Many hear Scranton, PA and their mind instantly fills with “That’s what she said” lines and the adorable faces Jim Halpert would throw towards the camera. Of course it was the setting of NBC’s hit series The Office and we’ll talk more about that later because if you’re talking with an artist from Scranton – they are going to get asked about The Office. With that, we spoke with Roland Greco this week not only about television, but the way he marries his love of electronic, alternative and even hip hop to create his own sound, and more.
Kendra: What made you want to ride the line between alternative and electronic?
Roland Greco: Alternative music is pretty much what I grew up on. Whether it was more mainstream pop-punk stuff or the more indie Radiohead types, I was always drawn to the “edge” alternative music brought to a mainstream format, but I slowly got tired of hearing only guitars and drums in songs and that led me to seek out more experimental sounding music like Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing.
Now I think I’ve come full circle and can appreciate all types of music. But the endless options of electronic sounds mixed with the more human touch of guitar music is something I really enjoy experimenting with.
Kendra: Being from Scranton, PA – I have to ask which character from The Office you think would be a fan of your sound and why?
Roland: Haha that’s a tough one. I’d have to say Kevin due to his vast musical experience. In the show he leads a cover band that plays only Police songs. So I’d hope he’d appreciate some new-wave influences I use.
Kendra: Your latest single may be “I Don’t Care,” but when you wake up – what makes you care most about creating music?
Roland: With that song I was expressing how I try to block out a lot of petty arguments or topics that are constantly the focus on social media today. Ironically I’m trying to say that I really really care about the bigger aspects of life. Like doing what you love for a greater purpose, having a positive impact on people’s lives, and making the most out of each day.
For me making music is the best way I can express myself to the world. So I try to do that every day with a desire to constantly improve. I care about making the best art possible and not limiting myself to what I was able to do yesterday or what other people think I can do. Whether it’s in music or another career, everyone has limitless potential. And I want to realize that potential more and more each day.
Kendra: Out of all your influences, Kanye West was a little surprising. What about his music and style are you drawn to?
Roland: I’m a big hip-hop fan and to me Kanye is one of the greatest of all time. I am very inspired by people that can influence the masses, but also innovate simultaneously. If you look at his albums from College Dropout to The Life Of Pablo, you can see how much he pushes his art with each release. Not only is his music forward thinking, but you can also play it mindlessly in the car or the club and it works perfectly.
I want to make music that has substance and makes people think, but also music that a ten-year-old kid can enjoy without intellectualizing it. And I think Kanye has definitely achieved that with his music.
Kendra: Will you be spending any part of 2017 touring?
Roland: I definitely hope to. But for now I’m just focusing on my songwriting and broadening my sound. So I don’t know if touring is the plans for the immediate future. But if there is a demand for me to tour I would love to.
Kendra: Other than touring, any other musical plans set in stone so far for the year?
Roland: I plan to release a couple more singles within the coming months to grow my exposure and broaden my personal sound. I also hope to release an EP by early summer that will be on another level than anything if done before.
Kendra: Lastly, here at ZO we’re all about the arts. With that I wanted to ask you to either draw or submit a piece of art that you feel best represents your sound?
Roland: I wanted to submit art by a guy who goes by “Maybin.” I found him on Reddit and he’s been doing all of my artwork since. I think he is super talented and really understands the digital medium, but provides a human touch. This juxtaposition of style fits my music really well I think.