Rostrum Records, the record label synonymous with the successes of Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller, is now looking to continue its winning streak with rapper Boaz. The MC who has built a name on Pittsburgh’s underground circuit is currently putting the finishing touches on the as-of-yet untitled follow up to 2011’s The Transition. Though he has already collaborated with Mac Miller and reggae legend Junior Reid and has worked with top notch producers like ID Labs and !llmind, he assures that he does have a few surprises in store for his upcoming album. Not only does Boaz promise fans a few surprise guest appearances, he also promises to deliver something that appeals to as many people as possible. “I try to keep in mind what everybody may feel when I’m recording,” he says about the album due later this year. Here, Boaz talks with Life + Times about his latest single, upcoming album and being influenced by Pittsburgh.
Life + Times: What was the inspiration behind your latest single “Do It All Over”?
Boaz: It was me just thinking about the decisions I’ve made in my life up until this point. When you go to bed at night you have to be comfortable enough with yourself to be able to wake up and be happy to do it all again tomorrow. That all comes from making the right decisions in what you want to do with your life. Most of my decisions have come consequently I guess [laughs]. But that’s really how I came up with the title for the song.
L+T: What was it like shooting the video for the Junior Reid-featured “How We Law” in Kingston, Jamaica?
Boaz: One of the first things that come to mind when I think of Kingston is ruggedness. When I got there it just felt like a concrete jungle on an island, but there was a lot of love amongst the people. Even though it can be rough over there the factor of love is so strong. It was real humbling and enlightening to see how the culture in Jamaica really is. It was great working with Junior Reid. He crosses over so well into hip hop. He’s legendary.
L+T: What are you setting out to accomplish with the upcoming album?
Boaz: I’m really trying to solidify myself as a guy whose music is sincere and from the heart. I want to connect with the fans in a way. I don’t want to be a bad influence. I want to inspire people and not so much by the words in the music, but by the effects of the music.
L+T: How influential has being from Pittsburgh been on you as an artist?
Boaz: Very influential. It’s just a real blue-collar town where everybody is accustomed to working. Pittsburgh really taught me how to be a hard worker and to be determined. You have to really be a gladiator to stand out in Pittsburgh. I’m thankful that this city has carried me such a long way and has showed me so much.
L+T: What else has been a major influence for you?
Boaz: I just try to take inspiration from everything. I’ve been on four tours and have been able to travel the country. Being able to see and touch the fans is so inspiring and it keeps me humbled. That humility just gives me so much understanding.