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Artist Interview: Mike Rello

Last night, I had the chance to interview an artist on the rise. Mike Rello has been making a name for himself through his music and garnering fans by the boatload. In October, he dropped his debut mixtape, "Extended Stay" and you can take a listen or download a free copy here.

*This is a "think-for-yourself" interview as in we saw that he was on the rise and felt that we should introduce you to him. Now we want to know what YOU have to say about him after reading and listening!- Mandi*
Here is the interview, with the first question being asked by Mandi before I took the helm:

  • Mandi:
    My only question before Andrew takes over in a little bit is what is it like to have so many Twitter followers? Is it surreal? Does it make your perspective on fame and life completely different? You can answer when you come back
  • Mike Rello:To be honest, the Twitter thing was never a big deal to me, I use it mostly for promotion, otherwise I probably wouldn't have one. One of the most true lines I've heard was from J.Cole when he said "Y'all famous on the Internet, I'm real life hot." That has me always making local, real life promotions and moves, so I'm not added in that category; cause if twitter got deleted today, a lot of these online rappers will be forgotten. Fame, to me, will be when I'm able to walk into malls in different states, and people look at me saying, "Hey I know you!!" That's what I'm looking forward to the most.
    Andrew Murphy:So I noticed your mix tape opens with a classic, sampled type sound then gets right into the trap/808-heavy style. Was that a conscious decision? I.e. is there something about that style that specifically appeals to you?
    MR:Well, my style of rap is usually straight bars, so I knew I would have alot of trap beats on the tape. But when I heard the "Work Ethic" beat, it was a soulful beat, but it still banged, which was a good way for me to show that I can rap more than just trap beats, by changing the style up but still keeping it the same. I love all types of beats for real, the "Work Ethic" is probably my favorite beat on there to be honest, its just trap beats are a lot easier to find.
    AM:How does your writing process work? Do you collaborate on any of the beat-making, or do you have stuff in your head and then hear a beat and know it's the right fit for the lyrics?
    MR:I usually just hear a beat, get a pen and pad, and a computer. I want to start collaborating on beats, but just haven't had the chance yet. To me the easier part is writing the verses, I can bang out a hot verse, 30-45 mins tops, if I have a computer. I usually use the computer to research a lot of double meanings I put in my lines. But sometimes I can write, or freestyle without one. What I sometimes do to get a song feel, I usually write my choruses at work. Surprisingly I think of most of them there. I will write the chorus lyrics down, record the melody of it in the memo app in my phone, then go home and look through beats to see which beats fit the best, that was the exact process for the song "DWI" on my SoundCloud page.
    AM:What song are you the most proud of and why?
    MR:Hmmmm...alot of the songs on my tape actually. For starters: "Work Ethic," because that was one of the first songs I made, that I actually listened to again and again, I felt like that was the first song I did that took me out of the amateur category, flow, bars, etc. "4:10PM in Baltimore" was the first song I recorded, that too because that to me was my first undeniable banger. I liked "Knew That" a lot too, because that one banged the most in a lot of opinions, and that song was the first song where I finally freakatized the chorus to be catchy enough for the radio in my opinion. Also I liked "1 Time." It was my favorite song off the tape, because I used what I learned about switching flows up in it, and it came out exactly how I planned in my head.
    AM:Who are you listening to at the moment and do you think they've influenced your style at all?
    MR:As of now? The most probably, Drake, Big Sean, Currensy, 2 Chainz, and some others. Of course their music is dope, but I mostly listen to take knowledge of the flows they use, try to study and use them, without mimicking. Flow is so crucial nowadays, you can almost talk about nothing, but if you make it sound hot, you will blow up. For example, Drake's "Versace" verse, shook the game up, not because he had super genius lyrics, but he had decently tough lyrics, with a crazy flow over it, that had many people biting the style exactly like it, that's how you know you got something.
    AM:Your lyrics and flow definitely come across really well. How do you know when you've done the take you want to use?
    MR:Uh, I guess I just compare it to how close it sounded in my head, if my head doesn't nod like I pictured it should, I re-do it or scratch it and come back to it.
    AM:So is there anything new on the horizon for your fans? Touring, new music?
    MR:Of course, always working on new stuff. I write music almost daily, I've just been looking around for producers, and such to expand connections, and see how many different ideas I can come up with. And as for a tour? I want to go on one this summer, at least to Atlanta, Houston, NOLA, NYC, Ohio, and Cali. Hopefully everything plays out and I can.
    AM:We certainly hope to see that happen soon. Is there anything I didn't ask that you wanted to share about your music or the state of music in general?
    MR:Not much really, I just thank y'all for the interview, I'm just looking forward to doing a lot of things in 2014. Ive been working hard, so this next tape will make more noise than the last one. And I wanna thank all my fam and fans for the support, its means everything. And make sure y'all follow me on twitter and show love @MichaelRello.
    AM:Thanks for taking the time for this and we look forward to hearing what's next.


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