Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Remember Their First Time On the Radio; Talk New Music, Justin Bieber and More
Directly after their “turnt up” Money Can’t Buy live set and meeting tons of their rabid fans, Seattle rapper Macklemore and his DJ/Producer Ryan Lewis sat down in the Captain’s chairs with 92.3 NOW’s Ty Bentli on the bridge of the World Yacht “Princess” to talk about reaching milestones, new music, “Same Love” and much more.
On July 10th, 2013 about 200 of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ biggest fans lined the balconies and dance floor of the World Yacht ‘Princess’ in NYC to hear the dynamic duo tear the place down… and tear it down they did. The guys performed a four song set, including “Thrift Shop,” “Same Love,” “White Walls,” and “Can’t Hold Us.” After the show and meet & greet the guys, along with Ty Bentli, headed up to the bridge to talk about their journey since first hearing their breakout single “Thrift Shop” on the radio.
“We were in L.A. and we were all in a van; 14 passenger, white van, uncomfortable, horrible seats… driving through L.A. and ‘Thrift Shop’ came on,” recalls Macklemore. “I just remember everyone screaming, turnt up in the van. It was definitely a celebratory moment… one that I will never forget.”
For Ryan Lewis, who has been Macklemore’s producer since the beginning of this wild ride, it’s tough for him to pinpoint a specific time when he felt that his dream of making it became reality.
“There’s been so much in the last six [to] eight months that has happened,” says Lewis. “There’s been pivotal pieces, from going on Saturday Night Live or playing for 60,000 people at Bonnaroo. It’s just been a whirlwind. It’s been crazy.”
Just five minutes before the boys took the stage, they found out another milestone was reached in their careers. Their brand new single, the LGBT anthem “Same Love,” was certified platinum.
“It’s the most important song that I have ever written, for me personally and to see it hit that milestone, that platinum mark — that’s really reserved for ‘songs that are catered to radio’ — so the fact that ‘Same Love,’ a song with the substance and message that it has and the impact I think that it’s had culturally… the testament that radio has gotten behind it and that equals us getting a platinum record and I think there’s a victory for equality in that statement as well’” Macklemore said about the news.
“I knew I wanted to write a song about something around the issue of homophobia,” continued Macklemore.” It came from reading a story about a young kid, a 13-year-old boy, that committed suicide because he was gay and was getting tormented and bullied in school. So that’s where the idea kind of came from, and it was just kind of figuring out what perspective I wanted to hit it from.”
Ryan Lewis admits they didn’t really think any track off of their indie released debut album The Heist would be a radio hit. “Much less ‘Same Love,’ it’s just not your quintessential radio song,” said Lewis. “So I would echo the fact that it’s absolutely crazy that’s gone platinum. I think when I first heard it, I knew that it was one of the more important songs on the album, even just to hear it as an a cappella. It’s interesting. I think it’s a testament to the fact that radio is changing and there’s a place for a song like ‘Same Love’ on such a big outlet.”
Now that Macklemore and Lewis have made it to the big leagues, they have a chance to bring artists that they feel passionate about into the spotlight. One such artist is Chicagoan Chance The Rapper, who will be heading out on tour with Macklemore in Europe this fall. “He’s somebody that I’m excited about in terms of Hip Hop,” said Macklemore. For Lewis, he agrees that Chance is one of the best and fastest rising rappers. He’s also into Tonight, who did much of the production on the new Kanye West album; A$AP Rocky and the TDE crew come to mind for Lewis as well.
Finally, Ty wanted to know Macklemore and Lewis’ thoughts on Canada’s most valued export: Justin Bieber. Since he’s been in the news lately for childish shennanigans, Ty is a little annoyed at the teen star. Macklemore is a little bit more understanding and is glad he didn’t become famous at 15-years-old.
“He’s a 19-year-old kid. He’s gonna get drunk and smoke weed and get caught,” says Macklemore. “When I was 19 I was doing a lot worse things than peeing in mop buckets. Nowadays I keep it cool, I don’t drink alcohol — so that eliminates a big potential for me to be inebriated on camera.”
Thanks to Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, World Yacht and the amazing Captain Clay for letting us use his office and for keeping that yacht upright while the fans went bananas!
–Joe Cingrana/Sydney Holmes,92.3 NOW
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