About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week –The Rising Sun Quest
Monday, August 13, 2007

Sometimes an artist can just grab your attention through a performance. I had known The Rising Sun Quest for a little while, but it was during a show in Danbury, CT that I realized he needed to be featured on this site. The Waterbury, CT native is part of a collection of MCs and producers called the Ant Farm Affiliates, a crew that has come together to create great Hip-Hop music and attempt to show listeners that there’s a lot more out there than current radio playlists might lead one to believe. Quest is currently working on his third solo effort, his first two being Stellar Evolution and Surviving Life, and with every song he writes he has one main objective, “to create dope songs with deep concepts and meaningful lyrics that are in my opinion timeless.” Attaining that goal hasn’t always been easy, though, as he readily admits “I’m human.” This week I’m sitting down with The Rising Sun Quest to discuss his work, the meaning of his name, and how one of his songs has been saving lives.

Adam Bernard: On your MySpace page you have a comma in your name; Quest, The Rising Sun. I don't think I've ever seen that before. What’s up with the punctuation?
The Rising Sun Quest: (laughs) Well the name is Quest. I believe I’m the original around these parts unless you can find somebody who got their name before 1994. Quest was originally a rap name given to me by an early rap partner. When it became the name people referred to me as “The Rising Sun” was added as a prefix to make the rap persona sound grand. So said properly there is no comma. It’s The Rising Sun Quest. See you don’t just say, “Quest is dope.” You say “The Rising Sun Quest” is dope. I’m a big fan of astronomy and I love the stars and planets. But the star that means most to us humans is our Sun. So I thought when I became a big rap star I would be the most important one,The Rising Sun.

Adam Bernard: You noted you’ve been MCing for over a decade. Who have you drawn influences from over the years and how are they reflected in your work and life?
The Rising Sun Quest: I won’t go crazy with this one. First off my music reflects anybody who lives life. So people in general inspire what I write. Musically my influences have been Redman, Wu-Tang, Boot Camp, Big Pun, A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, KRS-ONE, Big Daddy Kane, Grand Puba, Gravediggaz, NWA, Kool G Rap, Mob Deep, Jeru, LL Cool J, Slick Rick, etc.

Adam Bernard: One listen to songs such as "Soul Merchant" and "Surviving Life" and it's obvious your content isn't all about partying like a rock star. What are you hoping to say with your music AND what do you feel can be gained by saying it.
The Rising Sun Quest: Well all I ever wanted to gain was the respect of those who hear the music. Whether it be from a street thug, convict, sexy lady, ugly lady, old man, Hip-Hop fan, rock fan or my mom. I want you to hear my music and relate to it. Maybe even see things in a different way. As the Sun it’s my job to Shed Light on certain things, pun intended. I think music is very powerful and can be used to help people understand that they aren’t alone, that they can do anything and that I’m making music for them always. On Stellar Evolution I have a track called “U Die?” and over the years people have told me that that song has helped them through situations that were awful. It’s about contemplating suicide and then actually going through with it only to realize afterward that your situation wasn’t worth ending your life over. That song’s premise is that no matter how bad you have it, other people have it much worst yet still manage to get through.

Adam Bernard: Coming from a state that's traditionally ignored by the Hip-Hop masses how are you going about making sure songs like “U Die” get out to people?
The Rising Sun Quest: I think the key is to get people to recognize that we have a unique sound and then run with it by labeling it something and then branding it similar to “the Dirty South” or “East coast Hip-Hop.” Like if we started calling music from this region “New England Hip-Hop” it would give our style of music its own bit of credibility even though its just “East Coast Hip-Hop” from CT.

Adam Bernard: Finally, Hip-Hop is in a one hit wonder phase with acts like D4L, MIMS, Shop Boyz and Yung Berg, but since music goes in cycles where do you see Hip-Hop going next?
The Rising Sun Quest: Right in the garbage if cats like that keep coming out. On the real, that to me is just pop music. I cant imagine that those radio DJ‘s enjoy playing that mess. Its possible mainstream Hip-Hop will take a turn for the better. But there will always be dope crews like the Ant Farm Affiliates and many others who will continue to make good music. We may not die rich but well die for the cause.

You can check out The Rising Sun Quest’s music at myspace.com/risingsunquest, soundclick.com/risingsunquest & myspace.com/theafaff and some of his crew's thoughts and opinions at theafa.blogspot.com.

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