By Stranga The Great
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
For the past five years, the West Coast has been the hottest breeding ground in all of hip hop. Three of the five biggest new stars come from this area. One emcee who hopes to be a part of this mix is ROCH, who is a native of San Jose, California.
ROCH has been around for the past couple of years and he has built a strong fan base. As his fan base continues to grow, ROCH is growing in his music. It is important for artists, of all industries, to continue to grow and evolve in their music.
Recently, ROCH talked to Hip Hop Vibe for our On The Rise segment. In the interview, ROCH shared unique topics about some pretty big situations in hip hop. There is a lot to learn about ROCH and his movement.
Read the entire interview below:
First off, can you tell us how you received the name, ROCH, and how it relates to your real name, Uriel? Roch was a given nick name from my fellow Thunder Hut members. It has no relevance to my name what so ever. I am known by some other aliases from other different groups of friends, but some of the oldest they still call me Roch. I actually prefer to be called Uriel. I would love to make the transition. The older I get, the more I don’t like stage names.
What has influenced your unique view of the music industry, reflected upon on your album, Light-Weight Bi-Polar Mania? Honestly, the “Music Industry” is a lot like life in my opinion. We all have different experiences in life and weather it may be bad experiences or good ones, I use that as my main Influences. In retrospect of “Light Weight Bi-Polar Mania”, it was my life and my experience, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. I had a lot of comparisons to other artist and was told my diverse style and eclecticism was not “Marketable”, Blah blah
Blah blah… also heard “Why aren’t you famous or on the radio yet?”. I make music. I write songs. Explaining experiences and emotions in different ways through song so my words are felt not just heard. It’s my art.
Your latest release is called F The Mixtape, can you tell us more about that project? F the MixTape is really just me in a nut shell. I also wanted to showcase my diversity and my ability to write songs, plus giving free music to the world, shit. I couldn’t be anymore happier to share it. I was able to create when I wanted, and how I wanted with no one telling me how too. Working with some of the people I respect as artists and human beings was a plus too. I hope this project will open doors for me to work with others that share a passion for completing projects and making good music, good art.
What motivates you to go in and create music? Life and my environment wherever it may be. People in my life or that cross my path. The stories that I hear and how they make me feel. Creating music is my
passion, so being motivated to do so is second nature. Also some of the shitty music that I hear helps fuel my hunger.
How do you feel about such hip hop-inspired programs, like “Empire” and “Power?” I honestly don’t watch a lot of television and haven’t been sucked in by those two shows, but having little knowledge of them I feel like they must have come from some experience or truth at some point from someones life. Probably watered down for their network so it’s mainstream acceptable. Out of the two, all I know is 50 pushes “Power.” I admire his work
a lot and would love to work with him if I had the opportunity.
Could you see yourself doing cameo appearances on shows like those? Of course. If the role I’m playing portraits my beliefs and values then hell yeah. Shit, even if it doesn’t I’m always down to leave my comfort zone and try new things. Acting is something iv always been interested in.
What do you see for yourself in the future? I see the freedom to create and help others to create. In this day and age, it’s very difficult to be heard in an over saturated industry. good music and art needs to be seen and heard. If I can help in any way, sign me up. Singing and songwriting is what I’ll be doing until I die.Also my passion for tattooing has my attention. There’s something about the world of tattooing that has me hooked like a moth to a flame.
Can you let the people know where they can find you on social media? www.Soundcloud.com/Uriel-J-Winfree-III, Twitter @Rochout, Instagram @urielwinfree.
Follow Stranga The Great on Twitter @StrangaTheGreat.