Today we hone in on the multi-talented JuneLyfe, a man who rhymes, sings and produces at a high level. We were first introduced to him as a member of the group Retrospek, then as a member of the prolific Winners collective. He is now a fully functioning solo artist, having dropped Mood Swings Vol. 1 last October. Using a combination of highly descriptive lyrics and mic styles, your never going to get the same song twice. His production catalog is growing as well, with stellar contributions to Hus Kingpin’s WAVO EP (hook and beat for Cold World) and Recognize Ali’s Real Pain .We feel he is one of the most underrated talents in the entire scene, and his profile will only get larger as he releases more music.
RD: You started out with Retrospek, a 3 member group. What are some of the fondest memories of your earlier days, and what is the main difference recording for dolo as opposed to recording for a group project?
JL: The organic structure of 3 completely different minds collectively sharing ideas and thoughts. Direct contact, emotion, energy… it’s a vibe I miss but chapters move forward, never back.
RD: How did your relationship with The Winners come to be?
JL: Awww man, that was random in itself, because my brother, Spnda (Retrospek) did a record with Roxbury’s own OTO and Hus entitled, Burn It Down. Truthfully after that, I think Hus and Smoovth found me on Soundcloud. Money Makin Mitch set the tone for me! It was all just me and Rah Intelligence (Retrospek) catching a vibe. I was watching the movie. At that point the movie (Paid in Full) was just a flick we kept on silent and kept working. Occasionally laugh at some scenes and recite lines. Well, that song helped a long way because it made Hus check my catalog on Soundcloud. Then he heard Clairvoyant aka Palm Reader and it was a wrap from there. I was told I was gonna be down with the click.
RD: Let’s talk about your diverse mic styles, you come at tracks in completely different ways. Is it a conscious effort to give the listener something new, or mostly how the beat speaks to you?
JL: Truthfully you would think it’s just how the beat speaks to me, but it’s not. It’s also how I speak to others as well. A lot of times ideas manifest from conversation. I talk about “Lyfe” all the time and whatever beat helps feed that vibe, whatever vibe that is at the time, I’ma go for it! Sometimes the beat brings me back at a certain time or conversations that I would have with people up front, and I still produce that energy. Good or bad. Wouldn’t know what one is without the other so I talk about everything… on any beat fitting.
RD: Boston is my favorite hip hop scene in the world at the moment, there seems to be an endless amount of dope talent from the area. Would you say theres a renaissance going on, or were us outsiders asleep the whole time?
JL: Truthfully the world is supposed to spin man. The rotation of the globe means that everyone is supposed to get a piece of shine. So really it’s just nature taking its course. We had it at one point and time where the attention was on Boston for a few a few times. It’s just rotating around full circle again. That’s how I see it. The attention only swings because of pure dopeness too, don’t get me wrong. Also we’ve kinda branched and excelled farther than just Boston. Boston is just the face everybody knows. It’s like Boston is the older bro in High School and the lil bro got a name of course but everyone knows Boston. Lil Bro (and I mean that respectfully) been out here thuggin and bangin’ a name for himself… places like Worcester, Lynn, Chelsea, etc. Them cities got their own identity and we all family and all… but they deserve their seperate attention as well! Gotta Love ALL of Mass!
RD: Your latest work is Mood Swings Vol. 1, talk to us about creating it, this was your first body of work in some time.
JL: See Mood Swings is a vibe as you know. I had to accommodate every vibe with feelings I wanted to capture from beginning to end. It was gonna be long, but I didn’t want to overwhelm folks with too much variety in one sitting. So I stuck with relatable topics such as happiness, ambition, embarrassment, excitement, and anger. I try to tap on all of this when I create. Not forced food tho. Always organize organically.
RD: Is Mood Swings a euphemism for your different styles in music, or life in general?
JL: Yeah, I guess. I wasn’t dwelling too hard on that while creating tho. That’s what seemed to happen after putting everything together. Kinda just pieced itself together.
RD: Cold World is my personal favorite from the WAVO EP, you produced it as well as providing the hook. How long have you dabbled in production?
JL: Thank you, sir! I’ve been dabbling for some time. Off and on. I tried it all: Fruity Loops, Sony Acid, COOL edit pro, you name it, I was splitting wavs, copy, paste, crossfade. Getting older and watching people work, like Rah, Evilldewer, and others, I started asking questions (which I knew would irritate them while they’re working) to get a better understanding. I even remember using an SP-303 as my first piece of hardware making beats on (which also belonged to Rah). I went out and got my own and got into more production, Rhythm Roulette inspiring me too. I always watch the best ones on there before I make a beat too. On some competitive shit. Haha!!
RD: What are some of your favorite collabs? Recently you’ve blessed tracks with Estee Nack, Chronic Tone (the outstanding hip hopera Take A Breath) as well as Haze & Grubbypawz, Rozewood and Rec Ali.
JL: Some of my best collabs I haven’t even released yet and I kind of don’t want to spoil anything. But some of my best featured songs that are out now of course Money Makin Mitch ft Hus Kingpin. Another is SageInfinite’s Water record off his joint album with Ro-Data. And lastly I would say (and the only unreleased joint I’m mentioning) is my joint on DJ Manipulator’s project releasing sooner than later, mid-this year… the feature I will keep a surprise tho. Worth all the while, trust me!
RD: Talk to us about the ups and downs of being an independent artist, im sure its quite the grind.
JL: Awwww man, it’s a cluster-umf of events. Money to fund yourself. The right team around you. Support. Engineering. Beat production. Format. Layers. I can go on forever! Lol, clearly those are the downs. Wanted to get all those out the way. Now the ups for me, was acknowledging all those errors and followed a do it yaself manual I discovered in my head of thought libraries and confidence shelves. The mental book of “I’m tired” was found and I caught the “I can do it” syndrome. The joy of being om stage for me is the absolute best. That’s my one on one with the fans. Creating is the beautiful foundation. Performing it displays the hard effort put in, even if the outsiders think it looks so easy!
RD: Is Mood Vol. 2 the next step? What can listeners look for in the second half of this year?
JL: Mood Swings 2 is indeed following soon, but I want to anticipate it some more with others I have lined up to knock down! 2019 and so forth will be an enthusiastic time for MUSIC IN GENERAL! I’m having fun!
Follow June on IG and Twitter @Junelyferetro
Cop that Mood Swings here https://junelyfe.bandcamp.com