Johnny Ciggs, a hip-hop/rap artist from Richmond, VA, exudes vulnerability in his newest album, filled with his experiences over a “Real crazy few years living on Grace St.,” he says, “Reminiscing … Richmond, VA is a lot different than it was back then, so it was kind of something I wanted to do maybe for a few of the older heads around here that remember those days.” He explains that it also includes his experiences through the early stages of alcoholism and drug use.
The rapper has been “Making music my whole life basically; I started playing drums when I was ten, played in a couple elementary school talent shows, and then played in some punk bands, a couple metal bands … I’ve been doing this forever. I started rapping about 14 years ago and I can’t not do it – It’s just what it is.” He has lived in Richmond his whole life, born in Alexandria, and later living back and forth to Atlanta for a little while.
His songwriting process consists of picking a beat that he likes, sitting down and writing to it, recording a demo version, and then listening to that in the car for a while, picking it apart. “Then I come back and I rewrite the song based on the changes I might have made in my head listening to it in the car, then I re-record it, and then it’s done.” Listening to his own work while driving takes a different kind of focus – “It’s actually how I pick up on things, like if I repeat a word, or if I say basically the same thing twice, or if I want to put a different inflection on a word; it pops out at me when I’m just driving – I don’t know why.”
Ciggs has both an album and an EP coming out in the next month or two. He also has tour dates scheduled for Tulsa, OK on Sep. 21, St. Augustine and Jacksonville, FL on Oct. 5 and 6, “and then a whole bunch more tour dates coming,” he says.
Find previous Alchemical coverage about Johnny Ciggs here. Learn more about the rapper here, and stay tuned for his upcoming new music and performances! “Glass Forties” from Grace St. is available now on Spotify and Apple Music.
Emma Page, a recent Journalism graduate of The George Washington University, possesses a passion for music journalism and storytelling in all its forms. Originally from Baltimore, MD, when she is not writing, she can be found at a local concert or making music of her own.
Queer duo Witch Weather discuss new album and the influence of the DMV on their sound.
Philadelphia-based queer punks Witch Weather have a message for anyone who feels hopeless and worthless: you are not alone. With an irresistible sound that draws from 80’s goth and lo-fi grunge, the indie duo wears their heart on their sleeve, giving voice to complex emotions that many would opt to suppress in the recesses of their minds.
Join Alchemical Records as they connect with Witch Weather to discuss the band’s new self-titled album, their search for a sense of belonging as members of the queer community, the important element that keeps the duo’s creative bond strong, and the influence of the DMV on their sound.
More to Watch D.C. local post-punk outlet, Outerloop, releases “huracán” on November 10th. Hurricanes are angry, defined by their high-fast winds and concerningly calm center.
Recent Articles The D.C.-Based indie punk band releases their first track, “Practice” on November 3rd. For those of us missing the distinct 90s punk rock