The Virginia-based artist speaks on his latest single 'Playground', the wide-ranging influences that go into his music and the benefits of staying independent.
What was the inspiration for your latest release ‘Playground’ and what was the process of creating that track?
Thomas Jules and Mitch Jones had the hook and production made already and when they sent it to me I recorded my verse at home and sent it back the same day. It was a no brainer once I heard the hook, it was exactly what I needed to get those verses off.
How did the visuals come about and who did you work with in creating them?
I did the editing for the visuals myself.
I decided to showcase what we see everyday on the news, how they try to instil fear into the people by promoting chaos. I used that and flipped it into something positive because to know and be aware of the injustice is key.
What were your influences, sonically, for ‘Wrong When I’m Right’?
As an artist I don’t use auto tune much or any effects but with “Wrong When I’m right” I wanted to experiment with a sound that’s not predictable for me.
"...I wanted to get it out, I couldn’t hold onto the ideas any longer."
Last year, you dropped a string of releases, how important do you think dropping singles can be for experimenting with your sound?
I had been recording for three months straight and had so much music and I wanted to get it out, I couldn’t hold onto the ideas any longer. It was important to drop those singles because the music is meant to be shared not held, that’s why I enjoy being independent with free will to drop when I choose.
What was the inspiration for ‘Curt Ism’?
I had been learning so much about ancient Kemet, known better today as Egypt. I was learning about knowing yourself and self-empowerment from reading “Nile Valley Contributions to Civilizations” it was inevitable I’d put that into the music.
"I think the music will always speak for itself and ultimately it will be what lasts and transcends time. "
What was the main theme of ‘Be Urself...’ and what was the process of creating the track?
It’s about reminding you to stay true to yourself in a world that constantly feeds you lies and myths, it’s a reminder to find out the truth for yourself seek the knowledge don’t just take what is given to you at face value.
What were the main influences that went into your project ‘Many Moons Ago’?
I made that project in college. I was so inspired by being on my own and living on campus.
What was the process like of creating that first project?
Since I was on campus I recorded everything at a studio that was near by called “Longevity Records”, I would buy an hour or two worth of studio time and record 2-3 songs until the final project was complete.
How important are visuals to your music?
I think in today’s time it’s important to have visual and social exposure but for me, I think the music will always speak for itself and ultimately it will be what lasts and transcends time.
As an artist that covers a lot of ground with their sound, how would you describe your music?
I describe it as “streams of consciousness”.
"...it’s in my DNA - it’s my purpose to make music."
Which artists inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?
My grandfather is a musician, he inspired me to take my music serious, his grandfather also was a musician so it’s in my DNA - it’s my purpose to make music.
If you had to recommend five artists to your listeners, who would they be?
What’s coming up for the rest of 2020?
New Album July 31st. Another new project towards the end of the year.