Interview

Deep Dive with Eddy Rock [Q&A]

Joe DelloStritto

Eddy Rock turned plenty of heads with his 2020 release, "Alone," so we sat him down to get to know the person behind the microphone. From his favorite TV Shows, dream collaborations, to his creative process, fun loving Eddy Rock is not only a great artist, but an even better guy. Find out for yourself below.

So your stage name is Eddy Rock, what’s your real name?

My real name is Nicholas Michel. I came up with Eddy Rock because I’m a big Spiderman fan, and the character Venom is named Eddy Brock. I kind of felt related to that character because he was kind of a badass, and he was a journalist, and I’m a journalism major and shit. And I was like yo, copyright, let me take the “B” off and run with it.


You mentioned being a journalism major, where did you go to school?

Florida Gulf Coast. I’m originally from Miami. Best city in the world, something is just different down there.


Florida is a known hub for artists. Have there been any musical influences or collaborators you’ve been around that make you thankful to be down in Miami / Naples area?

Yeah, so, Dominic Fike is one of them, BabyJake is one of them. There's this guy Capi, who’s a pretty big producer. He produced "Three Nights," worked with a bunch of Latin artists, and did some work with the latest Trevor Daniel project. He also owns the studio I work for.

It’s funny how I linked with him, actually. I wrote an article about him for one of my journalism classes. It winded up getting published, and I think he ended up doing a Telemundo interview off of that. So we linked at some party and he was like, “Yo, you’re the guy from the article,” and I was like, “Yeah,” and he was like “Oh shit,” and I was like, “let me work for you.”


Dominic Fike has become a pretty big name lately, have you been able to work with him?

Yeah, I actually recorded some of the background vocals on "Chicken Tenders." I was just camped out at the studio, and Capi told me “emergency session, Dom is rolling through.” I had known Dom before that from an hour long interview I had with him in 2017. We did some songs together and shit. Sometimes those emergency sessions are cool like in that case, and sometimes not so much.


Let's take it from the beginning. Did you come from artists?

I’m definitely forging my own path. I’m of Haitian descent, so my dad learned a lot of English through American music back in Haiti. So when I was young he was putting me onto Rod Stewart, a lot of Michael Jackson, and Phil Collins. Some 80’s R&B and Haitian music as well, so its a diverse background.


What do they think about you pursuing music?

We don't talk about it too much. With my Haitian background, if i'm not a doctor or lawyer it's just like, “okay, but just make your money.” Still, every time I do something cool with music I’ll be like “This is what I’m tryna tell you.”


If you could live in one place forever where would you live?

To be real, Miami is the best city in the world, so that's my easy answer. Still, I do like it here in Naples now. I think I’m going to say Miami because I’ll never bet against Miami, with the Naples area as a close second. Florida for life.


What’s your favorite movie or TV show?

My favorite TV show is The Office, I think I’m on my 13th time watching it. I know everything, I know every line. It’s almost scary. My favorite movie? To be honest with you, I’m not a big movie guy. I don't know if I have separation anxiety and need long form content or something. I like to see the characters subtly change over time.


Favorite Artists?

All-time favorite is Kayne West for sure. Kayne is heavily the reason I make music now. Other than that it’s Kendrick Lamar, T-Pain a million times. Isaiah Rashad. Definitely Chance The Rapper. Summer Walker is creeping up on that list. SZA. Would’ve been Tory.


Favorite Kayne album?

My favorite is Late Registration, but his best album is Dark Twisted Fantasy. I was just listening to some of the Good Friday's today too and they are so good. They could’ve been an album too.


Your latest release “Alone” is one of my favorites. Tell me what that song is about.

I learned a lot about music in general when I made that song. I was going through issues with my girl, regular relationship shit. But I feel my emotions heavily. I’m super big on needing my space, and I’ve always been bad at communicating how I feel. So instead, I put it in a song. I treat music like a diary. I found the “Alone” beat and called my boy. I was like “I found this beat. I don’t know what I’m going to say, but it's going to make people cry. Some crazy shit.” So I don't write lyrics anymore, I don’t think it’s authentic for me. I’m not saying I’m freestyling, but I get in the booth, loop the beat and write it on the spot. There's a level of acting when you write before-hand, and I can't record something I don't feel. I got in the studio and just started making sounds. I came up with the hook first and I was like “wow, that is going to sell the song.” I just kind of vented it, and was hitting some notes.


Is that usually your creative process? Just feeling it out in the studio?

I’m very impulsive on everything, and since I work at the studio I got the keys. So I’ll just randomly grab a bottle of wine, which I learned from Dominic Fike and Nate Traveller, I’ll pull up to the studio, find a beat, and rearrange the beats to tell a story before I ever decide to start laying vocals down. For instance, I wanted the "Alone" beat to have super short verses in order to get straight to the hook. I think hooks are so important, so I structure the beats to get the good parts ASAP, never giving you a chance to turn it off. That's my process. I get in, find beats, restructure them, drink some wine, and say the first thing that comes into my mind.


So you’re an engineer when you work for the studio?

Yup. Recording, mixing, mastering. I do everything besides make beats. Super hands on, so I mix all of my own stuff, etc.


When did you discover you had this creative musical gift?

So I always liked it, but I was always bad at it, for a long time. You know how it is, your friends lie to you saying, “oh that's good.” Or you send them a 4 minute song, and they’re texting back after one minute telling you they like it. Even worse, they’ll tell you they like the beat, which is the one thing you had nothing to do with. So I was shitty for years, but I started when I was about 13. When I started working at the studio, I started learning. I was recording and mixing for great artists like Dom, Nate Traveller, and ripmattblack. They’re a really funny group of guys. I learned a lot from mixing their sessions. I would study these sessions and started noticing patterns of what good songs look like in the studio, not just what they sound like. About two years ago was when I was like, yeah, I could do this. I was able to finally embrace my own unique sound rather than trying to sound like other people for so long.


Two years ago when you started getting good, you came out with “3 a.m. in Chicago?” You’ve received over a million streams on that song, so how did you feel in the studio recording that one?

You see, you never know. I was working with Brendan Bennet who’s a ridiculously talented artist, like really really talented, he basically changed my life. We went to Chicago and sold out a show, I’m not really sure how we did that shit. The crowd was packed and screaming out lyrics, even singing unreleased lyrics, and this is my first time in Chicago. Long story short, we winded up recording “3 a.m. in Chicago.” We got a beat from this producer, Ciya, another real nice producer out here. We recorded it, and I ended up falling asleep during the session. I woke up later and I was like “yo, this sounds fire.” The track was actually a late bloomer. It caught a crazy second wind when it got on Spotify’s Varsity Bars playlist, and it was a wrap from there. I was a little surprised.


So have you done any more live shows since Chicago?

Yeah, I’ve been doing shows around here. I actually started working on my live show game, getting people involved. If you see that video on my Instagram form Chicago it’s fucking nuts. Lately at my live shows I don’t care if people don't know every lyric to every song. I like teaching people songs at my shows now. I’ll do the hook three times, and then I’ll be like “alright, I’m not doing this alone again.”


If you could perform at any festival, where would you play?

Rolling Loud because Miami is the best city on the planet. I don't know if I mentioned that before. Or Coachella of course.


What would be your dream collaboration?

As much as I love Kendrick, I hate Kendrick features. It might be Drake, I’m not going to lie. I’ll let him bring out his Naples accent.


Every musician who starts making music has people loving it, and people hating on it. How do you deal with the feedback you’ve gotten?

I love the hate. I honestly don’t react well to compliments because when you're shitty for a really long time and people tell you that you’re good it becomes hard to trust anyone. Then when you finally become good, you learn what “good” sounds like. When people hate they’re being honest, and it gives me the opportunity to prove them wrong. Eventually they come back around like, “man, that shit is actually pretty hard.”

I remember pulling up to a producer's house three years ago with my boy, and the producer hit him up the next day to come back for another session. My boy was like, “Cool, I’ll bring Eddy.” The producer responded like, “nah, just you.” I loved that, I was like, “alright I got something for your ass.”


So what’s Eddy Rock’s peak?

I don't see a limit because I like to learn shit. I think people who peak early do so because they know what they know, it pops off, and it takes them as far as it can. The reason why my favorite artist is Kayne is because I watched him grow. The way to stay relevant for so long is by learning new things, and embracing that. You have to be comfortable enough to take the chance of this “new thing” not having immediate success. I enjoy learning from the people around me. If you continue to learn, you never stop improving. I’m not going to peak, I’ll always be here, I have a young spirit.

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