If you’ve been paying any sort of attention to the world, then you would know that actor and singer Rotimi has been on the rise for some time. From his debut role in STARZ’s short-lived Boss to his breakout role on hit show Power to his supporting role in the Larenz Tate and Lance Gross-lead movie Deuces, Rotimi has continued to build and get better with each acting project. Meanwhile, things are starting to heat up for him on the music front with the Aug. 4 release of his second project Jeep Music, Vol. 1.
As he finishes up his run as an opening act on August Alsina’s Don’t Matter Tour, Rated R&B sat down with the Nigerian-American star to discuss his artistic growth, plans for his debut album, and much more:
RATED R&B: A lot of people know you for your role as Dre on the hit show Power. With you being part of a very popular show, do you find it challenging balancing your reputation from a fictional character with your reputation as an authentic artist?
ROTIMI: No, it’s actually helping. Power is actually helping my situation because the character is so powerful that people are now doing research. Once they realize that I do music and they find out about Jeep Music, Vol. 1, they start saying, “Oh snap! The music is actually good.” I’m realizing it’s a process now that’s helping it. Power is the ultimate marketing machine because it’s helping cause awareness to who I am. That’s why I made the project so undeniable that you have to like it regardless of whoever created it.
RATED R&B: You’ve been making music for many years now. How would you say you’ve evolved as an artist since your first single “Beautiful Music”?
ROTIMI: I feel like I’ve grown as an artist by just being real and speaking about true stories that have happened in my life. Jeep Music is a true love story that I dealt with when I was 19. She was with me when I was in college and had no money, up through the beginning of Power. Within those five years so much happened so fast that we both had to kind of adjust. There were a lot of great times…a lot of cheating. [Jeep Music] is so transparent that I wanted people to just feel the authenticity of the music, so I kind of wrote from that standpoint.
RATED R&B: Did you find creating this EP was therapeutic for you in any way?
ROTIMI: Hell yeah! It was one of things where I was able to tell my story — the things I couldn’t talk to somebody with, I was able to create it. Just being on tour and being able perform records that people are now singing and feeling — it makes me feel so good. There’s a connection. I’m getting a lot of messages like, “Your music has gotten me through the day. I just went through a bad breakup.” So having that kind of impact on people, I’m doing my job. It’s been a blessing.
RATED R&B: You worked with Kranium on “Want More,” which has an Afrobeat feel to it? Is this sound something we can expect more of in the future?
ROTIMI: Me being of Nigerian descent, it’s in me. Volume 2 will definitely have something on that in that kind of field because it just comes supernatural in my process and my creative process.
RATED R&B: You’re wrapping up your tour with August Alsina. How was that experience for you?
ROTIMI: It’s been a blessing because it’s my first tour and just the way people have gravitated towards me as an artist. It’s a beautiful thing. I just thank God for August for basically giving me an opportunity to rock out with him for 20 something days. I’m learning different things about myself in each city. Sometimes things will go horribly wrong but’s all about how you bounce back without letting the crowd know that something went wrong.
RATED R&B: What’s something you learned on tour?
ROTIMI: Discipline. When you got to be on the stage for sound check and all that, you can’t be out drinking too crazy. You can’t be out partying. You can’t be out with girls in the hotel room. You got to be disciplined — taking care of yourself and finding time to eat because everything happens so fast.
RATED R&B: When can we expect a full length album from you?
ROTIMI: Maybe next summer. I want to take my time with it and build it up the right way and get everybody ready for it. Right now, it’s awareness happening. There’s an organic build up.
Stream Jeep Music, Vol. 1 below. Follow Rotimi on Instagram at @RotimiMusic.