At the beginning of the year, WFA caught up with 2 members of 7 figure lifestyle: rapper - 7uca (pronounce Luca) and Producer - JonyB. As we get talking, 7uca cites Outkast, Snoop Dogg and the Isley Brothers as his influences, while Jony talks about being influenced by legendary hip hop record producer: Just Blaze. Based in Baltimore, this duo have a bond thicker than blood (if that's possible). They trust each other and this is what you need in any partnership. Having worked together on a number of projects, you could definitely say the two are comfortable with each other and what can be brought to the table by each. Above anything else, this is a story of true friendship as they navigate the music industry.
How did you meet and decide to start making music together?
Jony: We met in 9th grade…
7uca…but actually became cool in the 10th grade.
Jony: Yeah we met in Art class. The crazy thing is, when I first met Luca, he wasn’t even supposed to be in my class but through seeing each other everyday, we kinda gained a familiarity with each other.
7uca: I feel like we became closer when we joined Church in the 10th grade and had to see each other outside of school too. Then we went to College together and we quit to focus on music; Jony was the first person I ever let hear my music man.
So, you guys quit college to pursue music properly?
Jony: I mean me personally, I figured that school was not my strongest route. I did it only because my parents said I needed to but I felt like it wasn’t really preparing me for what I needed to do outside of school. I just kinda knew it just wasn’t really what I wanted to do but it was also at a point where I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. And that’s when I heard Luca’s music and thought, you know what? I could make beats for you. I mean, he laughed about it at first. (Luca: you were trash)
7uca: (laughs) Nah, he wasn’t trash. When we started working together it was like a 6 month spend, he was making beats and I thought I gotta make songs to these. The music started getting better and better and now he’s one of the best producers I’ve ever heard.
You guys are still in the infancy of your careers, you still have goals you wanna achieve, so Luca this is a question to you: what do you think makes you different from other rappers?
7uca: One thing I am noticing is, it’s not so much of a difference between artists, it’s the choices you make like what you choose to talk about and choose to be about etc. I’m really someone who practises what they preach; when I say I don’t like anybody, I mean I really don’t have any friends other than the people in this car (just him and Jony). You know what I’m saying? it’s just me and him (Jony). I’m not so much of a sociable person, I’m kinda introverted. With my music, you kinda need to listen to it by yourself; go somewhere really listen and understand me. Everybody else’s music, you’re just gonna get it but with me, my bars have double entendres. You listen to it 3,4,5 times and you’ll be like wow, I’m just now getting that you said that.. So I guess, my mind, my wordplay kinda separates me. Like, a lot of people don’t catch my wordplay, and when they realise it, they say wow that was actually deeper than I thought.
Honestly, my music is kinda depressing if you really think about it. It’s grounded in realism. I feel like I am very relatable. My white friends, my black friends, they can all relate because everybody kinda feels alone at times. But I don’t really focus on the depressing parts, I try and be honest about who I am.
I feel like a lot of young people are sort of trying to figure out who they are at the moment and feel lost. So would you say that’s what your music is about: an escape from reality?
Luca: Yeah, like when I first started recording, I did a lot of it by myself. Doing a lot of my writing, isolating myself. I spend a lot of time by myself. Like when I’m not with Jony, I’m by myself. The time I put into it to craft it, was a whole piece of art. It’s kinda like a film, like we make a movie. We want people to tune out for that hour and 30 mins and pay attention. It may not affect your life but you can see something in that film that you can relate to. Every project I do is like a film. Every project is not necessarily about my life, but it is influenced by it. I sometimes use stories of my friends, or books I’ve read.
Now your music isn’t on Spotify but on Soundcloud, was that a conscious choice?
7uca: It's not on Spotify as we're trying to focus on videos for the project. And we want the music to all be in one place.
Do you think Soundcloud can still be called “underground”?
7uca - Definitely, it's still a good platform for indie artists.
Who would you love to collab with?
7uca: Kendrick or J Cole.
Jony: Tora, Dragon, James Blake & Adele.
What is the sound of Baltimore? - which artists should we keep an ear out for?
7uca: We are different to what others in Baltimore sound like. It's like a pocket sound, heavy accents, same sound.
Following on from that, looking at any city in the world, which would you like to explore the sound of and why?
7uca - Copenhagen as the Boomphat Bachelors and Quadrants from there.
Jony - I don't have one place I want to explore but, in general maybe Europe as there are some unique sounds over there.
If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?
7uca: Trying to still do music.
Jony: Audio Engineering perhaps
(7uca: What’s the point in life if you’re not happy?)
Finally, what is your definition of success?
Jony - Do what you love everyday but also be able to make a good amount of money and be comfortable but waking up everyday doing what I love; not having to compromise or settle.
7uca - At the end of the day when I’m done, If I can look back and say I gave 100%. Do everything the way I wanted to do the way I wanted to do it. That is success to me.
And there you have it. Check out the guys' socials below to hear more of their music.