Wednesday 30 May 2018

Interview with Chunjay, frontman of conscious, American hip-hop group, Royal Ruckus

See our previous interview with Chunjay here:
Interview with Chunjay of Royal Ruckus

Love Music : We been hearing a lot about you, so we notice you're starting to gain a lot of attention how does it feel?

Thanks so much for the feature. The thing that I always find amazing is the connection between a musician and the listener. When I pour my heart, soul, and creativity into a song or bigger project, and someone takes the time to reach out and say, "You know, I really love that one song, and it reminds me of something I went through," or even just a, "Hey, that one song is really funny, I shared it with all my friends," it's just incredible. I do this music thing a little bit for me, and a little bit for the listener, and it makes it all worth it when others notice and enjoy it.

Love Music : Can you please tell us about your new EP?

Sure, it's called World's Okayest Rapper, and is a 7-song collaboration with my long-time friend CookBook of LA Symphony. He produced the music and vocals, and all around just made everything that much more amazing. It's really fun for me to work with him, because when we were getting started, we really looked up to LA Symphony, and Pigeon John, another member of their crew, was very helpful to us back then, even producing a demo for us back in the day. So to work with another member of LAS, and one that I've done several songs with before, is just fun and a great way to continue on this Ruckus journey.

The record is a little bit of humor, a little bit of heartbreak, a little bit of love for my parents, siblings, and nieces, and all love for the world and everyone in it.

Love Music : What has been one of the most exciting achievements of your career so far? 

Oh gosh, there have been so many amazing highlights. Festivals, Nashville music business stuff, collaborations with amazing arts, the list goes on. But really, there is nothing better than what I said a minute ago: connecting with a listener. Last year, I played a show near Chattanooga, TN, and this fella came out for his 30th birthday, and had been listening to us since he was in high school. We had a chance to visit, and that sort of thing really encourages me.

Love Music : How do you achieve your goals? 

I'm actually chasing a number of goals. I have a weekly phone call with a group of guys, called Goal 100. It's a goal setting accountability group, and we check in with each other in the various areas we are trying to challenge ourselves. I have goals related to my job, my music, and my personal life, which includes physical and spiritual dimensions.

Love Music : When you're writing a song, how do you know it's your best work?

That's tricky, because it's hard for me to be objective about my songwriting. Usually when I write a song, I mull it over for months and months, and gradually refine the lyrics in multiple sessions. Sometimes in the process, I decide to throw away a whole song or verse, and start from scratch. A lot of times the future writing sessions blow the older sessions out of the water. Finally, with this record, World's Okayest Rapper, and the previous one, The Summer of the Cicadas, I worked with in-studio producers to refine my lyrics and delivery, and that's how it gets to be the best it can be!

Love Music : Did you choose this industry as a career or as a hobby?

I suppose it's a little bit of both. It's been a career and a hobby, depending on the time, and the line between those two isn't always clear, as most independent musicians can attest. The main self-criticism I have on this, however, is that I didn't have a clear vision of what I wanted early on, and was willing to settle for either. Never settle. Choose. And then go get it.

Love Music : What kind of training have you had?

I grew up taking drum lessons, and even played in the orchestra at my high school. I also took piano lessons for a few years. I can't stress enough how important playing an instrument can be for a young cat coming up, if it all that is available. It's great for enjoying music, helps with math, and just helps to make a more well-rounded person. I highly recommend it.

Love Music : Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to be a professional musician?

First of all, nobody will take you seriously if you don't. You can overdo it, but believe in what you're doing. Second, live and breathe the music. Finally, surround yourself with people who are on the same path as you or who have achieved the results you want. Convince them to mentor you, and follow their advice.

Love Music : Everybody needs time away. Where do you like to travel?

Well, I love traveling to play shows. Touring has shown me parts of this world I would never have seen otherwise. So that's a huge deal to me, and something I endeavor to keep doing in the future. I also have friends or family all over the US, so I usually try to go at least once a year to California, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana, and the last few years I've also had time for Texas and a few other places. I'd really like to go back to Hawaii soon, but with the volcanic eruptions lately, I'm not sure how soon I'll get back to the Big Island.

Love Music : Are you active on social media? 

Yeah, very much so. Here's a list of relevant sites and such:

Music videos:

I really appreciate you featuring me again! You're the best!


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