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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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A musical city of Jones, Part Two: Erik Rozez

Erik Jones also known as “Erik Rozez” listens to questions being asked to him on Somethingdope podcast on Mar.1, 2021. Jones is a local artist out of Cerritos, Ca who looks to create himself and inspire others. Photo credit: Courtesy of YoungTheJedi

In a generation of new music and artists, it can be difficult to stand out from others who are making the same genre of music.

21-year-old Erik Jones, better known by his stage name “Erik Rozez,” separates himself from other artists as not only a rapper but a singer and song-writer as well.

“Personally, I feel like my music is pretty genuine and in a way unique. It’s not about what I talk about or the way I rap, but how I put all my energy into those factors,” Jones said.

After attending multiple Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, Jones felt inspired by the movements and created two hit singles.

“I have two songs right now called ‘Home’ and ‘Life’ and both of those are literally about the movements. I feel like not a lot of artists made songs and spoke their minds about that.”

Not seeing artists make music during that time period gave Jones the opportunity to speak his own mind on the social unrest occurring nationally and globally.

“I felt like I needed to say something in my music, and I was able to give off a pretty good message because I’m not mumble rapping or anything. I’m actually saying some true words,” Jones said.

He added that most of his music represents himself in a certain way and how his music speaks volumes compared to other artists who rap similarly.

“For one, I’m not gang-affiliated. I’m not from the hood at all. I’m from Cerritos, California; I grew up around a lot of different races and cultures and that right there is what separates me a lot.

Most of the rappers you hear nowadays are all trying to be hood or they are from the hood.”

Although giving Cerritos much credit for the musical diversity he was exposed to, the young artist admits that the city he grew up in doesn’t have too much of an impact on his music.

“I wouldn’t say Cerritos necessarily only because it’s a small city. I feel like Cerritos is literally Artesia and Norwalk as well so I don’t think it impacts my music like that,” Jones said.

The local artist shares who truly impacted his music and the influence on it.

“I feel like I’m influenced by a lot of other artists I find to be really genuine and really interesting such as XXXtentacion.

I always thought he was really interesting because he was really himself and the way he brought a new style to music. He wasn’t just another rapper.”

Even for Jones, going down as just another rapper is something he never wants to be remembered by but as a true artist.

“I hate using rapper actually, I don’t want to be lived as a rapper. I know I introduced myself as a rapper but I can sing and I also write all of my songs.”

As Jones described it, an artist is someone who can do it all in the music industry and that’s a goal he wants to achieve.

Not knowing completely how to produce yet, Jones has taken the initiative to learn from other artists and is proud to say he’s successfully made a couple of small beats here and there.

“I feel like I can grow into my own sound and really be my true artist,” Jones said.

An artist that lit the spark for Jones’s music career was TheWeeknd.

He explains how the music icon’s tunes stumbled across him at a young age and considers TheWeeknd as one of the founding influencers of his career.

“I remember in the 6th grade going into the 7th grade, my aunt gifted me an iPod shuffle and that iPod shuffle contained TheWeeknd’s ‘Trilogy’ album which blew my mind.

It was so dark, it was eerie, it was mysterious, kinda felt drugged out in a way. I was like damn, this is really good.”

The thoughts and visions of being an artist started to become clear for Jones after listening to TheWeeknd.

Being an artist, the thoughts and thinking of what the future holds and where they want to be in their career is a recurring thought being played over and over.

For Jones, his future hopes as an artist would have to be lived out as to how Russ is.

“He makes his own beats, he sings, mixes everything, he masters everything all himself. That’s something I really inspire myself to be just like. I want to be my own everything. ”

At an ending point for Jones’ career, he would want people to remember him as “someone who was being as real as possible.”

“I feel like somebody creating themselves completely will inspire other people to be themselves and that’s something I want to do; to inspire others.”

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About the Contributor
Keanu Ruffo
Keanu Ruffo, Sports Editor
Keanu Ruffo is a Journalism major and is the returning Sports Editor for Talon Marks news division here at Cerritos College. Keanu plans to transfer to Cal State Long Beach once’s he’s received his AA degree. His career goal is to work for the NFL Network or ESPN.
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A musical city of Jones, Part Two: Erik Rozez