ROCK CITY Chats With All Access About Their Forthcoming Album #WhatDreamsAreMadeOf, Working With Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Much More!
Posted On 31 Aug 2015
Tag: #WhatDreamsAreMadeOf, 23, Adam Levine, All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Chrisette Michele, Damian Marley, Dr. Luke, Drake, Jay J, Jazmine Sullivan, Juicy J, Kemosabe, Kemosabe Records, Locked Away, Man Down, Maroon 5, Mike Will, Miley Cyrus, Pour It Up, R.City, RCA Records, Rihanna, Rock City, Sean Kingston, St. Thomas, Stephen Marley, Take You There, Theron "Uptown Ap", Thomas, Timothy "A.I.", Virgin Islands, We can't stop, Wiz Khalifa
The writing duo turned recording act, Rock City or R. City (Theron “Uptown AP” and Timothy “A.I.” Thomas) have been working with musicians for a number of years before finally releasing their own material.
In fact, the Thomas brothers are responsible for writing and producing Sean Kingston’s “Take You There”, Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop”, Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” and many other hit songs.
Later this year, they will be releasing their debut full-length album, #WhatDreamsAreMadeOf, via Kemosabe/RCA Records by Dr. Luke. Their current single, “Locked Away” features Maroon 5 singer, Adam Levine.
Learn more R.City in the following All Access interview:
How did you come up with your duo name?
R.City is short for Rock City and “Rock City” is the nickname of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands where we come from so that’s where the name comes from.
Growing up, did you two always want to make music? Did you ever thing of doing anything else?
We always knew we wanted to make music as far back I can remember. I played junior varsity basketball in high school and thought that I might end up playing pro ball one day but I had a different level of love and passion for music.
What’s it like working so closely with your brother? You two must get a long really well! What’s the silliest thing you’ve argued about? What do you think is the best and hardest about being in the duo with your brother? You must work really well together! Right?
We have our days when we work really well together then we have our days when we’re bumping heads like crazy, but we’re brothers so we’re never always on the same page but we trust each other for the most part so sooner or later we come to a compromise. We do get along really well. We’re real best friends and we’ve been this close since we were born.
The best thing about being in the studio is that I get to do this with my best friend (my brother). The hardest part is when it’s just me and him in the studio together and we’re not on the same page. Sometimes it takes for someone else in the room to say which idea is the best or sometimes both of our ideas might not be that good and it takes for someone else to tell us for us to realize that. We argue about way too many silly things for me to honestly have one that’s more sillier than any of the others.
You’ve written and produced for some of the most well-known artists today. What collaborations really stick out to you as the memorable? What songs have come together really easily?
Both “Man Down” and “Pour It Up” came together really easy for us and I think having Miley Cyrus, Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa all on one song together (Mike Will’s “23”) probably stands out to me more than any of the others we did.
Can you choose a song that you’ve written or produced that you are particularly proud of today?
I’m proud of all our songs, even the ones that weren’t popular because it’s a blessing coming from little St. Thomas and doing big things in this music industry such as writing songs for all these big artists who we respect.
Why did you decide to finally released an official debut studio album with Kemosabe Records/RCA Records now? Why do you think it took the time that it did to make this happen?
I think everything has to do with timing and to make a long story short, I honestly feel like as ready as we thought we were a few years ago, we weren’t half as ready then as we are now.
We finally decided to release an official studio album with Kemosabe/RCA records now because if it was supposed to happen any other way it would have happened already.
What was it like working with Dr. Luke on this album?
It was great, difficult and amazing all at the same time but in the end even when it was difficult, it was all worth it.
How different or similar will the music on “#WhatDreamsAreMadeOf” be then the other music you two have put out?
Most of these songs on “#WhatDreamsAreMadeOf” either fit our personailtes or are very personal to our life and things we’ve experienced coming up, or both, versus the songs we write for others are about their lives or fits their personality.
What was it like working with Adam Levine on “Locked Away”?
We haven’t had a chance to work with Adam in the studio together as of yet, but we’re very appreciative and grateful for him getting on our song as well as showing up for the video.
Who would you still love to work with in the future?
Anybody that wants to be great! But to name a specific artist or artists…. Jay-Z, Damian & Stephen Marley, Drake would be dope too, oh and Jazmine Sullivan & Chrisette Michele too.
How do you think being from Saint Thomas has influenced your music? Do you get to back there very often? How is it being so far away from your family there?
Being from St. Thomas has influenced our music in a huge way! We’re always incorporating soca/calypso & reggae melodies to pop culture because that’s what makes us different and that’s what makes us Rock City.
We go back home to St.Thomas very often. We’ve always been a big artist there in the Virgin Islands so we’re always home doing shows or going around to schools speaking to kids or visiting family or just vacationing and or going back for Carnival. No matter where we’re at or where we go, Virgin Islands will be our home forever!
What do you hope fans take away from your music?
I hope our music can inspire people to do great things. I hope people just enjoy it more than anything else and I also hope fans take away the fact that we weren’t trying to chase the sound of what’s hot right now. We did what we felt in our hearts, whether you love it or hate it, at least you know it’s real.