We wanted to talk to you about your Strange Music debut album, we know you have already released a few videos that have garnered a nice amount a views, “In My Feels” being the most recent, can you tell us more about the song?
This is one of those records I wrote in 10 minutes, immediately something about those chords just made words pour out. It is sort of an ode to taking a day to just be emotional and really feel your feelings.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write the song?
I think my whole life inspired this song. Having been through some dark mental times myself it enabled me to tell a story about just wanting to stay inside & isolate.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
The filming process was fun. We were able to capture the feeling I wanted to portray to the audience. It was a beautiful day so that was ironic for the vibe of the song, I thought that was super dope.
The single comes off your new album 20/Twenty – what is the story behind the album Title?
The story behind the album title is a bit of a long story. I had previously released 2 mixtapes titled Part I, II, III & Part IV, V, VI with my partner Tara. We had cultivated a little fanbase we called #first300. Our plan was to make our next CD “Part VII, VIII, IX” which would eventually lead to “Part X”. After signing with Strange we decided to restructure our title which eventually led to Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3. If you look in EP album covers you can find little hints of VII, VIII, and IX leading to the X in my album cover because we wanted my fans to understand we weren’t leaving behind what they loved but we were merging my fans with Strange music fans. After considering a few other options for titles we came to 20/Twenty. 20/Twenty is perfect vision, clarity, being whole, the start of a new decade.
How was the recording and writing process?
I love the writing aspect of music and being able to articulate thoughts and emotions to tell my story while relating to people on a deep level. I am very honest about my life in my music, I speak from my heart and soul. Coming from a shed studio being able to record my music in Strangeland studio is an actual dream come true.
What was it like to work with some of your major inspirations like Tech N9ne?
Working with a legend like Tech was something I had only dreamed about. Having one of the best rappers in the game want to get on my record and then refer to me as “the elite” was unreal & extremely validating to all my hardships. I am extremely grateful.
Did you handpick the guest artists that appear on 20/Twenty, or how did they come on board?
Every song is different. Sometimes it’s the vibe in the studio and it just organically happens like “Daylight” with Tech, but then for a record like “Daddy Issues” I had a vision of Jelly Roll coming in and singing the hook. We only had about a day or two before we needed to submit it and he got it done for me just in time, so that definitely made it extra special. It really just depends on the record, vibe, and how I am feeling that day. With a record like “Ritual” with Joey Cool or “Disagree” with Cozzy Sutra or “Follow My Lead” with King Iso that comes very naturally because I like to work with talented artists who can bring their own flavor to their verses. Also “Michael” with CJ Hicks is very personal and special to both of us for our own reasons. I had previously worked with CJ on a JL record, so it came about very organically.
What did they bring to the table?
They ALL brought originality, flavor, style, vibes, and personality in their own unique ways.
So, you are a NY native and kicked off your career in Brooklyn, that said what role does Brooklyn play in your music?
Brooklyn is the most magical place in the world. A melting pot of creativity. That place that allowed me to become who I am today.
You are known for playing with different genres – how do you go on blending and balancing them altogether? Does the lyrical content enforce the style you will be Tackling?
These voices live inside me. It all depends on the beat. If I am producing my own beat, I may have a concept or melody I would like to use. If I am going through another producer’s beats, I just go with what naturally come to me. Tara pushed me to use all these voices in the same song without fear of being misunderstood and without confining myself to just one genre. Some of my songs are more hip hop influenced, sometimes more pop or reggae but I don’t specifically try to use my different voices, it just comes out like that.
You introduced some of the songs from the album via three EP releases, 20/Twenty Chapter 1, 20/Twenty Chapter 2, and 20/Twenty Chapter 3, all hit the iTunes charts and have racked up over 1 million combined views and streams. With the major reception your music has gotten leading up to the release of the album – did you feel any pressure as you were putting this record together or rather the opposite?
Both. Intense pressure to give people amazing music but also knowing I had support from my fans to just unapologetically be myself allowed me to experiment and take the listener on a journey with me.
20/Twenty features 20 songs. Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Inspiration comes from my experiences, my relationship, conversations I’ve had, my friends and family, pain, depression.
What’s the plan after the album release, what’s happening next in your world?
My plan is to continue my journey making music for the world. Growing, learning, teaching, and helping, and healing. This is going to be an amazing decade and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
Watch “In My Feels” Official Video – https://youtu.be/c_c-9YtVVic