Interview: RydazNrtisT — "Some nights you do the right thing, some nights you don't do the right thing"
Tue, 06 Jul 2010 19:01:20
RydazNrtisT are very knowledgeable young men, and their Def Jam debut Soulful Warfare Vol 1. illuminates that.
"We have a song called 'Climax Instructions'," laughs GQ Ryda with a devilish grin. "There are a lot of tips in there for uneducated people about making someone reach their peak of ecstasy."
Amongst the sonic knowledge "shared" on the album is RydazNrtisT's unforgettable single, "Sorry Ass Apology." It's a catchy R&B jam with a classy old school feel and a new school sense of honesty. With a hook you can't help but sing along to, "Sorry Ass Apology" exemplifies what modern R&B should be, seamlessly mixing the tried-and-true and the fresh with reverence for both.
RydazNrtisT—Kevin Writer, GQ and Reuben—sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about Soulful Warfare and oh so much more...
Are you trying to blend old school R&B with new flavors?
GQ Ryda: We're definitely trying to fuse the two. When we got together, we were all doing our solo things. I was rapping, Reuben was singing and Kevin was producing and singing. We were all writing though. We felt like music was getting fake, and true talent wasn't really being exposed. It was about a lot of artists who had quick hits and were out. Then it's like, "What happened to them?" We wanted to bring that rawness of old school music back and infuse it with some of the excitement that goes on in 2010 because the world is a totally different place than it was back in the day. That definitely was our goal.
Reuben: When we were in the studio, we were trying to come up with a sound. What we came up with on "Sorry Ass Apology" was so natural and real. It came from the heart. The feeling was '90s R&B mixed with new school R&B as well. We've got all kinds of songs on the album though. There are dance tracks on there even!
Why'd you choose to come out with "Sorry Ass Apology?"
Kevin Writer: It was really organic. We weren't chasing a market or specific style; we were trying to find what was true to us. That's where that came from. It also came from a combination of our life experiences with chicks [Laughs]. We got a chance to do a ballad, and a ballad can be risky. Everything we did with the first song is not typically what you do. We decided to take the risk, and we got radio to rock with us. To us, that said a lot. Our second record is "Cakes" with Fabolous. It's uptempo and for the club.
GQ Ryda: We introduced ourselves with an apology. It's backwards because the apology is usually at the end of a relationship [Laughs].
Was there a night that "Best Night" was based on?
GQ Ryda: That was a night where one of us got caught kissing in the club [Laughs]. I relate it to the Mariah Carey "Angels Advocate" tour, which we just opened. It makes me think of an after party from one of those nights. You get off stage, people recognize you and your wish is their command [Laughs]. There's a lot that goes in that night. We did like 26 cities on that tour. Every other day we were on stage performing so that was amazing. It was the experience of a lifetime. You usually start off singing in church or something, but we started off on the Mariah Carey tour. Big ups to Mr. Incredible, the owner of Incredible label. You know who that is…The "Angels Advocate" tour was amazing. It was honestly a blessing from God.
Reuben: We learned a lot too!
What's up with "Cakes"?
GQ Ryda: We started off with the slow song, and now you're about to really see our personalities and how wild we really are. Fab came out to the video and showed a bunch of love. We just shot it the other day. It's amazing. We're excited to be performing it in all the cubs. We just did the "Sorry Ass Apology" remix featuring Mr. Nick Cannon, the head of the Incredible Label. We're keeping it humble. We're knew to the game, and we just want to show raw talent.
You guys certainly get raw on "Hit That."
GQ Ryda: I'm going to tell on them [Laughs]. Reuben and Kevin mainly orchestrated that record…
Reuben: That's definitely not true. It was all Kevin and Nick's idea [Laughs]. It was all Nick really. Kevin and I debated doing it.
Why did Nick specifically encourage it?
Kevin Writer: More than anything, Nick tries to challenge us. We came in with all different sorts of visions and ideas. He has a very good concept of the business of music. We're musicians so we just like to make music and keep moving. He was like, "Well, you guys should do something like this because it'll do better in this market." Sometimes we may not see the end result at the beginning, but it's good to have somebody rocking with us that has our best interests in mind sonically. A song like "Hit That" is going to stand out.
Reuben: At the end of the day, Nick knows what he's doing, and that song totally stands out.
Kevin Writer: We've got this other song called "One Last Time" that we leaked to the Internet. It picked up steam, and people are loving it. It's a straight ballad similar to Boyz II Men. It crosses the entire gamut. We can be nasty with a song like "Hit That," but we can be honest with "One Last Time."
GQ Ryda: After ya'll get "Cakes," we've got a secret weapon that's going to hit you. It's another slow one [Laughs]. We're going to wait until the world is ready for that though. We're going to make you dance and shake your booty until you get tired and calm down so you can listen to the passion coming up. We're probably going to have a visual for every song on the record because music is real. Hearing it is one thing, seeing it is another thing and feeling it is something totally different. We're trying to make sure you do all that.
Kevin Writer: The album is called Soulful Warfare Vol. 1 for a reason. We literally have a Christian gospel song on there, but then we've also got "Hit That" [Laughs]. We're just regular guys. We all grew up in church so we have a moral base, but we're real so we try to keep the music as transparent as possible. It's Soulful Warfare. Some nights you do the right thing, some nights you don't do the right thing [Laughs]. However, we sing about all of it.
If Soulful Warfare Vol. 1 were a movie, what would it be?
GQ Ryda: It would be a combination of 300 with a sidekick of Gladiator, an uppercut of Cooley High and a roundhouse of The Jacksons: An American Dream. That would be the movie [Laughs].
Kevin Writer: I agree.
GQ Ryda: And Juice!
Well, where do those elements come in?
GQ Ryda: 300 and Gladiator are both epic. We believe we're about to do something real epic out here. We're bringing something back. We've got to go all the way back to the beginning to understand how we got here now at this point now. We're trying to bring you back like Gladiator did. There's probably a lot of stuff you haven't seen or heard before, especially no time recently because everyone's doing the auto-tune thing. We're getting it in. With that The Jacksons: American Dream, unless you grew up on Mars, everybody's got some influence of Jackson in them [Laughs]. I let the afro grow out [Laughs]. All of us shed tears when Michael died. He's a big inspiration for us. I say Cooley High because it's real and raw. It takes you on a rollercoaster. You've got your ups and downs.
Kevin Writer: There's comedy in it too! With a song like "Hit That," that's funny. You wouldn't really walk up to a girl and just say, "I want to hit that, yeah!" Singing about it is funny though. We try to put our personalities into the record and keep it real.
GQ Ryda: We're shootin for the moon. If we miss, we're amongst the stars anyway. We also want say thank you to Big Rick. Everybody reading this should send in five dollars so Rick can send it to us. I could be a millionaire [Laughs].
Have you checked out RydazNrtisT yet?