Colorado native Jake Pates is on the younger side of riders on the halfpipe competition roster. Jake can frequently be seen smashing through the pipe and park at Copper Mountain with his brother Cole following closely behind, capturing all the magic on film. In a recent phone call interview, we learned that Jake has an immense love for music. So much so that he started writing and releasing his own rap songs online. Read below in our latest On Rotation interview as Jake tells us his current favorite rappers, walks us through his creative process, and gives us a custom music playlist for your enjoyment now streaming Spotify.
To start it off, what is your favorite type of music at the moment?
I’m in a hip hop/rap phase right now. I’m super deep into it, and I feel like there’s been a bunch of stuff coming out that’s sick. But I got some throwback stuff like classic rock that I bump every once in a while.
Can you name some of the hip-hop artists that you are into right now?
I’ve been listening to a song called Bad Boy that is the new Juice WRLD and Young Thug. I have been loving Yung Pinch’s new album, Washed Ashore. Hard Times is my favorite song right now too. I’ve listened to that like 12 times today. I’ve been listening to some $not; that dude’s crazy. He makes good music. Also, I’ve been listening to Pretend by Kill Jasper. I think he’s new on the scene and pretty sick. Then I’ve been listening to some Ghostface Killah just as a throwback, like Josephine. That’s pretty much it. I got some old Drake on there, too.
How do you find new songs and artists? Are they suggestions from Spotify, or do you like searching them on the internet and Soundcloud?
Yeah, under my playlist, there’s a recommended songs thing that pops up, and I basically will go through that and listen to some of the songs that I don’t know. I find artists on there, and I’ll find just new songs from artists I know too.
What’s a typical morning routine like for you? Do you start your day by playing music?
Music is always something that I got to have. Morning routine-wise, wake up, listen to some songs, and even like playing tracks back that I made to make sure that I don’t want to change anything, and they’re all good to release. Morning music is a vibe, and when I’m in the gym, I got to have it bumping to pump me up, especially when I’m snowboarding. I can’t shred without music. I’m like always bumping music. It’s like my drug. I love it.
So, I remember we spent a day with you for an Aimless video back in January 2020. You had mentioned you were into making music. What type of music are you whipping up?
I would say my style is like hip hop/rap, and it has an r&b feel to it. I’ve also made songs that are a little bit funkier. So like, anywhere between rap, hip hop, and r&b and punk, I guess.
Take us through your creative process. How do you start out making a song from start to finish?
So I work with a producer out of Raleigh, North Carolina. He’s my bro, and we just connected on social media through Instagram. He makes all the beats, and he does all the mixing. So I come on and do the vocals and give my input for mixing in different sound effects and stuff like that. But my creative process is I sit down, usually have to be alone in a room somewhere and have like my mic stand, headphones and computer. I’ll have a bunch of beats that Chucky sent me, and I’ll go through them and pick the ones that I’m vibing with a lot. I throw it up on my computer, match up the BPM, get in the right key, then add some auto-tune on my vocals, and go in. Sometimes I can bust songs out in a really short amount of time, and sometimes it takes forever, just depending on how critical I am of myself. I’ve been working a lot on this new project called Problem Child, and it’s this EP that I’m releasing. Well, we’re still waiting for tracks, but I’m supposed to release them at the beginning of next month. So I’m pumped up, dude. It’s going to be five tracks that I picked out of like 25 that I made. So five of my favorite ones from the last three months of making music as much as I possibly can, when I can. I’ve been running this foundation, Happy Healthy Brain, and it’s been a lot of work. So it’s been taken a lot of time from my music, but I do it as much as I can when I can.
Oh, that’s tight! I can’t wait to peep the new EP, and that’s a gnarly cut to go from 25 tracks down to 5.
Dude, yeah, I had to be critical. I have definitely been asking my family for advice, shooting it over to friends to see what they think, having them pick their favorite one, and getting feedback.
What got you into making music?
I think because I listen to music so much while snowboarding, I fell in love with it. It was just something I did every single day. I remember being in the back of the van headed to Hood. I don’t even remember how old I was, but we were headed up there with the Aspen Valley Ski Snowboard Club and all those boys that were all older. They would sit and freestyle to beats and stuff. My old coaches would go around, and freestyle and I was super young. So I started doing that and just like always wanting to get better at it.
That’s so rad. So that’s where it ignited was from freestyling up at Hood with the snowboard club?
Yeah. 100% that would be the flame to the fire for sure.
Is there anyone musically that you look up to or that inspires you?
Yeah, I think Young Pinch I look up to a lot because I feel like he doesn’t care what people think of his lyrics. He does it for himself. It’s like, he’s stayed super true to what he wants to talk about. I feel like a lot of the rappers nowadays are doing everything for the clout and not staying true to themselves. It feels like everybody’s doing the same shit. Like, everybody’s got braids and face tattoos.
So when you see someone doing some different shit, and you can tell it’s genuine, I think that stands out. So I yeah, young pinch, I look up to him. He does some shit that seems real genuine.
Do you ever get inspiration for lyrics when you’re out snowboarding?
It happens a lot. I’ll get a little inspiration of things to say. I have like 1000 different note sections of just lyrics on my phone. It’s pretty fun to go back through all of it like; what the f**k was I thinking? (laughs)
You and your brother Cole ever fighting over who gets to choose the music around the house?
Cole and I are always fighting over who’s connected because he’s got his jams he loves, and I got mine. But it’s cool, I get a lot of music from my brother. He’s just got a different taste. He likes more soul, r&b, and hip hop vibes. Maybe even a punk vibe I get from him. So I started liking stuff like that, just from being around him.
How about your parents? What are they listening to, and how has that influenced your taste?
They have influenced some of my tastes in music because I will throw on old classic rock. That’s what my dad’s been into since forever. He was born in like ’59, so he grew up in that era of The Allman Brothers, Jimmy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, The Doors, and all those artists. My mom, I would say, she’s funny. Like when she does her workouts in the morning, I’ll walk by the gym, and she’ll have some like Katy Perry bumping. (laughs)
What do you got bumping when you’re hitting the gym?
I make playlists, and then when I get sick of them, I’ll make another one. But right now, It’s just all hip hop, and it goes hard.
Do you always rock headphones in while snowboarding? What would be your go-to song if you were competing right now?
Yeah, constantly, and I use both ears. I’ll throw on this playlist that I just threw together probably a couple of weeks ago. I add music to it as time goes on—kind of just like a mash-up of all my favorite songs at the moment.
When I compete before I drop in, I’ll put on the song that I’m vibing with and that I love at that moment. So if I were competing right now, I’d play Hard Times by Young Pinch for sure.
Here’s my closing question. If you had video clips stacked up and were going to release a video part, What do you think you would use for a song?
All Along The Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix. I feel like that’s a video part song. It depends on who’s editing it, though. Like, my brother does some sick editing with hip hop music, so hard decision, but I would throw it back because shit is sentimental too.