Sentry Exclusive // Colorado-based rap-duo, The Reminders
Colorado-based rap-duo, The Reminders have long been heavy-weight participants in the local hip-hop scene and beyond. They consistently diffuse a societal message of inclusivity, community-building and purpose into their performance, and have found new ways to engage with audiences from very different walks of life. From heavy touring schedules, to performances on TedTalks, The Reminders are no strangers to putting themselves out there.
Before their upcoming show for the Red Bull Sound Select–an event aimed to highlight local and national talent curated by local promoters–Big Samir took some time to talk with the Sentry about the duo’s current trajectory and experiences.
Sentry: 2016 seemed like a crazy year! Can you walk through it with me?
Big Samir: Yeah man! For real. While this year looked crazy, touring life has been consistent for the past couple years. This past year has moved quite quick, though. Earlier last year we were in Antwerp, Brussels, Chicago, Texas and in December we went on a short stint with Thievery Corporation. That was a great tour. We played big rooms like The Tabernacle, and the House of Blues.
S: Are you working on new exciting projects? Can you give us a peep of what that is gonna look like?
B: Recording new music, man. We got some new instrumentation going. We’ve had a live band play with us in the past, and it’s exciting that we’re bringing those live elements into the studio with us.
S: For people who haven’t heard your music, how would you describe your genre?
B: Soulful reggae and hip-hop. Both Aja and I grew up in musical households. I remember mine had classic rock, R&B, slow jams — honestly it felt like a little bit of everything. When you grow up with a variety of sounds you draw from each part.
S: How do people react when they first hear your music?
B: They’re confused! We don’t think they know what to expect. Like we’re on stage and the audience is like, “maybe she’s gonna sing?” or “is he gonna sing?” *laughs* then I rap in French!
S:For musicians from Denver who are trying to make it, what kind of advice and support would you offer them based on your experience?
B: I hear it a lot. Many get frustrated. The main thing is that many feel that there is no industry outlet for people here. My main advice is you gotta keep creating. Be creative and make as much content as you can. Use the internet as a tool. Once you have the product, you can start making industry headway. Live in Colorado and travel to Atlanta, New York and get the most out of conventions like SXSW. It’s not glamorous, but it is the grind.
S: The grind is definitely a process for everyone. What has your experience with the grind?
B: It changes every step of the way. It isn’t like the grind goes away. Imagine there are 10 levels – we’ve just made it to level five. And now we’re back at the bottom of the top. When we were on tour with Brother Ali in 2012, we drove ourselves and our crew cross country for six weeks. At that level we had to wear multiple hats. We were artists, but also tour managers and the driver. Performing after a 9 hour drive – that is something to experience! Definitely worth it though. Definitely worth it.
Fans and any connoisseurs of local music should check out The Reminders at the Red Bull Sound Select at the Summit Music Hall on Feb 17. Concertgoers will also get the chance to enjoy the sick beats and licks of national acts, River Tiber and The Cool Kids. This is a show that shouldn’t be overlooked. $5 RSVP tickets are available here.