Athens, GA: R&R and Mac LaRosa

R&R
Cristian Rivera
Rapper
From Miami, FL

How long have you been making music?
So, I really started making music for other people for about two years, but just messing around with music itself? Probably since I was 14 or 15, so seven years. 

Do you produce?
I do personally, but I work with him [Mac LaRosa] most times. Other times I just talk to people over the internet, and ya know, really get a broad range of music and different sounds. I’m starting to produce more in-house simply because I’ve been trying to find my sound. Battling do I wanna learn how to produce or should I put that in the hands of people that really love that.

Have you performed in Athens?
No shows yet, just been working on the content. I’ve only released like three or four songs on Soundcloud, but I have maybe 40 or 50 that I just have waiting to promote. It’s just going to be when the time’s right.

What are you currently working on?
I have a mixtape completed, my first collaborative mixtape where he [Mac LaRosa] actually raps on it too. It’s going to be a cool little mixture. Aside from that, I have two other projects in my mind that I’m working on. One I’m self-producing, which I’ll tell you and only you first, it’s Fear and Loathing in Atlanta. It’s my first true project project that’s going to go on Spotify.

Who is your biggest inspiration in the music industry right now?
I’d definitely say Logic is someone who I look to as someone I’ve followed since the beginning and to me has personally set the blueprint as to how I want to achieve things. Really to me, my music is more about positivity and just living your own life. Just because you grew up in certain circumstances doesn’t mean that has to define you.

What is your genre?
I’d say...more hip hop centered focus. I have a couple trap songs that just have that vibe, not per say the genre but the vibe. I have a lot of my personal, true songs that I like to make. For people that just want to like sit and smoke. I make a lot of my music late-night. When most people are asleep, I’m awake. I kind of create an ambiance for the people that might be similar minded. 

Who are some of your favorite artists in general?
I’d say Ab-Soul, somebody that’s just genuine. Kendrick Lamar, I mean I’m 21 I kind of grew up listening to him. Definitely have to go back with Michael Jackson, listening to rhythms. And Wu-Tang Clan listening to how they develop runs. I like more of sounds than artists. My personal mix of music is from like the 70s to now, but I only listen to 15 songs total all year. Literally, I’ve been listening to “Acid Rap” since it came out. I’d rather listen to that all day. I feel it, it resonates. 

What was one of your first experiences that made you want to make music?
One of my first concerts I actually got to go to was a Logic concert at the Tabernacle. I was like 16. There was a part in his set where everybody was singing along, and it was a very hype part. Everybody was moving. I could feel the energy, but at the same time I could see myself being the only person standing still. Not only from admiration but from the realization that’s where I needed to be. It was a pivotal moment. This could be life-changing, and I started to take it a little bit more seriously.

Do what you want to do. Sometimes relationships might not be there, sometimes friendships might not be there. I’ve lost a lot. Everything’s a journey, and people have to enjoy themselves throughout that journey. Hopefully with my music I can just preach positivity.

Mac LaRosa
Bryce McAllister
Producer/Engineer
From Athens, GA

How long have you been making beats?
I’d say a year, but as far as being involved in music, since I was 17 [three years]. 

What came first, rapping or producing?
The rapping came first, and then I was like I really can’t rap on Youtube beats. So, I need to start making beats. I found LogicPro, I started using that and then I didn’t know how to mix. So, I was like I need to learn how to mix. I went to engineering school, and now I fell in love with engineering and producing. I feel that’s more my role than rapping. If I make a beat and make someone move, then I’ve already done my part. 

Where did you go to school for engineering?
The Recording Connection, and I had a mentor in Atlanta, but it’s an online school. It was really about the experience more than anything because I got to really be in a professional setting. It was like okay wow, this is what they would do, this is how I should act around certain people, and stuff like that. It helped me boost my confidence with just jumping into the music industry. 

What is your influence as far as production goes?
I would say Pharrell definitely, then Dr. Dre, then I would say J Cole. People don’t know that he really can work the keys. Andre 3000 because of his beat selection, how funky it was. I like to make my beats different but have that new bounce to them too. Crafting my own sound really. 

What are you currently working on?
I’m just working on building my brand, building up my Instagram, trying to get exposure. Maybe get an internship somewhere, but I really just want to show them that someone is building a buzz out here. 

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