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Rosegang: Don’t Judge The Book By Its Cover

Rosegang: Don’t Judge The Book By Its Cover

Rosegang is a pull-no-punches hip hop artist from Tauranga, who also answers to 187, or Michael Walker. As a musical entity Rosegang also encompasses artist, songwriter and producer Caleb Walker, aka Phlimingo, as well as well-connected Australian hip hop producer Colcci. They’ve been working together for two years now and have a trio of new tracks coming out in the months ahead, starting with187 on November 12.  

What made you decide to form Rosegang?

Myself and Phlimingo are brothers. We were brought up in church playing music since we were kids. It’s our dream to share our story and play in front of thousands of people. About three years ago, we began to do music again and started with doing music covers. Our dream has always been to release our own original music. Which is what we are doing now. Chasing the dream! I reached out to Ay Colcci through social media once I began creating my own music. He produces a lot of the top Australian hip hop artists’ music and I wanted to work with him.

Where does the name Rosegang come from?

I have a tattoo on my throat. It’s a rose with triangles and arrows. The rose stands for new beginnings, triangles represent the struggles I’ve been through, and the arrow represents moving forward. This is what Rosegang stands for. It’s who I am, and the reason I got it on my throat, which is a common question, is I’m not afraid of showing who I am. What you see is what you get.

Where did you look to when establishing your own rap and music styles?

Myself, my own story, my own desires, everything I play, write, sing or rap. Music is an art piece, it’s a way of expressing yourself in a beautiful sound.

Is there such a thing as Bay of Plenty sound in hip hop do you think?

In my opinion, hip hop isn’t that big in our city or country. I know those who listen to it but as for pursuing a career – none. There’s a lot of wannabes but none I consider potential. A lot of the new generation are into this doof doof music. Personally, I don’t like it. I don’t think there is such a thing as a Bay of Plenty sound in hip hop, but it’s definitely something I’d like to be the first to create.

Your fans and listeners mainly live overseas, predominantly in the UK & US – how do you you explain that? 

As we all know New Zealand is all about the tall poppy syndrome – even Israel Adesanya said it himself. I believe my music is more appreciated in the US and UK for this very reason. No one wants to see you do better than them and I know a lot of those types in my city, let alone country. Once I make it in my music career though those are the people who will be saying they know me. 

What’s your strategy for social media? 

Being relevant and real goes a long way but I think my strategy would be consistency. You have to be active every day, otherwise, people will forget you. We live in a society where everyone wants it right now. If you don’t keep up, especially just starting out, you could get left behind. 

There’s a message of physical strength in your photos, yet your music beds are as much about lilting acoustic guitar as any sense of toughness. 

Well like how the old saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. That’s just who I am. 

Among your songs released before now which best reflects the musical intent of Rosegang? 

I’d have to say all of them because each song represents a part of me. Each song tells my story.

You’re dropping 187 on Nov 12. What’s it about lyrically?

The track is about drinking, partying and drugs. Some struggles I know a lot of us struggle with. In the visuals you’ll see that I arrive at a poker game and my rivals at the table are two demons. These two demons oversee the drinking, partying and drugs in our world. I wanted to portray it in the visuals such as I took my questions and issues with these struggles to the top.

How did you settle on that song title? What does it mean?

187 is who I am. It’s another name I’m called by other than Rosegang. By titling my track as 187 it’s more like saying this is who I am. I am a big beautiful mess, but it’s me. In-depth,187 means Rose Fucking Gang.

It’s the first of a 3-part mini-series. What will tie the three songs together?

It’s me that ties everything together. My story, my struggles, my ups and downs and my gratitude. When I began writing, it was originally too long so I had to break it up into three parts. I’d say something quite different. 

What’s an artistic goal you’re aiming to have achieved by the end of this summer?

To hit 100k views on YouTube and 100k streams on Spotify.