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Look at Grieves. Just sitting there.
I caught up with Grieves on the phone as he was getting ready to head out to Paid Dues with Budo.
The two spent the previous Friday hanging out with label mate Evidence at Alchemist’s studio before joining Slug at The Turntable Lab for his book signing. They’ve been staying in Hollywood for this last week–trying to enjoy some much needed down time and shooting a couple of music videos. Their tour with Atmosphere begins April 20th in Columbus, OH.
“That shit is creeping up on me like a motherfucker right now. Because I’m out here, then I have to fly to New York to film a video, then I’m flying back to Seattle for Record Store Day, and then drive to Columbus. I kind of feel like I’m on tour right now,” he said.
For a lot of artists in the Northwest, Grieves is the friend who is making it. With years of hard work perfecting his craft, he’s put himself in a position where a lot of things are finally within reach.
“Back in the day we were booking our tours through MySpace, and hitting the road in my Toyota Camry Station Wagon. It was garbage. I mean three people would show up at these shows and they were just the regulars at the bar. But through doing those shows we met with promoters who would put us on bigger night through good rapport. And we’d meet other artists out on the road and that’s all kind of helped.”
In 2008, Grieves teamed up with Budo, a producer also from Seattle. Two years later they released their first album together, 88 Keys & Counting, and toured internationally with Brother Ali.
On June 21st they will release Together Apart, their first album with Rhymesayers. The album is entirely produced by Budo, and features guest appearances from Crooked, who is originally from Africa and is in a group with Budo called African Rebel Movement, and Brother Ali.
“Putting out this record on Rhymesayers is a big deal for me. Because this is something that I’ve always wanted to do with my life.” He continued, “I’d definitely like to start conquering some more overseas stuff. Because it’s amazing to be able to cross an ocean because of your music, but also the reaction, response and the way that you are treated is a lot different than it is out here. I’d like to be able to explore that a little more.”
The two will be on tour, almost non-stop, for the next four months. After concluding the Atmosphere tour at the Soundset festival on May, 29, they leave for Warp Tour on June 24th.
“It’s kind of hectic. But I have a lot of people helping me out as far as everything goes, so they’re making it a lot easier for me.” He continued, “It use to really get to me. When I first saw this schedule I kind of shit a brick, but since I’ve dipped my toes in the pool I think I’ll be able to swim.”
A lot of the help he’s getting right now is coming from his label.
“The most professional thing I’ve done in my career is ink the deal with Rhymesayers. It kind of revamps my look, in a more professional way, on the independent hip-hop scene or even music industry. I didn’t understand distribution deals or royalties, and I still don’t know if I do,” he said with a laugh. “But it’s introduced a level of professionalism that I actually like a lot. It helps a lot of it makes sense. Now when I go on the road for four months I have a team of people who can show me why it was beneficial for me…Everything has an uphill motion right now.”
They locked down the Warp Tour thanks to the help from the head of touring at Rhymesayers, J Bird.
“He was the tour manager for Atmosphere for years, and he DJed for him. And he’s really just that guy that just knows everything about touring, especially in the states. He’s one of the top 3 players at Rhymesayers.” Grieves continued, “At first I didn’t think we were going to get (in the Warp Tour), and then we were one of the first five groups to get announced… I hope those little fuckers like us.”
The tour with Atmosphere’s stops in Vancouver, BC and Portland have already sold out.
You can catch Grieves travelling with the Warp Tour on 8/13 at the Gorge and 8/14 at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
Posted by Jake Espi