RESPECT. had the opportunity to catch up with emerging artist OnCue out of the NYC. OnCue spoke candidly about his upcoming project, You Knew All Along,the message he is trying to get across through his music, who influenced him as an artist and more. Read the interview below!
RESPECT.: When did you decide to pursue a career as an artist?
Music and specifically hip-hop has been in my life since I was around 3 or 4. I grew up on hip-hop. I think I wrote my first raps around 9, and every since then I knew what I wanted to do. Knowing that I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life has been a gift and a curse, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
RESPECT.: What was the inspiration for your last single “Sip?”
I wrote off emotion. I think I just was in a very good mood. We were wrapping up the upcoming Perfectly, Tragically, Flawed project and I just fed off my emotions at the time. I probably was drinking a bit too.
RESPECT.: How long did it take you to complete your EP You Knew All ALong?
YKAA is more of a collection. I just kept recording and we compiled it together. All these songs are made over the course of 2016, initially — with no plan in mind. Oddly enough, synergy helped tie all these songs together.
RESPECT.: Every artist has a message that they want to get across what is your message?
This has changed from project to project. I’m constantly evolving, and I’m constantly growing. Obviously — through the years things have stayed, and that’s to really be OK in your skin — faults and all.
RESPECT.: Who were some of the artists you listen to coming up?
I’m from CT. Moved to Brooklyn in 2010. I’m an east coast kid, the Roc-A-Fella era is everything to me. Jay, Ye, Beans. I’ve always been a Hugh Clipse fan. Early Joe Budden was very influential on me, the honesty in his Mood Muzik’s and the debut.
RESPECT.: How long does it take you to come up with a concept of a song?
Never really a straight answer. I get inspiration from everywhere. Whether it be conversations with friends and loved ones or if it’s art; film, TV, other music, whatever. I tend to write notes on my iPhone and let them stew. I have a bunch ideas just sitting on my phone and I refer back to these little notes a lot. Other times, It can just come.
RESPECT.: Do you prefer to write the lyrics to the single before receiving the beat or vice versa?
Like before, I even write full lines on my phone — but I don’t really write a song until I’m sitting with the beat. A lot of my stuff is melodic, and I don’t produce myself so writing before hand could just be super forced.
RESPECT.: How did you come up with the name “OnCue?”
No clue. I came up with it when I was probably 11 or 12 and I just stuck with it. Cue for short. It works. I tried to change it when I first moved to the city but I couldn’t imagine anything else.
RESPECT.: Who are some of the artists you would love to work with at some point?
So many. Jay, Ye, Tame Impala, Bon Iver, Ben Gibbard, Shlohmo, even to Lil Uzi Vert. So much good music out there.
RESPECT.: What are your plans heading into 2017?
A new project is coming top of the year and it’s a big one. I’m super excited. We got a lot planned. I can’t wait.