As the truism goes, there are 10 years of hard work behind every overnight success. In an industry filled with plants and manufactured hype, Russ did it all himself. No deep-pocketed managers funded his ascent. No co-signs propelled his rise.
His music boasts the diverse tastes of someone who grew up everywhere: New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio, and eventually Georgia.
You can detect those regional influences in his hooks of the artists he grew up with—a rich gumbo that resembles 50 Cent passing blunts with Jim Morrison; The Allman Brothers jamming with Drake; The Beatles with George Martin swapped for Outkast; the middle ground between 2Pac and Deepak Chopra.
Russ doesn’t slip back and forth from hyper-melodic inspirational guitar anthems to raw East Coast hip-hop—they’re all effortlessly combined in the same song. There are hints of hammock-rocking reggae, whiskey-soaked Southern rock, and soul-scarred R&B. No gimmicks, just eclectic fusion at its most advanced.
Russ made all the beats. He wrote all the raps and the hooks. He engineered and mixed and sang the songs, played the guitar, programmed the drums, and delved deep into his soul to figure out who he is and what he wants out of life..
This is heartfelt, truthful music for self-empowerment. Real soul. It’s hard but melodic, sophisticated but with a direct emotional message. There is a quote from the Alchemist, “and, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Russ internalized that message, actualized it, and now, this story’s really about to begin.