Floppy-haired, rapping boy wonder Asher Roth teamed up with fellow hip-hoppers Maluca and Gilbere Forte Wednesday night for a Hennessy Artistry-sponsored show at Williamsburg's Brooklyn Bowl. After a couple rounds of bowling (personal high score: 48), I caught up with the advocate of tertiary education and talked yoga, touring with Blink 182, and extending the love.
So is this your first time playing at a bowling alley?
I played Lucky Strike... kind of a similar kind of set up, we've kind of wild out there (?). Nothing legitimate though.
What's the weirdest place you've ever performed?
Besides in the shower, just to myself? That's not weird at all I guess. I don't think that I've ever performed in an unorthodox place. Out in Idaho and things like that maybe, but those really strange. small places often turn out to make some of the best stories.
We've read that your mom is a yoga teacher. Do you dabble in yoga as well?
I try to but my discipline isn't up yet. I wake up in the morning and I do a routine of stretches we call sun salutations but I haven't gotten deep into the yoga world. I'm on my way. Eastern philosophy for sure.
You just finished touring with Blink 182. How was that?
That was a blast and it was also my first experience of talking to people that aren't there for you. You really have to break through. You're speaking to a brand new audience that has no idea who you are. It was a challenge and an obstacle but it was great. People listen in different ways, you know?
Why do you play with a live band instead of rapping over a prerecorded track?
It adds that element and pulls people in. I'm a hip-hop fan and a rap fan to begin with but there's something that's not very interesting about someone who's just up there by themselves rapping. If they're giving it to you and it's really dope it's cool, but the live instrumentation spreads the love to everyone who's there. When people listen to music some hear the bass first. I happen to hear the lyrics first but people listen to music in completely different ways. The band is here to extend the love.
Is there anyone in particular you'd like to collaborate with in the future?
I'd love to collaborate with the Roots.
What have you been listening to lately?
When I get into creative mode I stop listening and start absorbing, like walk around and observe a lot of shit. I listen to a lot of Afro fusion stuff... I haven't been listening to a lot of hip-hop or anything really related... a lot of Leonard Cohen.
Any advice for fellow college-loving musicians out there?
Have fun. If you take this shit too seriously you're miserable! I just think that as long as you do it with a smile on your face... and that goes for everything... it'll be okay.