Rode to Success
Calgary producer looks to establish himself in the game
Bigoa Machar, Arts Editor
It’s an inside joke around some corners of the hip hop community that any type of mixtape or album from a lesser-known rapper is automatically trash. “Ayo fam, check out my mixtape” is a dreaded phrase in the community, which creates a harsh environment for those who are just trying to get established.
Enter Christian Rode. A Calgary-born rapper/producer who is in the same boat as these up and comers. Since starting at the ripe age of 14, Rode has had his fair share of exposure in the underground hip hop scene here in the city.
“I worked a bit with Transit. I opened for Swollen Members and produced for another rapper named ‘The Blue’, who’s up and coming in Calgary too,” Rode says.
This exposure has helped Rode branch off into his own solo career. For the past while, Rode says he’s been working on his own personal projects, in hopes of furthering his own music.
“Lately, I’ve been working on my mixtape. It’s been in the works for about a year. I’m not going to put a release date on it. I really want to take my time and put some more effort into it,” says Rode. “I have some features for it that I’m really excited for. I feel like this is all going to be a big step in the right direction.”
When asked about what’s been the hardest part of making it big, Rode says that the over-saturation of aspiring rappers makes it hard to stand out. Rode also tells us how his variety in talents helps set him apart from the crowd.
“What separates me is that most people either only produce or rap. These days, there’s not many that can do both. I’ve worked countless hours trying to perfect doing both. It’s really been non-stop to get to where I am. I feel like being able to do both of these gives me a leg up on the competition.”
With his mixtape almost ready for release, Rode says he has no intentions of stopping any time soon.
“I’d like to drop an album. That’s probably what I’ll focus on after this mixtape. I’m going to be continuing to produce for some other people. I have a few friends who also have projects coming out, so I’ll probably produce for them.”
Despite all of the hardships and struggles that come in music, Rode says that his desire to make people happy is what drives him to better his craft every single day.
“Music has had such a large impact on my life and I want to have the same type of impact on someone else’s life. I want to be in the position where I can influence people doing what I love doing. You know what they say, it’s not work if you love it.”