INTERVIEW: Carlin James
Hi Carlin, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Man, I’m blessed. Just enjoying the process and looking for ways to better my craft and the brand.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Motions”?
Yeah man, “Motions” is really an experimental track produced by Jag. Me and Jag spent months developing our sound, cadences, flow patterns, etc. and one night we were choppin’ it up and he sent me over this fire beat and I instantly knew what to do with it. I think I wrote and recorded this in less then a day.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
The concept really came from me and the team traveling and experiencing the nightlife in different cities. I’ve seen a lot of drugs, a lot of partying and a lot of bullshit. So it’s really me giving my perspective on the subject.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
We’ll have to wait and see, but the idea has been tossed around.
The single comes off your new album The Other Way Around – what’s the story behind the title?
Man, the concept behind The Other Way Around really comes from me meeting people and observing the lifestyle choices and patterns of those that I’ve met. I feel like everybody playing it safe taking the easy way out. Go to school, get a job, get a mortgage, do everything by the book, you know….that sort of thing. The concept of the album really touches on the realization that to achieve great things in life you have to take a different route that not everybody is willing to take. Nobody willing to make sacrifice, nobody willing to put in countless hours towards their success, nobodies willing to take the other way around.
What led you to write a concept album?
Honestly, it was just how I was feeling at the time. The next album might be a whole different direction. I don’t believe in following norms or being put into a box. My next album might and probably will be a whole new sound and direction. For this one, we decided to go with a concept album.
How was the recording and writing process?
Man, the recording and writing process is what I live for. That, to me, is the best part of this whole thing. I work best when I’m alone in my thoughts. I actually engineered most of the project. Jag produced a majority of the beats and Justin Koop perfected and mastered the entire project when we felt it sounded the best that we could take it ourselves.
What was it like to work with Jag and how did that relationship develop?
Mannnnn, Jag’s my brother. Mark my words, that dude is an evil genius when it comes to producing and making beats. I can honestly say I feel he can go toe to toe with anybody in the game right now. I’ve known Jag since we were young. We have A LOT of things planned for the future, the world will just have to wait and see.
How much did he get to influence the album?
Me and Jag developed the whole thing together. He really shaped the sound of the EP. Jag is an irreplaceable part of this whole process and to be honest I probably wouldn’t be making music without him. Any track that I make, if Jag doesn’t fuck with it then it’ll probably never make it to the public ear.
What role does Canada and NYC plays in your music?
Canada is my upbringing, it’s a great time to be in Canada right now. At the end of the day, everything that I sing or rap about, talk about, pretty much everything about me is a direct reflection of everything I’ve experienced and went through while living in Canada. And many don’t know that I’m actually half American and I’m from New York. My pops still lives there to this day. I used to go out there every summer. I have a half brother out there too. So NY is an influential part of my life as well.
What personal experiences get to inspire the lyrics on this record?
This project I didn’t dig too deep into my past, political views or anything of that nature. We saving that for something special. This project is more of a vibe, something you can cruise to late night.
Any plans to hit the road?
What else is happening next in Carlin James’s world?
We’re gonna keep that under wraps for now. We don’t wanna give everything away just yet. But best believe we have something planned for the future.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “HODL”? It’s a play on …