‘Laminated Skies’ is the new album by Jason Moore aka Raw Poetic, produced alongside friend and frequent collaborator Earl Davis aka Damu the Fudgemunk and featuring guest musicians Pat “P” Fritz on guitar and Luke Stewart on bass. Musically pulling from the genres that make hip hop; the multidimensional work also draws inspiration from Ralph Ellison’s novel The Invisible Man, spirituals, and their individual influences.
RAW POETIC - "SUNNY WATER" SINGLE - OFFICIAL VIDEO (ft. Damu the Fudgemunk) New LP Laminated Skies
Hello, thanks for speaking with us at here at DMCWORLD! For anyone not familiar, please introduce yourself and what you do.
Hello. Thank you for having me. I am Raw Poetic. I am an emcee from Northern Virginia (DMV). I rap, I write and produce music. And I take care of 2 tortoises and a dog. I am also an elementary school teacher believe it or not. I guess that’s the other part of my dual personality.
How would you describe your music? What are the elements that you feel make it distinctive?
I think my music is a combination of everything I listen to. I don’t really focus on one genre, so the sounds can be quite sporadic. The sound depends on the mood I’m in. If I’m listening to a lot of Nirvana one day, you may get a hip-hop song with heavy distortion and guitar. I know many people listen to a lot of different kinds of music, but being from a hip-hop background and not using any samples on this album, helps create a distinct sound that can be held as its own category. Also, the musicians that have helped me create this project all have very distinct backgrounds. So when their sounds clash, it makes something special. Damu is a walking music encyclopedia. So his input added a whole new dimension to this album. Patrick Fritz is a blues/ jazz/ classical/ hip-hop guitarist. That last element makes him something totally different. You don’t even hear about hip-hop guitarists. But he is one. And Luke Stewart is an amazing bassist, heavily rooted in jazz and other various forms of music. Once we all started working on the music, I think we all got to experience another chapter in our book of creation.
Please talk us through your new album Laminated Skies? What inspired you to create the album?
Laminated Skies… The title was created to put a shimmery polish on the dullness of life we sometimes live with. Haha.I talk about pretty normal everyday stuff sometimes, but the poetry and music kind of illuminates it…, I think. I try anyway. So when you look at a song like Open Roads that was kind of like, well, let’s get back to living life. Mind you, we were in the middle of a pandemic when I wrote the album. So that was my optimism. And now it fits. Who knew?
From there, I feel there are a lot of moving parts to the chapters I was going through. Chewing Gum was probably the most natural song for me on the album. At the core of it, I am a rapper. Although the lyrics start off very sparse, my goal was to slowly take the audience on a tour through heavy lyricism. Ralph Ellison is based on the book “The Invisible Man.” It deals with the lack of acceptance from people when you’re different from them; no matter who you are. Guide was about freedom. It is kind of like a part two to Ralph Ellison. Getting away from the pressures of society, and just truly being yourself, was the aim of the song. I write those songs after I go for hikes, or walks through nature with my dog. Sometimes I get too caught up with everything going on around me, and I forget to focus on myself. So it plays as a reminder to take care of myself. Intertwined is kind of a time traveling melody. Sunny Water is about love and life, growing and accepting the joy and pains of a relationship. Reflected Pearls was just my way of saying that we are all jewels. It was a countdown to recognize your worth because life is short. Some of us never get to realize how special we are. Cadillac is my ride off to the sunset and imagining a life where I actually get married. So to bring it all back home, the album is like trying to polish my life to make it something more beautiful than what it is, yet the reality of what it is sought of settles in at some point in every song.
Do you plan to tour this new record and how much are you looking forward to it?
I do plan on touring this album this summer. I am very excited to do so. I have never toured Europe, but I look forward to meeting the beautiful people of the land. It’s nothing like playing music for people, in my opinion. So practicing again and getting ready for that world has got me on my toes. The main goal is to one day bring my entire band out there so the people can get the full spectrum of the sound. I think on this tour, you will get the performance of Raw Poetic. I like to lose myself on stage.; become a part of the music. Damu and I have never had the chance to tour together. We’ve done shows, but only spot dates. It will be a lot of fun for us to showcase a lot of the things we work on that you all have not had the opportunity to hear yet as well.
If money was no object, what instrument/item of studio equipment would you buy?
Ha. Hmm. I would buy a quantum computer and make a soundtrack for a parallel universe.
Or… I would buy a nice rhodes electric piano. I love the sound of those pianos.
Truth be told though, I wouldn’t buy an instrument. I would buy 2 acre of land and start a tortoise farm. I think that would be peace for me.
What have been the biggest influences in your music career so far?
It sounds cheesy, but my friends. My friends are such good musicians. I get a lot of joy watching them play their instruments. I’ve become a student of what they do. They’re the reason I play instruments today. I wanted to create my own sounds as well. Other than that…, A Tribe Called Quest and Radiohead. Both of those groups have probably influenced my sound a great deal. I wish they would make an album together. That would be dope! The funny thing about music for me is that my influences come in phases. It may be the Beatles for 3 months. Then I might listen to Exuma for a few weeks. Total opposite ends of the spectrum that are just as important as one another to me. I think that’s why my biggest influences are the people around me. They influence me year in and year out.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Hmm… I was going through a pretty traumatic situation a few years back now. I was having a hard time wrapping my head around it. My aunt ( who was on her death bed at the time) told me something that has stuck with me since then. Now, I’m not a big religious person, but she said, “Don’t get yourself back into something, God got you out of.” Now you can replace God with the universe, or whatever floats your boat. But for me, it kind of allowed me to let some things happen as they may, and be willing to let it go.
What are three new tracks/albums you’d recommend someone to listen to?
This is always a tough question for me because I listen to a lot of old stuff. Let me see…
They did just reissue Cat Stevens “Harold and Maude Soundtrack.” That’s a good one. I know I cheated there, but…
Exuma – The Obeah Man. It’s not new, but it will be new to a lot of people’s ears. The title track is brilliant.
And… Beach House. Beach House allows me to space out and drift. “Once Twice Melody.” I like that record. Sorry, I’ve been taking care of my niece and nephew, and all they want to listen to is BTS. So, I’m a little behind on what’s out. But I love your questions. Thank you.