Tour DJ rhêtorík Reveals His Singer/Songwriter Dreams To Logic After 5 Years in iEDM Interview
For anyone who’s seen Logic perform in real life, they know the high-energy, feel-good, positive aura that not only exudes from the stage, but sucks them in. While Bobby Tarantino’s efforts are unmatched, it’s his DJ, rhêtorík, who holds him down behind the turntables. His job isn’t to just cue the songs, his job is to set the mood for arenas and stadiums across the world.
While deejaying is an art form in itself, the Virginia native was able channel his creative side through vlogging, teaching himself how to shoot, edit, and upload on his own time. Always on the road, rhêtorík documented his adventures and steadily gained a fanbase of his own. So what was he doing off-camera? Making music, of course.
The minute I meet real name Chase Marchetti, I couldn’t help but immediately fall in love with his charm and personality. He had on a beanie, a T-shirt, and denim jeans with daisies embroidered all throughout. I later find out he made those pants himself, which came as no surprise. Adding to his many hats, rhêtorík explained his dreams of being a singer/songwriter his entire life, and what it meant for him to finally be able to execute.
iEDM: For those who don’t know, who is rhêtorík?
Chase: rhêtorík is a true to form artist in many facets up to this point. It started in high school with guitar and singing/songwriting, and then it transformed into deejaying as a means to an end to get back to the artistry. But also in blogs, I did my cover art too — everything. Just an all-encompassing ‘I have no clue what he's going to create next’ human being.
iEDM: How did you get your name?
Chase: Actually procrastinating in high school, I was trying to come up with a DJ name. People in my class were like, “You should do Marky Mark,” because my last name is Marchetti. I’m like, “That’s terrible!” But I loved public speaking, so I chose rhêtorík. I honestly just put the ‘k’ on the end instead of the ‘c’ because I thought it was aesthetically pleasing, and then it stuck. I feel like I’m one of the first few to pick the first name, and it stayed. It’s like the one good choice I made at 17 years old.
iEDM: You’re from Virginia, how does that play into your life and career?
Chase: Just the diversity from there. Virginia doesn’t really have a singular sound in the way that I came up on the Neptunes and Timbaland. They were the ones that mixed rock and hip-hop, and I was strictly “I love rock” — until N.E.R.D. came around. I was like, “Wait, hip-hop and rock are kind of fused together?” So it kind of gave me this insight into genreless music before the internet came around and made it a cool thing.
iEDM: How would you describe your sound?
Chase: Somebody that grew up on classic rock and emo music and ended up being a professional touring DJ in the hip-hop and EDM world for 10 years.
iEDM: Damn, 10 years! Chase: Well I’ve been touring for five years now, but just deejaying for a decade opened up my eyes to everything, so my influences are everywhere. I have musical ADD so I need a lot of stuff in one song for me to go, “Ok, cool. I’ll pay attention.”
iEDM: So you wanted to be a DJ first?
Chase: No, I wanted to be a singer/songwriter first. Once I got to college, deejaying starting paying the bills. I left my guitar at home sophomore year and I was like, “Look, deejaying is a way to be in music, but also professionally network. So I think this is my in.” Then I met Logic and it got a whole lot bigger. I started growing a fanbase and I was like, “Well it’s not time to stop yet.” Then we took a year off for touring and I was like, “Okay, now’s the time.” I felt like I had grown enough as a human being to write real songs.
iEDM: Did you teach yourself how to deejay?
Chase: Mmhmm, YouTube. I definitely a graduate from the school of YouTube.
iEDM: What’s been the biggest memory being a tour DJ for Logic and performing for thousands around the world?
Chase: The biggest memory on tour now is performing my song for the first time, like three days ago in Boston in front of 18,000 people.
iEDM: I saw your IG post! You mention performing for 15 people to now 15,000. Can you talk about your journey up until that moment?
Chase: Oh my gosh. All these things that I accomplished as a DJ never felt completely fulfilling because it wasn’t my ultimate goal. So it felt like I was grabbing this trophy that was empty. It’s like, “Wow, I accomplished this goal. But then you look in it and nothing’s in there because you haven’t fulfilled what you really wanted to do.” I had gotten so deep into deejaying that I convinced myself that maybe I wasn’t a singer/songwriter — maybe that wasn’t me. But it kept weighing on me. So going out there and the last time I had sang for people was 15 people in a coffee shop, singing Sublime songs. To go out in front of 15,000, that was the first time I felt legitimately out of my comfort zone on a stage in years. So I knew I was doing something right. That really snapped it in for me. [snaps fingers]
iEDM: Has Logic always known that you wanted to pursue your own artistry?
Chase: No, he actually said it on stage yesterday. He was like, “This all came as a surprise to us.” Because I wanted to go away… the first person I was ever was an official DJ for — we never did a show — was Solána (SZA). We came up together in New York. We used to just go to the Meatpacking District. I haven’t seen her since then.
iEDM: No way! Like you guys recorded together?
Chase: No. When she had two songs, we had a mutual good friend and she came over to my apartment. Her friend was like, “Solána, play him something.” She’s like, “No, I don’t want to” and just sat there. I was like “No, let me hear it.” Then I heard it, it was “Country” and “Time Travel Undone.” I was like, “This shit is incredible.” And that was something I can look back on and say, “She was scared about it, so I should do it.” Or like the Donald Glover stuff. I did the STN MTN mixtape. I did scratches on that. He did a Gangsta Grillz mixtape? As Donald Glover? I know he was probably nervous about doing it, but he did it. And it was all these things that led up to it.
iEDM: How did you link with him?
Chase: I knew Stephen, his old DJ. I knew Stephen from a long time ago... I forget. I met him at some showcase, when Chance the Rapper was opening for Casey Veggies or something.
iEDM: What? You’re kidding…
Chase: [laughs] I’ve been in it, in it… it’s been a long road, but it’s allowed me to figure myself out. So I didn’t tell anybody until everything was done. Logic came to me and was like, “Wait, somebody told me that you were making music.” I’m like, “Aw shit.”
iEDM: What was his reaction? He seems like he’d be really supportive.
Chase: He was like, “Let me hear it! Let me hear it!” So then I finally played it for him. But the thing was, I worked with him for so long and he’s gotten so big, it was either I work my ass off to make incredible sounding music and something that can hold its own — being compared to him or being compared Bellion — or I make music that people go, “Good try, I’m so proud of you. Bless your heart.” You either get permanently lil homie’d or you surprise people. And people love being surprised.
iEDM: What’s been the biggest challenge transitioning?
Chase: Myself, really. Allowing myself to trust the process and understand to be patient. I’ve been with Logic since signing to Def Jam and going from selling 10 tickets in Maine to 10,000 the other night. I’ve seen it all and I understand that it takes time, but still, when you’re in it, you’re like, “I’m working so hard!” It’s tough to trust the process.
iEDM: Do you feel like you were keeping the music a secret this whole time?
Chase: For sure.
iEDM: Did Logic feel some type of way about that?
Chase: Not in a hateful way, but just like, “Damn, dude! All this time...”
iEDM: Well that’s a pretty big secret!
Chase: I didn’t tell anybody. My family didn’t know. When I sent it to my best friend from high school, he was like, “Oh dope, you’re producing! Who’s singing?” I was like, “That’s me, motherfucker!” We used to sing in the bathroom on YouTube.
iEDM: I love your new record “Caged Up.” How has music been a form of therapy for you?
Chase: Huge form of therapy. All these things that I’ve dealt with in my past, I felt like I used to get jumped by my emotions. And now that I have my own place and I know that I’m going to write songs, I feel like I’m prepped for my battle. Like I’ve been trained. Now I get to dive deep down into my psyche and my emotions and go, “These are things that screwed me up or these are things that made me super happy,” as formulated into a song. It’s been the best release ever because I’m a very ‘isolate myself and deal with my problems’ type person. Now to do that and get a product out of it is the best feeling in the world. My mantra is turn your insecurities into art. Anything I feel bad about, I make something good and you’re like “whoop” — just reverse that whole thing.
iEDM: I know Logic has been vocal with his depression, do you struggle with that as well?
Chase: Yeah, I mean “Shelter,” as soon as the beat comes... the first line is “Walk the line, but I keep on tripping between what I have and what I’m missing.” It’s like this violent switch up. [snaps] Where I can be super elated, or I can flip it. I had this discussion with Logic one time where we were just talking about when you can think on such a level and such a positive way and create something so amazing, your brain has to have a yang to that yin. You can think negatively about yourself with the same amount of power. So it’s been nice being able to write about it.
iEDM: Who’s your dream collab?
Chase: Frank Ocean.
iEDM: Would you collab with Logic?
Chase: When the time is right. I feel like he’s my friend…
iEDM: Isn’t that even better?
Chase: For sure, it’d be dope. I just first wanted to do this EP without him, to show I could do it on my own.
iEDM: You're out here for the E3 Expo. How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
Chase: As much as I hate to say it, coming to LA is definitely necessary. I live in New York and I think it’s the best city in the world. I haven’t been in love with a person like I’ve been in love with New York City, it’s just something about it. But I’ve been in LA so much... everything’s here. And I try. I try my best to get things mixed in New York. I try my best to meet with video directors in New York, but then you come to LA and there’s a gazillion of them. I wouldn’t call it a necessary evil because that’s terrible, but it’s definitely necessary.
iEDM: Anything else you want to let us know?
Chase: No, EP coming soon. Definitely stream “Shelter” and “Caged Up.” When the EP comes out, the songs are going to sound like they’re about one thing, but they’re actually about something else.
iEDM: A little plot twist?
Chase: A little plot twist. Everything’s a little bit deeper than you think.
iEDM: When do we find out the real meaning?
Chase: It’s open to interpretation. But I’m sure one day, I’ll just let it slip out.