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INTERVIEW: David D’Angelo

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

Hey I’ve been great, thanks!

The single comes off your debut EP Born In Paradise – what’s the story behind the title?

The name Born in Paradise stems from my belief that to be “born in paradise” is to believe that you were born in paradise; paradise is a mindset. The goal of this music is to simultaneously spread good vibrations and bring awareness to caring for the earth.

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

This single was the reincarnation of an older song I had titled Jade, but which didn’t make it on my EP Born in Paradise. Jade is named after the stone, and what the qualities of that stone represent to cultures around the world. In this track I use Jade as a metaphor to for the earth itself. The musicality of Jade is chilled out hip hop production meets new age R&B instrumentation. Sonically, Born in Paradise is an amalgamation of g-funk inspired hip-hop production, smooth neo soul piano, funky synths and electronic soundscapes.

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

This song had many sources of inspiration. First and foremost Jade is a cry to environmentalism. I would say that the current state of environmental degradation happening worldwide, and thus climate change as a whole, was the biggest motivating factor behind making this song.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

The only lyrics in this song, “Jade is more precious than Silver and Gold,” contain a message which is that the earth is paradise, and ultimately worth more than all of the resources we strip away from it. These lyrics came from a close friend and collaborator/co-writer Matthew Gooden, an accomplished saxophonist, pianist, and songwriter based in New Orleans. Matthew also contributed saxophone to the other single off of Born in Paradise, titled “Moon Influences Man ft. Rêverend Yogi.” Matthew (AKA Rêverend Yogi) originally came up with the phrase “Jade is more valuable than silver and gold,” which I then modified to “Jade is more precious than silver and gold” in order to fit the cadence of my own melody for that phrase. That melody was then sung by an up and coming young vocalist name Ayotemi, a good friend of mine hailing from Maryland.

How was the film experience?

The filming process took less than 24 hrs. All post production was finished within a week. The videographer I worked with was named Ashley Graham, a native New Zealander who is an accomplished musician as well as videographer. I produced and directed the video to follow my concept and he executed everything to perfection. We filmed in the beautiful Abel Tasman region on the south island of New Zealand. My intention for this music video was to showcase the incredible scenery of New Zealand, where I was living last fall, as a representation of Jade and contrast that with elements of capitalism that were destroying this pristine beauty, as a representation of Silver and Gold. This message was then translated with clear visuals of exquisite nature (Jade) contrasted with man made polluting entities (Silver and Gold.)

How was the recording and writing process?

This process was a lot of fun ! The beat itself went through many different iterations before it was finished. I recorded all of the piano, guitar, and bass myself at Bad Storm Studio in New Orleans 7th ward neighborhood. The beat also contains a sample I got of an elaborate musical machine that was on display at Okeechobee festival in Florida. I was vibed out listening to this machine at like 4am with all of this festival energy going on around me and decided to voice record the noises to make a beat from it. Long story short that beat turned into the foundation for this track Jade !

What role does Peru and New Zealand play in your music?

My father is Peruvian. I lived there when I was a baby and haven’t been back to visit since I was 15 years old. New Zealand was where I was studying abroad last fall (2016). I was studying at Massey University Wellington on an exchange from Loyola New Orleans’ music industry program. While I was there I released my EP Born in Paradise and filmed my music video for Jade. I am inspired by nature and I love traveling. Both New Zealand and Peru are lands of incredible beauty and therefore have a special place in my heart.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes for sure ! Within the next month I will hit D.C, New York, Paris, Cannes, Amsterdam, and London, among a few others. Then I fly back to the states end of June for shows in New Orleans, Charlotte, and Raleigh/Durham, which is my hometown. Before the end of the summer I will also make a west coast run which I am pretty excited about too.

What else is happening next in David D’Angelo’s world?

More shows, new singles coming out over summer and fall 2017, working on another music video, and lots of preparation for a follow up EP to Born in Paradise, which I plan on releasing early 2018. Oh and another fun thing is that I will be attending MIDEM, a music conference in Cannes, France, during my time in Europe. Overall a lot of music making and travel, which are two of my favorite things.

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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