One of the great things about the Fort Collins music scene is the collaboration between artists of different genres. Sure, rock and alt-country may be king, but with an ever-increasing amount of hip-hop, R&B, rap, funk, electronica and other musical styles, fusion is the name of the game around here lately.
Enter pop/R&B vocalist Jennifer Lauren and the hip-hop duo Lucid & Ruthless. Their sounds couldn’t be different, yet somehow they’re working together on an opening act for Snow Tha Product at Hodi’s Half Note tonight. By blending their different musical perspectives, they’ve developed a wholly unique sound that should be a treat for anyone who enjoys…well, music.
In honor of their show tonight, I asked Jennifer and Lucid & Ruthless a few questions about their music, their lives, and their plans for the future.
Hello Jennifer and Lucid & Ruthless! Welcome to Late Night Fort Collins. Tell us a little about yourselves. How would you describe your individual musical styles?
Jennifer: I’m a bit of a genre hopper. Most of my performances have been for events where the genre is determined by the occasion or the event producers, so I’ve learned to be flexible. My favorite is R&B, but I am a sucker for Christina Aguilera songs, they are always powerful and challenging.
Ruthless: Lucid and I write original music that is a blend of hip hop, urban and world sounds, with some EDM (electronic dance music) thrown in. We like to keep it high energy and the crowd dancing.
As an R&B/power pop vocalist and a hip-hop duo, your sounds seem very different, yet you’re collaborating for an opening act at Hodi’s Half Notes for Snow Tha Product on February 17. How did you connect with each other and start playing together?
Jennifer: Well, Ruthless is my brother- we’ve been talking about performing together for a long time. I booked my first exclusive show back in August of 2012, giving him and I our first opportunity to collaborate. That show was all pop/jazz, but people loved our remixes that included his spoken word and rap. Now, the tables have turned. This show is all hip/hop; I’m hoping people will enjoy the pop element I bring.
Ruthless: And Lucid and I met back in 2005 during a high school science class. We were reading the same book, The Black Science. Somehow, we found music in common too and have been working on music together ever since.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? Who influences your music?
Lucid: I think we are heavily influenced by Tech 9, Immortal Technique and Eminem…
Ruthless: Yeah, and we loved Tupac. And Biggie.
(*We’re all laughing. You probably know about the Tupac/Biggie war…*)
Jennifer: When I was a little girl all I ever listened to was Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. The guys are rolling their eyes, but I knew I wanted to sing like they did, I wanted to sing BIG. As I got older I added Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson and even Kristen Chenowith and Bebe Neuwirth to the list. I study their performances and their technique, trying to constantly learn from them.
What’s your favorite thing about performing live on a stage, in front of an audience?
Ruthless: For me it’s all about moving people, having an impact on them. Watching an entire crowd of people absorb your message, like it and internalize it.
Jennifer: It’s a thrill ride straight to my soul. Some people get on a rollercoaster, I get on a stage.
Do either of you have any plans for recording an album in the future?
Lucid & Ruthless: We’re writing for our first album right now. We have most of the songs completed, but there are still a few things we want to make sure we say. We’re headed to LA to record this summer, almost there.
Jennifer: An album is a goal for me one day, but I’m not as far along in the artist development process as the guys are. I’m still figuring out my message and my sound. I don’t want to sing covers forever; collaborating with them has taught me that.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Old Town Fort Collins on a Friday night?
Jennifer: Is it lame to say karaoke?!
Lucid & Ruthless: Yeah….. that’s lame. We like to hit up Aggie, Tony’s….Hodi’s for a show; we have a whole song about the best night ever. We call it ‘7am’, come to the show tonight at Hodi’s and we’ll do it for you.
Want to know more? Go check out their opening act for Snow Tha Product at Hodi’s Half Note TONIGHT, February 17th! $15, 7pm doors