Fort Collins hip-hop artist Boss Eagle plays Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest on Saturday, Aug. 10.
Learn more about Boss Eagle’s music, big dreams and big successes in this Q&A, and check out his performance at the festival!
What can festivalgoers look forward to at your performance?
Festivalgoers can expect high energy, clean raps, and fun! I’m serious about what I do, but I don’t take myself too seriously. I like to provide an experience more than just performing songs. Sometimes I also do quick changes on stage, and wear things like a custom-made suit a la The Temptations (circa 1965) and an Ivan Drago boxing robe from “Rocky IV.” Like I said, I like to have fun!
What’s the best aspect of being part of the Colorado music scene? Who are some favorite local artists of yours at the moment – anyone you’re especially excited to see or connect with at the festival?
One thing I’d say is the camaraderie among artists. I’ve been fortunate to experience support along my journey. It was awesome to be part of the first Hip-Hop on the Hillside at the Mishawaka, and to be given the opportunity to headline one of the Colorado Come Up events put on by Kind Dub. And it was really cool to be asked by Bevin Luna to be a part of one of her shows along with Mihaly. It’s was a pretty eclectic lineup! But I think that’s a really dope thing – just a mutual respect and appreciation for others’ genres.
Some of my favorite local bands at the moment? Oh boy! To name a few: The Burroughs, The Patti Fiasco, Bevin Luna, Kind Dub, B.B.M.C., Big Brooklyn, OptycNerd & The Solid Ocean.
Who am I excited to see at the festival? Well, Bonnie Raitt, of course! I’d like to see Audible – I missed their set at FoCoMX – and it’d be cool to reconnect with Los Mocochetes, who I met when we played the Louisville Street Faire in June.
Your first album, “The Firebird Album,” debuted on the Billboard charts in 2017 – without the support of a record label, manager or PR company. What was that like? Are you approaching your second album in a similar way?
So I really didn’t know what I was doing when I made that album … seriously! I didn’t have any previous EPs, mixtapes or albums. I released my first single, “Firebird,” in March 2017, and had two downloads on iTunes – from my wife, and my buddy Chris! I was originally thinking it would be an EP, but over the course of that year it turned into an album that I made fairly under the radar. That August, I went to a music conference in Nashville. During one of the sessions, an indie hip-hop artist from Memphis talked about making the Billboard charts, which I didn’t even know was possible without having a big name and being on a record label. After the conference, I had a goal – to make the charts. I connected with that artist when I got home and he gave me some tips and advice. It was a heavy lift, particularly because it was my wife and I hustling the album – no industry machine behind us – and we only had two weeks of pre-release and then the release week for reporting. But it was so cool to get that email from the guy at Billboard! It’s special, for sure, but not just because I can say, “I made the charts.” I am very passionate about helping indie/DIY artists create successful music careers and have control over their music, and I wanted to be able to show them what’s possible.
Is it a process I want to repeat? ABSOLUTELY! It was a lot of hard work, and my wife and I had three kids at the time (we have four now!). But I’m an indie at heart. I like the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” There’s a lot I didn’t know making my first album. But that’s changed. I’m approaching my second album using the knowledge I’ve gained from that first go-around, and so many new things I’ve learned along the way. I was planning a late 2019 release for the new album, but I’m not going to rush it. I have big goals again for this project – Grammy consideration! I know that seems lofty, but you gotta dream big!
Boss Eagle at Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest