Rochester, New York music/art collective Outfit 14A have appeared on the blog before, but we thought we’d check in with them again now that they’ve refocused their promotional efforts into a new wave of releases.
Great to have you guys on the blog again! We thoroughly enjoyed February’s Wide Awake EP and have been eagerly waiting for more. How has the reaction been to that project?
It’s been a blessing. Our goal was to open the eyes and ears of our audience, to show them that we aren’t something to sleep on. Most importantly, we wanted to show our audience that we were growing and growing quickly.
What will the next DJANGO release be? If you want to reveal anything at this point, of course.
With our current push, including ‘reads n’ replies‘, a step up in sound was imperative. With my next release, I’m going to show who I am as an artist and prove that no one out there is making music the same as mine. We’re really going crazy, and people are gonna fuck with the vision.
The Outfit 14A website looks super clean, I really like the Fit of the Month segment as it shows that you guys are interested in expanding beyond music. Will we see a line of clothing from you guys at any point?
I’m glad you asked! We aren’t ready to announce anything yet, but make sure to keep tabs on our official socials (@Outfit14A) for updates, and know that the name of the game is COLORWADE.
Some readers may be interested in how you guys all came together as a collective, would you give us some backstory on that?
Outfit 14A was born out of the feeling that the current music industry is set up to cheat artists out of not only money, but also their artistry. If you want to succeed in music today you have to A. Get extremely lucky and have the right person see your stuff at the right time, B. Sign to whatever label that person is affiliated with in order to be able to afford to produce more music, then C. Give up 70-90% of profits and your artistic integrity in order to make music that label can assuredly market. The goal of OFA was to do it differently and take luck out of the equation. This is where our team comes in. Em is the most talented visual artist I’ve ever met, with an exceptional ability to transform an artistic vision into reality, and Dizzway, our manager, does the same with organizing events and people. We knew that succeeding in music couldn’t be done alone, but we also see a way to do it while still prioritizing art over money.
It’s easy to identify that 14A are for the culture, but who are some of you guys’ favourite artists or other inspirations?
The inspiration for OFA is rooted in the tradition of hip-hop groups, dating all the way back to (and before) the Sugarhill Gang in the 1970s. The culture of hip-hop is all about acknowledging who came before you and building something new from what they created, and that’s what OFA is all about. With our visual and interactive content, we aim to elevate hip-hop groups past the sole medium of music and to show the world what so many trap and hip-hop fans already know; that hip-hop is more than just music. Specifically, some of my own inspirations include Travis Scott, A$AP Rocky & A$AP Mob, Kanye West, Michael Jackson, Kasbo, and KILLY.
Will we see any visuals for the Wide Awake tracks, or any of upcoming material for that matter?
The DJANGO/Arcuti chemistry on ‘Deep Within’ was awesome, are any other collaborations in the works?
Arcuti is my nigga. At the moment, we don’t have anything currently being worked on, but we HAVE been talking about a collaborative project. It’s still in its infancy though, we’ll have to see how this evolves.
Is there anything else that you’d like to promote in this interview? Let the people know what’s going on in the 14A camp.
TO ANYONE TAKING TIME OUT OF THEIR DAY TO READ THIS: We love you. With so many people in the U.S. struggling to find their voice, knowing that people are hearing the words we say means more than anything. Change starts with each person and when we unite and drive critical change, we can make it happen. Justice for George Floyd. Justice for all oppressed Americans. Black. Lives. Matter.
Check out Outfit 14A artist Django’s new single here.
Check out the collective’s website here.
– Chris (@108mics)