After featuring Ciph Boogie’s official video for Never Waste Your Time, off his latest EP Sometime In New York City Vol. 1, we decided to be curious about the MC and ask him a few questions about music, New York, John Lennon and more. While he is quite busy promoting the project but also working on the follow-up, Ciph Boogie kindly took some time to answer those and give some insight into his artistic universe. It is now a great pleasure for me to introduce you to the MC. Without further delay, here is Ciph Boogie, in his own words…
First of all, could you introduce yourself? Who is Ciph Boogie, how/when did you start making music?
What’s going on peoples!! As you know my name is Ciph Boogie. And who is Ciph Boogie? Well Ciph Boogie is many things. He’s first and foremost a fan of music. He is a student of music. He is an artist who takes his craft very seriously and believes in elevating and evolving in his craft. Ciph Boogie is a lyricist who believes in the power of words to get his message across.
I use the power of words to get people excited, to bring emotion out of them whether it’s happy or sad. I was always rapping from a young age, I started rhyming when I was 15. But my actual 1st original record I ever made was in 2003, it was a demo record called “Just let me know” featuring my boy Newdy.
Like many hip-hop legends, you are from Brooklyn, New-York and have the famous “New York State of Mind”. Do you think your music would definitely sound different if you had been born/lived in another city?
Honestly I don’t think it would sound different. I mean, I am blessed and very happy to be where I’m from, as you said there are many Hip-Hop Legends from my hometown. But to me I just feel like everybody has a story to tell, whether you’re from Bed-stuy Brooklyn, or Liverpool England. There’s a ghetto in every hood. It just depends on how you get your story out there to the world. And make that connection with the people. Music is universal.
You just dropped your new EP, Sometime in New York City Vol. 1 and it is greatly inspired by John Lennon and “human experience”, which I find very interesting. Could you tell us more about this project and its concept?
Thank you for the interest, I really appreciate that. I was always a John Lennon fan. I admire his work a lot he’s one of my favorite Beatles and his solo work is just amazing. On top of that he lived in New York and had a great love for NY. And also I have a great love for NY just as well. So when it came to start working on this project, I knew I wanted incorporate John Lennon somehow. I wanted to incorporate him in a way where it wouldn’t be whack to the Hip-Hop world and pay tribute to the man and his artistry. So I did my research and came across this album of his entitled “Some time in new York city” which was released in 1972. The album was a very political album and didn’t really do well because the public were expecting real Beatles type of material. Instead he made a very political album taking a stand against the Nixon administration and the Vietnam War. But overall my version of the album is more so a look of me as an artist in New York City. I wanted the album to show the boldness that a New Yorker is known for having. I want people to know this is a New Yorker speaking to you. When I say I’m inspired by the human experience, I am referring to life. Everyday life is an experience whether it’s good or bad. We are humans and from my experiences in life human beings aren’t perfect. And I want to capture the good and bad sides of humans in my music.
The first single taken from the EP, Never waste your time, has a very nice vibe, with a combination of hip-hop and R&B reminiscent of the 90s. Was it something you did consciously or more like how you felt at that moment?
Well I wouldn’t say either. It just boils down to me being a fan of a great song. I make an attempt with every song that I record to make it the best song I can possibly make it. In the case of Never waste your time, I would just have to say it was great timing and great ingredients. A great track, great lyrics, great vocal hook, great engineering. Great vibes overall all just mixed into one.
Speaking of the single, the official video is out and it gives a great summery feeling, while being quite simple. It looks like a snapshot of life in New York and provides very nice visuals, while emphasizing hard work and determination. How do you feel about the video and its impact on listeners?
I’m really glad the video has been received the way it was. I think the video really catches the overall concept of the song I had in mind, when I finished recording it. Nothing really over the top, just the bare bones of working hard, self motivation. Pushing yourself to be the best person you can be. As far as the impact on the listeners, if the listeners pull something away from the video to improve their own lives then my job is done, I’ve accomplished the goal I set out to accomplish.
According to what you say, this EP shows your growth and maturity compared to previous projects. Is it important for you to reflect your personal evolution with your music and share your insight and experience with your fans?
Yes, I think that it is very important as an artist to show your fans that you are evolving. It’s being genuine to yourself and your fans. You’re never selling them short especially the fans who were riding with you from day one. It’s just being real because we as people we grow. We are not going be to be little kids forever, we’re not going to be young forever. It’s very important to share your journey, it’s part of the connection with the people that makes me continues to make music.
Ciph Boogie – Built To Win feat Premise
Ciph Boogie – Solemnly
Among people that influenced you, you mention names such as Jay Z, Michael Jackson, John Lennon and The Beatles or Elton John. Those artists are all very different but at the same time have been praised for their song writing skills. Is it important for you to draw inspiration from so many different genres?
Yes it is. Like I said earlier, music is universal everyone has a story to tell, no matter what the genre is we all have a story. These artists that influence me have gotten their story out to the world and I can relate to their stories. Especially Jay-Z and John Lennon. Also, I’m influenced by their talents. The determination to evolve, hard work and just be on top of their game. These artists influence how I think as an artist real talk.
You aim to make music that is easy to relate to, that can inspire but also make people feel good. Do you think it’s important to blend those elements and touch people in different ways?
Yes I do, it’s all about making that connection with people. The connection in music is very, very Important to me.
The connection with your fans in music will have you remembered years down the line. 20-30 years… You see how Elvis fans are. He’s been dead for over 35 years, but even in death he still has the connection with his fans. Millions of people flock to Graceland every day of the year. Look at Michael Jackson, there were paramedics on standby at a Michael Jackson concert. Grown men are fainting, grown ass men!! (Laughs) That’s the connection he made with his fans. Even John Lennon. I went to the annual memorial they have for him in Strawberry Fields over in Central Park on the 30th anniversary of his death and the out pouring was just amazing. Young and old fans united together. This was the connection he made with his music. This is why I feel the connection in music is very important.
Sometime in New York City Vol. 1 is a way for you to make people “feel Brooklyn”, but you are already working on a new project, which will be much more personal. Could you tell us a bit about that?
Right now the next project is in its early stages. I’ll say I have about 3 songs already for it, I’m just plotting out what exactly I want to share and what I want to keep under wraps for the future instalments. But just know I’m going to give it my all.