Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis are enjoying the success of their debut studio album The Heist, thanks in part to the fifth and final single “Thrift Shop,” which shot to number one on nearly every album chart in every country across the planet.
What makes the leap into the mainstream all the more satisfying is that the duo’s accomplishment was achieved without the help of a major label. Macklemore and Lewis don’t stand behind the old punk ethos depicting majors as the enemy, but they do believe in controlling their brand.
Listen to T-Storm’s full interview with Macklemore and Lewis:
“Ryan and I were very adamant about not doing a 360 deal,” says Macklemore. “Not giving away our merch, not giving away our touring but keeping creative control [and] being able to move when we want to move… I think if it makes sense and we can use some of their resources in the future then… we’ll entertain the idea.”
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The creative control and DIY aspects important to the Seattle duo are similar to the ideals championed by grunge bands from the area where they were raised. Despite growing up surrounded by the heavily distorted guitar influence of the Northwest and the stigma associated with disowning it, Macklemore and Lewis abandoned the flannel for a sound over a thousand miles away in Southern California.
“I tried to get into it ’cause it was like if you were from Seattle and you weren’t into grunge it was like, ‘What are you doing with your life?,’” says Macklemore. “But I remember sneaking, listening to Dogg Pound tapes and The Chronic and that was the music I grew up with.”
Of course, Macklemore keeps his finger on the pulse. Current artists he listens to are Kendrick Lamar (good kid, m.A.A.d city), A$AP Rocky and TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment artists like Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q).
–T-Storm, 92.3 NOW
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