[Interview] rhêtorík Talks Debut Project, Conquering Homelessness, Music Production, and More

Most recognize him as Logic’s DJ when on the road but there’s more to his story and it begins in the name itself. Chase Marchetti elaborated on the meaning behind it: “I knew that I wanted to use DJing as a platform to be a voice and really personify the meaning of the word rhetoric.” Marchetti went from homeless in NYC years ago to the version of himself you see now. In 2015, rhêtorík found himself questioning his purpose yet again, and following his history of extreme choices, he took a full year of sobriety to embark on a journey of self discovery. Within this same year, he started his vlog Off The Rhekord, which allowed him to go beyond his musical talents and showcase his personality to his fan base, giving them insight into both the struggles and successes of his daily life on the road, and his knowledge obtained along the way. Fast forward to 2017/2018, he is now living comfortable in NYC and produced his entire unannounced EP in his bedroom.

First off, congratulations on the release of Behind Closed Doors. What an accomplishment. How do you feel now that it is out in the world?

Thank you! I feel great, but I also am very aware that this is where the real work begins. I think the most satisfying feeling is finally having people see and respect me as an artist now. Whether they enjoy my music or not – Rhetorik is an artist to them, and that makes me happier than anything in the world.

The EP is very diverse in terms of instrument selection and vocal effects. Did you have a sound in mind going into it or what was the process like?

The process of creating of this EP was really how I found my sound. It was actually taking the time to allow myself the freedom of creation that allowed me to fall into what people are recognizing as the “rhetorik sound”. It’s funny because when I first put the EP together, I thought all the songs sounded drastically different, and that people would think I hadn’t developed a sound yet – then the first reaction I got from everyone I showed it to was ‘well you have totally nailed your own sound!’ I’m excited to see where it develops because I know it’s not even into its full form yet.

What song was the hardest to create or release?

“Right Here, Right Now” was the toughest to release because it was the song that started my sound. It was also the first song where I had allowed myself to write about my own personal experiences and insecurities.

Were there songs that you created during the same time that didn’t make the EP? If so, why didn’t they make the cut?

Behind Closed Doors is actually my first five completed songs ever. There are other ideas that I made during the process, but when you’re producing everything yourself you are super conscious of what deserves your time to develop or what can be shelved for a later date. There’s the gut feeling you have when you’re creating that tells you when a song is worth finishing or pushing through.

You were Logic’s DJ for half of a decade but always loved creating music. Why transition now?

I tell people all the time – this music is me turning myself inside out and letting the world see what makes me tick. I wasn’t strong enough to deal with it earlier in my life. I had to come to terms with what I loved and didn’t love about myself before I could allow others to voice their own opinion. I had to go through industry boot camp and emotional training before I could subject my mind to that type of criticism or praise.

You are hyper-engaged with your fans. Why is that so important to you?

It’s super important to me to be so engaged because I won’t always have this privilege, and I never want to look back and feel like I didn’t do enough when I could have. Fans are an extension of me. It’s so easy to get along because I believe that whatever you project, you attract. I’d also rather have one meaningful interaction over simply liking 100 comments. It’s something I really, genuinely enjoy doing.

What were some things (whether it was people, things or motivations) that got you through the homeless period in your life?

Honestly – and I just said this at my show at the Apple Store the other day – I think my passion blinded me from what was really going on. I don’t think that period of my life really hit me hard until I had a chance to stop and reflect on it. I really didn’t tell anyone that story until I created the song “Shelter.” I didn’t realize how much it impacted my psyche until I wrote “Shelter.” But it was truly the passion and my brain holding onto the positive ‘what ifs’ that got me through sleeping all over the place.

What advice can you give someone to overcome insecurity in order to chase their dreams?

I think the best start to get over an insecurity is to ask the age old question – why? What I found in my life is that my insecurities were learned things. Once I found the root of what I had learned, I just practiced to unlearn it. I used to take pride in being such a closed person and keeping my emotions to myself; however, I was also very unhappy in doing so. Once I figured out the two were correlated, I unlearned that being closed made you more ‘manly’ and ‘strong’. Our minds are powerful no matter if they’re for us or against us. You have the power to unlearn anything you don’t want to know as fact, but just know that it’s twice as hard to do so sometimes.

What’s next for rhêtorík?

The next thing for Rhetorik is forming this band and doing a few shows. Also, my debut music video for Shelter is out now! Go check it out! I have treatments written for every single one of my songs, so wallet-willing, there will be some more music videos by the end of the year too.

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