Episode #54: Jacob Rochester


A longtime friend and honorary member of the Bodega creative community, Jacob Rochester is a multidisciplinary artist and designer based in Los Angeles by way of Connecticut. Combining unconventional references from contemporary culture through music, fashion and sports, his work has appeared in print, on your clothes, on gallery walls and in your headphones. This exclusive mix from Rochester takes us on a sonic journey showcasing new and previously unreleased beats that blend revamped reggae, trip hop, flute loops and skewed hip hop samples. You heard it here first.



Explain your relationship with music. Describe the music you make.
I feel like music & art have always been a part of my DNA just cause it's always been around me from the very beginning. My dad played the drum set in his reggae band in the 80s & my mom was a choir director in our church growing up. Me and my brother played drums for our church too. I think all the music I make now is an evolved extension of that.


You are acclaimed for your music and your art. How do the two interact/intertwine? Do you look at your art with music in mind? Do you approach music with a vision in mind?
Yeah my art/design & music is all one in the same really. They work off of each other in a seamless way pretty often. I find myself always jumping back and forth between sampling, sketching, researching and designing. Both processes are similar too, they're both referential to begin with and then become something completely different and unique in the end.


Your IG very succinctly, yet mysteriously reads: “Soul samples and sans-serifs.” Please explain.
I think I randomly thought of that tagline & figured it embodies what I'm most interested in, but in a really specific, almost nerdy kind of way.


How important are fonts to you? How does one decide they want to create a typeface, and how does one go about making it happen?
Type design is a very interesting field that I love & hate. I tend to stick with older fonts that are tried & true which I realized is something I learned from my friend Hassan Rahim. Though when I do sit down & build my own fonts, I tend to have a sketch or an idea starting with a couple letters, the trick is finding cohesion in the rest of the set.


What is the underlying mood/goal/inspiration that link your variety of skills and pursuits?
I think an underlying goal of everything is just making things that I like & am proud of. Going back to work I did in the past & still loving it the same as when I first made it speaks volumes to me. It's hard to consistently do that in any creative field so it's definitely something I have on my mind when approaching work.


What inspires you visually and sonically?
I always find it hard to answer this question only cause there's so much that inspires my work, but maybe this is a chance to drop some homies names that inspire me. For design & art I'm often tapping into the work of Wil Fry, Hassan Rahim, Ohlman Consorti, Phillip Annand, Actual Source, Chin Rochester to name a few & with music I'm always listening to Madlib. That's it just Madlib. How do you choose the subjects of your artwork? It goes back to research & image collecting & digging into those old folders to pull from & make something new.


Name 5 songs that define you as a person.
Damn...Ok in this moment
1. Bob Marley - Natural Mystic (funeral video version).
2. Mario Judah - Bean & Lean
3. Mndsgn - heremiluv.
4. Tropes - Sashay
5. Real Yung Phil - 6pack

What message do you want people to take from your work?

I'm not sure if I have a specific message within my work. I like Christian Van Minnen's line of thinking that if I could explain my work with words, I've missed the mark. Of course I can describe what my work is or looks like, but I like to bring some sort of cerebral feeling to my art & music that I'd rather be felt than explained. Maybe that's the message though.


Please comment on your playlist.
This playlist is mostly new & unreleased beats I've made recently. It's cool to have a platform like Bodega to launch them out to the world.


What is the optimal listening situation for this mix?
Super obnoxiously loud speakers like a 5 foot Peavey Cabinet if possible. Think of that old Maxell ad. If none of that is accessible, normal headphones will work fine too.