Now it isn't every day that you get to sit down with your friend, have a chat and call it work. But my luck was in, as me and one of my favourite artists out at the moment, Xavier AKA SPZRKT AKA Spazzy Rocket.. (pauses for breath) sat down for an interview with COZY MAG. The talented 24 year old musician from Georgia has already seen great success, following projects with Sango, Elhae, and his debut album "Bonfire" which dropped last year and had rave reviews. So, without further ado, here it is.
COZY MAG: So, I’ll pretend I don’t already know you and ask you this- WHO is SPZRKT?
SPZRKT: Yeah boo you know me! Hahaha, but SPZRKT is firstly pronounced 'Spazzy Rocket', and he is multi genre singer.
CM: Tell me more about your relationship with music. When did everything start for you?
SPZRKT: At around 3 years old I was heavy into drums. My older brother and my Dad played that as well as many other instruments, but apparently I only got the drum gene. I was a huge copycat of my brother so when he started rapping, I started trying to and did so from age 12 to age 20. My whole family sings and I knew I had a decent voice, so at age 21 I tried out for American Idol to no avail.
SPZRKT: Not making it made me upset enough to make my own music to sort of prove them wrong haha. I Released my first and second projects at age 22, which is when Sango found me, and now I'm doing an interview with Young Neelz for CozyMag. *throws up west side*
CM: Haha! Indeed you are. So, if you had to, would you say you fit into one specific genre?
SPZRKT: I don't believe I do mainly because my intent is to be a multi genre artist. Saying I'm simply R&B, Alternative, or Soul is fair but not a true depiction of who I am in full.
We placed my album 'Bonfire' into Pop because it's a combination of every popular genre. But clearly I'm not simply a Pop artist either.
CM: What are you working on at the moment?
SPZRKT: I recently did a little backing Vocals on what may be the first single from Jahkoy's next project. Currently in talks with Jay Prince on a record for him. Sango & I still have our EP in the balance, and I have a few tricks up my sleeve as well. *plot twist: I'm wearing a sleeveless shirt*
CM: Did you ever think you would get to where you are right now with your music?
SPZRKT: I always imagined it could but I can't say I knew it would be where it is. In honesty, I don't truly know where it is. I don't know how I'm viewed by blogs or fans, I just know that I want to make great music and go as far as I can with it.
CM: Good answer. Where do you see your music taking you in the future?
SPZRKT: To wherever my future bae is hahahaha sike nah. I guess the correct answer here is "London, Tokyo, Paris, LA". I hope it takes me around the world. I really hope the music touches people to the point that even if they can't understand the language, they can understand the feeling.
CM: That's deep. So how important is it to you to dream big? Would you say that’s what’s gotten you to this point so far?
SPZRKT: It is extremely important to me because it keeps me focused. There is a goal and I haven't even began to scratch the surface of it. Dreaming big and inspiring people to do the same is what keeps me going. But what I would say has gotten me to this point is the support of the people. That, and the support of other artists- As well as the record label STRT TRBL have kept me going.
Each time I want to quit, God won't allow me to, He just sends someone to encourage me.
CM: You’ve worked closely with artists such as Sango, Elhae, Waldo and Esta- what was the collaborative process like and how important is it to you to work with artists you respect?
SPZRKT: Sango always sent me fire so it was just about making sure I didn't suck. *laughs* He's liked pretty much everything I've ever sent him back, never asked me to adjust a thing.
Waldo knew exactly what he wanted which made it easy. Esta stopped me from embarrassing myself on 'Can't Wait' because some of the stuff I did in the first draft really sucked haha! So he was very helpful. Elhae has been my best friend of 20 years now. It's always entirely too easy working with him because we think alike yet we create differently. (I hope that makes sense).
You have to respect the artists you work with, otherwise why work with them. I respect those guys and many others I hope to work with one day.
CM: We’ve talked about your relationship with God before, how did it feel to be so widely accepted into the Christian Hip Hop Community?
SPZRKT: I'm not sure that I was. There were people who were looking for something different. Something clean yet encouraging, relatable, and still dope, and I believe I garnered their respect. But for the most part when it came to events thrown by the community (promoters/websites) not so much accepted. SXSW 2014 was basically in my back yard and I wasn't contacted for either of the CHH events, but I still went to support.
On the other side, LiveMixtapes hit me up to do their showcase and I don't even fit their line up. I shared a stage with Young Thug that day!.
CM: Following your open letter to the CHH community, tell us more about your decision to move forward with music more independently from now on?
SPZRKT: It was more about the appreciation of the music, regardless of the topic. I couldn't make a love song without multiple comments of "where is Jesus in this?" which I believe to be unfair, especially if that person wasn't single.
It was also about the fact that I'm not Hip Hop. I'm an artist and I'm black, but I'm not Hip Hop. I can work those beats, but the same goes for some other styles as well. The only circle of people that I want to claim me are the Dreamers. The fans. If my aim is to be multi genre, its tough if one genre claims you. And that is the only genre in the world where it is necessary to make that statement to break away.
CM: Warner Robins has been your home for some time now. What was it like to grow up there, and do you think you’ll be moving elsewhere any time soon?
SPZRKT: If the entire town of Warner Robins went to UGA stadium, we would leave about 16,000 seats still available. Very small town and easy to get around, and it slows things down for me. There's an Air Base here so there's is a lot of military love, but their brats run the town...
There are ridiculous amount of schools here, and the town shuts down for their functions. Oh and it's home of the 2007 Little League champs. So as a kid here, there was always something to do and it was great. Now at 24, I am basically forced to stay in and spend much time with Netflix. I do have a hope of moving to Chicago soon.
CM: Do you have any plans to visit Europe? How do you think people will receive you here?
SPZRKT: There have been plans to visit in for years but no actual way to haha. I would love to be in Europe at some point. I think I would be received well because soulful singin' has proven to do well there. England would be first on my personal list.
CM: Lastly, any hints on what can we look forward to from you in the near future?
SPZRKT: Fantastic Music <3
Stream SPZRKT's latest track with Sango below. You can buy his debut album "Bonfire" here.
Interview led by Neela (@Foxyneela)