A few years ago in the cold 20 below zero weather in the great city of Minneapolis, I was a professor at a recording Institute. Very Talented College students that produce, write, perform and even do short films and music videos attend this institute.
When I was leaving one of my classes, I met a kid with mad swagger. His swag was off the charts, but he seemed like he was on a mission bigger than what the school had to offer him. One day he pulled me in one of the studios and asked me to listen to some tracks he was recording. I gave my honest opinion and he took all the criticism very well. A few months later this kid that calls himself RoyStar had created not just better records, he created a group dubbed "SoundSick" that packed the Huge Mall of America in Minnesota. Their videos have received over 100,000 YouTube views and they have already opened for groups like Nelly, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Day 26. My wife and kids were banging SoundSick's stuff on a regular basis and they brought it to me and said "this is the next hot s**t in R&B/Hip-Hop. I listened, not knowing who they were, but the s**t was on point.
The group, consisting of members K. City, J Watts, Chrishan Lego and Roy Star, are preparing to deliver the world a new, "sick sound" with the release of their new album Room 109.
AllHipHop.com: I understand you guys are brothers, cousins, or good friends?
KCity: There are two brothers which are J Watts and RoyStar.
JWatts: Well..we are definitely all like brothers...but Myself (J Watts) and Roystar are biological brothers. Yep, same momma and daddy & errything.
AllHipHop.com: Where are you guys from?
JWatts: We all are putting on Minnesota, that's our heart...we met in St. Paul while in college at Concordia University and we're all from the Twin Cities in different areas. Myself and Roystar came to Minnesota from Chicago, Illinois, while Chrishan hailed from Toledo, Ohio, and K City is St. Paul born and raised but we all consider Minnesota home. All from different places but all reppin' the same place so you get a lot in the dynamic of the group.
AllHipHop.com: The name SoundSick? Who came up with that?
KCity: J Watts & Roystar came up with the name…
JWatts: Star. While myself (J Watts) and Star were in a recording session we were playing with an effect and I was like that "Sound sick," so when thinking of what we were going to name our group/movement Star was like SoundSick. We thought it was dope and we ran with it, and a movement was born.
AllHipHop.com:Room 109? What's the concept behind the name of the album?
Roystar: Well we all met at a school talent show. After the show and hearing each others music we mutually appreciated each others work so we went back to the dorm right after to start creating and the rest is history. We all moved into the same dorm room, which was "Room 109" and recorded the album, and that's where the significance of the title comes from.
AllHipHop.com: I heard two of you guys had college football scholarships and you walked away from it for this?
Chrishan: This is true. J Watts & K City both played for the team and the coach gave them an ultimatum to either fully devote to football or music. It was becoming difficult to be able to do shows and then be able to make all of the practices and games, so they made that decision.
AllHipHop.com: Do you guys realize how hard it is to break as a new artists in this game? Who thought you were crazy to leave college?
KCity: We realize it is very difficult to make it in this industry, but we are confident we have what it takes…you have to chase your dreams. Nothing is impossible and through Christ all things are possible. Everyone thought we were crazy for leaving college, but we all also understand the importance of finishing college, which we all at some point plan to finish.
JWatts: Yeah no doubt about it. In a game where there's not just a lot of people but a lot of talented people doing it, we realize the challenge but at the same time we believe that you just have to make music you believe in and if people like it they will support you. Everybody who matters supported our decision because they believed in us, but more importantly we believe in God and believe in ourselves, so music is the hand and were here to touch the world.
AllHipHop.com: So explain to me the SoundSick sound?
JWatts: The SoundSick sound is edgy but universal, its party music but with an attitude. It speaks to the mothers and sons a like. It transcends age, gender, race and anything that can be seen. It's all about a feeling, so the music touches your heart whether your going through something, in a relationship, need inspiration or just want to have fun the SoundSick sound speaks to you where you're at.
KCity: The SoundSick sound is like hearing a hot song and then four of your favorite artists remixing it. With four individual different styles, we create a sound that is incomparable to any other track you've heard.
AllHipHop.com: You guys produce and write your own music?
KCity: Yes we come up with concepts and beats collectively or individually and write everything.
JWatts: We respect and appreciate all the producers in the game shutting it down from Tricky to Rodney Jerkins, David Guetta to Lex, Kanye and so many more. We love music that's why we like to get into everything from production to Mixing Singing and rapping, and instrumentation. We approach it like a child there's always more to learn.
AllHipHop.com: Who influences you guys to do what you do?
Roystar: Definitely all the great musicians and artists that came before us, all the greats down the line. Probably the biggest influence would be life, and just living on the day-to-day, learning, growing and drawing from all these experiences to create something real and something that people from all walks of life can relate to.
AllHipHop.com: Where do you guys see yourselves as well as the music industry in the next five years?
KCity: At the top making some noise and working with as many artists and producers as we can.
JWatts: Being that we bring a whole new vibe coming all the way from Minnesota, we definitely feel like the is the beginning and SoundSick is here to stay because we bring something that's different. We see ourselves winning a Grammy, continuing to make great music and bringing something new and different to the game. As well as showing the kids that have been told "you can't" that God is good and you can do anything you put your mind to. Believe in yourself and never count yourself out
SoundSick's album Room 109 is available on iTunes and everywhere else music is sold digitally via SSE/Canorous/Universal