1. What inspired you to pursue a career in music, and when did you first realize you wanted to be a musician?
I was inspired to pursue a career in music because I was always a hip hop fan. I grew up with rap music, was always around it, and understood it. When I was young I took guitar lessons and the love for creating music was there. It was just the natural precession of things for me to get into rap, my dad used to even be a rapper.
2. What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as an emerging artist, and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenges that I’ve faced as an emerging artist definitely has to be self doubt. It holds you back in too many ways, it gets you overthinking to the point you dont believe youre good enough, sets back days you think you should drop music. It’s a constant battle with self doubt, but I overcome it daily by reminding myself who I am and how far Ive come.
3. Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and how have they shaped your sound and style?
As of late, I’ve been influenced a lot more by producer/artists such as DJ Quik, or Pharrell, and I think listening to them as much as I do gave my beats this laid backness to it. Writing/rap wise I’m definitely a big Cole fan. Kendrick too, definitely, influences a lot of my rhymes. And in this sense of being inspired of course I mean pushing me to recreate something better and my more my own.
4. How do you approach the songwriting process, and where do you draw inspiration from for your lyrics and melodies?
Songwriting for me, I’ve learned, happens best when not forced. Most times I’m not even thinking about writing or making anything for that matter, but then I’ll hear a beat that I like and words pop into my head. It’s all just a matter of how creative I’m feeling in the moment, or how good the idea is. But usually the fuel is there to ignite the flame, as soon as it catches it hooks and then I’ll have a few new songs written. I grew up in a musical household that went to a musical church, so I draw a lot of inspiration from music or sounds that sound familiar to me.
5. What can listeners expect from your upcoming album or project, and how does it differ from your previous work?
I feel like my next few EPs are going to show a different side of Ruggo that not a lot of people are used to. Foot on the gas type Ruggo. For the past few projects I feel like I’ve been trying too hard trying to be artistic and deep but took too long doing it. Moving forward I know my music is only going to continue to evolve but for now I know I’m hungrier than ever, and it’s going to show when these next few releases start popping out of nowhere.
6. How has your background or life experiences influenced your music and artistic vision?
I think my music and artistic vision are heavily influenced by my life experiences and its evident to me simply by the fact that I’m always rapping my truth. Talking about obstacles, constant life struggles, and the place that I’m from are the topics youre more than likely going to notice off first listen of my music. I guess it comes down to me being a product of my environment.
7. Can you talk about a particularly memorable or inspiring performance you've had, and what made it special?
My most memorable performance I had was when I opened up for D. Smoke for sure. It was the biggest crowd I had ever been in front of and my most “in control of” performances I have ever had by far. Sometimes I’ll have off days, and sometimes I’ll kill it, but this day was one of them ones where everything just flowed perfectly. Plus I had a lot of people pull up for me specifically, and it felt good having that much love in the building.
8. What do you hope listeners take away from your music, and what message do you want to convey through your art?
My message has and always will be to KEEPITMOVIN. Thats what I hope listeners take away from my music. To stick to their path that leads to their idealized version of success. Maybe its a very cliché thing when you think about it, like never give up, but it’s the truth. If you stick to your mission long enough it’s going to go right for you. Life’s a Oneway road.
9. How has the music industry changed since you first started, and how have you adapted to those changes as an artist?
I’ve noticed the industry change by its recent incorporation of a lot of short term content which has now become a main factor in gaining a fanbase. I’ve had to adapt by learning that creating content and staying consistent with it is a key component in your success online, so I started editing my own short videos. Understanding that you need to gain traction on your own before anyone ever bats an eye is something most artists don’t get right now, so I feel if you’re a part of this current change then you’re ahead of the curve.
10. What advice would you give to other emerging artists who are just starting out in the industry?
My advice to other emerging artists: Don’t stop. It might be a lot of reasons why you think you should stop, but don’t. Put in the work for your music harder than a full time job. Eventually you’ll have such a full sheet of accomplishments like a career resume, someone’s going to have to notice. Let your efforts speak for themselves.