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  • Writer's pictureLonely Artist Club

Green Room Boys: Hip-Hop Collective

Lonely Artist Club had the pleasure of meeting with Hip-Hop Collective The Green Room Boys to discuss their music and experience working together as a group. Let’s jump in…

 
 

First and foremost, we would love to talk to you guys about your art. What medium do you work with and how did you come to find it?

The Green Room Boys are a Hip-Hop collective located in San Luis Obispo, California (SLO) that formed over the pandemic. Gehrig and Tommy had been friends since childhood and when COVID struck, they linked back up and started fooling around with creating songs. Tommy had been making beats for years, but didn’t share much of them with anyone. Gehrig had always messed around with rap, but never on a serious level as he was more focused on basketball-related pursuits. The more Gehrig and Tommy worked together, the more enjoyment they gained and the more they wanted to expand. This eventually led them to me, Steven, who they both went to school with. They knew I had been doing a similar thing - producing music, but not taking it too seriously. Over time, the three of us developed a lot of chemistry.

In August 2021 Gehrig moved to Oregon, but despite the distance, the boys still came up for visits and worked from afar to continue making songs. Fortunately, Gehrig moved back to SLO in April 2022 and this is when The Green Room Boys started to build some real momentum. The Green Room Boys had consistency, they met up regularly, and - even better - they began booking shows. This ultimately led to their growth within the Central Coast music scene and gained them a high level of respect from peers on the circuit.

Many things can be attributed to The Green Room Boy’s journey into music, but honestly the pandemic created an environment consisting of a lot of free time to simply write lyrics, make beats, and create songs.


"Many things can be attributed to our journey into music, but honestly the pandemic created an environment consisting of a lot of free time to simply write lyrics, make beats, and create songs."

Steven (Left), Gehrig (Right)


We want to hear more about your music, but first can you tell us a bit about who you are outside of your creative work as hip-hop artists?

We are all pretty laid back individuals and usually a pretty happy bunch of lads. Our belief is that what we are outside of our art - just an average group of friends - is what makes our music so much fun to listen to. All three of us Green Room Boys currently work at restaurants as either servers or bartenders. I, Gehrig, play a lot of basketball, Tommy does a lot of traveling, and Steven works a second job early in the mornings.

Outside of that, we spend most of our free time hanging out with friends and loved ones. The Green Room Boys all enjoy a good meal and nice drinks. Tommy likes beer and Tequila, I, Gehrig, enjoy whiskey (usually Jameson), and Dope E enjoys a little bit of everything. The Green Room Boys are just a group of guys hanging out and making music. It’s simple and simple is the best.


"We are just a group of guys hanging out and making music. It’s simple..."

Gehrig (Lyricist)


Almost every artist, at one point or another, experiences a creative block, right? Would you mind sharing your personal experience with managing and overcoming creative ruts?

Gehrig, our songwriter of the group, says he doesn’t struggle with writer's block at this point in the journey. However, sometimes when a lot is going on in life it’s important to step away from the creative process as it can become a bit overwhelming. Other times it’s incredibly beneficial to lean even further into it. I think we’re all still finding the balance. The important thing to remember is that this is fun and we’re doing this because we love it. Creative blocks are part of the process.


"The important thing to remember is that this is fun and we’re doing this because we love it. Creative blocks are part of the process."

Tommy (Left), Steven (Center). Gehrig (Right)


Creative blocks are challenging to overcome. Is there another aspect of your work as musicians that is equally, if not more, difficult to manage?

At this point in time the hardest part for us is the promotional aspect of things. The making music part comes naturally, it’s the business side that’s tough. We care a lot about our craft and spend a lot of time in the studio. The Green Room Boys have a group chat that is active every day with the three of us brainstorming new ideas and whatnot. Carrying out these ideas the right way and getting enough eyes on them is the hard part. We're trying to gain a better understanding of social media algorithms and things of that nature even though they could care less about the analytics and stats of our music. We don’t feel like this should be the hardest part of creating music and working in a Collective, but at this point, this is the side of music we struggle with the most.


"The making music part comes naturally, it’s the business side that’s tough."


This next question is a bit more vulnerable. Do you have any fears surrounding your art?

Going to random shows and trying to win audience members over with songs we created from scratch - that’s fun. Yet, it’s equally as scary because putting ourselves out there knowing that there's a possibility of failure is always scary, but taking that risk with friends you trust makes this process far less daunting. Ultimately, the fear of not “making it” is our biggest fear, but whether we “make it” or not we are happy with the journey and ready to enjoy more of it in time.


"Putting ourselves out there knowing that there's a possibility of failure is always scary, but taking that risk with friends you trust makes this process far less daunting."

Steven (Left), Tommy (Right)


Speaking of putting yourself out there… What are your thoughts on social media and its effects on art and artists? Is there any part of social media that you guys wish you could change?

Social media has its pros and cons. It’s a great tool to promote their art and get eyes and ears on it that would never see or listen to them before. Yet, at the same time it creates a mindset where you’re thinking about how to turn your creative process into content. The more you post and the more consistent you are, the more the algorithm rewards you. Trying to find the balance of keeping our artistic integrity while also accepting the reality of the landscape and trying to be successful within it is the difficult part about social media.


"Collaboration often makes the art better but more importantly, you might make some good friends."


If people were interested in your artistic medium whose work would you recommend they look at or research?

The group pulls influence from a variety of artists, but they certainly have a boom bap and old school sound to their style. Our beat makers get influence from classic hip hop producers such as RZA, J Dilla, DJ Premier, 9th Wonder and also producers like Hit-Boy, Iamsu!, Kenny Beats and more. Gehrig, our main lyricist, has been influenced by a variety of artists such as J. Cole, Larussell, Mac Miller, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jay-Z, Afroman, Lil Dicky, a variety of Battle Rappers and more. If we had to boil down the list of hip hop artists we can't seem to get enough of, it would have to consist of Kendrick Lamar, any and all of the Wu Tang Clan, Jay-Z, LaRussel, J. Cole, and Conway the Machine.



Okay guys, just one last question for you... What advice would you give to other artists out there?

As cliche, corny, and simple as it sounds: if you want to chase a dream in art…do it! The entire group always wanted to chase their dreams in music, but for various reasons - fear of judgment, not knowing how to get started, self doubt - they were slow to jump at it. Now that they finally took that leap The Green Room Boys are having some of the most fun of their lives and, not to mention, but people are beginning to truly enjoy our music. Having fun and making art out of Tommy’s bedroom has become more than a fun hobby, it's a craft.

Another piece of advice The Green Room Boys would give is to find some homies and take the journey with them. Creating songs, making videos, playing shows and all the perks that come with making music are great, but having your friends with you as you accomplish these things makes it even sweeter.

Lastly, we would tell other artists to meet as many new people who like creating what you like to create as you can. To us, one of the best parts of this so far has been the friends we’ve made through music alone, such as Mercutio X and the Orcutt Hill guys and many more. Collaboration often makes the art better but more importantly, you might make some good friends.


"Find some homies and take the journey with them. Creating songs, making videos, playing shows and all the perks that come with making music are great, but having your friends with you as you accomplish these things makes it even sweeter."


Thanks again Green Room Boys for sharing your work, your story, and your thoughts on the current digital landscape. It was truly a pleasure meeting with you guys. Wishing you all the best in your creative endeavors.


If you want to learn more about The Green Room Boys, check out their socials and read a bit more about their recent projects:

  • Instagram: @greenroomboys (collective), @gehrigkniffen (Gehrig), @mister_t_walter or @mistertommydesilva (Tommy), @dope_e_805 (Steven)

  • Tik Tok: @gehrigkniffenraps

  • ALL Music: https://hyperfollow.com/gehrigkniffen

  • Recent Work: Just released an album in October called Lethal Session with a rapper from down in the Inland Empire named Mercutio X. It is out on all major streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, etc.

  • Upcoming Work: The Green Room Boys are planning to release an album in either January or February titled “GehrBear.”













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