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Future gets Honest: cover art and why he always wears sunglasses [Interview]

Calgary, AB – On July 6, Future rolled through Calgary for a stop along his Honest Tour. Following two monstrous shows in Vancouver and Edmonton, Future stopped at Flames Central during Stampede week to sets things off for the Calgary crowd.

We arrived at the venue during sound check in the mid-afternoon; only to find that our interview had been postponed. So six hours later, we found ourselves crammed into the near-packed Flames Central as openers including Ayoo Angie, Casino, Bando Jones, and Rico Love hit the stage. After Rico Love (who looks like a younger CeeLo Green – according to Sarosh) wrapped his set, we were whisked away to Future’s tour bus for our interview. Holy damn diggity. That tour bus is in immaculate condition. Most of the cats I’ve kicked with on tour buses live in filth. And by filth, I mean there’s usually excess clutter of roached joints, empty liquour bottles, used red beer cups, and sculptures of fast food takeout containers. That’s not a judgement – I would never let anyone see the mess that is my home office (I have enough empty coffee cups beside me right now to build a very complicated architectural structure).

But Future’s bus was spotless. We even had to take our shoes off at the entrance. Also, shout-out to the fancy pantsy coloured lights on the bus. It felt like a club. Except it wasn’t a club; it was Future’s tour bus. Dammnn. So Future emerges from the back wearing his signature sunglasses. Because he’s Future and we wears sunglasses indoors, and stuff. And we sat down – literally – 10 minutes before he hit the stage. We chatted about the Honest album art, Freebandz fashion, and living in the studio. Check it after the jump.

Future gets Honest: Why he wears sunglasses and the story behind the Honest album cover [Interview] -

You just try to be able to keep people out [of] your business. If you keep your glasses on, they don’t ask you what you’re doing.” – Future

Future: Q&A

Interview conducted by Sarosh Rizvi and Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada

Sarah Sussman: My name is Sarah Sussman.

Sarosh Rizvi: I’m Sarosh Rizvi. And we’re sitting with Future.

Sarah: Welcome to Calgary. So you’re here on your Honest Tour supporting your newest project, Honest. I wanted to start off by asking you about the cover art for it. Because that is quite an intimate photo you have on the cover of your album.

Future: When you’re talking to someone and you’re looking them in the eyes, and you’re being honest. People can [say] they can read you by looking in your eyes – and know if you’re telling the truth or not. So it was just a way of saying “Honest.” It’s just a different way to be artistic and to put it out there. Rather than just having a picture of me at a table, or in the confession booth…just trying to think outside of the box.

Sarah: So how did that photoshoot actually go down?

Future: I ended up shooting a major photoshoot. It was a huge – probably a two [or] three-day photoshoot with different outfits and different scenery. And we ended up picking the eyes. I could have picked any picture, and I picked my eyes. I shot two or three photoshoots. But at the end of the day, it was well worth it.

Sarah: What do they say – the eyes are the window to the soul?

Future: Exactly.

Future gets Honest: Why he wears sunglasses and the story behind the Honest album cover [Interview] -

Sarosh: Is that part of the reason you usually keep the sunglasses on during interviews?

Future: The reason I keep [them] on is because usually I’m just in another zone, where I don’t want you to be looking at me in my eyes, like “Man what are you thinking? How are you looking? Are you tired? Are you here? Are you somewhere else?” You know what I’m sayin’? You just try to be able to keep people out [of] your business. If you keep your glasses on, they don’t ask you what you’re doing. Or if you’re high – or not. You don’t know if I’m sober or if I’ve been smoking.

Sarosh: I wanted to ask you, too, about the latest album. It was going to be called Future Hendrix, at first – right?

Future: Yeah.

Sarosh: About that – what about Jimi Hendrix? I also wanted to ask if you’ve had a chance to look at the new Hendrix movie [All Is By My Side] with Andre 3000 in it?

Future: I haven’t had a chance to look at the movie. Future Hendrix? That’s what it is. It’s on the way. I’m still working on Future Hendrix. I feel like it was before its time. I had to take a step backwards just so I could move forward; being able to reconnect with my fans. It was so long; it was two years before I put out an album. With that being said, Future Hendrix is on the way.

Sarosh: So this wasn’t just a name change? That was a separate project, and we can still expect it coming through?

Future: Of course. You can still expect the album: Future Hendrix is still an album in the making.

Sarah: Right on. So another project that you’re working on… I’ve heard you’re starting up your own fashion line. Is that correct?

Future: Of course. Of course. Freebandz. The fashion line is on the way. So make sure you check out for that. I have merchandise… It’s going to be in stores, soon. Right now, we’s on tour. I  have merchandise. I have a few t-shirts. I wanted to start off simple. And build from there.

Sarah: So is the vision for this going to be more along the lines of Rocawear or Billionaire Boys Club?

Future: A mixture of both. I want [you] to be able to say, “That’s Future,” when you look at it. It represents me.

Future gets Honest: Why he wears sunglasses and the story behind the Honest album cover [Interview] -

Sarosh: I was reading somewhere that you have something called “Future’s Closet” [with] clothes from your old photoshoots, music videos, [and] that kind of thing. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

Future: Future’s Closet was a thing that I was doing. I probably haven’t posted anything in about a month. But it was something I started – just me having my own clothes just sitting around and just having pictures [of] me. People really don’t understand what I have on. They just think it’s just something. Sometimes I have a name-brand where you can’t see the brand. So it was just a way of me giving details to the fans of what I have on, or where I’m at in the video. It’s just another way to connect to the fans.

Sarah: While we’re talking about fashion – I don’t know if you remember this, but I would like your thoughts on the sleeveless red turtleneck you briefly wore in the video for “Blood, Sweat, Tears.” [Editor’s side note: Go over here and skip to 3:24 to see said turtleneck]

Future: Sometimes I do things for the artistic look and the overall look for the video. I want to be able to live every moment and be able to give my fans something – or really paint a picture for you to get a chance to see. That’s why it was me in the video by myself. It was something I wanted to give to the fans.

Sarah: So it was a conceptual turtleneck without sleeves?

Future: Blood, sweat, and tears. It represents the blood.

Sarosh: You’re kind of famous for being in the studio – living in the studio – all day, every day. How’s that changed as you go from Pluto to Honest? Your fame grows. You’re more-and-more in the public eye. How’s that affected the way you make music and how much time you’re spending?

Future: I try to get into the studio every chance I get. Right now I’m on tour but any chance I get to go in the studio – you know I’ve been making some great music. Anytime I’m on a stop, or have free time to get back in the lab. I’ve been making some great music; me and Mike Will [Made it]. Last time I was in Atlanta – during the birthday bash weekend – I got a chance to go into the studio at Metro. I’ve been creating some nice vibes that I feel great about.

Future gets Honest: Why he wears sunglasses and the story behind the Honest album cover [Interview] -

Sarosh: Are you conceptualizing music – even when you’re on the road and you don’t have a chance to get into the studio?

Future: I’m motivated. When you get a chance to travel to different places around the world, you understand people. And you understand – it makes you a better overall person. Like, well-rounded.

Sarah: On that note, you’ve done a lot of work with the OVO fam. You toured with Drake last year, and then you actually had Boi-1da produce [“Blood, Sweat, Tears”] off your album. Is that the Canadian influence – there – kind of playing into your new stuff?

Future: I feel like that just happened organically. It’s a great thing because OVO makes great music, and Boi-1da makes great beats.

Sarah: And correct me if I’m wrong – you don’t typically tend to approach people and say, “Get on my stuff. Get on my stuff.” You prefer for people to approach you. How has that strategy panned out for you?

Future: I just go in the studio and let everything happen. I don’t force anything. I don’t force  hits to come. I love making music and I love spending hours in the studio; to be able to come out with different melodies and different tunes. But besides, I’m continuing to make music. And if features come, then they come. I just want to make sure I make the best song.

Sarah: Okay, one last question. How did you and Ciara come to the decision to name your child, Future?

Future: I was thinking about it. It was the name that I wish had been my birth name – I wish I was given the name “Future.” But now it’s his name. At the same time, it’s always something to look forward to. It’s a great name. I feel like it’s a great name for him.

Sarah: Any last words, shout-outs [or] plugs you’d like to make for the HipHopCanada community?

Future: HipHopCanada. Love always. Future Hendrix.

Interview conducted by Sarah Sussman and Sarosh Rizvi for HipHopCanada
Concert photography by Andrew Lynn for HipHopCanada

Twitter: @1future

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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