Whaddup! I’ve been alright. In deep thought lately about life and what I can potentially do daily to alter my current situations in life. But ultimately just ready to drop CLAJIDU, my album.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “4:44″?
Well “4:44” is one of my favorite records that I’ve released to date. It embodies my thought process, views of my upbringing, fantasy world within lust and more. “4:44” is also produced by me.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Life happened. I’ve been homeless a few times, lost money while investing into my business, etc. like I’ve seen nothing but toxicity and love at the same time my whole life. I’m a contradiction straying a path of the yellow brick road. I do what I do because I love it but it’s a village behind me that I have to guide and feed.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
The process was a process but a fun one. Working with my videographer Shelly Knicks is always an experience because nothing goes as planned, but it turns out better than the plot. And that’s referred to in a good way. I usually sit in my room to begin writing and drawing inside my journal the plot for the video. I’d sketch each scene out and on the sides of the boxes, which appears to be a comic book from a distance, I’d write the specific scene, talent involved, lines and other notes. Then I’d tell Shelly to stop by and we’d talk about the plot then enhance it into the next stages which would be typing out the plot, script, shot list, itinerary, talent invitations, then scouting for scenes, another meeting or two, then shoot.
The single comes off your new album CLAJIDU – what’s the story behind the title?
The title is an acronym meaning “CURRENTLY LAUGHING AT JOKES I DON’T UNDERSTAND”. It’s a concept I developed over a year and a half ago based off my current interpretation of my environments today.
How was the recording and writing process?
The album has a few records that are over a year old, but I didn’t go into this album with intentions to add those specific records. This album was going to be a summer EP that I wanted to release with a bunch of my creative friends from Texas to Detroit. Then during the summer I was homeless for a bit and in the process of overcoming that situation I gained inspiration. I began working two jobs since the summer, 7 days a week. I was still pursuing my career full-time, just stacking with intentions to invest in PR to help propel my current creative atmosphere. I just quit Amazon Monday because I was opening up for Mac Ayres and the times would’ve overlapped and in a few days I’m receiving a day in a city I’m not even from. Truthfully this whole experience since the summer has altered my whole perspective on how much this album means to me. I added new songs, features, producers etc. to make this album an album that would make me proud and will steer my career forward. The process has been dark and bright at the same time.
What role does Austin play in your music?
In my music, I’m not sure if it plays a huge role creatively because I don’t truly relate to Austin, at all. But it has allowed me to witness both sides of the coin. It’s either I’d remain within the same thought process I came out here with or you capitalize and benefit accordingly. Austin is a traffic city. It’s thousands of people waiting for their favorite festival, artist, beer or whatever but the local scene of hip hop wasn’t highlighted by the city, so the people never had a reason to champion the talented locals. Now the city is experiencing a creative shift and I’m just honored to be a part and stand apart. But the people need something new. Something that feels like butter when you slice it. Now all I need is a band.
How did your musical perspective change as you moved from Detroit to Austin?
A lot, because I started painting. And since I picked up a brush my visual perspectives have been different.
How has Andre 3000 and Lil Wayne influenced your writing?
Tremendously. Andre’s wordplay is like a violin to me. It’s such a beautiful instrument with so much dearing purpose and storytelling ability. I’ve always been freely growing while writing and carrying the thought of no boundaries sonically because of Andre. Lil Wayne is just the GOAT. I remember seeing him on TV at 7 years old and I was amazed. Also observing his growth and fearless talent. He can literally demolish any beat haha. He’s a very confident genius. They both ultimately were my sensei.
What were some of the struggles you get to explore on this record?
My roommates being too loud while I’m trying to record. Sucks!!
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Silence. Being in a space where nothing but everything is happening.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, hopefully. It’s been the plan for a bit now, so 2020, it’s that time.
What else is happening next in Mike Melinoe’s world?
Art, music, children’s books, videos and more. Maybe a world tour with Drake, while they boo us to the bank, idk.