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INTERVIEW: SMO

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

Excellent! I’m getting ready for my new album This One’s For You to come out next week!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Boss 2.0″?

Absolutely.  It’s been a decade since Boss of the Stix, so I wanted to create something to pay homage to that old sound and just to remind everyone I’m still the King of the Kuntry.  Boss 2.0 is kind of like my way of introducing the album like, “Here we go again!”

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

I’ve been working with D-Ray at Dammit Boy Entertainment and we wanted to have a sound that’s basically like a revisited beefed up version of the old stuff.  Plus, I was able to work with my old DJ and producer DJ Orig and he was able to put that old SMO sound on it.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Filming the video was awesome.  Everything was shot at the farm with my family and friends and we were able to get that old SMO video style with the new SMO swag.  I was also lucky to work with Ed Pryor. I admire his work, so I’m excited to see what everyone thinks!

The single comes off your new album This One’s For You – what’s the story behind the title?

The title of the album came from the idea to bring back the “old” SMO that everyone was saying they “missed”.  I went back to my old sounds and vibes and thought, “You know I want to craft something especially for my kinfoke and get back to some of the sounds and themes they love.” Sure enough, I got to work with some amazing artists, writers, musicians, and producers and I feel like this may be one of my best albums yet!

How was the recording and writing process?

It was awesome to work with D-Ray.  Like I said, the writers I got to work with were so incredible.  The process for writing the album took years. Some tracks, not as long.  It varies for each track. But it was definitely great to get to work with D-Ray and some of my old friends again.

What role does Tennessee play in your music?

I write what I live, and Tennessee is my favorite landscape.  I travel all over the world and my backyard still gives me the most inspiration.  Except, if you check out Colorado Bound on the album, you’ll find Tennessee isn’t the only state that inspires me!

How did you get to blend the old school with your much modern musical sensibilities?

I’m thankful I have a team that sees my vision.  All of us like a ton of different kinds of music and we can pull ideas from our different interests and inspirations.  To me, it’s just making art.

What were some of the life lessons you get to explore on this record?

Walked On is a track for the haters.  Sadly, you always have to have a bad guy and that song is for people like that.  Ready to Fly talks about being ready to, well, die.  But it’s about dying with a peace and understanding you did the best you could. How I Roll with Colt Ford has some tips on how to make it in this industry.   This One’s for You-the title track on the album is about overcoming anything from addiction to the blues.  Some of the life lessons I’ve explored personally were coming to terms with my finality and admitting that not every day is a good day, you have to let the light shine through.  This album has a lot of fun songs on it, but I definitely try to sneak a little life lesson in here and there.

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

Everywhere.  I meet a lot of people and see a lot of things, and I take those experiences and think, “Hmm, this could be a song.”   Dirty Girl for example is a tribute to all my Kinfoke Queens out there holding it down on the farm.  Muddy Love is a love ballad for all my Kinfoke that make mud not war. Bonesplitta is for all my hunting Kinfoke.  Tear Da Mud Up was inspired by Tear Da Club Up because I’ve been a Three 6 Mafia fan for years- getting to have DJ Paul’s blessing is a dream come true.  Colorado Bound featuring Afroman was inspired by my trips out there to my buddy Logan. It’s just a little bit of anything can eventually inspire me to be a song.

Any plans to hit the road?

As a matter of fact, I’m headed to Mexico on the Kinfoke Krewz for five days.  We will leave out of New Orleans after the album release to set sail South of the Border.

What else is happening next in SMO’s world?

Look forward to the new episodic YouTube series SMO on the Go where you can follow me literally everywhere I go!  Also, be sure to check out my new autobiography My Life in a Jar: The Book of SMO.

Go to www.TheBookofSmo.com to pre-order a copy “MY LIFE IN A JAR: The Book of SMO.”

For more information about Smo, visit  www.therealbigsmo.com. Follow IG/FB/TW – @therealbigsmo

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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