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Retro Champ: “You never know when you may need it”

If you have an idea, whether it’s a marketing plan, some lyrics, a chorus, anything that has to do with your music or brand, write it down, record it, whatever. You never know when you may need it. Keep being active! Don’t slack once you make it or are on the verge of making it. […]

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If you have an idea, whether it’s a marketing plan, some lyrics, a chorus, anything that has to do with your music or brand, write it down, record it, whatever. You never know when you may need it. Keep being active! Don’t slack once you make it or are on the verge of making it. Keep that same hunger you had that got you to the big dance. Of course, keep your peace of mind and everything, but don’t become lax.


As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Retro Champ an independent artist out of St. Louis, MO. His fans love his music because of the vulnerability and emotion he releases every time he writes, records or performs. His music is for fans of Dizzy Wright, Hopsin, B.O.B., Ace Hood, and others.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/e9fc2c051502f7dd56b47ba62fa135ff


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I appreciate you guys for having me! I’m born and raised in St. Louis, MO. My childhood growing up had a lot of ups and downs. I had two parents who did love me and tried to do whatever they could to make sure I was happy. I was a happy kid for the most part. But on the flip side, I saw the divorcing of my parents, my Dad changing and becoming a person I didn’t recognize anymore, people close to me passing, the bullying in school. It was a lot but I always tried to stay strong and maintain. I talk about it a lot in my music too.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Well, I’ve been playing drums since I was two! Then around 8 years old I started watching this show on BET called 106 & Park. Everyday after school I’d come home and watch it. This may be funny to some people but if it wasn’t for Lil Bow Wow, I wouldn’t have even thought to become a rapper. I thought you had to be grown in order to be one, but seeing him as a kid doing it, I instantly got inspired real quick.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The most interesting thing that has happened to me on this journey was performing at this event called Pointfest. It was my first festival I’ve ever done. It’s crazy because in high school, I went as a fan. So actually performing at Pointfest years later was so surreal to me.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Never eat right before you hit the stage. That was the roughest 30 mins ever because I had to used the bathroom so bad, but couldn’t because I was in the middle of performing. I pretty much learned to eat either hours before the show or just wait until after.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Right now I’m working on some singles that I can’t wait to share because it shows more of my growth as an artist and the message I have for the people.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

It’s important because one, you can be very creative with being diverse. Two, it shows that people coming together as one regardless of race, religion, color, or creed is something that we need in today’s world. People need to love more and stop judging. Third, it allows people to be themselves more. That they can express themselves freely without being judged.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

I wish someone would’ve told me about patience. I’ve always been impatient when it comes to things because I feel like I’ll lose the opportunity if I don’t stay on it.

I wish someone would’ve told me more about how research is important. I have messed up countless times trusting random people with certain information that I thought was true but turned out to be false. I learned this year to go to the source and find out the information yourself so that you have that knowledge for later down the road.

I wish someone would’ve told me about being myself when I first started. When I first started out, I wanted to be like rappers that I saw on tv, but as I got older, I learned being myself was the best thing for me.

I wish someone would’ve told me about how to perform. I used to have no structure when it came to doing my set. I was all over the place. But then I studied some of my favorite artists and how professional their shows looked so I started to do my own thing with mine and now I’m satisfied with how I do shows.

Lastly, I wish someone would’ve taught me how to properly write a song. I know how to write one now of course, but I remember when I would just write with no hooks because I didn’t know how to create a hook, I didn’t understand what a hot 16 was, let alone how to structure a song. I just loved to write lyrics.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

If you have an idea, whether it’s a marketing plan, some lyrics, a chorus, anything that has to do with your music or brand, write it down, record it, whatever. You never know when you may need it. Keep being active! Don’t slack once you make it or are on the verge of making it. Keep that same hunger you had that got you to the big dance. Of course, keep your peace of mind and everything, but don’t become lax.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That’s a hard one because it’s so many movements out here right now that are doing that. But if I had to inspire a movement, it would be for someone to show some random act of love or kindness for a random person. Whether it be helping them carry something to their car, paying for groceries, opening the door for someone. Just something that lets that person know someone cares about them.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Jesus and my mom. Without God, I wouldn’t have a mom that loves me and pushes me everyday to be the best person I can be and to strive for greatness. Also of course without God, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Self-love is the best love”. I love that quote a lot because it took me a very long time to love me for me. I been through a lot of situations where I felt like I wasn’t good enough or I’m worthless. Still working out some kinks, but I’m way farther than where I used to be.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Tech N9ne. His whole career to me is second to none like he literally built an empire from the ground up with no mainstream deal or anything. He’s done it all and gained respect from a lot of major artists in the game. Mind you, he stayed underground while doing it! I just have a lot of respect for that man, and the fact he still puts out albums and goes on tours constantly like he does just inspires me.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter @theretrochamp

You can follow me on Facebook @Retro Champ

Subscribe to my YouTube channel @Retro Champ

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Again, I appreciate you guys for having me! Much love to you guys!

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