018! I’ll be dropping my first visuals this summer and I’m really excited for that.  A lot of awesome collaborations on the way as well. I’ve recently started doing shows and I’m looking forward to continue performing bigger and bigger venues.

Follow RLA on Twitter( @o_rla_ ) and stream his music below

 

 

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