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

Thanks for having me! I’ve been good thank you, got my head down and I’m focused right now..

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Clarity”?

Well it’s produced by OneBlackRussian, very talented guy with Edward Nixon who added some final touches late on during the mix and mastering process. I think everyone can relate to this song on some level. We’ve all been in that place where you start seeing someone and then a little down the line when things develop you’re wondering where you both stand. The guy may try to avoid putting a title on things and just doesn’t want the pressure, but that leaves the woman feeling really lost. Exploring those emotions are what we do during this record.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

I think we’ve all been there, and I’m no different. I don’t really wanna say too much haha but let’s just say I think I made the right decision!

How was it the film experience?

Well I really enjoyed it! The piece was directed by a good friend of mine Ashleigh Jadee. We’ve worked together in the past on other videoshoots and photoshoots also, however I’ve always wanted to work with her on a bigger production. The experience was great, women are just so organized haha, shooting was a breeze. Really stress-free, which I really liked.

What was it like to work with Hayley Cassidy and how did she come on board?

She was awesome! Just really easy going and made the record special. I’ve known Hayley a while just from the industry, so when I wrote the song it needed a specific tone which I was confident she could deliver. So I reached out; the rest is history.

The single comes off your new album OutsideIn – what’s the story behind the title?

The project is somewhat a self-evaluation piece.  I spent a good 2 years travelling, visiting music conferences in different territories, with the aim of building an international network, and some buzz overseas. In my experience when I’ve gone to the states or Europe I felt the audience were just a little more receptive to my art. So I guess I felt isolated, somewhat rejected, a little frustrated, yet quite content with my progress. Still on the outside, looking in.

In what way does this album showcase a musical and personal rebirth?

I think it demonstrates this by not conforming to any constraints set by the past or general ideological views on how rap should sound. This is my freedom, and to date is my most honest and personal piece of art.

How was the recording and writing process?

I found the writing quite straightforward actually, as I just treated it like a diary. I was going through a transitional period and was overwhelmed with all these emotions; I’m just glad I had a canvas to hand when I was ready to paint.

You also brought oneBlackRussian and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. – how did that relationship develop and how much did they get to influence the record?

It was the first time I’ve locked in with only 2 other creatives to deliver something of this length and depth so it was a new experience. But a great one; we became friends, and found connections on a personal level whilst exploring this process.   These were 2 people I truly respected and trusted with my work and vision, and so when we didn’t quite agree on a creative decision, I was cool to sometimes take the backseat.

What experiences get to inspire the songs and lyrics?

Generally my inspirations come directly from thing’s I’ve experienced, seen, or heard.  Music is my voice, my way of expressing a true valid picture of my heart.  Travelling always aids my writing process; sometimes I know what to say but finding the right way can be tricky. When I travel I free my mind; and this opens the door to various concepts and ideas.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! I must.. Nothing set in stone just yet so stay tuned to my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for upcoming live dates!

What else is happening next in Ikes’ world?

Right now I’m locked away in the studio just working on some new records with new producers that I’m really excited about, that’s all I can really say for now but 2016 I’m just getting warmed up.. rubs palms together J

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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