Spotlight: ArmstrongWW

We were thrilled to sit down with our first Artist of the Month for 2024, ArmstrongWW, to learn more about his story, his artistry, and more.

Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your journey towards becoming the artist you are today.

Hello all, I’m Armstrong Orock, but my friends call me ArmstrongWW. I’m a super music nerd & musician who has been creating songs since the age of 6. I started my songwriting journey after hearing the end credits tracks to movies and deciding they needed some words over them. For those wondering, yes my songs from age 6 were terrible, but they started a passion that lasts till this day. A little about my background, I was born in Cameroon, Africa and moved to Houston, USA at age 7. Coming to America, my family was basically starting from zero so my childhood here was rough but had its lovely moments. I remember not having the material objects other kids did or stories about disney but I also remember how hard my parents worked to make sure I had clothes on my back and food in my mouth. Looking back, I’m grateful for that experience because it taught me to love all the little things in life, even when others have more. 

Explore your musical inspirations. What drives you to create music, and how would you characterize the unique sound and style that define your creations?

My inspirations come from a wide array of places, starting with the many activists who sparked my passion for storytelling. This includes Fred Hampton who at age 21 was already uniting people of all colors to battle injustice and aiding in feeding his community. Though he was not a musician, he used his voice to uplift black people during an extremely prejudiced time in American history. Those like him inspire me to write my lyrics with substance and deliver my verses with power so listeners can gain something from my art. Regarding my sound, I have an always active imagination so whatever my brain directs me to create is what I make. So far my brain has been giving me great ideas so I’ll keep trusting it and experimenting with my sound.

Dream collaborations can be powerful. If you could work with any artist, who would it be, and what aspects of their artistry draw you to them?

Love this question! Currently, an artist I’d love to work with would be Marcos Valle, a multi-genre musician from Brazil who’s been releasing since 1960. I discovered Marcos through a collaboration he did with Tom Misch and since then I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of listening to all his work. The tracks I enjoy the most from him are in the style of Bossa Nova which I love because of the warm instrument melodies and soft vocals. Hopefully one day I get to create something with Marcos, if not I’m still grateful for his contribution to music history.

Visualize your ideal show. If given the opportunity to open for any artist, who would you choose, and what makes them the perfect match for your performance?

My ideal show would have to be in a nature setting, maybe an open field entrapped by trees. As someone in love being outside I know I’d give my fans the greatest show of all time if I performed there. On the other hand if I had to open up for an artist it would have to be 9th Wonder. He’s one of my favorite producers and has worked with many artists I listen to daily. The way he transforms samples of all types into a variety of beats is unique, and could pair followed by my lyrical style.

Share a nugget of wisdom. What’s the most valuable advice you’ve received while pursuing your musical dreams, and how has it influenced your journey?

Something helpful I learned is that there’s a big difference between perception and reality when it comes to the music industry. Many artists believe that others are just randomly releasing music and “blowing up” or whatever else we are told by social media. This can make us artists feel insecure and like we’re not good enough when in reality many successful artists have marketing knowledge or support from labels, distributors, managers, etc*. Moreover, this information helped me because I now know how to network, market/monetize my music, and not compare my progress to others as I never truly know their real situation. 

How did you get involved with Music Forward, and how has Music Forward helped you along your musical journey?

I was recommended Music Forward by a close friend of mine who suggested I sign up for the Open Mic. This was during a time when I was working on my first self-produced project so I saw it as a great opportunity to put myself out there. Through the experience, I was introduced to Lydia Caesar and other industry experts who gave me great advice on continuing my artist journey. Additionally, I met a couple other upcoming artists who I wish to collaborate with sometime.

Future aspirations are exciting. What’s the next step in your music career, and what specific goals do you have for the future, both artistically and professionally?

In the next 1-2 years I want to put on my first tour and also have my first international performance. These two accomplishments have been a dream of mine for years and recently I’ve been feeling more prepared than ever. In the long term, I’ve been working on creating an artist management community/organization in which independent artists can use to grow their careers. So far I’ve been learning the ins and outs of the industry through various mentors, hands-on employment at labels/distributors, and practicing by introducing whatever knowledge I learn to creatives in my community. I plan on taking on this project my entire music career so I’m excited to learn more throughout the coming years.

Keep us in the loop. Do you have any new music in the pipeline for us to explore? Share details about your latest projects or upcoming releases

No words can express how hyped I am for my new releases. I’ve been collaborating with new producers/artists and I truly think my best work has been done in the last few months. On February 7th, I will be releasing one of my favorite new songs called ‘Mr Stone’ which I created with Ukrainian producer engless. This will be released with a music video premiere shot by my longtime friend and visual artist Luz Castilla. If I keep talking I’ll spoil my other surprises so I’ll stop now, but stay tuned!

Finally, let’s talk about the soul of music. How does music move you personally, and what emotions or experiences fuel your creative process?

To me, music is the heartbeat of life itself. It’s a power that has saved me numerous times throughout life and kept my imagination burning. All of my music is made through raw emotion so I also see music as a way to connect with others who share my experiences or are interested in hearing them. To end, throughout my hopefully long life, it would be a blessing to hear endless songs and create infinite melodies.  

Follow ArmstrongWW on Instagram

Get Involved