Loved the groove in Lemonade. What comes first in your music? The beat or the lyrics?
(ZUU) Thanks! On this one, the beat came first. In actual fact, the original demo was very different… It was just me singing on it. The strange vocal sample in the intro is me singing ‘You came here on your own, you lied’ but I ended up just chopping the ‘own’ & ‘lie’ words out. Have a listen and see if you can hear what I’m talking about! Its funny how ideas can transform during the writing process.
What is the main topic of your lyrics?
(JV) My lyrics are about all my experiences, my fantasies, my ups downs smiles and frowns. As of late it’s been about motivation and focus. Scratch that, I’m on some mind bending shit as far as the craft. Man I just be living.
You entered the world of non-fungible tokens. Tell us a few things about it.
(ZUU) Yeah! We’ve been working on this concept for a long time. We really wanted to do something truly unique with our debut E.P. We have 4-tracks on the debut and each one is being released as a single. Each single has its own artwork which we digitized and animated to create an NFT. The NFT also has audio not heard on the single itself. We are selling each NFT for $100 and you get access to the stems so the purchaser can remix our music if they want. The best (and most innovative part) is that whoever buys the NFT gets 10% royalties for the track it relates to. They will be supporting us but also making money in return. Its a win-win!
A korg sampler and an acoustic drum kit. Does this mean that in the question software vs hardware you would pick the latter?
(ZUU) Nah, I’m not a purist. They are all just tools in my opinion. I absolutely love hardware and use it a lot in my writing but it has its downsides. I personally wouldn’t release a track only using software either though. I feel like its not personal enough if you do that. Nothing ‘unexpected’ can happen. I like having a mic on and just hitting stuff in my studio and plugging random noise boxes in and seeing what happens. That helps me feel in the creative zone. Staring at a computer screen the whole time just feels boring to me.
What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?
(JV) Hiphop or music in general is about innovation. Taking what you would not expect and making it a means of communication, harnessing the unexpected and giving it its just due. Hiphop is the mother of that shit cause we take what we want and do what we want. We give light to the often forgotten artists. It’s about being different, at least the music leg of hiphop (if we getting real about it) cause it’s truly a way of being. The music is a by-product.
Favorite album of the past decade?
(JV) Earl sweatshirt – ‘Some rap songs’
(ZUU) Isaiah Rashad – ‘The Sun’s Tirade’
(JV) Africa and acid.