Below, Pedestrian TV catch up with Seattle based hip hop duo Ryan Lewis and Macklemore, the web savvy rap team responsible for triple j's most recent Hottest 100 topper, "Thrift Shop", and the current number one single in the country, "Same Love", to discuss the pageantry of The Grammys, how to celebrate a Hottest 100 win in the airport, and the stigma associated with being a white rapper in 2013.
Pedestrian: Did you guys get to watch The Grammys?
Ryan: No we missed it. We flew here while they were happening, which is disappointing.
Pedestrian: What are you general impressions of The Grammys since you guys will probably be figuring in it next year?
Ben: (Laughing) We LOVE The Grammys. The Grammys are incredible. You know, The Grammys are one way of acknowledging music. I think that it's cool for the industry to get together, put on some shiny suits and nice dresses, go out onto the red carpet and celebrate the music. They've obviously built an awards show that has a tremendous amount of weight and that's admirable. I think that there's lots of different types of music that probably gets overlooked but I think that The Grammys in general are a good thing for music. And if at anytime in our careers we get included in The Grammys that would be phenomenal. I really would. Shout out to The Grammys (laughs).
Pedestrian: Where were you when you heard about topping triple j's Hottest 100 poll?
Ben: I remember exactly where I was. San Francisco airport. I talked to Tom and Alex on the phone and I knew it was an interview, I knew it was for triple j, and I knew it was for the top 100, but I didn't know we were number one. They interviewed me and told me about "Same Love" being number 15 and I was like "that's awesome" and then they said "Thrift Shop" is number one too. I celebrated that day in that airport. I bought smoothies, chocolates, mentos. Tonnes of magazines. I just indulged. It was just like, how much money can I spend in this airport right now?
Pedestrian: The finest of airport conveniences. Nice. You guys have a massive online following built without any major label support. That doesn't happen accidentally. What can you tell us about the things you've learned about building an online fan base?
Ryan: I think that in 2013 you can do whatever the fuck you want. And I think that there's a wide open door to access markets across the world like there has never been before and I think that a huge piece of that, for us, is music videos. We've always loved to make music videos and I think a lot more is within an independent artist's grasp and that's becoming more evident with the variety of independent success stories which have happened over the past two or three years.
Ben: Outside of the music, which is the foundation of everything, making good music that resonates with people and connects with them on an emotional human level, Youtube has been our greatest asset in terms of social networking. You know, Twitter and Facebook and even Instagram are a great way to give people a glimpse into your life, but in terms of creating an identity and forming our brand Youtube has been number one.
Pedestrian: Ryan, what were your first impressions of Ben?
Ryan: I remember that day well. He turned up to my house in some fleece sweats.
Ryan: Ugly as fuck.
Ben: So dope.
Ryan: They had bleach stains on them, he was super high, came down to my room in my basement and he wanted a beat. I was a teenager and he was just looking to take advantage of me.
Ben: That sounds really bad.
Ryan: That sounds terrible. He was looking to take advantage of a sample I had found more so than the beat I made from it. From there we became good friends. And then when he came out of rehab at the end of 2008 we hooked up again and made The VS. EP and things went on from there.
Pedestrian: What was the most surreal moment of 2012?
Ben: For me, being on the cover of XXL as a Freshman was at the top of my list. I didn't think that I was going to make the top ten. That's a really big deal in America. That was an "I can't believe this is happening" type of moment. That was a year ago but it feels more like four now.
(Article via Pedestrian TV.)