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INTERVIEW: Fraction & Finsta

Pic by Walter Giddens

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

“Hey!!! Been great! Thanks for having us.”

Can you talk to us more about your song “Do The Thing”?

“Do The Thing” is the first song off of the new album (Thoughtwork). Ironically, it was one of the first two songs recorded for the record.”

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

“Yes, for sure. The 2nd verse deals with a personal experience I had with a close friend. The song illustrates the emotion of being like “do the thing then” when someone casts you away in life. The first verse is a totally different take on the emotion; more of a playful, first person take on it.”

Any plans to release a video for the single?

“Not as of yet but great idea! Haha! We might just do that. We do have videos circulating for the the songs “Put In Time” and “That Ain’t Me.” You can check those out via the YouTube channel for Big Frac Music. We have a video for another single “Pushing Verses” coming out shortly as well.”

The single comes off your new album Thoughtwork – why taking so long on releasing this album?

“To be honest, after the last album (Extra Science with Toronto producer Fresh Kils) in 2012, I took a bit of a hiatus from the artist life. I’ve had 3 children since that album. It was hard to dedicate the energy required to properly put out records during those years. I have preferred to stay in the producer zone. I have been producing full projects for a variety of artists. Though the artist side has been somewhat intermittent, it has probably been the most productive 6 years of my career from a production perspective.”

What’s the story behind the title?

“That’s funny you ask that.  The title came super organically. The first two songs recorded had references to the word “thought.” It happened again a song or two later and kind of became a underlying theme for the record. If you listen closely, I believe almost every song in the record has a mention of the word. I wanted the album to be a very thought out affair, both lyrically and emotionally. In another light, the title represents the need for the conscious mind to be exercised or the action of expressing independent thoughts and perspectives.”

How was the recording and writing process?

“The record was made in a very cool, organic way actually. Finsta started working in the beats circa 2014. He sent the stems my way and I added on elements like live drums, chord accents, cuts, guitars, etcetera. I wrote the bulk of the lyrics over a couple weeks once I had the core beats from Finsta. A few of the joints were songs we had worked on together in years prior. I record out of my own studio back home in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. We call it the Beautiful Asylum. Finsta recorded his vocal parts back in Brooklyn, NY/Raleigh, NC. I mixed and mastered the record in November/December of 2017.

What role does Ontario play in your writing?

“Well, hey, that’s where I’m from so subliminally Ontario is the undercarriage for all that is me. It’s a great place to live. I consider Canada to be an amazing place to be at, in general. The deep seeded Canadian values shine through in the music I’m sure.”

What aspect of the golden era of Hip Hop did you get to explore on this record?

“Well, that’s a tough one. That depends on what one would consider an “aspect” of that era. The record definitely has that New York boom bap, hard drumming, soul infused sound which was a staple element of that era. It’s a record for the true rap enthusiast for sure. But I don’t want to pigeonhole the sound as one dimensional. Its got a bit of everything.”

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

“I find inspiration in everything, man. From modern day politics, day to day experiences, relationships, life situations, etcetera. Basically the inner conversation with self that we all have; the questions, the answers, you know?”

Any plans to hit the road?

“Yes indeed. We will be doing a tour this summer. Looking at Europe this time out and possibly Asia. The logistics of us living in different countries makes it a bit more difficult to organize but we will make it happen.”

What else is happening next in Fraction & Finsta’s world?

“In addition to maintaining his weekly show on Bushwick Radio called “Hip Hop Beats & Thangs,” Finsta is currently working on the next C.O.R.E. (Culture Over Rap’s Experience) album with Rellik and Mike Cox as well as a few other solo projects.

I, as part of a group called Born Analog with my main man Rob Specks, have another album coming out later this year. The album is a hybrid of many genres including soul, rap, house and funk. I’m excited to get that out. Also have an album I produced for an artist out of Michigan named Ill Tone. That is slotted to drop this summer as well.”

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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