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Unified Highway

I was beyond stoked when Hill Kid co-founder Braelyn Davis told me I was doing a piece on Amp Live and Eric from Rebelution’s collaboration called “Unified Highway”.

When a master of hip hop and music production like Amp Live teams up with one of our favorite singer/songwriter/shredders you know some beautiful art is going to come out of it.

Since Amp Live dropped his instantly famous remix of Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” album titled “Rainydayz” back in 2008, his work as a solo artist and member of Zion I helped ring in whole new dimensions of hip hop. Artists as dedicated to their craft as he is bring new depth and take music to places most people don’t dream of – the feeling some of his songs leave me with is electric zen.

As you’ll soon find out, Amp has been working with Eric Rachmany for years now, and their collaborative effort on Unified Highway instantly sounds as tight and vibey as you’d expect. I love the direction these guys take their creativity, and hope this interview and Amp Live’s new Hill Kid mix-tape inspires all you active artists in our community to create beautiful things!

Unified Highway Eric Rachmany and Amp Live Picture

Hill Kid (HK): What inspired you to do Rainydayz (the Radiohead “In Rainbows” remix?

Amp Live: I did a remix of Nudes off their In Rainbows album and got Zion I and Too Short on it.  It started generating a lot of buzz and being posted everywhere. So people were suggesting I do the whole album and I agreed.

 

HK: Why Radiohead?  [Noteworthy: Radiohead, literally gave him permission to drop this remix… what an honor!]

Amp Live: I was a huge fan of the Radiohead In Rainbows album. When they dropped it for free I wanted to just remix one of the songs to show my appreciation. 

HK: When did you first get into music?

Amp Live: I have been into music most of my life. My father played jazz piano and also the organ in Church. So I would wake up every morning to the piano being played. I started in high school with a Ensoniq EPS Sampler that he bought for himself and eventually moved to a MPC3000. 

HK: Who were some of your favorite musicians or bands growing up?  

Amp Live: Definitely had a very diverse background in terms of the music I grew up to; I grew up listening to groups like Earth Wind & Fire, George Strait, Black Flag, Run DMC, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and Miles Davis.

HK: That’s a beautiful diversity of music. Was there a point when you knew how big a part of your life music would be?  

Amp Live: After I graduated from college I started a group called Zion I with MC Zumbi. During my first few years doing Zion I, I definitely got that confirmation that music was going to be part of my life.

HK: It’s amazing to see what you’ve created in answering your calling. Who inspired you from a young age? How about one musician and one non-musician?  

Amp Live: At a young age I was inspired by my father who naturally had a love for music. I was just around him all the time and he would either be listening or playing music. My cousin was also an aspiring producer so when I would see him in Oklahoma I would always play with his equipment. 

HK: What’s a song that changed your life?  

Amp Live: Aliyah “One in a Million”. After I heard that beat I knew that music was about to change and there were no limits.

HK: When did you know that you had made it as a musician? Was there a clear turning point?  

Amp Live: The Zion I “True & Livin” was definitely a milestone for me as an artist. We did our first headlining National tour then and it was one of our biggest albums. 

HK: We have a ton of talented artists, musicians and painters in our community… What advice would you give to young artists out there trying to spread good vibes and build get their art out there?  

Amp Live: You definitely have to use all the social media tools out there to spread your message and music to.  Its part of your job as a professional artist to be on them.  You also have to be really patient with the process. 

HK: How did you and Eric first meet?  Eric Rachmany and Amp Live in the studio for Unified Highway

Amp Live: I did a remix for their song Safe and Sound and Otherside that did really well. They loved it. We went on tour with them and Soja that year and everyone bonded really hard. Fun times!

HK: How did Unified Highway come about? Was it a natural progression from “Signs”?  

Amp Live: Eric and I have been working with each other for years, either via the internet or when I would be on the road with them. We would be in the hotel rooms or the back of the bus recording songs and ideas. I also produced a few songs off of some of the Rebelution albums, so we finally decided to make it official.  Signs just fell in line with that process. I put out an album called Headphone Concerto a few years back and I had to get Eric on it. It was actually an acapella from a different track I presented to him and I flipped it on a new beat.

HK: What does your normal morning routine look like?  

Amp Live: I get up super early, take my kids to school, work out, then work on music until about 6pm. 

HK: When do you find yourself most creative?

Amp Live: Definitely around 1am in the morning. 

HK: If you could be remembered for anything 300 years from now, what would you want it to be?

Amp Live: I would like to be remembered by my music having a positive impact on the world.   Unified Highway Album Cover

HK: This is a question from Marley… what is your spirit animal?  

Amp Live: My spirit animal would have to be the Bear. It is confident, in charge, and hybernates.

HK: What’s your favorite way to spread good vibes?  

Amp Live: Definitely being on stage and making people move.. I love performing.

HK: What was your main inspiration for the new Hill Kid mix tape?  

Amp Live: Well besides me wearing out my Hill Kid shirts because I like them so much, I really like supporting clothing brands I believe in. So what better way to show support?

 

It’s an honor to help spread the word about such an exquisite collaboration. Do yourself a favor and don’t try and classify it; it’s not reggae, it’s not hip hop, it’s music – truly beautiful stuff. Big thanks to Amp Live and Eric! ^

Make sure you get your hands on the new mix tape Unified Highway made for us here at Hill Kid (available tomorrow), and check out their new song release “Stand Proud”. Album drops March 4th, 2016.

Listen to the Unified Highway single here!

Eric Rachmany of Rebelution teamed up with hip hop legend Amp Live to create one of the most genuinely interesting music collaborations I have heard. The artistic genius and boundless creativity alive in these two comes together in “Unified Highway” to bring fierce beauty into the world.

 

We’re unbelievably happy and proud to call these guys Hill Kid family, and it’s an amazing feeling to share their art and inspiration here on our blog. We’re celebrating the release of their first track “Stand Proud”, and also giving you a brand new listening experience with a special edition Unified Highway Hill Kid mix tape!

 

Below is our interview with Eric. We hope you enjoy the vibes you find at the other end of the headphones!

 

[Let us know what you think of the mix tape in the comments!] ^

 


Hill Kid (HK): You mention Dave Mathews as an inspiration for you – what are some other inspirational people, one musician and one non-musician that inspire you?

Eric: Paul Simon is an inspiration to me.  He finds a way to use words that most people wouldn’t normally use. He doesn’t stick to a formula either. His songs are very different from each other and inspire me to think outside of the box.

My grandparents are a big inspiration. They remind me to appreciate the simple things in life.

 HK: One beautiful thing about music is the ability to create very different feels when collaborating with different people. Do you come with a different approach when writing for Unified Highway versus for Rebelution?

Eric: For Unified Highway, we were in the same room when the lyrics were being written.  I can’t say I’ve done that with other projects.

HK: Where did the name “Unified Highway” come from? (the meeting point for two types of music is what came to mind for me, and in a more meta sense just two seemingly different things coming together in this world as one)

Eric: It’s essentially two different entities that really have the same goals and aspirations.  Same road. 

 HK: You’ve mentioned popularity wasn’t important for you in high school, just your music. What advice do you have for young musicians and artists looking to make their mark on the world?

Eric: Put your time into something creative, it will pay off in the end… don’t spend all your time partying.

 HK: What does your daily routine look like when not touring with Rebelution? When do you most like writing songs?

Eric: I’m usually a morning person. A fresh start to the day gets the creative juices going.

HK: How do your songs usually progress – do you usually work with lyrics first and then melody and chords, or vice versa?

Eric: Usually the instrumental comes first. Lyrics secondary. Sometimes it’s the opposite.

HK: What’s your favorite part about working with Amp Live?

Eric: I like working with Amp Live because his production isn’t predictable.  Most everything you hear on the radio with programmed drums sounds exactly the same.  I don’t want to hear the same thing over and over again.  We both strive to do something different. 

HK: This is a question from Marley… what is your spirit animal?

Eric: Sea Turtle

HK: If you could be remembered for anything 300 years from now, what would you want it to be?

Eric: I just hope people see me as someone who made a difference.

HK: What’s your favorite way to spread good vibes?

Eric: Performing.

 


 We want to give a huge shout and thanks to Amp Live and Eric for their time and putting these awesome musical vibes together. Remember to check out Unified Highway here!

 

Also, make sure you listen to the amazing mix tape these artists put together for us! Leave a comment if you love the vibes :)

 

Hill Kid Unified Highway Unification Mix

Audio

Hill Kid Unified Highway Mix Tape

LINKS

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