Tell us about yourself as an artist. What do you do?
One thing that always made me a little different from everyone [at Norco] was that I was the hip-hop guy. Mostly everyone from when I was there—there were maybe two [hip hop artists]— it was mostly that indie, folk, rock type of feel… so most of my songs are about my life and relationships; that’s what I like to write about. I don’t like to write about “getting turned up,” or getting drunk. I do write about that stuff once in a while, but in a [more] playful manner. I’m a songwriter, first and foremost. I’m also a collaborator; I like to work a lot with different people just because I like different people’s voices, I like how they write, I like how people think.
Yeah, I think that shows on your album credits; you're definitely a REAL collaborator.
Yeah, that’s definitely one thing I wish a lot of people would have done more in that class (in MUC)—there were maybe about four people I didn’t [get to] work with in the whole… eight semesters I was in that class.
You said that, first-and-foremost, you're a songwriter? Would you label yourself as a rapper?
No. I would never label myself as a rapper. Hip hop is what I do, it’s my love, but to say I’m a rapper is discrediting the people I grew up listening to. I would never want to put myself, as a rapper, labeled under Tupac, Notorious BIG, Eminem; I would never want to put myself in that [category] just because I don’t want to disrespect them in [any] manner. The style of music that I do is rap and hip hop, yes, it’s what I do, but it’s not what I label myself as.
I like how you call yourself a songwriter because you do tell stories in your songs.
That’s what I try to do. That’s my whole focus—to try and let people [know] what I’m thinking. That’s what songs should be about. From time-to-time, I’ll do a party song. From time-to-time, I’ll do a song where I’m rhyming for the sake of rhyming, just to show everyone that I can, but I prefer to be more of a storyteller.
Tell us about your time at Norco, in the Norco Music department.
I loved it! I wish I could still be there, honestly… I loved every single minute of it—specifically that MUC-1 class; I’ve met probably the greatest amount of people I will ever meet in my life in just that class. You know, [we] call ourselves the MUC Family because it was that. You’ve got a conglomerate of people—different genres, different backgrounds, ethnicities, what-have-you—and somehow we all work together to make beautiful music. That is the best part about that class. I loved it. I’ve gone to see countless Castle Pines shows, I’ve been onstage with Castle Pines, I’ve gotten to work with Shaka, made a couple songs with Stephen [Taylor], I’ve met amazing people [like] Harbinger, Christopher Daniel… those are my people, I love them! They made that whole experience amazing.
And Brady! Not a lot of people give Brady all the love that he deserves and needs to get! That man puts up with so much… from all of us, like, way too much [and more] than he should… [Kim] Kamerin, another person… If you ever see that man just freestyle on a piano, it’s ridiculous. Brady and Kamerin have some of the most extensive musical knowledge out of anybody I know. Brady, his production is ridiculous. He hears things that not a lot of people would pay attention to, and once he gets to know your voice and how you are, he gets it—he gets who you are and knows what to do with you right away. My time at Norco was just [filled with] amazing people and that’s what I love most about it.
Do you have a favorite memory or experience from being in Norco Music?
I would say my favorite memory would be the first time Brady was taking a list of songs to [consider] for the Falling Awake album—the first album I was on—and I saw my name on it… It was amazing.
What are you doing now as far as anything school related, music related, professionally, etc?
Right now [I’m taking] my Commercial Music Degree that I got at Norco and I’m trying to apply it at Cal State San Bernardino. When I applied, they had a Commercial Music Degree, but somewhere between the time where I got accepted and [actually] started going there, they changed it to a minor. So now I’m kind of stuck in a limbo area with school. I’m still in [school]—I’m doing more performance-based [study] so now I’m not writing raps; now I have to sing. So that’s a whole new mode for me. Musically, I’ve always been all about the studio; that’s the thing I love to do most. I’m always writing, I’m always trying to collaborate with people, I’m working on a mixtape and an album, so hopefully that comes out soon.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
No. If I'm not working, I’m at school. If I’m not at school, I’m working on music. That is it; that is the love of my life!
Do you have any other goals that you’ve set for yourself, either short-term or long-term?
As far as my goals are concerned, my social media game is weak, so I want to start trying to build myself up in that aspect. I want to start shooting videos… At the very least, something simple…
Is there anything you want people to know about you?
The thing I want people to know, in general, about music is to be open to it. Not just open to MY music, but open to music in general. A lot of people say, “I listen to everything… EXCEPT.” Just be open to everything.
Octavia written by Christopher Daniel • Christopher Daniel (vocals/acoustic guitar/piano) Big Man (vocals) Brady Kerr (programming)
Out of the Darkness | Into the Light
Footsteps written by BigMan and Daniel Chavez • Big Man (vocals) Daniel Chavez (vocals) Brady Kerr (programming)
Look Up written by Eduardo Arvilla, Daniel Chavez and Big Man • Big Man (vocals) Daniel Chavez (vocals/piano) Jourdan Montano (vocals) Eduardo Arvilla (lead guitar) Ryan Hickman (rhythm guitar) Steen Kevett (bass) Jake Kelley (drums)
Try written by Joey Cutless and Big Man • Big Man (vocals) Tanner Riggs (vocals) Joey Cutless (beat)
Roll With Me written by Smoothbeatsonly.com, Big Man, and Judith Quán • Big Man (vocals) Judith Quán (vocals/backing vocals) Smoothbeatsonly.com (beat)
Spotlight written by Nate Rhoads and Big Man • Big Man (vocals) Jon Esqueda (vocals/backing vocals) Nate Rhoads (beat)
Nothing written by Brady Kerr, Sterling Fairfield, Steen Kevett, and Big Man • Big Man (vocals) Judith Quán (vocals/backing vocals) Brady Kerr (piano) Steen Kevett (bass) Sterling Fairfield (drums)
Cosmic Love written by Phillip Riddick and A Jasper • Bree (vocals) Big Man (vocals) Jessica Lim (backing vocals) KL (backing vocals) Judith Quán (backing vocals) Phillip Riddick (synths/programming)
From The Heart written by Big Man • Big Man (vocals) R.A.D. (programming)
Declaration written by Big Man and Alex Zimmer • Big Man (vocals) Chris Patrick Morgan (rhythm guitar) Alex Zimmer (lead guitar) Marshall German (guitar) Steen Kevett (bass) Sterling Fairfield (drums)
Just Go With It written by DIVIS/ON, Big Man, and Brady Kerr • Big Man (vocals) Dennis Vong (vocals/backing Vocals) DIVIS/ON (programming)
Speak Up written by L!R@ Matthew Hobbs, Big Man, and Courtney Redwine • Big Man (lead vocals) Daniel Chavez (vocals) Courtney Redwine (backing vocals) L!R@ (guitar/vocals) Dominic Valenzuela (guitar) Marshall German (piano) Louis Ojeda (bass) Kevin Allen (drums)