Written by Imani Wj Wright
Photo by Lukey Lenz
Typically when I do an interview, I try to do it in a place that seems to be tailormade for the occasion. Whether it’s a studio, stage or an office space, it always seems to work out.
However this time around, I felt like I needed to switch things up a bit and figuring that I was about meet with an artist who goes against the grain, it was the perfect time. This gave me an excuse to break my diet, and hit one of my favorite burger spots on the east coast. I'll leave it up to you all to figure out which place that is.
Just recently, I had a chance to sit down and eat with one of the most groovy, hip-hop artist around right now, Premo Rice. Since I review music for a living, I'm always looking for new artists and songs to check out. Since my friends know this, my inbox is constantly full with new music suggestions.
One day, as I was scrolling through my messages, I saw this track that my buddy Grayson sent to me. I trust Grayson's taste, so I clicked on it and right away, this hard- hitting bass line begins to blast through my speakers. I was so stunned by it's sheer smoothness that I had to start it over right away.
It didn't take me long to figure out that Premo has a phenomenal ability to create a vibe. You can hear a high influence of 1970s R&B in his discography, especially in reference to the song titled, “Player's Anthem 2018.” Premo's flow fits the track like a glove. He approaches his pieces with an evident sense of control and command. Rhythmically, he is completely unorthodox and doesn't follow the standard vocal pattern that you may expect.
“When I was younger, I used to play percussion, and I was like nice,” Premo told me. I was not surprised at all, as his rhythmic control had already seemed to be trained and easily executed.
Premo and I began to speak about performing live, as we had both just recently come off headlining our own shows. He recently performed to a packed house in Memphis, as he let me know his fan base is heavy in the south.
When asked, “What is the key to accumulating a dedicated fan base besides obviously creating good music?,” he asserted that keeping a healthy and steady relationship with his listeners is always key. He also said that a lot of people get distracted by trying to be too separated from their “fans.”
Premo's intelligence was evident during our discussions as we delved into a bevy of topics including: writing, the importance of studying your craft, and obviously, music.