Article: Dana Morenstein – Contributor
How he manages to balance his busy life without missing a beat
Not only is Rubiks Music a cool guy, but he makes good beats, too. He’s opened up for such influential hip hop artists like Raekwon, Bone Thugs, Andre Nickatina, Swollen Members and more. Rubiks recently released his second compilation of songs, “Volume 2: Red Moon Music”. The Carillon sat down with him to discuss his busy life, his music, and how he manages to keep everything in check.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I’m wrapping up my last year here [at the U of R]. Last year, I was on the executive for the Hill Business Student Society. This year, I’m the Business Student Director. I sit on the university council and senate for URSU. I’m a board member for the Saskatchewan Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs. I do music and I have about three to four jobs. So, I keep pretty busy.
How long have you been doing music?
Publicly since 2008. But I’ve always had music as a pretty strong point in my life.
What artist has most influenced you?
I can’t give all the credit to one artist. From traditional Ethiopian music to American hip hop to Canadian indie pop music. There’s a bunch of different genres all throughout the world that have influenced me. I like game changers.
What do you like to rap about?
I have two different styles. One style is when I write lyrics and listen to the beat. The other style is when I listen to a beat and I feel what I want to write.
There are rappers like ASAP Rocky who rap about women, money and all that shit. Then there are rappers like 2Pac, for instance, who rapped about more serious social issues. Where do you see yourself fitting into the game?
There’s different aspects of [rap music]. That whole 90’s culture was all about overcoming oppression of black people, especially in the United States, so you will see a lot more anger and aggression in their music. Then you have people like ASAP. He is super young, he rose to stardom pretty quickly. So, if he’s talking about women and all that other stuff, he’s looking around his environment. He’s with his group of young twenty-somethings and they’re getting everything. They’re getting the money, the girls, the cars, whatever. So, if that’s what’s influencing him right now, it’s okay. It’s where he’s at right now in his music.
Do you wear all your chains, even when you’re around the house?
[Laughs] What chains? My bike lock chain? I should wear my bike lock chain around my neck. I never chastise a rapper for what he raps about. It’s all just a way of saying it. You can have a rapper who uses completely different words, but he’s rapping about the same thing. It’s not about what you say, but how you say it.
How do you balance music, school, and things you’re involved with in the community?
There’s definitely a lot of time management and a lot of stress management. Some things will have to be put on the back burner, and the next week, other things put on the back burner. It’s basically a juggling act. As long as you can keep all the balls in the air, you’re good to go. At first it was horrible. I committed myself to so many extracurricular activities and committees. At times I was like, I’m done. But getting involved definitely helped me stay in school and grind it out. It was beneficial.
Is there any advice you can offer to other up and coming artists?
It’s all about connecting your social circles and everybody you know. Lining up your dominoes and trying to knock them down and, hopefully, the previous one knocks down the next one. Going to a certain event or a certain party, introducing yourself to someone and finding out that your mutual friends know each other. I like connecting all my circles of friends so they know where I’ve been, what I know, so we can basically just feed off of each other for everything. You might have to stay in a few nights. No partying, work on your craft. One day, when you decide to unveil it, it’ll be such a masterpiece. Everyone will be like, “Oh, that’s what he was doing!”
Next Show: Saturday, September 28th @ Culture Days (with Indigo Joseph and Pimpton)
Facebook: Rubiks Music