Rolling Loud is known for bringing a huge cast of hip-hop acts from all over the world to one place so that music lovers can watch performances from their favorites and discover new artists in the process. In 2021, Rolling Loud has brought showcases to both Miami and New York with a third one planned for Los Angeles next month. Hip-hop’s biggest names which include J. Cole, Travis Scott, Bobby Shmurda, Roddy Ricch, Young Thug, Gunna, Lil Durk, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Cart, Lil Baby, and many more all performed at the festival this year.
With that being said, Rolling Loud also has room for R&B acts to bring their own unique energy to the festival. At last month’s New York festival, Kaash Paige and Abby Jasmine were two R&B singers who took the stage at the showcase and it comes after a strong period for them both. Paige shared her debut album Teenage Fever last year while Jasmine delivered a deluxe reissue for her album Who Cares? to close 2020. She also dropped her I Hate You 2 EP earlier this year.
We caught up with both singers at Rolling Loud to discuss their feelings towards returning to the big festival stage. We also discussed their growth as performers and what’s next for them in their respective careers.
I assume it’s been a while since you’ve performed at a festival this big, how did you enjoy your experience in returning to the big stage today?
Kaash Paige: Man, I’m just really appreciative of the moment. You’re right, during COVID we didn’t get to shine. A lot of the artists, like myself, I dropped my debut album during COVID and I didn’t get to perform how I wanted to. But this year, I got to tour, I got to be outside. I’m just grateful for everything and I’m just excited for next year.
Abby Jasmine: It was a crazy experience from start to finish. The anticipation leading up to it was crazy. You anticipate for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks on a 15-minute moment. I was definitely on edge the entire time up until my performance. As soon as I got to the Rolling Loud, it was a little bit more real. That made me a bit more nervous, but as soon as I got on the stage, it was great. The crowd and dope, everybody came outside ready to have a good time. I’ve definitely done some shows where people just stand around, but the Rolling Loud crowd was dope.
What do you cherish the most about experiences like this?
KP: I think I cherish seeing every different section of the crowd, you see people that don’t mess with you, you see the people that mess with you, you see the n****s that’s like, “who is this?” You see motherf*ckers like, “Oh, I’m getting hip!” It’s really exciting because, in reality, it’s just work. I feel like this was probably the craziest Rolling Loud performance I’ve ever had, it was insane. I jumped in the crowd, they moshed everywhere, I didn’t expect the crowd to go that crazy. Yeah, I’m just in awe right now.
AJ: I think the biggest one for me is being able to share that experience with my friends, I consider them my chosen family. Sometimes I do shows out of state and they’re not able to make those performances. So being able to have all my friends in that one space and be able to turn up and look into the crowd and see my friends. Walking around backstage, I had my little Henny bottle, I was driving that thing around and we’re just having fun and doing sh*t that we do on a regular basis, but now we’re at Rolling Loud. It was just a really dope experience to be able to do that was my friends because we’re all from New York and we’d never been to a Rolling Loud.
You have both hip-hop and R&B in your discography, and being out here at a major rap festival, I wanted to ask: which one do you enjoy performing more?
KP: Nobody is really used to hearing an R&B singer at a festival for hip-hop. I think I just come out and let n****s know “I’m out here like God sent me.” I’m gonna sing these vocals, but I’m bout to turn up with y’all too. So I try to give them both of everything.
AJ: There’s a real big difference between R&B and rap crowds. There are certain songs I can play for R&B crowds that might not slide with the rap crowd because they’re there to turn up. They want to hear like, you know, lit sh*t. I feel like I do a really good job at trying to blend two as far as when I do sets. I always try to give the R&B crowds a little bit of some rap sh*t and I always tried to get the rap crowd a little bit of like R&B sh*t.
What song do you enjoy performing the most?
KP: I like singing “Love Songs” as my first song just because of course, people know me by that
AJ: I feel like the song that does well with both crowds is “Poland Spring.” That’s just a regular R&B joint, just a real feel-good song and it always does well with like crowds. So that’s one of my favorite ones to perform, and probably “On God” because every time I do that one, the crowd’s energy is crazy.
What do you think has made your onstage experience easier or more comfortable as you’ve grown as an artist?
KP: I just got off tour with Lil Tjay. Doing shows every single day just got me more comfortable to know that it’s gonna be tough crowds and it’s gonna be lit crowds. There’s gonna be moments where your mic’s not working or your sound’s not working. So it’s just being able to be prepared for those moments at all times.
AJ: To be very honest with you, live performances were not my strongest suit for a very long time because I felt like my priorities were always the music. Now I’m kind of seeing it for what it is. There are so many different elements to make music, like yes the music isn’t important, but live performances are something that I was really neglecting. I wasn’t paying much attention to it because I didn’t really have a lot of shows during the pandemic. So coming back, I got real humbled when I had a show and it was a sh*t show. I told myself, like, “Yo, this cannot happen at Rolling Loud. I need to be more prepared.” So I really went in on doing rehearsals and just all that type of stuff.
Did you check out other performances? Who did you enjoy the most? Who would’ve you like to see if you had the chance?
KP: I’m looking forward to seeing J. Cole. I need to hear that. It’s something about J. Cole’s aura that just draws me in. It’s not only the fact that he’s talking about real life, it’s the fact that I relate. He’s an artist that is [one of] the greatest of all time, but still tries to humble himself and put himself down. He be like, “Oh, I’m coming in third place” or I’m doing this or that, like n**** shutup. You’re the goat bro you know? I just relate because we’re all hard on ourselves, especially being artists.
AJ: Okay, so I only saw one performance and I’ll tell you why. The Hennessy caught up to me very early. I’m glad I wasn’t smoking because I would have been just passed out somewhere, probably. The Hennessy got to me real early. I remember very vividly, though, telling people to take me to go and see Asian Doll, I wanted to see Asian Doll so badly. They took me to see Asian Doll, I did go and see Asian Doll and I got to meet her afterwards, it was dope. Oh, I got to see a little bit of Kaash Paige’s set.
What’s the next chapter for you look like?
KP: The next chapter for Kaash Paige is let me finish these shows up this year, and top of the year, it’s my time and everybody’s gonna know Kaash Paige. It’ll be a lot of crazy music that’s dropping [at the] top of the year.
AJ: Well, right now I’m kind of on my little spiritual journey. This year’s been kind of rough. I thought last year was rough, but this year it’s definitely been a little rougher. [I’m] kind of on my spiritual journey, just trying to learn more about myself so I can put that into my music so that everything will keep being authentic. At the end of the day, I just want to be my most authentic self. I’m working on music, I should have something ready by the top of the year.