"If you know, you know." This has long been Justin Bogle's attitude regarding his passion for hip-hop and with a somewhat known alter ego of "Justin Lucas," the full-time pro racer has been able to work with close friends Frace and Garrett on a side project named Pak X Emh. The group released their first album in 2014, Highly Overdue, and the under the radar album earned a spot on the Billboard Top 200 charts and positive reviews from mainstream music publications like Allmusic and Music Times. At the start of 2017, Bogle-Lucas put out his first solo album, We'll Be Fine, which was again produced in collaboration with Frace and documents the constant strive for success.
Anaheim 1 is a day of pressure and hype for the motocross industry, but the two of you guys had your own A1 a couple days early with the iTunes debut of your solo-project…
Bogle: Yeah, I probably had more anxiety about the drop than racing. I've never put anything out before, and listening back to it now makes me realize how personal I got with it. I had a pretty rough year last year in just about every aspect, and writing music was sort of my therapy session. It's pretty cool to see it out there. Frace and I did pretty much everything ourselves. We had a little bit of help from people like Hanna, who's a super dope singer from Texas. For the most part, it was just Frace and me, and Frace honestly stayed up all night for weeks mixing and making beats. I think if people give it a chance, they'll be pleasantly surprised.
One thing I noticed is that you wrote about your emotions and what was going on, but you never said anything about motorcycles…
Bogle: No one that I hang out with would listen to it if I included stuff like that. I'm not trying to knock on anyone that does include moto stuff, I mean I'm never going to hate on someone that does what they love. I've been making music since I was 16, but never put anything out. Frace and I aren't new to this, and we aren’t whack [Laughs]. The only reason we can put stuff out now and be confident about our work is because I know my friends care about me enough to tell me if something doesn’t work in a song. We put a lot into this, so the fact that it came out cool to us was one important thing. Obviously, I'm going to write about my life and the experiences I've had, but not many people can actually relate to racing motocross. I have way more issues in my personal life than I would ever have racing a motorcycle, but you have to have those negative things happen. No good art is made without a little pain. At the end of the day, you have to be thankful for the rough situations, because the things that feel miserable for a couple of days can end up turning into a dope song.
So Frace, as the producer, does it give you the same amount of pride as other projects you've done?
Frace: Oh yeah, definitely. Anytime I make a beat, either for a stranger or one of my friends, I'm pumped. Just making music that you feel confident about is awesome and hearing positive feedback is basically why we do it. Seeing people respond to your music, and reading people explain how it made them feel a certain way is a high you can't feel with anything else. There are levels to the feelings I get off of making music, from the pride I get once I finish a song, to the unexplainable feeling it gives me when I read the positive feedback. There is no other feeling in the world. We make music because it's what we love to do, but we also make it in hopes of relating to other people and creating music they enjoy. No matter what you do, everyone has a goal. And that's what we want our music to relate to. We want people to listen to our music and have the drive to work harder towards their dreams. We don’t want to be like everyone else and make songs about girls and the typical things music is about today. We want to motivate people. But at the end of the day, it's just us doing what we love and creating music.
Is making music a true collaboration with you guys?
Bogle: If we aren’t together, I'll often get a beat from him or I'll send him a couple lyrics to build off. When we are physically together it's a 100% collaboration. For example, two days ago we were in a room and he was sitting there making a beat while I was mumbling some lyrics to it, and we ended up making a song that we both think is really cool.
Frace: I played an eight-bar cord on a piano because that's all I had there. And before I could even finish the beat, he wanted to record it. So I added a couple little things, and it was done before we knew it. When we're together, the vibe is so much better.
Bogle: Frace is one of my best friends. He knows about all my personal stuff and everything really. I trust his ear, which is really important when we are making music. Being really good friends helps a bunch.
Frace: When we are together in person, everything is easier. The first album we did was made in six days. We literally sat in a room, bounced ideas off of each other, and made music. And that's what legitimately started the whole making music idea. We started making music in a room and it worked well, so that's what we've stuck with.
CLICK HERE to buy We’ll Be Fine on iTunes