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INTERVIEW: The 83rd

Hi Will, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey VENTS, how are you? I’m good, just currently turning inspiration into innovation. You know how we do. J

Why from all the tracks out there you chose to remix ¨Have Mercy¨?

Well I came across the track because I noticed the engineer on the original ‘Have Mercy’ was a friend of mine from my first production team 12 years ago, Matt Hennessy. That’s what got me listening.

How was the recording and writing process?

I originally was going to sample her vocals as tones and textures for another record I was working on. In the midst of doing that I heard the potential and god in this track when it was slowed down, with certain fx and what not. I live for those moments, recognizing what your spirit is telling you and speaking that. That’s all writing is to me actually, its one long convo with your spirit that never shuts off. You get snippets and phrases of those convos with each song. But yea I remember deleting the whole other track I was working on and then grabbing the bass. I didn’t even know what key it was in at first, my fingers immediately found the root and improvised the whole line in one take. No grid just feel. From there it was the idea of honoring the first intent. I ran it through different outboard gear, tightened up the line a bit where necessary, did some more software manipulation, but all with the mindset of evoking what I first felt when the track accidently slowed down. Then I gave it to you guys, and now you have it to eat on.

How has Chicago influenced your music?

Oh man, well working with seasoned producers/musicians like Maurice Joshua, Rob Diggy, Keith Henderson, Brad Siefert, Korron Blalark, and being around their chill and organic vibes, high quality of musicianship and the soul, (the Chicago soul in the studio and in the church), it runs the course of your veins and helps shape your standard for excellence. I remember I thought I was nice once, then I sat in on my first commercial studio session where Ron Hall (R Kelly, Maurice J) played the bass. I cried. I sat in the back and tears just came down my eyes. I loved it, and realized in that moment all these infinite levels/possibilities with music, and that these were open pockets I could just immerse myself in. I haven’t stopped immersing since.

Known for having worked with different renowned artists and young talents – do you take a different approach when you produce for someone else than when you produce for your own?

Uhh good question. Naw not really, Its all the same thing… evoking emotion. Playing music, getting out your ideas, writing words that advocate your situation. Whether it’s by myself or with another artist in the room, that’s all I do.

I will say artists that work with me know I want their expression honest, raw, without expectation of any kind from label, mgmt, or whomever, and I make sure whoever’s creating the record is accounted for in every song. So if it’s just me, and my soul and feelings are accounted for then I’m good, records done. I could give two cents how a rep feels. If I’m with an artist and their stories being advocated as well, we both dig it, then its done. I give no mind how a label feels in that situation; didn’t create it for them. If you get where we’re coming from as artists and want to help reach people in that then all means come on board, work the record. But this is the record. It’s our expression. That never changes for me, and I try not to involve myself in situations where I’m trying to meet someone else’s expectations.

What have you learned from working with the likes of Jay Z and Mos Def?

I didn’t work with Jay Z or Mos Def. My production partner, Ski Beatz, did. He’s amazing. Top 5 humblest and most talented men in the world. I learned and continue to learn every time Ski and myself have communion. That’s the point of working with others right? To grow, evolve, become a better you. Ski taught me how to learn more aggressively. When I first became in-house at ‘The Dojo/Blu Roc’ I watched Ski pick my brain, Youtube’s brain, anyone who had the knowledge he was intent on learning’s brain, he would ask, study, learn and grow. That kind of intense humility inspired me and changed the way I asked questions. I haven’t been the same since.

Does the single mean we can expect a new material – how´s that coming along?

That convo with my spirit that shows itself in songs? yea its created NOVELS … NOVELSSSS of music. I have 12 years of recorded expression that keeps evolving everyday; it hasn’t come out yet because of a variety of music industry scenarios. I’m currently making sure the vehicle to give you this food is on all cylinders so you can digest it in its full intent… that means the right PR, videos, marketing campaigns, everything ‘around’ the music. I abide in the detail so you can have the full scope of what my spirit is saying. You got snapshots with Angel, Tinashe, Telepathe and so on, but my god there’s an overflow that I can’t wait to finally get to you. Its aggressively awesome.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

For which project? Haha ….uhhhh yea see above. Please.

Any plans to hit the road?

You know what? I’d love that. Getting an agent to help with that would expediate that process but I’m totally down. That‘s the next part of this process for me. See I’ve been a studio rat this whole time now. I have my own studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and worked out of tons of other studios in NY, Chicago, and ATL… I love the culture of recording studios and life process that entails… BUT I ABSOLUTELY LOVEEE PEOPLE! Anddd going on tour would allow me to have that experience and interaction on a whole nother level w/ the people consuming the art .. so that would be cool.

What else is happening next in The 83rd´s world?

Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. I’m working on a deal right now. Let me sign on this dotted line and when It comes out we can do another interview and I can be like.. that’’s the deal I was talking bout. And then we’ll both be likeeee ohhhhhh … and that’ll be awesome.

Also a new single called Zion soon. Its dank.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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