On Saturday, April 6, Rowan University’s Office of Student Activities, which includes Student University Programmers and Rowan After Hours, hosted the fifth annual Profstock for 2,767 college students in the Esby Gymnasium. Singer Dev, rapper B.o.B and and alternative group Sublime with Rome were the featured performers. I had the opportunity to interview each performer for an article I wrote for The Whit. While the article may include quotes from each performer, R U Entertained? is the only place where you can see the interviews in their entirety.
You may have heard Dev’s electronic dance songs with “In The Dark” and “Naked” but she is also a mother and performer. In an interview before her performance, she discussed what it is like to perform at colleges, juggling motherhood, her upcoming sophomore album and the new song “Crazy Talk” that she performed for the first time at Profstock.
Q: What’s it like to perform at colleges in comparison to larger venues?
A: I love performing in colleges. It’s awesome to be able to sort of have a one-on-one relationship with kids and people that are working so hard to accomplish their goals. You know. They’re in school. They’re in college. They’re working their ass off. And I get to come for 30, 45 minutes [or] an hour and get their minds off of everything.
Q: What kind of performances can we expect from you tonight?
A: I’m going to play a lot of up-tempo, fun stuff, stuff that people know, hopefully [laughs]. And maybe a new song.
Q: Oh. Maybe a new song?
A: Yeah, that nobody’s really heard. So it might be fun.
Q: Will it be from your second album?
Q: So it’s never been heard before?
A: I’ve played it once but this will literally be my second time playing it. Maybe 100 people heard it. Maybe less [laughs].
Q: Wow. That’s exciting. So your daughter, Emilia, recently turned a year old.
A: She did. Aww. That’s cool that you know that.
Q: [laughs] So what can you tell me about what it’s like to juggle motherhood and performing at the same time?
A: It’s awesome, actually. I love it. I feel really fortunate that I get to have my family life, which I love obviously and do all of my music stuff. I feel very lucky. I love it. It’s awesome.
Q: Awesome. So I heard that your second album is going to include more live instrumentation. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
A: I think, at the beginning, I definitely wanted to include it. I think it’s going to be for the live performances. I definitely want to include a lot more live instrumentation. As far as the album goes, it’ll definitely still have electronic elements which I think I wanted to celebrate because the first album was so electronic-based. I didn’t want to do something too off but I definitely wanted to show growth and I think that in the vocal stuff and in the stories behind the songs, you’ll definitely be able to hear that.
Q: Is there a release date in mind?
A: Not yet but soon. Very soon.
Q: So when are you planning on recording it?
A: I’ve been recording it for about five months or six months now. It’s been awhile, actually. So yeah. It’s time [laughs].
Rapper B.o.B is known for his high-energy performances of songs such as “Airplanes” and “Strange Clouds.” In an interview after his performance, he talked about what it’s like to perform at colleges, something he also tweeted about, and his two upcoming albums, a third studio album and a rock EP.
Q: Can you tell me what it’s like to perform at colleges in comparison to the larger venues that you’re used to?
A: Colleges are a lot more fun because [students] are dying to get out of class. I didn’t go to college. I mean, I did but I wasn’t “enrolled.” I was just partying so [laughs] I don’t know what the “going to class” part is like but it feels like they are really amped to get out of class and out of the norm so it’s usually a high-energy show.
Q: Were you satisfied with the outcome of your performance at Rowan University?
A: Oh yeah. I kind of lose some belongings in the crowd when I jump in there but it comes with the territory [laughs].
Q: Right. Part of the performance life.
Q: You just announced the other day on Twitter that your third album will be released soon. Can you tell me a little bit about that.
A: I’m finishing it right now. It’s getting mixed and finalized right now. But simultaneously I’m recording the Hustle Gang album with T.I. and all the other Hustle Gang artists which will also be out this summer.
Q: A lot of multi-tasking there.
A: Yeah, man. We’re multi-tasking it. We’re m-tasking it [laughs].
Q: You also have a rock EP coming out. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
A: I’ve been working on that since before “The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” my first album. So some of it were songs that I had written. Some of it were songs that have already been recorded. But if it stands the test of time, it’ll make the project because with me, even though it’s my project, I look at it like I’m another aspiring artist or producer or a songwriter who’s trying to make an album. I don’t look at it like, “Well I can just do what I want because it’s my album.” I look at it like “I gotta make this a classic.”
Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome
Alternative group Sublime was known for hits such as “Date Rape” and “Santeria.” The group performed from 1992 until 1996 when lead singer Bradley Nowell died of a drug overdose. In 2009, the surviving band members started performing with Rome Ramirez and the group was renamed Sublime with Rome. The new group ended up producing hits such as “Take It Or Leave It” and “Panic.” For Ramirez, it was a dream come true to perform with one of his favorite bands. In a phone interview before Profstock, Ramirez discussed Sublime with Rome’s plans to return to the studio, the first Sublime song he ever learned on the guitar and what it is like to perform with his favorite band.
Q: When can we expect new material from Sublime with Rome?
A: We plan on going into the studio around November or December of this year.
Q: Is there anything in particular that you started working on yet?
A: We just kind of started jamming and stuff. We like to take our time with these kinds of things just because there’s no rush [laughs].
Q: I’m sure a lot of people are really excited about seeing that getting put together. Just a few personal questions for you: you were 11 years old when you picked up your first guitar and the first song you learned was a Sublime song. What song was that?
A: “Wrong Way.”
Q: How does it feel to go from that moment where you picked up your guitar, learned that Sublime song and be where you are today.
A: It’s still kind of hard to believe. I’m grateful, man. It really changed my life. I went from being such a huge fan to singing with one of my favorite bands and writing songs that you see on TV or hear on the radio. It’s kind of a culture shock but I’m getting used to it [laughs].