Getmybuzzup: Tell us a little about yourself?
Aaron California: I am a mixed (Mexican/white) kid from Vallejo, CA in the bay area. I came up in the 90s which is where I fell in love with hip-hop. My latest EP, “The 2 Straps Chronicles: Chapter 1” is a bit of a nod to the hip-hop of that era.
Getmybuzzup: How long have you been in the music industry?
Aaron California: Around 15yrs. I began my hip-hop career at 16 with the help of my close friends, Coach Fizz and Chri2 Rose (formerly known as Injustice of the 40oz. Freaks). In those days I used the stage name Voo but most of the music I was making at that time was honestly just party music. There were real tracks in there, too, but it was so much party music that it came to be almost expected of a new song from me and that made me feel limited in regards to what I could make. I didn’t like that so I renamed myself Aaron California (which represents me and my home-state).
Getmybuzzup: How did you get started in the first place?
Aaron California: I guess I would have to say back on the playground. In elementary school, we would make beats on the desktops with pencil-tapping and slamming. I got really good at it (well, as good as you can be making a beat with a pencil) and my friends would all cypher over it at recess. One day I got tired of just being the pencil pusher so I started rhyming. I haven’t looked back since.
Getmybuzzup: How would you describe your latest project “The 2 Straps Chronicles, Chapter 1”?
Aaron California: I would call it a boom-bap project with a heavy 90s vibe that addresses current events as well as my perspective on the rap game at the moment. There are 4 tracks and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
Getmybuzzup: When can fans expect the visuals for the first single off the project?
Aaron California: The first single off the project is “Standard” which had a music video released on September 25th. The next visuals are going to be for “Insomnia” and “Wannabe”. Be on the lookout for a new video around Halloween!
Getmybuzzup: Who are your inspirations in the music industry?
Aaron California: There are so many! I take a lot of inspiration from Mos Def, Atmosphere, Ice Cube, and Wutang.
Getmybuzzup: How do you go about writing a song and what is your process?
Aaron California: I look at every song as a conversation, and as such, I wouldn’t write a song about something I wouldn’t carry a conversation about. In real life, I am definitely not trynna have a conversation with anyone who isn’t on my team about what their bank account looks like or how many girls they bodied or what kind of car they drive. I struggle to understand how anyone would really give a shit about a random’s brag bragging, you know? I find it as obnoxious as hell. So I don’t make “brag-rap” or anything that goes against who I am. A lot of rappers are in it for the clout and they’ll lie through their teeth to make anyone listening think that they are something they aren’t. I refuse. I make music as a form of therapy and it isn’t very therapeutic nor productive to lie about who or what I am, especially to myself. So I make music that is true to me.
The process will vary from song to song, but for the most part, I start by just vibing out to the beat. Once I find the beat that has the groove I’m looking for, I just put it on repeat and try to imagine what the beat is saying. What does this beat want to talk about? Once I have that, I start with the hook/chorus and then proceed to the verses last.
Getmybuzzup: What is the concept behind the project?
Aaron California: Be smart, be respectful, and become something greater.
Getmybuzzup: How has COVID impacted your ability to make music?
Aaron California: Truthfully it has allowed for much more time to write music. Pre-COVID I was 9-5 at a customer service job with an aftermarket automotive company. This took most of my time and energy so the music would take a backseat until the weekend. After COVID removed my job I spent all of my time on music. The entire EP was recorded after COVID stopped the world from turning.
Getmybuzzup: Any plans on putting on a virtual concert for your fans?
Aaron California: To be honest I’ve not thought of it but I would love to! I’m going to look into it for sure. If any of my fans would like this shoot me a DM (@goforaaroncali)
Getmybuzzup: What did you buy with your first check off music?
Aaron California: A new mic, audio interface, and desktop! The mic I used at home for a long time was a Blue Snowball. Those are great mics for what they are, but I would use it more for PodCasting or something like that, knowing what I know now, instead of for music. The interface I was using was pretty dated and I, unfortunately, spilled shit all over it so it got fried and just needed replacing. My previous computer was a laptop that would overheat if you used it for more than 5 minutes at a time, too, so when I got my first paycheck from my music I dumped all of it into a new gear to make better music.
Getmybuzzup: What are must-haves when you’re in the studio working?
Aaron California: I have to have like 3 Gatorades. I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t drink very much soda, but I like to stay hydrated so I always have a Gatorade in my hand when I’m in the studio. Also always have to have a few Swishers around.
Getmybuzzup: What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?
Aaron California: “Songs don’t promote themselves.” I heard that in a YouTube video, I think, and I stuck with me. I used to be one of those independent rappers who would just upload a random ass song to SoundCloud, with no advance notice and I wouldn’t post anywhere to let people know the song existed. Then I’d come to check on it in a week and be disappointed to find that there were little or no plays. Once it clicked in my head that you actually have to let people know about your new song (what a concept, right?) I started researching different marketing strategies and enjoy trying new things to see what gets the best response.
Getmybuzzup: Will you be collaborating with any other artists in the future?
Aaron California: YES! I have a few things in the pipeline right now, but fans can expect collabs in the very near future featuring BPoz, Boskie, Kid Rohan, RX da Script, and more!
Getmybuzzup: What artist have you had the pleasure of working with and what was it like?
Aaron California: I’ve worked with Lox Chatterbox on several occasions (no official releases as of yet) and it was awesome! He is such a talented and intelligent individual and I’m pretty sure he imported his eardrums from a different solar system.
Getmybuzzup: Name an artist that you would love to work with?
Aaron California: This is a tough one, too. I would love to work with Tech N9ne or Rittz, to be honest. I love Rittz flow and Tech’s presence on the beat. Most of my stuff isn’t double-time like most of their stuff is, but anyone who’s heard it knows that I can definitely keep up and I think that’d be a lot of fun.
Getmybuzzup: Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
Aaron California: Lyrical content and flow, for sure. I don’t make much music that isn’t promoting some sort of message or positivity or hope or motivation, so I don’t think that many listeners have much of a chance to only like the beat.
Getmybuzzup: What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc..)
Aaron California: Better production, for sure. Everything I’ve released so far has been recorded either in my bedroom, kitchen, living room, hotel room, UHaul truck (yeah…), or any other small space that I could use for a few minutes with my computer. I research mixing and EQing a LOT but there is still a long way for me to go before I’m on par with some of my favorites.
Getmybuzzup: What’s your all-time favorite song?
Aaron California: This is a tough one because it changes a lot. I have a whole playlist that I made of all of my favorite songs, but right now my favorite song is “Woods” by Mac Miller.
Getmybuzzup: What was the last album you listened to?
Aaron California: Laugh Now, Cry Later by Ice Cube. I listened to that whole album on a recent flight from Cali to Florida. It’s not his most recent but there are some straight BANGERS on there! (“Why We Thugs” is one of my favorites!)
Getmybuzzup: Your favorite artist of all time and why?
Aaron California: Ice Cube. I love how west coast he is and how unapologetic he can be on some of his tracks, but I also love how he can address real topics and bring facts and make it all sound dope as fuck. Too many rappers today fall back on a dope beat and some ad-libs without having any real substance to their lyrics. Ice Cube ain’t one of them!
Getmybuzzup: Whose your fav five artist right now?
Aaron California: Right now my most played are: Mac Miller, Ice Cube, Rittz, Marlon Craft, and Mac Dre
Getmybuzzup: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Aaron California: The most influential and successful, in my opinion, has to be either Jay-Z or J.Cole.
Jay-Z because he is probably on everyone’s list of top 10 lyricists and he took his success further than just hip-hop. J.Cole because I feel like he made it cool to be conscious and it brought this huge wave of new rappers who are trying to ride that same wave. There, of course, were others before Cole but I feel like he had the most success in making it cool.
Getmybuzzup: Who have been some of your favorite artists that you’ve been able to work with?
Aaron California: In addition to Lox Chatterbox, I also love working with Chri2 Rose he is one of the most insane freestylers I’ve ever witnessed and it’s really cool to see him work. He will listen to a beat and freestyle like 5 different hooks just vibing until he lands on one he likes. That is most rappers weakness (the hook) so it’s awesome to work with someone who doesn’t have that issue.
Getmybuzzup: How do you feel about the current state of music?
Aaron California: I think the best way to answer that question is to direct anyone reading to my newest music video for “Standard”. I tell you all about how I feel about the current state of music on that track.
Getmybuzzup: Any dream award shows you hope to one day play at?
Aaron California: Yes! I dream of one day play a show at the VMAs. It’s definitely a pipe-dream, but you asked
Getmybuzzup: What is your main goal as far as music?
Aaron California: To help people and to change the average subject matter of hip-hop. I want to make songs for people who feel left out so they know they aren’t alone. No one should have to face this world more alone than we leave it. And with all of the music today telling kids to pop a molly or a Percocet or a Xanax, I think we could use a few tracks that let kids know it’s cool to not do drugs, too.
Getmybuzzup: Who would you say your music relates to the most?
Aaron California: Anyone who has ever had a substance abuse issue, felt alone, neglected or unwanted and anyone who is tired of hearing the same old brag-rap.
Getmybuzzup: What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you different?)
Aaron California: What I speak about in my music, my lyrical complexity, my clarity of pronunciation, and singing abilities. Many rappers are one-trick-ponies in that all they can really do is write a 16 with a single syllable rhyme on the end, whereas I have a wide range of musical talents and I thoroughly enjoy crafting complex rhyme schemes.
Getmybuzzup: When you’re not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
Aaron California: When I’m not working on something music related I’m probably either playing Xbox or at a beach somewhere with a nice joint.
Getmybuzzup: If you could work with any producer who would it be?
Aaron California: 9th Wonder or Gramatik. Those are two of my favorite producers along with Mike Will, Mustard, and Metro Boomin.
Getmybuzzup: What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?
Aaron California: Opening up for Bone Thugs at the Ventura Theater. That was such a fun show and there was a great turnout of people and they were really vibing with me. It was one of the best days I’ve had the pleasure of living so far.
Getmybuzzup: What is your dream venue to perform at?
Aaron California: The Staples Center. I saw Kendrick perform there and it was HUGE and it was packed and it was such a vibe. I’d love to be the dude on stage for one of those!
Getmybuzzup: What artist music are you currently a fan of?
Aaron California: I’m currently heavy into Mac Miller. Another of my favorite songs by him is “Nikes on my feet”. That track is smooooooth
Getmybuzzup: When performing live what are some of the things you do to get the crowd involved?
Aaron California: I love to rock to the beat from side to side and get the crowd moving with it and I also hold silence on songs where the crowd can learn the words (like if the hook was super basic and easy to memorize I might be silent during the hook or just hype the crows as they sing it)
Getmybuzzup: When performing live and the crowd is singing along how does that energy make you feel?
Aaron California: Like a Super Saiyan. The crowd singing along is the only way I’ve found to get my power level over 9000
Getmybuzzup: What’s the name of the last book you read and by whom?
Aaron California: “The Marked” by Ricky Castorena
Getmybuzzup: What’s your favorite sports team and why?
Aaron California: Warriors because I’m a Vallejo kid
Getmybuzzup: Who’s your favorite actor or actress and their best movie?
Aaron California: My favorite actor is probably Edward Norton and I’d say his best movie is either Fight Club or AHX
Getmybuzzup: Name someone famous who inspires you and why?
Aaron California: Rittz inspires me because he writes about real and personal issues which almost feels like it’s “out of bounds” for most rappers. I think it’s dope af that he isn’t afraid to go against the norm and that he can make it sound awesome.
Getmybuzzup: What can we expect from you in the future?
Aaron California: In the future, you can expect much more content! I’m currently in the process of having the video for “Insomnia” shot and I’m also working on another EP (sLaughter is the Best Medicine)!
Getmybuzzup: Anything else you wanna add?
Aaron California: Be sure to check out my newest music video
Getmybuzzup: Where can the fans check out for your music?
Aaron California: On their favorite major streaming service! I am currently live on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Tidal, and many more! Just search “Aaron California” and I’ll take your ears on a trip
Props to Spotify
Want to submit something? Click Here
Need promotion? Click Here
Let us know what you think in the comment area below.
Liked this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!”