How many up and coming artists can say that their first radio play led to their song getting licensed in a big Hollywood studio? Well that’s the origin story of Rocstrong, the Belgium born, Ireland-based funk star.
What is a funk-star you ask. It’s my definition of the type of sound and attitude that he has, which is heavily influenced by funk, soul and rock & roll music. A distinct sound that grasped the attention of movie executives.
A moment he said was an eye-opener to what he could do in the industry. This was a time where he was still figuring himself out and the type of career he wanted, but with such a positive start, Rocstrong welcomed every opportunity. So what followed was more licensing deals to films and TV adverts. A different path to a traditional artist’s journey, but an enlightening one.
“It’s been a good journey so far, a fun one. But I need to do more. I’m hungry for more”, He tells me on the phone one evening. “I know my songs have a commercial appeal, they are songs that a lot of people can enjoy. But I don’t just want my songs to be background music for some company. I’m a musician. I want do more musician ‘things’”.
More musician things include radio plays, live shows and being in the charts. Experiences that he is working very hard towards. “I always have melodies in my head, I’m always humming sounds. Just waiting for them to form into songs“.
He seems to have a holistic approach to making music. One that is without any forced energy and a space that he strives to always stay in. So that’s no surprise why his music is a true representation of his excitable personality. Take song “Ching Ching Ching“, the first song I heard from Rocstrong. It’s got a catchy chorus and upbeat sound, which almost forces you to feel energised. That is the tone this artist wants to set in all of his music.
“There is something in every song that needs to be catchy, something that people will remember”. With such a creative focus whilst making music, there is no limit to what he can come out with. Rocstrong is confident with putting out music influenced by a wide-range of genres, hence why I called him a funk-star. He has every intention to have international appeal. And with such a positive mindset, he is definitely going in the right direction.
Take a listen to his whole discography, he advises, because then you will see his development. Every project he drops, demonstrates growth. Lyrically, sonically and character. Rocstrong is influenced by the boldness of his favourite artists. Musicians like Kanye West and T.I, who are not afraid to experiment with their music. This growth has encouraged him to be more vulnerable with his listeners.
“I want to make more emotionally connecting music, because people are going out of their way to connect with me. So I want to give them more”. A goal for Rocstrong in 2019 is to up his interaction with fans. He wants to start sharing more of his opinions on important issues that are vital to our wellbeing as humans and as a society. As a musician he is aware of the power he has to influence, so uses his platform to only spread good vibes.
This year is all about working on new music, performing them and creating great experiences for his fans. Expect to see a more refined Rocstrong, but with the same strong work ethic and determination. Check out his latest release, the All On Black EP, and let him know what you think!
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Words by Hannah Olarewaju