By: Bekoe & Pretty Riot
Ro is back and better then ever.
After nearly a year, Plainro releases fresh content under a new alias, and for those who have yet to hear His last release featuring Tiffany Hines, feel free to listen to his classical joint below and continue reading.
With "Gravity" Pt. 1 being Ro's last track under Plainro, he makes his return, and I must say Ro Marsalis is definitely here to stay. We caught up with Ro for an exclusive interview to learn more about what to expect in the near future. After reading, stream "Confidants" below, leave feedback within our comment section and don't forget to spread the NOiZE.
Pretty Riot: You’re coming off almost a year long hiatus and you came back with a completely new identity. What happened to Plain Ro? How did Ro Marsalis come about and what inspired the change?
Ro Marsalis: Plainro will always be an extension of myself but I found myself being pigeonholed as a producer/artist because the type of songs I produce (which are greatly client based) don’t really reflect who I am as an artist.
As far as the inspiration for the name change, I unfortunately don’t have any over thought out explanation outside of my favorite episode from Martin which had a reoccurring character, Hustleman, stumbling into a recording executive’s office to audition as a saxophonist (with a kazoo taped to the reed of a saxophone). When Martin asks “Hustleman is that you?!” He vehemently replies, “Nah, you got me confused with the next man. I’m Hustle Marsalis.”
Pretty Riot: How does it feel to release new music under a new identity?
Ro Marsalis: It feels liberating, I feel a little freer to experiment with the different styles and genres of music I always wanted to while still keeping the Plainro brand intact. It’s like when Pharrell decided to make his pop-rock band NERD: same soul, different inspiration.
Pretty Riot: What should we expect from Ro Marsalis in the near future? A tape perhaps?
Ro Marsalis: Yes! "Leaves II" is still coming (for those who were waiting) and Random Wednesdays will be around for a long time.
Pretty Riot: How did you know you were ready to put music out again?
Ro Marsalis: Ausar. He told me it’s time and I had a series of spiritual confirmations to let me know I need to come from behind the boards again.
Pretty Riot: Although you’ve taken a hiatus from releasing music how has the production been going for you?
Ro Marsalis: It’s been crazy! I can’t wait for everyone to hear what I have in store and where I might pop up with their favorite artists. 2018 is about to be crazy for me.
Pretty Riot: How did your new joint "Confidant" come into play?
Ro Marsalis: I normally freestyle to a track first when I feel led to write to it to kind of create the foundation on what I want to do cadence wise and then from there fill in the blanks with what I feel the melody is telling me.
Pretty Riot: Since you’re back releasing music what can we expect from AIM Gang in the near future?
Ro Marsalis: Wholelottagangish. We’ve been hard at work and recently I’ve made the transition to engineering/producing fulltime so our sound will only grow from here.
Pretty Riot: What do you hope to bring to the industry through your music?
Ro Marsalis: Transparency, hope and an expression through hip-hop/Pop/rnb that doesn’t get a lot of attention.
Pretty Riot: What’s something that you foreshadow about Chicago’s music scene within the next year?
Ro Marsalis: Chicago is already #1 talent wise in HipHop. From here I think we just continue to build on our newfound legacy of fresh, well-rounded bodies of work. Everyday lately I come across really dope and new artists from the city and I know it’ll only continue.