Rochester aka Juice is a Toronto based rap artist that has made his dent in the Canadian rap scene for a while now. Growing up in the Islington/Finch area of Toronto, with a unique style of rapping, Juice has stood out amongst a lot of rappers that continue to spend their time rhyming about hoes, and negative situations, as Juice actually uses his stage time to show respect to women and talk about bringing hope to the industry. To finish off Winterfest the CapCity Media Team got to sit down with Rochester aka Juice for an exclusive interview.
Q: What are your thoughts on Ottawa Hip hop?
Rochester: My homey Cashtro is killin’ it right now. That’s my dude. I think it’s a good scene out here. I get a lot of love when I come out here. So a shout-out to everyone who’s doin’ their thing.
Q: What brought you into Winterfest?
Rochester: This is a last-minute thing. These guys said they wanted squeeze in another act. I said I’m free this weekend, I’m in town. I’m not far so I’d come through. All I want to do is just warm it up.
Q: What do you like about Cashtro in particular?
Rochester: It’s his swag man. He’s just so real, he’s genuine to me. And I love that about artists. I’ve known him for a long time.
Q: What future plans you got going on right now?
Rochester: Yeah, I’m actually workin’ on a Rocky Balboa mixtape man and a full album still. So it’s me and Grammy Nominated Producer Tone Mason. We said we wanted to do something that’s inspirational. That makes people wanna get up, get it right, and just keep believin’ in yourself and just get yours. What better way to do that is through one of the best stories of achievement: is through Rocky, thats one of my favourite movies right there. Nothing says, “Here’s one for the little guy,” more than Rocky. We based it around that. It’s gonna be dope, it’s gonna be fuckin’ dope.
Q: What have you always based your style off of?
Rochester: I listen to a lot of older stuff. I grew up on reggae a lot. That’s where attribute my friggin’ stage presence to because they’re very energetic and aggressive and you wanna hype up everybody. I just look at what I like and I wanna give that to the people.
Q: When did you get started in the game?
Rochester: I shot my first video in 2002 called Do it (Like We Do It). I’m still remembered for that one. It’s still my favourite video of all time. I’ve shot about ten videos and that’s my favourite.
Q: Any labels you working with right now or are you doing your own independent thing right now?
Rochester: Yeah, I’m goin’ straight independent man. I’m not workin’ with labels no more. I’ve done it. I’ve been over at Universal Records. I’ve had some success but never had the control. I’ve had a big time surrounding me, where I would get my input. Sometimes the final decision wouldn’t even be mine. It works in certain degrees but as an artist you don’t wanna retire as an artist and say, “Fuck I didn’t get to do what I wanted to do my whole life.” So what artists have to deal with that shit and have to go to sleep at the end of their life and realize that ‘whoa’ I didn’t even get my own ideas out there. And that’s not worth it.
Q: Ever have any difficulties with record labels in the past?
Rochester: It hasn’t been a difficulty. It was just a journey. I’ve done that and I’ve seen where it has taken me and it’s done great things for me. I don’t wanna hate on labels or anything. For me I wanna be in control. I’m a boss. I wanna be a boss. I’m tired workin’ with other people. I wanna own my own shit.
Q: Any advice for new artists?
Rochester: Make sure you have a good computer with a fast Internet speed. That’s what you need right now. Learn to work computers.
Rochester: Shout out Ottawa’s #1 urban media site, you know what I’m sayin’, Capcityhiphop.com man, that’s how we roll, Rochester says so, Eagle Eye Records in the building, let’s go!
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