The purpose and feeling of the music they grew up with; mashed up with the unapologetic sensibility of today’s youth.
There’s a new rallying cry in the streets. It’s an anthem for celebrating your roots and reclaiming your life; for embracing your world and powering through whatever struggles or hurdles might come your way; for finding your voice, and letting your individuality be heard. “I was raised in the Wild, USA,” chants 1 AMVRKA, repeating those powerful words with pride on their debut single “Raised in the Wild.” A song this strong means one thing is certain: This is the start of something special.
Watch: “Raised in the Wild” (lyric) – 1 AMVRKA
Pronounced “One America,” the LA-based duo of singer/lyricist Jesse Scott and producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rudy Maya is poised to take the world by storm with a message of change, warmth, and unity. Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering 1 AMVRKA’s “Raised in the Wild” lyric video, an intimate way of interacting with the duo’s down-to-earth debut.
“Raised in the Wild” is fresh and invigorating with its raw energy and vivid imagery. Jesse Scott sings of growing up with a big family, but with no father; of losing friends long before their time. The pre-chorus is an inspiring dedication as he looks back wistfully at the tough times he has faced, acknowledging they made him who he is today and gave him the strength he needed to thrive.
Life ain’t easy
It’s a hard road
That we ride on
But we ride on
My voice built my home
My heart stones
1 AMVRKA sing about the real: Real life, real loss, real love, real strength. They encompass a diverse array of sounds, incorporating a unique blend of hip-hop, folk-rock, pop, and country – meaning, quite literally, there is something for everyone. Even their name itself is a call to action: One America. Get to know 1 AMVRKA and their empowering music through Atwood Magazine’s exclusive interview and first look at their “Raised in the Wild” lyric video. Signed to legendary Capitol Records, 1 AMVRKA are expected to release their debut EP later this year. Those in the Los Angeles area can catch 1 AMVRKA live at Hotel Café in Hollywood on 2/13, at the last of their LA Trilogy Series (tickets here).
Meet 1 AMVRKAI’ll be honest, my first impression seeing your band name was “Oh no, not another vowel-less band.” What’s behind your presentation?
Rudy Maya: The country is obviously going through so much change right now. We felt our name should represent that as well. “1 AMVRKA” is our take on what it’s like growing up in America today. It’s not always pretty, but it’s us.
When I hear “one America,” I personally think of a unity that our country desperately needs right now. What image does it evoke for you?
Rudy: You nailed it. Jesse and I come from such different walks of life but we can come together as one. He’s from the country; I’m from the city. He’s half black and white and I’m Mexican American. But regardless of those differences we found an instant connection musically. Beyond music, we also found a purpose and vehicle for what we believed in. It might be a bit grandiose, but maybe we can be an example for others as well. Sometimes the beauty is in the disparity.
Sometimes the beauty is in the disparity.
How would you explain 1 AMVRKA’s music/sound to a grandparent?
Rudy: The purpose and feeling of the music they grew up with; mashed up with the unapologetic sensibility of today’s youth.
With “Raised in the Wild,” 1 AMVRKA made an immediate statement. Why make this song your debut and introduction?
Rudy: We felt it was an appropriate lead into what we eventually try to tackle on album. Not just sonically, but from a writing standpoint. We really wanted to set a pace and level of urgency to what we hope eventually defines us
Jesse, in the past 3 years you've gone from lamenting “fuck my life” to embracing your world and your beginnings in “Raised in the Wild.” How did that happen?
Jesse Scott: “FML” was definitely a fun song. I didn’t have a car or job at the time but it was me embracing life and keeping a positive outlook on things. I was pointing out everything that makes me, rather it be bad or good. I think that’s how we (1 AMVRKA) came up with “Raised in the Wild.” Life is not always a fairy tale, but we live in reality and we touch on real emotions. For example, the lines in “Raised in the Wild” about losing friends is something real to us, and I think most can relate, too. Rudy’s music brought out these emotions and that is why our music is so meaningful to us.
What did you write about when you first began songwriting? Do you remember your first song?
Jesse: [laughs]… Women and love. My first songs were “Claudia” and “Green Eyes Again,” both about girls. She inspired me at the time. But I have always written about politics and culture and how it affects me and my view of the world. I always tune in to what’s going on around me because I know music is a medium for expression and change, and it’s bigger than me.
Do you find your music to be driven more from internal, or external circumstances?
Rudy: Both. Sometimes these are our actual stories and sometimes we’re just telling American Stories – or stories in general. “1 AMVRKA” isn’t necessarily, “Jesse and Rudy,” we’d like to think of ourselves as narrators more than anything.
Life is not always a fairy tale, but we live in reality and we touch on real emotions.
There’s something intrinsically raw about “Raised in the Wild,” despite its polished presentation. Where does your energy come from?
Jesse: I don’t know…to be honest. There’s just something about being in that moment. We don’t write songs every day. There’s literally some kind of magic that happens with us when it comes to us creating. We understand each other,
“Raised in the Wild” might easily become a rallying cry for anyone who feels disenfranchised. Do you believe music can have a platform outside the world of entertainment, and is that an ambition you envision for yourselves?
Rudy: Creators have a social responsibility with their art today. With the push of a button it’s instantly being broadcast worldwide. The marriage between music and social media has transcended beyond just entertainment , it’s now culture in general. As artists we are aware of this responsibility and if we could touch just one life through our music and storytelling, our experiences or even just our P.O.V … then it would all be worth it.
Creators have a social responsibility with their art today.
The YouTube comments on your song are all positive: Everyone shares how they discovered you and how they can’t stop listening to “Raised in the Wild.” Is this a first for you? How do you deal with praise?
Jesse: I wouldn’t say praise, because that is not why we make music. I think people comment because they can relate to the stories told. We really hope the lyrics affect people in a positive way and let them know they aren’t alone. And in retrospect, those comments actually help us cope so “I guess you could say we owe praise to them.”
Where do you see 1 AMVRKA a year from now? What is your five-year plan?
Rudy: The goal is to be out there connecting with the people. Whether that takes a year or 5 years. To continue being inspired by what we see and feel and continuing to grow as songwriters. That being said, hopefully we’ve come together better as a country by then. If our music could somehow play ANY part in that, then we would have succeeded.
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cover © WLDFIRE/Capitol Records