LaRussell Talks New Album, Launching “Good Compenny,” Wanting To Collab With Drake and More
We got the exclusive chance to sit down and talk with one of the most influential artists of this generation. He is an artist empowering other artists to retain ownership of their music and inspires his listeners with his dope artistry.
LaRussell has proved that he’s more than an artist with a message but an artist creating a lane that was paved not only for his feet but for the artist rising with him, building a brand grounded in authenticity, good ethics, and of course, talent. “Good Compenny is a collective created by the homies and me to solve the lack of infrastructure at home. We had no idea it would become what it is today. We provide the artist with resources, content, and capital to execute their ideas and help them advance in their career.”
Influenced by some of the greats, 2pac, Lil Wayne, Jay, Kendrick, Cole, LaRussell creates art with his vivid storytelling and ability to simplify the most challenging and complex experiences and making them feel relative to his listeners. With his 21st album, “I HATE WHEN LIFE’S GOING GREAT,” finally here, LaRussell says his fans can expect a lot of genre-bending on this album and a lot of raw and unfiltered emotion; an eleven-track that serves as the perfect bookend to this chapter in LaRussell’s life.
“This album displays more of my songwriting ability than previous projects, which are more bar and lyric-heavy. It’s a beautiful look into my mind & heart as I navigate this journey.”
- Sign Me Up
- Had To Make It
- Perfect Timing
- Jeepers Creepers
- I’m Good
- Making It Easy
- Can I Have This Dance
- I Hate When Life’s Going Great
Check out the exclusive interview with LaRussell below.
Talk us through your background. How did you get into music, and who influenced you as an artist growing up? I don’t have a complex background. I’m your friendly neighborhood superhero [laughts]. I would say I didn’t get into music, but music got into me. I was always immersed in music from my parents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. Music was being played in my house every single day. The list goes on: Soul, R&B, Funk, Oldies, Rap. I was always very interested in words. I love to write and play with words. I’ve always been influenced by life: any and everything around me. I would contribute much of my artistic growth and style to Kanye, 2pac, Lil Wayne, Drake, Kendrick, Cole & Jay Z, but I’m like a gumbo pot musically. I take everything I love and put it all into one place.
If you could collaborate with one artist, who would that be? Drake! The Drake care package is PRICELESS! There are very few artists that inspire me and have the ability and range that Drake has. To be on top for a decade, you must consistently grow and reinvent yourself. I want to play with the best of the best.
Talk to us about your independent collective, “Good Compenny.” What inspired you to start that journey, and what are some challenges you’ve faced so far? Good Compenny is a collective created by the homies and me to solve the lack of infrastructure at home. We had no idea it would become what it is today. We provide the artist with resources, content, and capital to execute their ideas and help them advance in their career. We provide a platform to be seen and heard even if you don’t have the “data” or “analytics” to back you. Talent is good enough for us. The lack of resources here was enough to inspire me to build my own. I’m always looking to help or fill in where needed.
The biggest challenge we’ve faced so far has just been staying consistent. We were getting out of our way and putting our best foot forward to cultivate change in an industry built off “looks.” Early on, it was challenging to find talent interested in coming on our platform. Now, an artist from all over the world has reached out to perform on Good Compenny. We’re a testament that if you build it, they will come. ‘I HATE WHEN LIFE’S GOING GREAT’ is your upcoming album on October 6th.
What strategy is ‘Good Compenny’ implementing to ensure that independent artists have the same opportunities as some bigger talents? We’re providing indies with the knowledge, access, resources, and capital that we have. Our greatest strategy is execution. We lead by demonstration instead of conversation. Every day we strive to lay a great blueprint that can be replicated, followed, and utilized as a tool for future independent artists. Things feel easier to do when you’ve witnessed someone do it already.
Why is retaining ownership a big part of your mission? Ownership is a big part of my mission because I’ve had things taken from me that I didn’t own. If you don’t own something, then you’re always in jeopardy of losing it or having your future controlled by whoever does own it. Ownership allows me to empower the people around me. I get to decide who I want to share the things I own with and how much of it I want to give. My entire family, team, fans, and members of the community have equity in the art that I create. If I didn’t own it, that wouldn’t be possible. I’d have to ask someone for permission for me to take care of my people.
Is it vital for you to maintain a sense of community? Not necessarily. I don’t really think about it much. I just do the work. The work I do fosters a grand sense of community because I care about the people around me. When you care, your actions reflect that care, and people gravitate towards it. It’s not something I actively try to maintain. It just happens as I walk in my purpose.
What can your fans and new listeners expect from your latest project? The fans can expect a lot of genre-bending on this album. A lot of raw, unfiltered emotion and beautiful songwriting. This album displays more of my songwriting ability than previous projects, which are more bar and lyric-heavy. It’s a beautiful look into my mind & heart as I navigate this journey.
What’s your favorite track on the album? My favorite track on the album would have to be Gotham. Gotham is just one of those songs that reminds me of why I love music so much. Music was always about the feeling for me. Gotham is one of those records that takes me to a specific time and place in my life. It forces you to slow down and breathe.
What else can your fans expect from you this year? Fans shouldn’t expect anything from me. EVER lol. Expectations lead to disappointment. I will continue putting my shovel in the dirt and digging. We’ll see what we get and where we land after doing the work. I’m writing my life movie as it’s being filmed, so it’s just a beautiful real-time experience.
With your upcoming project (I Hate When Life’s Going Great) due for release next month, how does this album compare to previous efforts? This album is SPECIAL! All of my projects are special, but this one is different. The music is more fluid, and the songwriting is grander. The stories are closer to home, and it’s released on my birthday. For some reason, I usually dread birthdays. They make me feel gloomy. This album is an exact reflection of my mental space and my journey this past year. I’m excited to share my art with the world.
Regarding music industry dynamics, what’s the most challenging part about operating in a system you’re desperately trying to change? The hardest part is getting people who are blind to see what I see. It’s tough to convince people that something they’ve never seen with their own eyes exists and is a possibility. I’m honestly not even trying to change the industry. I never want something or someone to change unwillingly. My goal is just to build a new industry and infrastructure that’s independent of the one that currently exists.
Let’s talk about fashion. How would you describe your style, and who are some of your favorite fashion brands or houses? How do you describe your style? I’d describe my style as authentic. What you see is what you get. I AM THE JEWELRY. What I’m wearing is the least important thing about me. I aim for comfort. Every time lol. All I need is a Good Compenny Hoodie, some Nike sweats, and my all-terrain crocs, and I’m good to go!