What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is artist, Jose Homicide. Jose Homicide is a Latin American recording artist and producer from Los Angeles, California. His debut record ‘Raspberry Headache’ was recorded entirely on GarageBand on an iPhone 5 through Apple headphones at the age of 16. Jose explores, different topics, such as depression, anxiety, growing older, death, and love in his music. With over three records out already the numbers are only rising as fans grow alongside Jose.We can definitely see him performing on stages such as Rolling Loud or Coachella. The LA based MC has been on our radar for a while so we had to tap in with him! Check out the interview below.
Westleaf Staff: What's up, Jose? Your sound is dope. When did you start making music?
Jose Homicide: I started making music when I was about 10. I accidentally bought the instrumental album of “2001” by Dr. Dre rather than the normal album, so I ended up writing songs to every instrumental on the album. When I turned 18 I started releasing songs I recorded on my phone.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! What city do you represent?
Jose Homicide: I represent the entire South East Los Angeles area. I was born in Downey, grew up in Bell Gardens, but I went to school in Cerritos. I spent a lot of years in Hawaiian Gardens in Long Beach but ultimately I reside in Bell Gardens.
Westleaf Staff: Shout out to LA. So how did you create your stage name?
Jose Homicide: I started recording music when I was about 14 with my best friend Gabe. I’m not sure exactly who said it but one of my friends said that I murder every track so my name might as well be Jose Homicide. From then on I just took that stage name and ran with it. As I’m growing older, I’m realizing that word has a lot of power to it, and I made a vow to myself that my name would become so big that you will no longer see a Latin American man named Jose, that committed murder, you’ll just see one guy named Jose that makes really good Music.
Westleaf Staff: I love that you recognize how powerful names can be. Shout out to your growth bro. So how did your early life shape your interest in music?
Jose Homicide: I was always around music growing up. My mother played me a lot of disco, cumbia, oldies. During my pre-teen years I was very into pop, punk, and metal which shaped my performance style. I started to love hip hop right before high school and it got me through some of my toughest years.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! That's inspiring. So who is your biggest Musical influence?
Jose Homicide: Prince. I love Prince’s music more than most things on this planet haha. The way he was never afraid to be himself, the talent, the swag, the message. Everything about that man amazes me to this day. He was a pioneer, a hero, and a name that will live on for decades.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! Prince is fire! What's been the defining moment in your music career thus far?
Jose Homicide: I turned down a pretty serious record deal when I was 20. I actually haven’t told many people about it because no one really understands how cold and evil the music industry can be. I did my homework, i studied the business and i realized ultimately it wasn’t worth signing. I feel like it made me realize my worth and how much further I have to go.
Westleaf Staff: One offer shows that you can get more. Salute bro. So what makes you a unique artist?
Jose Homicide: I think outside the boxes. All boxes. The boxes of genre, sounds, mixing, concepts. A lot of artists can make a room get lit and fun for a bit, but I like to think I bring several different sounds. I can write songs about a time I had a panic attack in a Target, or songs about nights in Germany raving with strangers. My music is all my life experiences compiled together and given to my supporters.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! So what does art mean to you?
Jose Homicide: Art is what makes the world go round. Sometimes our words can’t explain how we really feel for certain things. For example, I can hear a bridge or a string section in a song, and absolutely feel it in my soul. There are no words to describe the feeling that can give me. Art makes life feel like it has a little more meaning.
Westleaf Staff: True! That's deep! Where do you see your music career going over the next few years?
Jose Homicide: After the release of my last record ‘Holocene’ I started getting a little bit more traction. I noticed a lot more people were gravitating towards it, and I think it’s only a matter of time before it starts getting some very noticeable traction. In the next five years I see myself having four projects out and over 5 million streams.
Westleaf Staff: I wish you much success! Before we go, describe music in three words.
Jose Homicide: Emotion conveyed fully.
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