I guess this is a topic everybody comes up in your interviews and that it´s getting annoying, but we really can´t help asking at least a couple of questions about your brother if this is ok for you.
Yeah that’s cool
First of all we would like to ask you if you find the quote “J DIlla Changed My Life” overused or not?
I think it’s awesome. That’s the goal in the end, to be able to make that connection with the listener. And let alone be able to inspire those that listen to it, it’s basically spreading love, just thru music.
How it was for you working with him?
For me its more just the moments having my brother around, just chillin, adlibin to songs, I remember the days he would pick me up from school, I would be super amped, and he would bang beats, and the system was bangin, I miss those moments the most
Since we know that you come from a musical family how was your musical upbringing as a kid?
Well my dad is my biggest musical influence, we would listen to Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Al Green, Manhattan transfers, a lot of soul and jazz. my mom also sings, she studied opera and she sings jazz, and I learned a lot from my mom about singing as well. I was also in choir in church growing up, I had a piano lessons when I was younger but I didn’t start to take piano seriously till I was about 19, after I saw a stevie Wonder concert, after that I couldn’t stay off the keys. But I grew up basically singing, my mom and my dad plus all my siblings sing, definitely my first instrument is voice..
You grew up in Detroit but you live in Montreal at the moment. Which kind of influence has the new enviroment on your music?
I love the vibration here, Its a beautiful City, Especially summertime. the whole album was created in Montreal, and you can definitely feel the vibe of the city, when you listen to the album
Can you tell us something about your membership with Slum Village and the reasons that brought you back to your solo career?
Well it was fun touring and recording with my bros, and I learned a lot about performing and recording during that experience. Even when i officially joined it was a natural evolution, i was featured on Villa Manifesto, shortly after i began touring with them, and eventually we began recording together, and it was actually Mick Boogie’s idea for us to the Dirty Slums mixtapes, cause at that point, everybody was just doing solo projects. Me and T3 had both just dropped solo EP’s both produced by Young RJ. But the group thing just kinda happened cause from recording and touring, we realized we all had natural chemistry, so it just worked. But the plan was always to go back to my solo career once we fully reestablished the brand, and T3 and Young RJ both already knew that. At the end of the day, those are my bros, beyond the music, and we’ll always make music together, even if it’s not as a group.
Compared to ten years ago or so, ehich is in your opinion the state of hip hop in 2015? We ask that because many complain about the way things turned in the last years, forgetting maybe that when things change there´s always something postive and new to gain.
Honestly I think music overall is in a good place, the perfect time to experiment with different styles, explore different sounds. As far as HipHop, it’s come a long way, and it’s continuously growing, I feel like that gritty, static from the vinyl type of sound is coming back. But thats the thing with HipHop, you can take it to so many different places, because its also influenced by other genre’s of music as well. And I think some of the best music comes when you find that perfect mix of different sounds, things that don’t usually go together, but sound good together. its bugged out to see so many other genre’s of music are now influenced by HipHop.
Can you tell us something about your much awaited new album? Something about the circumstances in which is been produced and recorded?
Well this album for me marks a new chapter in my career. One that is purely defined by myself. When I first started all the different attachments to my overshadowed my chance to really show what I could do. This time around it feels like a true introduction, thats completely me. I love the Yancey Boys album, but at that I didn’t truly understand my own voice yet, I was still on the search. This album I just feel free, and I touch on a lotta vibes that didn’t touch on any of my previous projects. That’s the thing, I’ve always made different styles of music, but the majority that I released before this album, was strictly soul, jazz and boom bap. Cause I’m a singer, song writer first, though I just happened to always write raps. The Universe on the album is a great example of that, a song where I really only planned to sing on, but the inner rapper in me finds its way on record. I honestly just love the art of rap. Also on Sunflower, a duo with Allie, the vibe is like house music, mixed with Acid Jazz. And it’s a house remix, we’re gonna drop soon, remixed by DJ Spinna. And btw, the whole album was produced by Potatohead People. It was so much fun working with them, and you can hear it in the sound, that’s it’s not forced, its just natural music chemistry. And I feel every featured artist on this album blended seamlessly into that chemistry from Allie to Moka to Ivan Ave. I feel good about this album.
In your opinion, how much your sound and your style evolved with all the experience that you collected during the years?
For me its a continuous evolution definitely. The more and more I write and record, I learn more about my process of writing, and also just the pure art of recording. Delivery is a very important aspect that people forget about sometimes. You can have the dopest lyrics, but they’ll sound corny with a wack delivery. And definitely just pure life experience influences my lyrics a lot. You have to live so you can talk about that life you live, and the challenges you overcome during that journey. And that journey is infinite.
Your new record sounds very forward-thinking, almost experimental. Was it a conscious choice to cut with the old school or a natural evolution?
Just a natural evolution, ive always made different styles of music, and this album is that opening door to that new chapter. That’s why for the self-titled artwork I put half of my face to symbolize the new beginning but also that there’s more to come. Meaning I plan to continue exploring new sounds. Cause I’m a musician, I don’t make specific types of music. I just make music that feels good to me. So I might make some hip hop today, and tomorrow I might wake up and wanna make alternative rock. I have a very eclectic taste of music, and you’ll hear that in my forth coming projects.
Are there any producers or MCs that you would love to collaborate with?
I would love to work with Timbaland. Pharrel is another one. I feel like my voice with their production would blend well.
You seem to be quite an attention-shy kind of guy. Which is your relationship with fame?
It’s trips me out when people are nervous to talk to me, if they only knew that I’m more nervous talking to them. I’ve always been a quiet guy, I was the super quiet kid in school. Music is my way of communicating. And it’s awesome to see that people support it, and let alone be inspired by it. It’s nothing like that connection with the listener, that’s why I love performing live. Because when you create it, your music makes you feel a certain way, and it’s dope when see that it makes other people feel the same way, that’s when you know you hittin the right pocket.
You are about to start a mini-tour through Italy. Is there something that you know about our hip hop scene?
I don’t know a lot about the HipHop scene there, but I do know a producer named Robroy from Milan he’s a dope producer with a gritty underground sound, and me and Frank did a project with him, so be expecting to hear that soon. but you guys always show love, everyshow that I’ve done in Italy has been super fun, when I came with Slum and when I came with Frank Nitt. I have a lotta love for Italy.