PlanetRAWK, The One with The Sure Shot

Trying to find a median between genres such as hiphop and rock, soul and pop, electronic and jazz can be difficult - oh, don't be fooled by those rappers who throw in a guitar here and there just to call themselves genre-blending. You can't just be a great vocalist and merge yourself into pop culture either.

While there are a growing number of musicians attempting to truly melt the musical pot, PlanetRAWK is an example of those who get it right, at least as far as hiphop and rock is concerned. You check him out live with Tragedy Called Truth, another rock band, at Atlanta's Drunken Unicorn November 9th!
How and why did you come up with the name PlanetRAWK? Was it influenced by Afrika Bambaataa?

Yes, it was influenced by the song Planet Rock, I thought their songwriting was very interesting and became a fan very quickly.

Who are your musical influences, aside from Bam of course?

In junior high I was a fan of Jay Z, Playa Fly, UGK, Master P and 3-6 Mafia. Currently, I am really into Dance Gavin Dance, Emarosa, Johnny Craig, 30 Seconds To Mars, Panic at The Disco.

So, do you listen to mainstream hiphop artists now?

Not really. Lupe Fiasco is a good one, I think he is amazing. But this so-called trap music played on radio and TV sounds like garbage and gives a negative site on black people. I mean, kids listen to this and grow up thinking this is cool or this is the way to make it, it's nonsense and has no creativity or originality whatsoever.

What got you into doing rock although you have strong hiphop influences, artistically?

I woke up and came downstairs, made a beat and wrote the lyrics to it, and said to myself "this is way too easy." Decided from then on to challenge myself musically, got a band and went on from there learning musical theory.

How would you describe your sound?

Well we involve different genres, but to keep it simple I say alternative hiphop with rock and electronic fusion.

On "Hush," your new single, you have some elements of scream rock in there. How much of that element will be on your projects to come?

A lot. I am a big fan of post hardcore music. Beautiful melodies with screams I think are awesome.

I see you have heavy rock influences, and I agree about the beauty behind hardcore melodies, but how did you get into rock music and ultimately do rock music?

I promise you at the age of 7 or 8 I was getting dress in the morning to Nirvana and Pearl Jam going to school. Rock has always been my first love, when I first saw Kurt Cobain on MTV Music Awards, I knew I wanted to be a rock star but as a black kid in an all-Black school I didn't want to get picked on or those weird stares because I was different, so I hid my passion. But now I embrace it.

How'd you hook up with Tragedy Called Truth? The energy they have is crazy!

I met them through my bass player JT Thomas and we have been friends ever since. We tour together, they are my studio and live band, couldn't ask for better friends.

What has the Atlanta indie scene been like for you?

I love it, there are some amazing bands in Atlanta, some dicky venues but we will keep our mouths shut about them haha!

What's been the biggest obstacle as an indie artist? I ask because I spoke with quite a few other Atlanta musicians and they tend to lean towards generating a fanbase outside of other musicians. Is that a problem for you, or are there other things you have to focus on?

When I look at my fanbase on facebook, I have fans in Austria, Zambia and United Kingdom, so if your music reaches then people all over will love it. My biggest issue is funding because we want to tour, but that costs money. We want to be in a nice studio, but that costs money. We want to be packaged nice and pretty, but it costs money. Everything costs money and we don't have a label, so we fund everything ourselves - so we are taking applications for investors haha!

Complete this sentence: when you come to a PlanetRAWK show, look out for flying monkeys because they always happens to find themselves on stage.

How can people keep up with you, social media-wise?

Download a copy of my new single at and donate what you can to help us fund touring cost. Also, and Twitter at @planetrawk

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