Hailing from D.C., 22-year-old rapper Noochie is on a mission to make his mark in the music industry. This year he has had continued success with the release of his second mixtape, ‘New Regular’ and with recently being signed to Atlantic Records. He has proved that when there is a will there is a way, even if the signs along the path seem unclear. With faith and consistency, Noochie has a surely paved a way for himself. It has been a long road, but he is just getting started.
First of all, I want to say congratulations on being signed to Atlantic! How have things changed for you since being signed? ***
It’s been more so different from the outside perspective than the inside perspective because everyone else’s view of me is different since I just got signed to a major. They think things should be different (for me) immediately. Being the person on the inside, it means I got to go harder, I have to work even harder. I am on a roster with artists that have all of these accolades and accomplishments and I don’t really have anything yet. So it’s time for me to just step up and go harder so that I can catch up.
What was that day like for you?
It was a special moment because I was in the same place a little less than a year ago. I was just in there for a media run… it wasn’t really for anything special. I ended up taking a picture there not thinking anything of it. Less than a year later, I am back in there and they want me on the roster. So it was just special to me because I was back at the same place with a different purpose.
That’s great! It is really cool that in less than a year, all of that came into fruition. Maybe you didn’t see it then, but just being in that place, it kind of set you up. Here you are now with a record deal. So again, congratulations!
Oh yeah, thanks.
So you recently released your second mixtape, ‘New Regular’ and not too long ago you asked your followers what their favorite track is. I want to know what your favorite track is and why.
My favorite track is number 5, “BNH.” It’s got a real chill vibe, the beat is real chill. It’s just talking over some instruments playing. It’s just different.
What can fans expect from ‘New Regular’ versus ‘Product of the DMV,’ that you put out prior to?
This one is a little more personal. I cared less about certain stuff and I just did me. It’s more entertaining.
What is your style and what artists influenced you?
My style is more so embedded in each song as opposed to an overall style. My overall style is just me. It is hard to describe. The people that influenced me are similar. Like Jay Z, Drake, Kanye, Kendrick, J.Cole… they sound the same on every song, but each song embodies something different. None of their songs sound the same. You could have an “Alright” and then you could have a “New Freezer.” You could have a “These Walls,” you could have a “Hotline Bling,” and then a “N***a We Made it.” It’s all different s**t that can touch different crowds.
When did you get your start with writing and what made you want to pursue rapping as a career?
My start with writing came when my family moved to Atlanta. On the ride down to Atlanta, it was just my dad and me. We were driving in this van and the radio was broken and we only had two CDs, Jay Z’s ‘Reasonable Doubt,’ and Drake’s ‘So Far Gone.’ And this was like 2008. So from D.C. to Atlanta, which is about a 9-10 hour drive, we only had those two CDs to listen to. At the time, I was in like the 8th grade, I wasn’t really paying much attention to music yet, but I had no choice on this ride. So I sat there and listened to Jay Z’s lines and thought this is crazy. I didn’t even know what Jay Z was talking about yet because I was young, but it sounded cool. It was interesting. Right after that, we listened to ‘So Far Gone’ and Drake was doing the same thing that Jay was doing for me, but it was more relatable. I got a better understanding of it. I was like, damn, this s**t is cool.
With me moving to Atlanta, I didn’t really know anybody down there, so 9 times out of 10, I had headphones on my ears and I was listening to music. This was like a pinnacle time for when a bunch of good music dropped. There are like 5 mixtapes that really influenced me to write… ‘So Far Gone,’ Wale’s ‘More About Nothing,’ J. Cole’s ‘Friday Night Lights,’ Wiz Khalifa’s ‘Kush & Orange Juice,’ and Kid Kudi’s ‘Man on the Moon.’ After that, that’s when I really started working on my craft.
So what were you interested in before that trip to Atlanta? It seems like that ride and those two albums changed everything for you.
I was listening to what everyone else was listening to… like (Lil’) Wayne was a big influence. (Lil’) Wayne was like the god at that time. Like ‘Drought 3,’ Kanye’s ‘Graduation’… and I think ‘808’s and Heartbreaks’ was about to come out. At that time, I was listening to whatever everyone else was listening to and I wasn’t that in depth with it. I also lived with my grandma, so I was listening to a whole bunch of old school music like Luther Vandross, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Prince… So I was just diverse with it, I just listened to a lot of stuff. I wasn’t really interested in making it, I just liked it.
At that time, did you have an idea of what you wanted to do growing up, or you were still just going with the flow?
I had no idea what I wanted to do yet. I was just going through the motions.
Gotcha. Well that’s pretty cool that that ride was like a defining moment in your life.
Yeah, it definitely was.
Speaking of knowing what you want to do in life, I was listening to “Run It Up,” and you mentioned you quit your job because it wasn’t paying enough. Were those lines telling a true story? And if so, were you already established or did you make that decision based on faith?
It was definitely a true statement. I was working at this warehouse called Office Movers. It was a moving company for office and hotel furniture. I was only 19 or 20 and there were so many older people that were working there. They would smoke cigarettes and being there seemed depressing. They would talk about how they had been working there for 15, 20 years. I’m like man, how do you do this so long? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing forever?
I started seriously making music in the 11th grade, so by the time I graduated high school, I had already made a name for myself. But I needed to find something to do so that I could make some more money to support myself, so I got this job. I also went to school for engineering so I used to run sessions out of my studio, but it wasn’t consistent enough. So I had to do both. So I’d go to work and then go to the studio and record people. When I was done recording people, it would be 1 or 2 in the morning, but it was my only time to record myself. By the time I was done recording myself, it was time to go to work. And I’m at work with bags under my eyes and I’m just doing the same thing over and over again. That’s how bad I wanted this. So I was like, man, I need to figure out a way. And then one day, I got fed up with the job and said this s**t is slowing me down. I didn’t have a plan at all. I just quit. And then I got a call in less than 2 months to come to Atlanta to work with some high profile people down there. And that’s what started my last mixtape, ‘Product of the DMV.’ It also started building my relationships with people within the industry and making a name for myself for real. So it was like something in the universe just worked when I quit. Something just made somebody else see me and want me to come. The s**t was great.
With what you are telling me right now, it seems like 2 months isn’t a long time, but when you were in it, it probably did, especially if you didn’t have anything else lined up.
Oh no, it definitely seems like a long time. (laughs) I was running through other jobs in between… it just felt like forever.
So those jobs didn’t really worked out while you were trying to figure it out in between time?
No. So like how you asked before, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in 8th or 9th grade, but by the time I got to 11th and 12th, I knew what I wanted to do by then. So I was already in no plan b mode. I took placement tests for college and (took) college classes and scored high. I just knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do and I didn’t want to get into debt and waste money for something I know I’m not going to want to do. That’s really what drove me, like, this s**t gotta work. That’s what’s still driving me. This gotta work. It ain’t working all the way yet, but it’s about to.
Going back to New Regular, you have a lot of collaborations on there. What is your recording process like when you collaborate with other artists? Do you like to go into the studio and vibe with them or so you send music over to them?
The way I like to work in the studio is one on one with the person that I am collaborating with. It just seems like it would be better for the song. It’s better for the energy for the song. Sometimes if it is my song, I feel obligated to have the idea for the song… have the beat and the hook idea. Usually I like to go in blank so we can play off each other and whatever we are going to do with the song.
Are there any artists that you want to collaborate with in the future?
Definitely Goldlink. He is the only artist from the DMV that I haven’t worked with yet that I want to work with. Logic too. I like Logic. J.I.D, who is signed to Dreamville. I definitely want to work with him. A-Boogie, he’s dope too. I can go on for days about that. I just want to get to be able to get on that type of level to the point where they would want to work with me.
You mention home and the DMV a lot in your music. How has growing up in the DMV influenced your music and the things that you write about?
The DMV is one of a kind, like the culture. It is so unique in a sense from how we dress, to how we talk, what we eat, what we like to go do, the type of music, the slang… everything is just so DC… it’s just special. Growing up in this type of environment forces you to just be proud of it. When I get on the phone or I’m out representing myself, I’m representing my city, so I gotta make sure I make it look good. I want to make sure the truth is being told about it. That’s why I talk about it how I do in my music.
What do you think is the most memorable moment of your career so far?
That is a tough one. I remember that I was in the studio and Ludacris just walked in. That was cool. It was one of the early times that I was in Atlanta. I was recording a song and this dude just walked in. I saw through the camera that allows you can see who is in the studio while you are in the booth. He had a hat and a scarf on and took it off and it was like, f*** that’s Ludacris. When I came out, I introduced myself to him, he was cool. He watched my videos… that whole time in Atlanta was like the best stretch of my career.
Recently, you reposted a 3-year-old Facebook post regarding talent getting overlooked and sharing words of encouragement. Seeing that you just got signed and you are progressing in your career, what other advice do you have for aspiring artists?
I try my best to put that in my music, that way it can inspire somebody just by listening to it. You take something from it and apply it to your life or to whatever is going on. I think that consistency is key because there are a million people trying to do it. It is not a short term goal or a short road to get it. Usually those who do it, are the ones who out last everybody and might make it. Staying focused and not giving yourself a plan b is key too. Giving yourself a plan b just opens up energy for failure in your plan a and that’s not an option. You have to give it your all.
Now that you are signed, are you already working on a new project? And do you want to do something differently than your first two projects?
I’m definitely working on something new. Whatever is next is going to be even bigger and even better. I just gained access to more resources, more time, and more talent. It’s definitely going to be better. It’s only go up from here. There’s definitely no regression, only progression.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I definitely trying to get some hits under my belt as well as some big performances. I’m just trying to leave my mark. That’s all I’m trying to do.
What message do you want to give your fans?
That it is cool to just be yourself. Sometimes it might seem what you are trying is not in or it is not working but as long as you be your unique self, your time will come. Be patient and don’t conform to what everybody wants you to do or what is expected of you. You can be great in your own way.
*** This article was written on December 10, 2017. As of December 2018, Noochie is no longer signed to Atlantic Records.