Nicholas Roberts, better known by his stage name as Roach Clip, has been in the hip-hop music scene since his first release around 1998/1999 and has never looked back. With his cousin that was into music engineering, it helped him learn things at a pretty young age and at a rapid pace real early on, putting his music career on the fast track. I sat down with Roach the other day to learn more about this talented musical artist.
Doc: Who does your beats, recording and engineering?
Roach: I do all my own recording and engineering, thanks to the lessons I learned from my cousin. When it comes to the beats and music, I do probably about 80% – 90% of my production with the group and my solo stuff. Not all of it, but there’s a good amount.
Doc: What program(s) do you use?
Roach: I use Native Instruments now, that’s kind of my new thing. I’ve been doing the whole machine, and then I arrange and everything else in Pro Tools.
Doc: Do you have any YouTube videos?
Roach: Yeah, but like I said, I’ve been in a bunch of groups man, that was kinda my thing for a long time. This is like my first real solo endeavor that I’m doing now. So the majority of my videos are older.
Doc: Oh, OK so you’re going solo?
Roach: Yeah, it’s just kind of a time thing, you know, that I still do the group with people I’ve known for a long time but this one is more. It’s not as much as how my older group were really pursuing it constantly all the time. We’re all solo artists as well. This is going to be my first solo release since I wanna say 2008 or 2009.
Doc: So are you going to be pretty much doing the solo thing for the most part, except every now and then doing some features.
Roach: Yeah, it just kinda depends on what pops up. I mean I’m constantly always working on both, so they never really stopped either way. This is the first time that I’m going to do a solo one with some actual push behind it. Where it’s not a group effort.
Doc: I got a chance to listen to your new work in progress titled “2 AM”. What was your inspiration behind it?
Roach: Literally I was out here, I had drank a Monster way to late in the evening. And I was sitting here, it was about 2 o’clock in the morning and it just happened. I wrote that song, kind of made it a a spur of the moment kind of thing.
Doc: What were some of your influences coming up in your music career?
Roach: Dr. Dre and Insane Clown Posse come to mind.
Doc: What major bands have you opened up for?
Roach: Geez, I’ve done a bunch. My biggest one up to date, I’ve played the Gathering of the Juggalos in Ohio with the Insane Clown Posse (ICP) and there were so many people on that one. You know, fucking 5 days of crazy acts. I do a lot of the local stuff that rolls through here in San Luis Obispo. I’ve opened up for Rittz, Two Live Crew, Tech N9ne, Murs, Lil Debbie, Rehab, Kottonmouth Kings, Head PE, D12, Andre Nickatina, Dirt Nasty, Mickey Avalon, Kung Fu Vampire, Awesome TY, Smoove E Smoove, Mr. Gray before he blew up with that Gorilla Voltage, shoot man I’d have to look through my old show flyers. Potluck, that was another good one.
Doc: And how about 2 Live Crew, I see in your bio, that I’ve been listening to since I was in High School?
Roach: That 2 Live Crew show may have been the most interesting show experience I’ve ever had. Cause I was helping the promoter and their writer was ridiculous with the things he had to do for those guys. It was crazy, but it was an experience though.
Doc: What’s the best thing that’s happened at your show?
Roach: Maybe not the best thing, but the most exciting thing we had was a damn near riot at a Battle of the Bands we were playing at. And this was in a former group. But there was a riot, and the SWAT team came and started pepper spraying everybody. It was complete fucking madness, moments before we had to come on. That was the craziest thing probably. It was pretty ridiculous. The band that was on stage while we were backstage had incited a mosh pit and the lady who was running the show, who was completely over her head, stopped them, went out onto the stage on the microphone to tell everybody they needed to chill out. And they hucked her out into the crowd and it just started a crazy riot almost. That was an interesting one.
Doc: So are you planning on any tours yet or are you getting all your stuff together?
Roach: Yeah right now I’m just kind of in planning mode. I’m gonna probably, at least by the summer time, jump on a couple kind of West Coast things and see how that rides out and then we’ll go from there. I mean the cross country ones are a little tougher now that I’m a little bit older, you know. It’s like, I got kids and stuff, so it’s a little tougher to get away that long. But if I can make them work, I’m always on them.
Doc: Oh, you got kids? How many kids you got?
Roach: I got 3 kids.
Doc: Damn, you’re getting busy.
Roach: Yep, shoot…I’m done now.
Doc: How many boys and girls.
Roach: My son is the oldest, he’s 6, and then I have 2 daughters, 4 and 1 1/2.
Doc: OK, so you got a nice little family going there.
Doc: How are you guys promoting your music?
Roach: Well, the Rogue Status Group, that is actually fairly new. We’ve been together about a year and a half and the stuff that’s up there is off of our first release and our second one is the one that’s gonna drop, probably at the end of August, which is our first full length EP. That mixtape was kind of a collection of stuff that we’ve all done because the three of us are all friends, like we’re all artist that have know each other for a long time. And we just kind of came together like you know, fuck it, let’s do some stuff together. So that was kind of a collection.
There’s a good 8 songs off of that we actually made for the group, but a lot of that stuff just happened from us being together anyway, you know. So this new album we’ve been working on this past 6 months or so, that is going to be our actual first release as far as the group goes. So there’s a good amount of the SoundCloud stuff that’s a little old, and to be perfectly honest, as far as my solo stuff included, I was really late to this whole online thing man. Like, it’s just what it is now and it took me a lot of time being stubborn like “Nah man, like I don’t want to be doing this Facebook stuff all the time. Like I have CD duplicators and I’m out on the streets handing out demos, that is how I grew up.” You have to be out at all the functions with some CDs in your hands ready to give them away. But now all you gotta do is sit on the phone all day to be networking and all this stuff, it’s all still pretty new to me man.
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