Best new music by emerging and mainstream artists, as well as culture, style and life from around the world. DOPECAUSEWESAID is an online platform and lifestyle brand that showcases new music by emerging and mainstream artists, as well as culture and style from around the world.
Our latest exclusive interview is with talented UK based artist DDark, who recently released the very DOPE visual to his single “No Other”. During our interview with DDark, we find out whether “No Other” will be featured on an upcoming project, who the leading lady and dancers from the video are, why underground pirate radio stations have played such an important role in his career thus far, and much more.
After reading our Q&A with DDark, be sure to connect with him on social media.
Where in the UK are you based and what's the music scene like for artists such as yourself there?
I am based in East London, in the UK. The music scene here today is better than it’s ever been. There’s so many more opportunities and platforms for artists such as myself to share our musical art with people who are in a similar position.
Congratulations on the release of the video for your single "No Other". Can we expect to find the track on an upcoming EP or album at some point this year?
Thank you; this track will be on the forthcoming album for sure, which I’m looking forward to releasing in 2019. There are some great tracks which I can’t wait for people to listen to.
D Dark - No Other (Music Video) - YouTube
Who produced "No Other", and what are your most proud of with both the song and video?
The song was produced by Lazarus, Kos Dillon and myself; we spent hours in the studio together. Working with such talented producers makes me extremely proud and shows how far I have come in my career. The track itself is influenced from my own experiences and I feel honoured that these experiences are conveyed through this track.
Where was the "No Other" video filmed and who was your co-star, as well as the dancers?
“No Other” was filmed in the Netherlands. The lovely co-star goes by the name of Patricia who is a model living in the Netherlands and the dancers are a group called Unknowing, also based in the Netherlands. They were great to work with and very talented and bring a unique vibe, which is important to me.
Tell us why it was important for you to share your music on underground pirate radio stations in the UK and how that exposure led to more connections on the mainstream level?
The underground is how my career started and I feel it’s important to remember where you started from, and keep the loyal listeners up to date with new tracks that you are putting out. These stations gave me the platform I needed, the public are very influential in helping your exposure, therefore leading to more and more people knowing about your music. When I started out, the internet was not as popular and powerful as it is now. The underground was essential to get my music out to the public.
How did your music end up being featured in Noel Clarke's movie ‘Legacy’?
My track ended up being featured in “Legacy” through my music and name being heard throughout the U.K. music scene from me doing radio, shows etc.
The team got in contact with me and asked me to me involved in the project which is a real achievement, especially as Noel Clarke is someone I admire.
What are some of your most important goals musically for this year?
I want to release the album, do more live shows and get my music out there internationally. I want my music to reflect my stories and experiences in a way people can relate to and to continue to work with phenomenal producers who help enhance my creativity. I’m excited for what 2019 brings.
A unique prodigy in the Hip-Hhop culture in Louisville, La Espada has developed a powerful sound and voice that infuses the complex genres of Trap, EDM, RnB, and Hip-Hop to craft something entirely new and special. Making music that is versatile ranging from upbeat club anthems, conscious and lyrical rap, sensual and melodic vibes, or those feel good tracks that just make people want to go out and be prosperous! La Espada gives a variety of saucy, fresh, and fulfilling tunes! Many of her fans believe her music has similar vibes to those of Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Travis Scott, Starrah, and Drake.
We connected with La Espada for an exclusive interview to discuss her new single “Selfish”, find out more about the urban music scene in Louisville, as well as her record label, La Espada Music Group LLC, and much more.
After reading our Q&A with La Espada, be sure to follow her on social media, check out her website, and stream “Selfish” on Spotify.
Congratulations on the release of your new single "Selfish". What inspired you to create this track?
"Selfish" is a song I wrote at the turn of the new year (2019). It was inspired by some personal events that have happened in my life where I finally realized the best thing that I can do is remove myself. A lot of the times the solution is as simple as exiting, not every problem we come across is designed for us to fix; a lot of the time the problems are designed to fix us and add the upgrades, we just struggle with moving on! “Selfish” is about protecting your star player (yourself) from people or things who don't allow you to shine.
LA ESPADA "SELFISH" OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO HD - YouTube
You're not just an artist but also the CEO of your own independent label. Does being an artist yourself make it easier as an executive when you are dealing with signees to the label because you have experienced the same things they are?
Yes, I have started my own record label- La Espada Music Group LLC, I wanted to have as much creative control as possible. Being an artist and a CEO can be challenging, but at the moment I'm only focusing on building up one artist-La Espada. I would say, the most challenging part is generating capital to cover business costs. Everything else that comes with being a CEO is pretty much smooth sailing; I love team building, empowering others, researching, networking, and bringing visions alive. So if anyone wants to invest in LEMG LLC contact me, we're both going to end off better than where we started!
Describe the urban music scene in Louisville for us. Are artists supportive of each other and are the locals supportive of homegrown talent?
The Urban Music Scene in Louisville has been revitalized, we haven't seen many of our artist make it to mainstream since Nicole Scherzinger in the early 2000s, but we've always had influence on mainstream urban music when you think about Playa, Static Major, and Nappy Roots. When Bryson Tiller broke way, it's like the city woke up. We're a close nit city so a lot of the support is segmented and biased, and if we don't know who is going to be taking money at the door, more than likely people are not coming to your event! Fortunately, we've had a new change in perspective, we're listening and supporting one another more and it's working! Just last year (2018) we had 2 artist I know of to get signed: Jack Harlow who is signed to Atlantic Records-Generation Now and Big Money Markie with Interscope Records; not to mention BBlasian who is already getting the attention of major record labels after the release of one single. I think it's safe to say we're on the up and up and we have our foot on the gas!
With "Selfish", "All Day" and "Hop Out" released, can we expect these tracks to be featured on an upcoming EP or album in 2019? If so, what can you tell us about the project?
“Selfish”, “Hop Out”, and “All Day” are singles I released for my fans to have something new to looks forward to and enjoy. I have two EPs I am waiting to release, one has a more RnB feel, while the other has a more Hip-Hop feel to its sound. I'm excited about both projects; I want to be the type of artist that can provide different sonic experiences for my fans to live life to. I know I want to live my life making music that many people can relate to and be inspired by!
Would you say that your education at the University of Louisville has helped you at all as an artist, label executive and music brand? If so, how?
Earning a degree at the University of Louisville has definitely been extremely instrumental to my success as an indie artist and CEO. I learned how to get out of my comfort zone a lot more, self-accountability, how to research and analyze data, then present the research, and effective marketing and communication strategies. Once I realized college does't make you, it takes you to new opportunities, I was able to appreciate higher learning and use it to my advantage! Definitely a plus in my book!
Our latest exclusive interview is with TANI, a New Orleans based singer-songwriter who recently released the visual to her single “Mine”. During our interview with TANI we discuss the “Mine” single/video, her upcoming book “Sugar Don't Go In Grits: Pretty Bad Dating Advice”, what she does for fun when she’s not working on music, and much more.
After reading our Q&A with TANI, be sure to connect with her on social media and stream “Mine” on Spotify.
How did you start songwriting initially and who are some artists who've inspired you from a creative standpoint?
I almost can’t remember a time where I didn’t write songs TBH.
I have been writing songs since I could write. Literally. Since about 4 years old on paper plates with crayons and markers about Teddy bears and candy.
My favorite songwriters growing up were Prince, Mariah Carey, Babyface and Missy Elliott.
Congratulations to you on the release of your new single/video "Mine"; you are definitely starting 2019 out on the right foot. What inspired you to write the song and why did you decide to shoot a video for it?
Thanks! I am working on a book called SUGAR DON’T GO IN GRITS Pretty Bad Dating Advice from Pretty Bad Mouf. “Mine” is off the soundtrack for the book. This chapter is about all things we go through when we are “crushing” on someone. I decided to shoot the video because it’s one of the softest songs I’ve shared to date with my fans. I think everyone knows my feisty side over trap beats not a lot have seen my vulnerable side yet. I wanted to offer a more intimate vibe with the video too. The video was the most candid I have done. We shot it in Amarillo, TX because these dope Cadillacs are just shoved into the ground and were calling my name!
TANI "Mine" Prod by @beatsbythecreator - YouTube
Tell us about the upcoming book you wrote "Sugar Don't Go In Grits: Pretty Bad Dating Advice"; what motivated you to write in and is it all based on personal experience?
I am THAT friend or family member everyone runs too for advice that they don’t take so I used to make videos about it on my stories. When my dms started getting flooded with similar questions, I decided to put it in a book. The book is a combo of things I have gone through personally, seen or helped someone else get through.
When you aren't in the recording studio or in front of a laptop writing new chapters, what do you like to do for fun? And would you say that these activities inspire new topics to write about?
For fun, I like to eat or cook. Food is my life so I’m sure grabbing a bite to eat with someone most definitely has inspired topics. Maybe one day I’ll make a cook book full of Pretty Bad Recipes lol.
What would have to happen this year for you to look back on December 31st, 2019, and say that it was a success?
All I ever want to do is use my platform, however big or small it may be to help somebody in some way.
As long as inspire, uplift or motivate at least one new person in a positive way, I’m good.
Audiomoe is a producer/musician/DJ based in Los Angeles who pulls on his Moroccan roots as well as his upbringing in New York and Miami to create a global sound. His music has been featured in numerous TV shows as well as the 2017/18 Oscars. He also recently scored the movie ‘Killer Bees’ produced by Shaquille O’Neal and gave a TEDx talk while on tour in Asia.
We connected with the multi-talented and well traveled Audiomoe for an exclusive interview to discuss his incredible Caleb Wheeler-directed music video and single “Body Talkin”, which features vocals by Flo Marinez, and dancers, Ashley Dennis, Kristen Katchadourian, Mikki Hernandez, Octavia Bennett, and Tinisee Kandakai. We also talked with Audiomoe about what he considers to be his biggest musical accomplishment, how he unwinds when not working on music, and whether we can expect to hear “Body Talkin” on an upcoming EP or album.
After reading our Q&A with Audiomoe, be sure to stream “Body Talkin” on Spotify and connect with him on his website and social media.
Congratulations on the release of your new single/video "Body Talkin". Tell us about how the song itself was created and why you decided to shoot a video for it.
This song was quite a journey! I originally wrote the music for my friend’s project in Australia. One of the people I work with here in LA loved it and asked for a vocal so I got together with a longtime co-writer and close friend in NY and we wrote a short demo. That ended up getting placed in a Neutrogena commercial and blew up online so we made it a full-length track. Shortly after we released that track the director of the video, Caleb Wheeler, reached out about collaborating on a video. He sent over his reel and I was blown away. We talked concepts and next thing I know we’re out in the desert shooting with an amazing cast and crew. I’m still in awe that all these crazy talented people came together for this video.
Audiomoe - Body Talkin ft. Flo Marinez - YouTube
Can we expect to hear "Body Talkin" on an upcoming EP or album this spring or summer? If so, what can you tell us about it?
Yes! I’m working on new tunes with the co-writer of Body Talkin and we have some amazing vocalists lined up. It’s going to expand on the sound of Body Talkin with world rhythms and a great melody.
You’re currently based in Los Angeles but your roots go back to Morocco. How would you say that your Moroccan culture influences the music you make now?
It’s deeply ingrained in me especially from a rhythmic perspective. My parents played so much Moroccan music when I was a kid and those rhythmic patterns appealed to me young. I started playing the drums at 12 and loved playing along to all those records.
You've accomplished a lot in your music career thus far, including the scoring of movie entitled ‘Killer Bees’, and you gave a TEDx talk while on tour in Asia. What would you personally say has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?
Oh wow that’s tough... I really feel so lucky... Scoring the movie has a special place in my heart because it’s the first movie I scored front to back and the directors really gave me full creative license. It was truly one of the greatest music experiences of my career.
What do you remember about the first song you produced? Would you say that any elements from that production are still present in your music now?
Ha, probably that it was awful... I’m a drummer first and foremost so I play every instrument from a rhythmic place and remember most of my early stuff had a lot of bounce to it. That’s something I just naturally do and it’s in most everything I write.
What do you do to relax and unwind when you are not in the recording studio or traveling for music related tasks?
I don’t get too much down time because I’m also in a band called Hirsh and have another project with an amazing singer named Elijah Jamal but when I find the time I love cooking. The common thread in my family is humor and food and I’m always scheming up some crazy new dish to cook for my lady & friends!
Josh Naujokas is a talented singer-songwriter from Freeport, Illinois who connected with us for an exclusive interview to discuss his new single and self-directed video “I’ll Think Later”. We also talked about the term “Creepy RnB” that Josh coined, as well as his band Royal Infamy, and what we can expect from his upcoming EP, “Lessons”.
After reading our Q&A with Josh Naujokas, be sure to stream “I’ll Think Later” on Spotify, and connect with him on social media to stay up to date on everything he’s working on as both a solo artist and member of Royal Infamy.
How did you get your start as an artist? Was there a certain artist or group that inspired you to start singing?
Tyler Carter started it all. Something in his voice and his music really sparked something in my conscious to start singing. So I joined choir when I was a junior in high school, and like a year later my dad bought me a simple keyboard from a flea market to see if I really wanted to do music. Three years later I can sing, play drums, guitar, bass, piano, created a decent studio, sing/produce for my band, and make my own stuff. Along with Tyler Carter, Jonny Craig and Amy Winehouse are really the reasons for what I do.
Tell us what "Creepy RnB" means and will we be hearing a lot of it on your upcoming “Lessons” EP?
I coined the term Creepy RnB because it's honestly the best way to describe my main style of music I make. The genre takes elements of classic RnB, with soulful(ish) vocals and drum beats, then adding different types of lyrics, such as murder cases, insanity, and anything that can make someone feel shackled inside of their own consciousness. Finally, adding ambient textures and interrupting expected song structures and cadences with the unexpected.
The EP will for sure be heavily influenced by this genre along with one ballad and one classic RnB song, whereas other musical project/mixtapes I'm also working on will have insane versatility. The upcoming projects will have a different genre for each song with no similarities to the previous song. I want the projects/mixtapes to be incongruous.
Congratulations on the release of your debut single and video "I'll Think Later". What are you most proud of with your creations?
The thing I'm most proud of is I've gotten to the point in making music were I don't have to listen to other songs for a reference to create. When I very first started making music I was always like "Oh I want to make a song like Amy Winehouse" or "Oh I want to have that style of synth in my song because The Weeknd did". Now I can just mess around with sounds and create a whole piece with no extra inspiration. Now all of my songs are special because they weren't created because of someone else's art. I also enjoy showing this side of me because in person, I'm a really goofy and witty dude, but when someone hears my music, it throws them off because they're not expecting it. It's a good time.
Josh Naujokas - I'll Think Later (Official Music Video) - YouTube
When someone watches the "I'll Think Later" video for the first time, what do you want them to take away from the experience?
Each song off the "Lessons" EP is going to be what it says, a lesson. In "I'll Think Later", I want people to take home the concept of stop over thinking and worrying all the time. When people get so stuck inside of their own mine and let their guard down, their mind becomes indisputably easy for someone else to manipulate their mind. Somebody could invade your self-being and distort your own ideas and thoughts to get what they want. When you worry and over think all the time, you can be used by others more frequently just because of your state of mind.
Describe the difference between Josh Naujokas, the solo artist, and Josh Naujokas, the lead singer of Royal Infamy? Did you have aspirations as a solo artist before the band?
I would say the solo artist in me is a lot more chill when it comes to expression, but more in depth because everything in my solo music is all my idea. Where as singing for a band, there's so much energy being expressed and it can be quite hyper-active, but also the songs have influences from our guitarist Isiah Duong when writing, so it's not 100% me within the project and creations for Royal Infamy. But as a solo artist, I can do everything I want to do. As a solo artist, I really want to collaborate with big upcoming artists like Gallant, Avery Wilson, Joji, and also huge artists like Billie Eilish, Janet Jackson, and Scott Hoying, and I still have these aspirations, but I started making music with Royal Infamy before also making my own music.
Shout out to Lost Angeles based rapper $treeb who connected with DCWS for an exclusive interview to discuss his new music video “Changing On Me” as well as his brand W$TN, why his hometown is such a hotbed for DOPE rappers and much more.
After reading our Q&A with $treeb, connect with him on Twitter and IG and stream “Changing On Me” on Spotify.
You come from a city that is a certified breeding group for dope rappers over a number of decades. What about Los Angeles has made it such a hotbed for top rap talent?
Yeah a lot of greatness is produced out the city for sure. I can’t really pinpoint the exact reason as to why it’s so successful just because every artist always has their own motor or inspiration behind whatever they do. Also, just growing up in Cali we all know how historic Los Angeles is to hip-hop so that can play a role into it as well but I don’t really have a specific answer to that. So I guess we can say it must be something in the water lmao.
Congratulations on the release of your new music video "Changing On Me". Tell us about the song itself; who produced it and what motivated you to write it?
Thank you so much. The song Is produced by my bro and W$TN’s very own XL and was inspired by real life honestly. Just started noticing the energy people been giving off every since we decided to really go 100% with the music so I just wanted to shed a lil light on that. Just to let em know I see whats going on.
$treeb - Changing On Me ( Prod. XL) - YouTube
Shout out to your homie who appeared in the video. Who directed it and why did you decide to shoot a video for "Changing On Me" and not another one of your tracks?
Yeah man shout out my dawg West AJ! It was directed by myself and Cartier Visions. I decided to do a video for this just because I felt like they already felt where I was coming from with the lyrics but the visual behind it would really sell the point I was trying to make.
Will "Changing On Me" be a part of an upcoming EP, mixtape or album? If so, what can you tell us about it?
“Changing On Me” may just be left as a single just because I have so much new music tucked and this has been out for a cool amount of time so i’ll just let this live on its own, but just know there’s a lot more on the way.
With "Changing On Me" newly released, what are some of your goals musically for 2019?
My overall focus for 2019 is to continue the momentum I have rolling as of now and to really lock in with more visuals. Also, get the ball back rolling on building the W$TN brand that my team and myself have established so it’ll be a very busy year and I’m sure we’ll be speaking again further down the line! Thank you guys for the opportunity.
What exactly is W$TN and how have they been beneficial to your music brand thus far?
W$TN is our brand which stands for West Nation. It’s our crew which is stacked with multiple artists S/o WstWst Z and Kamal Shah, two producers XL & Tyrell, our DJ Crystal, and our MC/party promoter AJ. Outside of the crew though W$TN is a lifestyle. We have our own clothing line and throw some of the livest events not only in LA but all over from Vegas, Arizona, and Louisiana just to name a few. The brand overall has been very beneficial just as far as creating a stream of revenue for all of us and even giving another outlet for the music to be heard and the brand to be seen in the hottest clubs in the city and we even put on our own college tour last year, so its been a huge blessing.
DCWS’s Naima Karp connected with Swedish Trap Star Ängie for an exclusive interview to discuss her sound, DOPE aesthetic, her LGBTQ anthem “Smoke Weed Eat Pussy”, and much more.
After reading this Q&A, be sure to connect with Ängie on her social media, check out her Spotify playlist and all her videos on YouTube.
The Ängie sound is best described as mellow laid back femme trap that still goes hard - it’s a smorgasbord of sound, and DCWS is loving it. What genres are you inspired by? The beach girl meets trap queen sound is one that we haven’t heard too much of in the mainstream.
I’m honestly inspired by so many different genres, like punk, indie, trap, pop, emo – the list is long. Check out my playlists on Spotify, called fuckingangie. You’ll see, there are a lot of sounds fucking my brain up.
How is your aesthetic inspired? It looks like a dope collage of Spring Breakers, pastel femininity, and stoner vibes. Were you a grungy Tumblr baby, a goth kid, or did you have your own style?
I’ve always had my own style, but like with music, it’s never the same. I think I’m a bit schizophrenic in every art form.
Many of your tracks feel like the perfect lazy summer reminder that we need not care what others think about us. Where did you get that mentality and has confidence and swag always come easy for you, or was it a tougher journey?
It feels weird saying it comes naturally, but it’s true. I grew up on beautiful stories and I always wanted my life to feel like a movie. So to keep it that way, you have to say yes a lot. You also have to say no to the boring shit, and of course to the naysayers.
Your LGBTQ anthem “Smoke Weed Eat Pussy” was an empowering success with several communities. There aren’t a lot of tracks out there for gay or stoner girls, which makes your content so relatable for many. What do these communities signify to you?
Freedom, I guess. The world is so full of bullshit and rules, and personally, I just can’t take it. Advice I tell myself and everyone else: Don’t follow others’ rules, and keep anarchy in your heart.
Ängie - Smoke Weed Eat Pussy - YouTube
How did you get into cannabis in a place with such low tolerance like Sweden, and can we expect to see you as an activist and champion for legalization in Sweden?
I’m always going to be a supporter of weed, but I actually stopped smoking a while back. I just need to take a break from having a hazy mind. I started smoking with the suburban kids which is actually really common here in Sweden.
Some have called you a more edgy and niche Lana Del Ray. Are your creative moments ever inspired by her, and what musicians do you look up to/admire when it comes to putting together your own tunes?
Lana super inspires me. I’m gonna give you a mini moodboard of my work here:
Lana Del Rey, Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola, and Lou Reed when it comes to creative icons. I’m also inspired by the film Requiem For A Dream, the entire genre of classical music, mixed with drugs, boys, girls and colours. I’m a walking Tumblr aesthetic, with hashtags all over me!
What city do you live in today? I know you grew up in a small town, and felt a strong urge to escape that small town mentality - where was the first place you moved when you got out, and where have you been since then?
I’ve been all around, but now I’m back in my hometown. I don’t really mind, because I share a huge apartment with my boy and my best friend. In terms of that small town mentality, I’m ignoring all trash on two legs…bitch alert!
What’s up next on the docket for Ängie?
I’m going to release more songs and music videos. I’ll also be posting short films on my YouTube - find me under puffingangie.
New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based indie alternative hip-hop producer and recording artist SAZE has created his own blueprint. With his latest release, “Glass Bullet” he puts forth an exercise in vulnerability, building on SAZE’s unique approach to hip-hop production, fusing in elements of indie rock, electronica, trap, and psychedelic textures, all carried by his distinct and dynamic approach to both rapping and singing.
With a few shining guests along for the ride, SAZE masterfully weaves through an array of moods and concepts, topics ranging from isolationism to moral pitfalls, from love to lust, from post-apocalyptic commentary on race to compelling examinations into escapism and depression. SAZE’s range as a producer, songwriter, rapper and singer is on full display across these potent, engaging 10-tracks, running just under 40 minutes.
Listen to “Glass Bullet” right now and stream it on your favorite streaming platform. Also, connect with SAZE on his website and social media and stay tuned because our in-depth review of “Glass Bullet” and exclusive interview with the multi-talented producer and artist are coming very soon!
SpaceJumpers is a Hip-Hop group from Poughkeepsie, New York consisting of four members. Nyles The Third handles lyrics and production is done by Jimmy Mack. Kisslinger and Mark Cocheo supply live instrumentation (keys and guitar) respectively. The group recently released its debut album, “The Frequency of Life”.
I must say that it’s nice to see that groups still exist. Nowadays, it seems that groups and collectives are dying, and everyone wants to be a solo star. While there is nothing wrong with this, I feel that there are very few things that beat out a well put together group.
The word that describes SpaceJumpers the best is unique. I spent several minutes trying to come up with comparisons for the group and here’s what I came up with: They have the group dynamic of Kids These Days, the lyricism of Eminem, the positivity of Logic and the sound/tone of Linkin Park.
This album has so many lovable aspects that it’s hard for me to decide where to start. Firstly, this project greatly values musicality. I’ve always said that while 808s and synths are cool, nothing compares to real instrumentation. The project is full of guitar and piano which adds so much to the overall sound. The instruments mixed in with the rest of the production allows the group to explore a myriad of different sounds and to create different moods throughout the album.
I love the way the hooks sound on several of the tracks. They are catchy, smooth and they make you feel something. I greatly enjoyed the melodies and harmonies utilized in a lot of the songs as they also added to the overall sound of the project. They also added more musicality which separates straight rap from actual songs.
I can’t finish this review without speaking on the content of the project. I was a huge fan of this album for many reasons, but the number one reason was the content. The album is positive, uplifting and clean. This makes the songs universally appealing which is great for building a fan base.
Overall, this group created a solid sounding Hip-Hop project with real instrumentation, positive content, smooth singing and dope lyricism. I’m definitely a fan of what SpaceJumpers is doing and I look forward to hearing what they do in the future.
We recently reviewed Criss Jrumz’s new album “Street Light Therapy” and now we’re connecting with the talented Broward County, FL based rapper and Soul Ground representative for an exclusive interview. During our interview with Criss, we touched on what the album’s title signifies, how he decided to sequence the album, what he did with the songs that didn’t make the final cut and much more.
After reading our Q&A with Criss Jrumz, be sure to stream “Street Light Therapy” on Spotify and connect with him on his website and social media.
Congratulations on the release of your new album "Street Light Therapy". Who contributed beats on the project and how long did it take to complete it?
Peace. Thank you. It feels great to finally have my first project out! The beats were done by a few dope producers who were able to create the Soul Ground vibe. The production was done by YondoMusic, Bliss, Def Starz and our in house producer DJ ULI G, who helped me piece together the overall sound for the album.
I always had different ideas of how I wanted to go about creating the project. Aside from two joints, the majority of the songs were done within the past year. I just kept on digging until we found the right ones.
What does the title "Street Light Therapy" signify to you?
"Street Light Therapy". The "streetlight" part came from this fascination I had as a kid. I used to stay up late and listen to music near the window, watching the city move beneath the lights. I always wondered to myself, if those streetlights could talk, what would they say? There's so much history with the streetlights and Hip Hop as well. Historians say in the beginning, when it all started, the street lamps were used as a power source to spark the jams in the parks. It gets deeper for me on a personal level since I grew up with a solid idea of my roots and background. The "therapy" part was just my overall approach with he music. I felt like it was time to get some things off my chest.
If you had to select one song from the album that reflects you the most as an artist and music brand, which one would you select?
Damn, just one? It would have to be "Pain" off the project. That song features my little brother Jay London and my sister Kiahni Aaliyah on the background vocals. I kept the project mainly in-house and family oriented. But that's not the only reason why. To me, that track is a small peek into what Soul Ground is trying to bring to the world. Honest, genuine. I feel like a moment was captured on that record.
Though you are now based in Florida, how would you say that New York is reflected in your music?
Coming from New York and having the type of upbringing I did, the move down south helped me understand music differently. I realized music didn't have to one dimensional. My approach became different as well, since I noticed early on that my music wasn't necessarily what everyone was doing. I cherish my New York roots but acknowledge myself as a rapper from Broward simply because that's were I was raised. The south helped me understand soul music too. There's a reason why the south took over Hip Hop, and I personally feel like they haven't let it go since. Rightfully so, Hip Hip is for everyone.
Did you record any music that did you chose not to include on the album? If so, why did it/they not make the cut?
Yes I recorded a bunch of material that didn't make the cut. Some of those tracks made it to my Soundcloud, a few I've put out sporadically throughout the release of my project. I felt like I wanted to keep the album short and sweet. To the point. I focused more and capturing moments than capturing songs. And I feel like the strongest ones made the final cut. But who knows. Soul Ground is always cooking up and you never know what you might hear on the next one...
I'm always curious about how artists sequence their projects. How did you decide what order the tracks appeared on the album? Was it a decision made solely by yourself or by your team?
I took my time with this one. I got to really sit back and marinate with the records. Sequencing is a big deal when it comes to putting out an album. It's like a movie. It has to have a beginning middle and end. And you can never forget the climax! So yeah, I made sure to keep it interesting for all parties involved. Even the causal listeners can enjoy! And I must say, I am extremely proud of the responses. Soul Ground all day.