His long, wavy hair unfurls underneath his cap. He’s sitting confidently in orange-peel coloured tee with five chains hanging cooly off his neck including one which reps his DIEMON brand. He’s just finished a massive set at the main-stage of Osheaga music festival. Russ is intelligent, well-spoken and without a doubt one of the hardest working artists we’ve seen in the last decade. He built his career organically, on the backs of fans and real, authentic music.
“Society wants to hold the key to your confidence in their pocket…” he says. “Fuck that, and fuck ya’ll! I’mma talk my shit till I die. I’m not waiting for ya’ll to give me the green-light on my confidence!” Russ has been a promoter of self-love since he entered the game, mostly because he’s been slept on for a majority of his career. Fighting the media, and the industry giants as a whole who try and choose who can and cannot be an artist.
His focus is and undying tenacity are what got him to where he is today. “It’s about speaking things into existence. You gotta understand your thoughts are not just these whimsical things that have no weight in the universe. When you really tune into that ideology that ‘yo my thoughts turn into something, if I believe in it and put the energy behind it’ you can really make what you wanna have happen, happen.”
The law of attraction is a simple idea that almost every rapper lives by and experiences on a daily basis. Affirmations that create in oneself a mindset that is undeniably hard to destroy. In a world that’s consistently shifting:walls being broken down yet barriers between human connection building up, it’s takes a special type of artist to really connect with millions of people around the world.
“I feel like now everything is so premeditated. Before you even go on a date, you probably know their last three ex-boyfriends names, you probably know the last four jobs they had, you probably know their favourite colour, you probably know where they like to vacation.” Russ is focused on the positive though. Taking his own experiences and being a vessel of understanding for those learning and growing themselves. He keeps his heart and mind clear, understanding his responsibility as a role model to his fans.
“There’s gonna be a lot of things that come in your life that distract you from yourself and your passion and your gut, whether it’s a person or whatever it is but you have to only listen to your gut, your passion. My message is: believe in yourself, trust your gut and follow your passion.”