NMV Sit Down: Birdd Luciano
Chicago emcee Birdd Luciano discusses quarantine, his new project, and inspiration from watching videos growing up OnDemand.
We caught up with Birdd as he talked through some of his plans for 2020 and how he plans to adapt a slightly different style this year.
SM: Steven Mainzer
Birdd: Birdd Luciano
SM: Hey Birdd, what have you been up to lately?
Birdd: I really have been staying in the house, because of the quarantine, I wanted to go to the studio, but I been chilling.
SM: How has the quarantine affected you from a creative standpoint?
Birdd: There is a lot of people in the house, on their phones, so I’m trying to promote my music, make trailers for my new songs, so I can keep them engaged, and keep my fans engaged.
SM: What new music do you currently have in the works? What are you focusing on?
Birdd: I have been focusing on my second EP before the summer comes in. I was focusing on that, trying to finish that up.
SM: What’s that EP going to be like?
Birdd: My last EP was a lot of violence and serious stuff and was deeper. This is going to be more fun. Summertime fun vibes.
SM: How did “Thoughts In My Head” come about?
Birdd: It came about, one of my friends, me and him was in the studio together, I heard the beat, Xcellence made the beat, I got to jotting down what I was thinking about that day. It came all together.
SM: Can you spoil any 2020 plans?
Birdd: Rolling Loud in May. I hope they don’t cancel that. That’s one of the biggest shows I’ll have ever done, little spoiler alert.
SM: What is a goal you would like to accomplish in your career?
Birdd: More so knowing about the music business, I got the talent down pack. Even though I can't ever stop perfecting your craft, I feel like I want to know more about the business side of the music.
SM: Any news on Rolling Loud’s return?
Birdd: IG they weren’t cancelled yet. ** Might not be relevant right now. ***
SM: Dream collaborations?
Birdd: Meek Mill, Young Thug, YFN Lucci, Polo G. We actually are supposed to be doing a collaboration after he is done with his album. That may be a surprise. Blac Youngsa, I’ll add him to that list.
SM: You have a soulful, streets gospel type of sound. Where do your influences come from?
Birdd: I was doing this melodic music type stuff, I was doing that back in like 2014, 2015 when Chicago was big on the drill scene. Back then everything was like Chief Keef or whatever, I do not want to give nobody credit for my sound besides me.
SM: Favorite thing to do away from music?
Birdd: To be honest, my favorite thing to do away from music, I really could not say, I’m a Really chill, laid back person, I like to be behind the scenes just chilling. I do not really like the club unless I am doing a show or something. I usually be chilling.
SM: What is something you do to build up your fan base?
Birdd: Stay consistent, million rappers a day, people just wake up and want to rap, you must stay consistent with whatever you are doing, you also got to keep them engaged.
SM: What is an area of the Chicago scene that you could change or be different?
We need stronger support. I go to other cities like ATL and I get so much love out there to the point it feels weird because I am not used to it from back home. There is so much violence going on in the city, so people take the violence from the streets, that is definitely something we need to change. We could share more music, and have more cross promoting and collaboration, it’s really separated out here. Need to support each other more. Chicago is very talented, it’s one of the most segregated cities, it’s something we definitely need to fix.
SM: How has Chicago helped shape your sound?
There is a lot of positives to Chicago. Being so diverse. I listen to a lot of different music, country music, Hispanic music, I did not always grow up on the West Side, I grew up in Wicker, so I was used to growing up next to different ethnic groups.
SM: Where in Wicker?
Birdd: Ellen and Wood.
SM: What are you most excited to drop in 2020?
Birdd: I want to drop more fun music in 2020. I want to be versatile, more love songs, I want to do more R&B. Nobody in Chicago really touches anything in the R&B side. I want to mix it up a little bit. 1. How does music help you cope with your daily life? Therapy to me, I never been the type to vent, when I go to the studio, everything I wanted to say I can vent to the microphone and it doesn’t get much more personal than that. When you hear someone say, “This song you made got me through this or got me through that”-- it means a lot.
SM: What inspires you?
Birdd: I always wanted to be a rapper since I was a kid. My Grandma had Comcast and I was always using OnDemand -- I would just watch videos, still to this day, I don't want cable or movies, I just listen to instrumentals or watch videos and I use to play instruments. I have always been surrounded by music, my family sings, I have always been around talented people.
SM: Backwoods, Swishers, or Dutches?
Birdd: Backwoods. Backwoods or Dutches. It can be an arts and crafts project sometimes, but I like Backwoods.
SM: You’re on a deserted island and can only have one meal. What are you eating?
Birdd: Chicken alfredo. I’m half Italian so my mother makes Italian food a lot, I’m picking that over anything. 1. What's your family background? My great grandmother is from Italy. She came to the US from Italy. My grandmother married my grandfather who is African American, my mom is mixed with Italian and black my dad is full Italian. I have been a part of a lot of diverse groups. It does not put me in a box with one sound or one type of music.
SM: Any advice to up and coming indie artists?
Birdd: Anybody ever comes to you with a contract - it is not about how much money they're signing you for. Don’t always chase money when you are doing this music thing. Chase your dream, don’t chase the amount of money. That is why I like that I love music, I’m not just in it to get rich, I really just love it all and all, don’t just chase the bag, chase your dream.