If you frequent the DopeHouse, there’s a solid chance you’ve seen the name Russ on more than one occasion. From singing to rapping—over his own production, of course—the Atlanta native has been releasing quality tunes to the masses on a weekly basis for the past year and change. And with no signs of slowing down, the DIEMON rep sat down with 2DBZ for a quick chat about his release frequency, future plans, and more.
Peep the conversation below, and keep scrolling for a handful of Russ’ latest records.
By my count on SoundCloud, you released 55 songs over in 2015. Did you eventually stop counting, or did you have a goal in mind for the year?
Yeah, I definitely lost count, but I decided I was gonna drop songs consistently until I blow up.
That’s a pretty good mind set, but are you worried about over-saturating your fans?
Nah, cause a week on the Internet is really like a month. Everything moves so fast and the approach is definitely working with that.
Makes sense. I just wrote briefly about how, in 2015, I realized the speed and volume music is coming out now, and your strategy definitely falls in helping that realization. That being said, how many songs do you think you recorded last year? Do most of the songs you make wind up on SoundCloud?
I probably recorded 80 songs—produced, engineered, mixed, mastered all of them. And yeah, the majority do.
What’s your process? Do you record a whole bunch at once and then slowly release them over a period of time, or are you constantly recording and releasing as you go along?
Before I started dropping songs I had a bunch in the vault, so I’ve always kinda been like two months ahead.
Your songs usually range from ultra-confident to intimate and sincere. Do you have a personal favorite? One that means a little bit more than the others?
What came first: the rapping, singing, producing or engineering?
Well, I guess the rapping, because I was playing around with it when I was like 7. Just writing songs in a notebook and performing them in my living room. But then I stopped, and when I was 14, I started making beats. Always was playing around with melodies and rapping while I would listen to them so I think it all just happened organically.
It seems a lot of rappers nowadays are finding some success in adding singing, whether it’s amazing or somewhat out of place, to their repertoire. Were you conscious in noticing that and adding it to yours as well?
Honestly, my first time on a mic I was just doing hooks for Bugus. I was always into melody and always was aware that melodies were key. I knew that when I was 14, because every hit rap song had an epic hook. I hear a lot of rappers who never use to do melodies trying to do them and it’s cringe worthy cuz it’s like “damn, you’re a massive rapper and myself along with the rest of the world is watching you go through your training wheels phase in regards to singing.” I was always just aware so I was practicing melodies since like ’09. That’s why my shit sounds the way it does. My training wheels phase is long gone. I’m doing wheelies and jumping off ramps now.
How are you going to top dropping a song a week last year in 2016?
I got this whole thing very mapped out. I don’t wanna get into details but just know I have this all very mapped out.
More songs? Album(s)?
I really wanna tell you the whole plan, but I wanna keep the mystique up and not give people too much info.
I understand. It’d be irresponsible of me to not to ask, though. So we’ll have to keep waiting for those surprise drops?
Haha, no doubt! Definitely be on the lookout.