KdawG: "Peace Rise Sovereign. How are you? Glad to have you here for this interview."
Rise Sovereign: "Peace family, thanks for reaching out."
KdawG: "You released your first official instrumentals tape last year "Days In Exile". It was a very
dope tape. And this year you released the EP "The Lost Pages" where you also spit. It's been on heavy rotation over here. Were you satisfied with these two projects? And how has the feedback
been so far?"
Rise Sovereign: "The response on the Exile tape was dope and people have been showin love. It was a collection of instrumentals that I had made over a few years and I put them together. Apparently word got around and a couple heads started wanting to use some for their solo projects. "The Getway" ended up on Swerve & SYG's album and became "Not So EZ". The Lost Pages was a full fledged project with emcees, I wanted it to be a follow up to the Exile tape where I could feature some dope artists while showcasing my rhymes. I was able to connect with artists that I felt would carry the vibe of the album. The homie Young Noble and Purpose from Tragic Allies were both gracious with their verses"
KdawG: "What inspires you to write and to produce music as well?"
Rise Sovereign: "I always felt words had a lot of power, and found that to be true in hip hop. Adding music behind words adds so much more depth to what's trying to be said, it goes beyond language and hits you deep. To me that's soul, and that's the level. I try to come with on every track. I always wanted my production to be visual. I get inspired hearing new kinds of music, learning about what's goin on in the world, philosophy, religion, all kinds of shit that makes you really think."
KdawG: "Where do you see yourself in the "hip hop game" right now?"
Rise Sovereign: "As an independent , I don't feel like I have to be in our out of the game. There's too much politics and not enough music, I try to fall back and focus on my craft."
KdawG: "Which artists are your biggest influences? What do you listen to yourself these days?"
Rise Sovereign: "In terms of my sound, the Wu really molded the way I approach music. Over the years, RZA has been my one of my biggest musical influences, then came the Wu Elements. His way of sampling opened me up to a whole new appreciation of music and opened my ears up. I listen to a lot of soul, jazz, rock, r&b; whatever hits me at the moment. I'm always keepin my ears open."
KdawG: "Do you have any artists you really wish to work with in the future?"
Rise Sovereign: "Definitely. I would love to cut a track with the Abbott, the RZA. Bronze Nazareth and Kevlaar from the Wisemen are also in my top ten. Definitely want to work with Noble again. Purpose from Allies was dope, I would like to have the whole team on a next project."
KdawG: "Describe your music with three words (If possible)? "
Rise Sovereign: "Soulful, visual, atmospheric."
KdawG: "What about politics? Do you think it's important to question politics and society in ones music?"
Rise Sovereign: "Always. Music is a tool for change, the spoken word will never die as a medium to reach people. Hip hop has been linked to politics since the beginning. My philosophy is question everything and stay open to what's goin on in the world. Reality is its own art form and hip hop is a reflection of that. Hip hop is rhythm laced with a dose of truth, and all of the underground
heads spittin real shit know that. The dopest MC's in my opinion always had a message; something real in their lyrics that you felt even if you turned the beat off. I think the message is just as important as the music, so I try to bring my best production game into every track I produce, just to stay true to that concept."
(The interview continues below the picture)
Rise Sovereign: I'm working on my next instrumental album, Days in Exile vol 2. but I'm not sure if that's gonna be the final title. I want to pick up where the last one left off. I'm working with some new gear in the studio and want to incorporate it on the next project. It's gonna have the same underground feel but with more instrumentation, more of a song structure on each joint. I want to take it in a new direction but stay true to the sound and theme that I put forth on the first tape. I'm working on a a full fledged album which I plan to drop sometime over the next year with some new features."
KdawG: "Dope dope. What can the listeners expect on the upcoming instrumental album? Will it be a longer tape or just around the same? "
Rise Sovereign: "I'm aiming for 17 tracks, the theme and overall feel is going to be the same as the first album. There is going to be more variation, something more open ended on each track. I want the beat to be full enough to carry the listener to the end of the track without getting repetitive,
but open enough for someone to spit a rhyme over, feel me."
KdawG: "No doubt fam. On "The Lost Pages EP" you had features from members of Tragic Allies among others. Will any of these artists be on your next album with features, and/or will we be able to see some new faces on there as well?"
Rise Sovereign: "Word, I am looking to get some new features in. It all depends on the style of the production, I envision different artists over different types of beats. On that Finish Line joint I pictured Noble sounding dope. He liked the beat and went in hard. If I come with an open, storytelling beat with a lot of atmosphere, I want a real lyrical emcee that's gonna tell a memorable story. If the beat sounds aggressive, I want someone who can bring a lot of energy to match the feel of the track. The Lost Pages had a lot of variation in production style so I feel every feature matched the feel of the beat overall."
KdawG: "I guess the listeners and fans really looking forward to the "Days In Exile" part 2. I am as well. Are the release date set yet? Or is it to early to say?"
Rise Sovereign: "Early 2014. Going to be taking my time on this joint, I want the final product to be solid."
KdawG: "Will you release some new material this year? Any singles etc for example?"
Rise Sovereign: "Possibly, I'm always putting out tracks, I might get in a collaboration and release it as a single, I can see that happening soon."
KdawG: "What is your personal favorite track from yourself?"
Rise Sovereign: "Production wise, there was a beat on Days in Exile called Slippin. Something about that beat just fell into place while I was producing it. It just felt complete even though it was just a basic loop. It felt like you could take the track into any angle, like a slow storytelling joint or something else. Every time I hear it I get inspired to start writing, so I always come back to that joint when I need some direction on how to finish a verse or a new beat. As far as a full track, depends on what I'm feelin at the moment. Hybrid Swordsman or Finish Line shows the hunger, the lyrical sharpness, whereas Born Day is more uplifting, something more soulful and less aggressive. I feel like I got different favorite tracks for different days."
KdawG: "Where do you see yourself in five years from now?"
Rise Sovereign: "Constantly building fam. I try to stay true to my vision and my sound, and see where it takes me. I plan to stay independent as long as possible and stay elevating."
KdawG: "What do you prefer? Producing or emceeing?"
Rise Sovereign: "To me they go hand in hand, so I can't really separate one from the other. Musically, I'm always keeping my ears open, always looking for new gear or new techniques to try out. I'm always digging for new sounds and new genres, so my production gears always going. When it comes to rhyming, I take breaks occasionally. I'm comfortable producing an entire album without rhyming once, so I feel most at home behind the boards."
KdawG: "What's your thoughts on the Hip Hop Industry today?"
Rise Sovereign: "Fans have been conditioned to support wack shit and sleep on real artists who put a lot of time and effort into their craft. For every wack mainstream MC, I can name at least 10 underground artists who have sharpened their production game, or are criminally slept on for their
lyricism. The game used to recognize talent and real skill. Kendrick went in on that control verse and tore it up, dude is a real lyricist and brings a lot of energy to the game. The hip hop industry will change overnight when people realize how powerful the spoken word can be."
KdawG: "Anything you would like to add? Any S/O or similar things?"
"Days In Exile" (2012) Rise Sovereign
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You can also check out both of his past projects, "Days In Exile" and "The Lost Pages EP" on KdawG's Official YouTube channel: KdawGOfficial