Epic Records UK group Rough Copy was recently introduced to our readership with their debut single “Street Love“. Now we introduce you to the co-writers of the song, Connecticut natives AJ and Zach of the songwriting duo, Crush Boys.
Congrats on your recent placement with Epic’s UK group Rough Copy’s “Street Love”! How did the record come about?
Zach :Thanks for that! That record was so natural, it just seemed to come together so easy. We were sent the beat with a hook reference from Da Beatfreakz and co-producer hAZEL; we laid the verses down, and now it’s their new single.
AJ: Thank you! We appreciate it. Well, we’ve had a long standing relationship with the platinum selling producers, Da Beatfreakz, for a while (previously connecting for “Give Me A Shot” by BLUE). With this particular record, they teamed up with a friend of ours named haZEL (Kardinall Offishal’s “Dangerous”) to create a record tailored for Rough Copy. They sent us the beat back with a vocal reference on the hook, and asked us to do our thing with the verses. We finished the record in like an hour, sent it back, and a couple weeks later they called us back and said Rough Copy was interested in taking the record and potentially making it a single.
Watch the music video for Rough Copy’s “Street Love”
What are some of the biggest obstacles being an up and coming songwriter? Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
AJ: Some of the biggest obstacles up and coming songwriters face are sustenance, staying positive, and having to juggle both the creative aspects of the industry as well as being business minded. In this industry, you have to adapt quickly. Sometimes you don’t get the luxury of having someone coach you through things. In most instances, you’ll have to learn on the fly, and that could end up either putting you in a better position or leave you learning from a less opportune situation– either way you grow from it. As far as advice goes, to the writers that are working a day job in conjunction to following their musical pursuits, surround yourself around positivity. It’s a common theme nowadays, but it’s a good mantra to live by. Positivity will help not only with your writing, but help to motivate you through the more difficult times. Another bit of advice is to remember why you’re doing this and who you’re doing it for. Outside of the more shallow prospects like money and fame, let your driving force be something more meaningful. Besides that, learn as much as you can about the industry and have fun doing it– always have fun with it.
Zach: I think keeping your mindset positive is a daily struggle for any aspiring writer. A great song really depends on your mood and if you haven’t heard any good news in awhile or bill collectors are down your throat, it’s pretty hard to stay focused and write to the best of your abilities. Advice I have is to always constantly keep working and remain consistent, you never know when it will be your time.
Who are your some of your favorite songwriters?
AJ: There’s a lot! We like to keep our ears to everything, and have done our due diligence throughout the years (wiki is the holy grail haha). From this we’ve grown such an eclectic list of writers, we can’t name them all but a couple are: James Fauntleroy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and The-Dream.
Zach: Max Martin, The Matrix, Billy Mann, Claude Kelly.
What else do the Crush Boys have coming up? Who are you guys excited to work with?
Zach: We work with a variation of fresh faces, it’s just exciting to see all the different combinations of creative minds. As long as the vibe is right that’s what’s most important.
AJ: Right now, we’re working closely with a friend and colleague of ours, Jazz Feezy. From that we’ve garnered a lot of interest in some records we’ve been working on recently. You’ll be hearing some of your favorite mainstream artists on some of our records! (shout out to DJ MLK). In addition, we are continuing to expand on our catalogue with our boy XV. Together we’ve already released a couple records off his March Madness mixtape (“All Over You”/ “Barry Sanders”) and looking to release some more stuff in the future. The wonderful thing about our sound is that we can work with any and everybody, so we are honestly excited to do just that– work with everybody! (Haha) As long as the vibe and energy is positive, that’s all that really matters.
Where do you see the Crush Boys brand in the next 5 years?
Zach: Definitely on the west coast where a lot of the action is. As far as our music, well you’ll just have to stay tuned and remember where you heard it first, Singersroom.com, lol.
AJ: The brand will be solidified exponentially in the next 5 years. From expanding our clientele, to relocating to a more viable location. Our plans for the future are to be able to compete with the people we admire, as well as being true contenders. We are blessed to be in the position we are in today, but we know this is only the beginning. We are going to continue to create, intent on being nothing short of legendary.
You can follow the careers of the Crush Boys on Twitter, AJ (@CrushBoySlay) and Zach (@CrushBoyZach)
Founder and Creator of Singersroom.com and IncredibleWork.com. Follow me on Instagram at @gary.gentles.