JSB – Good Time Lib [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Lyrical, smooth, Bassy

Tell us a few things about your new single “Good Time Lib”

Good Time LIB is a song that talks about how despite the economic downtown in Liberia, there is still a lot that is good about Liberia. Liberia is on the coast has a lot of beaches and nice tourist attractions, so this song was about highlighting all that is good about my country.

You grew up in London and you returned to Monrovia in 2018. What do you love and what do you hate in each place?

I love the hustle and fast pace movement of London. It taught me to always think on my feet, and always have 2 to 3 options on my next move. London made me who I am today, taught me how to hustle and grind anywhere I go. Although it has evolved my one critique about London was the lack of opportunities for my type of music, i love music with meaning and lyrical content and at the time music with a more simple sound was popular. And also the weather, don’t miss that lol

Can you describe the vibe of Liberian street parties using just one word?

Vibrant

Favorite Afrobeat song ever?

I don’t have an all time favourite but one song i never get tired hearing is Amorawa by Wande Coal Ft Burna Boy

What would you change in the music industry?

I feel the industry now is built on what’s hot now rather than music that will stand the test of time. When I look at the UK Charts or Billboard Top 100, I think how many of these songs will still be relevant 5 years from now. I might sound old lol but there are so many albums from the 90’s and 00’s I still go back and listen to now. There are also albums from this generation that will still be played 5 to 10 years from now. But I think we need to praise the body of work and quality over what’s hot now.

Best film you watched during the last year?

Bad Boys For Life & Judas & The Black Messiah

Future plans?

I am working on my EP. It is more Afrocentric. Moving to Liberia has opened me to new sounds and experiences and this will tell in my music. I also still have songs that speak to the music that first inspired me, which is Hip Hop. I worked with many different Liberian artists in order to showcase the talent Liberia has to offer.

Thank you!

Follow JSB
Facebook/Instagram

Man Of Met – Pac Poster (prod. Pharoahe Rocher) [Interview]

  • Describe your sound in 3 words

Dense, gritty, unpolished

  • Tell us a few things about your new work Pac Poster.

The title comes from a 2pac poster I used to have in my room when I was a kid, as mentioned in the song. The song itself is sort of about comparing yourself to contemporaries and legends in a field, and the exasperation those comparisons can lead to. I had originally written the verse to a much softer piano beat, but it didn’t really fit. While assembling this project with the work of Pharoahe Rocher, I realized one of the beats he gave me was a perfect fit for the verse.

  • Favourite rapper, lyricist and producer?

Nas is my favorite rapper. The whole ‘favorite lyricist’ thing is always dependent on mood, so I’ll say THESE DAYS it’s probably Roc Marciano. Favorite producer, it’s the same thing. Dependent on mood. Right now, I’m really feeling Hudson Mohawke.

  • What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Hip-hop in my opinion symbolizes the working class, the underdog, the oppressed. It’s the music of people told they didn’t deserve anything more than what their rulers had allowed for them. I think that also plays a lot into why hip-hop has such a preoccupation with authenticity.

  • Very cool artwork. Who is the brain behind it?

If we wanna get technical, the REAL brain behind the cover was Ron Lim, the legendary penciller behind many classic Marvel stories, including Thanos Quest. I shamelessly co-opted the imagery of The Gardener’s death from that story. Its personal significance and relevance to this project, especially to songs like Snowflake, should be apparent to anyone familiar with the source material. I relayed the idea to zonekidd, a very talented graphic designer I met through Instagram, and they provided the finished product.

  • What would you change in the music industry?

Introduce more diversity in messaging. The problem isn’t that there are songs about bitches and drugs on the radio, the problem is that there’s virtually ONLY songs about bitches and drugs on the radio.

Bigger picture, I would work to repeal the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

  • Future plans?

Flowers By Force at the end of March, More Vibe Than Voice at the end of April, and a half dozen other projects throughout the year.

  • Thank you!

Follow Man Of Met
Facebook/Instagram

The Morn – Wanda Q [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

futuristic, unpredictable, rare

You blend guitar with chill beats in a very cool way. Tell us a few things about your creative process.

My styles vary so much as I switch from ambient to trap to instrumental jazzy hip hop, but I always start with two things – the BPM and the key signature. I’ve focused heavily on BPMs between 70 and 90 recently but have consistently let the melodic elements guide me throughout. If I find a killer chord progression in Bb major for instance, I riff off that til I find good vocal melodies, often in natural minor scales. I always pitch shift my drum elements to support the key of the song. I’m classically trained in jazz music so I know there are infinite possibilities with chord progressions. I often stick to sixths and major 7ths, throwing in pitch shifted delays and vocal samples. The creative process for each concept is like raising a baby from the day it’s born. You just gotta nurture it and give it all the necessities and attention for the baby to grow into a high functioning adult with swag.

Who is your favorite beatmaker?

It’s between Knxwledge and Pi’erre Bourne for me.

How do you relate to the Los Angeles music scene?

Born and raised in LA, the music scene in the city has functioned as a third parent of mine throughout my life. I started going to hip hop festivals at the age of 9, then raves at the age of 11, so my musical taste was always directly evolving with the acts I’d see at these festivals. Los Angeles has such a rich rap history so I’ve been listening to 2pac, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Dre, and NWA since I was a young boy. As I grew older, electronic music exploded in LA when I approached my teen years, so I got a perfect blend of urban vibes with dance/experimental music to influence me as a future artist. Also with a strong guitar heavy surf rock scene in the city, I’ve related religiously to the variety of the Los Angeles music scenes over the years, going to several shows a week for long periods of time.

How do you think having such an easy access to samples affects the quality of produced music?

I think having easy access to samples improves the quality of produced music as it gives producers an infinite well to source concepts from. In theory this easy access may seem to water down the quality of the music (if you hear the same samples over and over), but I believe that having more resources expands producers’ creative options for the better.

Best music related film?

This one’s outta left field but – Irreversible (2002) – the French film that was scored by Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter. best soundtrack IMO.

When not writing music, how do you spend your time?

I’m an avid trail runner, so when I’m not writing music I’m running in the mountains at high elevation all over California. Also, I’m huge into daily meditation.

Thank you!

Follow The Morn
Instagram

Kya Kyani – The Dao [Interview]

  • Describe your sound in 3 words

Melodic, dreamy, majestic 

  • What’s the most important element in future RnB? Tell us a few things about your creative process. 

In future RnB the element of nostalgia combined with interesting new or designed sounds are indispensable in my opinion. Working on a record (depending on the project) I mostly create in the studio. I vibe on numerous beats until there’s a spark and I really feel it. If not, we start from scratch together with the engineer/producer. Sometimes I would come in with a melody or just lyrics and go from there. 

  • How do you relate to the Amsterdam music scene?

I’ve met a lot of creatives working in the field, and developed some good friendships as well. I worked on projects with many in Holland, the thing I find we have in common is that we’re curious about each other’s work and eager to help,hear or learn. I can relate to that

  • Rough and rebellious but in some cases shy. Which is your most personal lyric that represents you the most?

I relate to most of my tracks since those are all personal experiences of mine, some more than others, going through changes etc makes it very difficult to name just one. 

  • What advice would you give to your younger self?

The advice I would give younger self is not to rush life,  instead enjoy the ride 

  • What was the best film you have watched during the quarantine?

Madmax 

  • One last thing we should know about you?

At the moment me and my team are planning on new releases as well as new visual content.

  • Thank you!

Follow Kya Kyani
Facebook/Instagram

Kobenz – Gothbxch (ft. Spaceman Zack) [Interview]

You have mentioned that you have been inspired by a previous tumultuous and toxic relationship. Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

I would have to say the sentence that hits me the hardest is probably one from my new song Sour Lemon, “Counting all the days I’ve been trapped inside your cage, clipped my fucking wings then you told me I was saved”, This one is just so true, after my first crazy ex I got back together with another one. I was really vulnerable at the time and I couldn’t eat, drink, or do basically anything at that point. At first she came across as if she was my white night swooping in to save the day, however I would soon learn, despite the false promises she was the same controlling, manipulative, toxic person she was when I first broke up with her. Even though we weren’t right I will still always appreciate her being there for me and wish her no bad blood. We have always made great friends.

How to support someone who feels suicidal?

Oof, well everyone is different, all I could recommend despite being there for them is to really listen to what they’re saying. If they are serious and are confiding in you with that type of trust, don’t just nod your head or try and make their feelings seem invalidated. A lot of the time someone is suicidal, a big part of it is usually that they feel alone. Isolation can really tip someone who is on that course over.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion? And what emo rap brings to the game?

To me hip hop symbolizes poetry and a cohesive way to tell a story. I chose hip hop because I felt it was the easiest way for me to tell my personal truths in a way that just structurally made sense. As far as emo rap? I don’t consider myself as part of that genre, I feel that the genre is very general in terms of being an umbrella term for all of the different genres of alternative hip hop. I know artists like Lil Peep and Ghostmane are usually referred to as emo, but I wouldn’t call it that. If anything Peep is more grunge/pop-punk and Ghostemane is metal. I’m usually referred to as a “goth” and while I definitely have some goth influences in my style and sound, I definitely wouldn’t say I’d fit in that one category.

Why sexism, and even outright misogyny, is so pervasive in Hip Hop culture?

I couldn’t answer that question to be honest. If I had to take a guess I would say its the seeing attractive women as trophies. I’m not about it. I get criticized for my song gothbxch once in awhile, but I don’t think many people really analyze lyrics as deep as I do. Gothbxch is actually a satire on the modern festishization of mental illness and E-culture. I really find the whole “simp” “liltiddygothgf” bullshit cringe as fuck.

Do you think there is a true underground hip hop sound today?

Definitely, but you won’t hear it unless you spend a couple hours searching through SoundCloud. Truly underground music doesn’t stand a chance in the mainstream. Everyone wants catchy, simple, melodic, and repetitive. That’s the formula to a successful hip hop song.

When not writing music, how do you spend your time?

When I’m not writing music, I spend time plotting world domination.

Best music related film?

I love montage of heck, but it’s all bullshit. Most of the information given about Kurt is stuff Kurt said to mess with people like the ones who exploited the hell out of everyone involved to keep them Cobain dollars coming in. It’s truly beautiful.

Thank you!

Follow Kobenz
Instagram/Spotify

Joey Capo – 6ixth Sense [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Melodic, Chill, R&B

Do you trust your 6th sense? Tell us a few things about your new song titled “6ixth Sense”

haha I definitely do trust it. 6ixth Sense is one of those records that was together like a conversation. It talks about seeing someone for who they truly are. Looking past what the world may see and taking the time to see the real in someone.

For which lyric you are most proud of?

favorite lines in the song would have to be the opening of the record where I say “Soul seeker yeah, not that avid reader yeah, still I never judge a book by its cover”

Favourite rapper, lyricist and producer?

Favorite rapper: Big Sean
Lyricist: AfterTheParty
Producer: Boi-1da

Best Hip Hop album ever?

The best hip hop album to me would have to be Ready to Die By Notorious BIG

What was the best film you have watched during the quarantine?

During quarantine I started diving into a bunch of 80s movies. The really brought a lot of good inspiration to the production I was making over that time. But one movie that really stuck out to me was The NeverEnding Story.

Future plans?

I have a lot on the way this 2021. Lots of new music, visuals with a lot of the records, and hopefully we can start doing live shows again. But if not I do have a virtual show in the works as well.

Thank you!

Follow Joey Capo
Facebook/Instagram

Titus – Closure [interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Relatable, smooth, and Passionate

What is your creative process like?

My song writing always starts with the beat selection. The beat makes the song a lot of the time these days so if I can find a good one, I’m in luck. Then I freestyle on the beat a little to find the subject matter and the flow(s) I’m going to use. Next I go to the studio and make a hit lol.

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

“Wrote a thousand raps in the notebook my own pops don’t know about; Thinking if I tell him ‘bout the vision he gon’ kick me out”

Favourite album of the past decade?

I have to go with Blonde by Frank. I first listened to this album when I was still going through hard times in my younger years and some of the songs on there are deeply emotional for me not only because they bring me back but also because they remind me where I come from. Not to mention it’s a literal classic and a lot of people’s fave.

What would be your dream performance venue?

Somewhere iconic like Madison Square Garden or the Rolling Loud Stage. Somewhere legendary artists have performed before me.

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

I would definitely still be in college trying to find something to be interested in besides girls lol. I think I would make a decent psychiatrist because I’m a good listener and like hearing about people’s issues lol.

One last thing we should know about you?

I’m way more than a rapper or singer or musician. I think art knows no bounds and my goal is to create my own world where I can reach people at a global scale to experience different points of view and perspectives.

Thank you!

Follow Titus
Facebook/Instagram

Flash J – 2AM FEELs [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Vibes, Passion and Relatable

Tell us a few things about 2AM FEELs. What is the main idea behind the track?

It was based on having past relationships rather long term or for a night. When you know only thing y’all can offer each other is a moments time but you forget that and emotions get involved. Though you want more than that, you both understand that’s all y’all can offer at the moment. But throughout the verse you’ll hear both sides male & female both feeling as if they were victims of a bad connection not realizing it takes two.

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

“I can move on at a “snap” , Poetry in motion, probably would of been on “snapped” with continued devotion,
Then posted you on my “snap” cuhz now you looking ghostly,
For awhile you been empty, a
“shell “ mostly.”

I really tried to dig in with creativity especially when representing the complexity of a woman’s nature/emotions. Snapping is what they do when you recite some great poetry material , snapped was a old tv show, and the last snap is “Snapchat abbreviated. And I brought some anime in it with “ghostly” and “shell” (ghost in a shell). Which is a female assassin I imagine a woman scorn acts in a similar fashion for “the get back” lol.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Human life, constantly adapting to the times even when it doesn’t seem appealing. A lot of time ugly things happen in life and what better way to be informed than through rhythm and sound. Especially one as influential as HipHop you might not like what you hear but it may save you from experiencing it.

Favorite album of the past year?

I have more than a few but if it’s okay I’ll just name two of them.

Nas – Kings Disease
Don Tolliver – Heaven Or Hell

What would you change in the music industry?

Not much I feel like the changes test my abilities as an evolving artist even if Im not directly in the midst of top artist. Ill still make enough noise to be heard for eons and that’s what matters most. When we break through and are able to survive in space I want them to be jamming to my stuff lol that would be epic.

When not writing music, how do you spend your time?

Family, meditating , committing to the success of creating my future businesses. And just becoming a better student of life.

Thank you!

Follow Flash J
Facebook/Instagram

V – No Church On Sunday [interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

HELL in DIGITAL FORMAT (lol).. Sike naw.. In 3 words – Revolutionary, Melanated and Unapologetic..

Tell us a few things about your song “No Church On Sunday”. What is the main idea behind it?

#NCOS is a revelation.. Truth and reconciliation.. Divinely designed for our time and generation.. The main idea

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

It used to be culture.. Now it’s a weapon.. One that we created but no longer control.. The opps have been monetizing and manipulating off of it for long time but all tides change and this is the wave right here – 40M..

How Important are political statements by music artists? Can music have an impact on politics?

Depends on the artist and what they have to say.. Entertainers are now cultural and generational leaders, not necessarily the voices OF the people but moreso voices FOR the culture with millions of followers.. If they use a certain word, their followers will too.. If they wear certain clothes, then their followers will too so its only logical to think that the same applies to politics.. I can write a book on all that but to keep it brief, Donald Trump didn’t use his last act in office to “pardon” Lil’ Wayne and Kodak because he’s a fan or because he “sympathized” with them.. Just think about that..

For which lyric you are most proud of?

(lol) To keep it a k, I am proud of all of them.. But as far as #NCOS, the most important takeaway for my people would be – “still today, still today – you’re still a slave to your religious ways.. Meanwhile crackers sin away and give a f* if n**s really feel a way..”

Favourite rapper, lyricist and producer?

I don’t actually have a favorite rapper but we’re heavy on the drill vibes as you can see and we support any of our people pushing the culture forward, especially on some revolutionary s***.. Favorite lyricist would have to be Bob Marley and my favorite producers right now are Saint Cardona and Sammy Samples obviously (lol)..

Any future plan?

Yeah, organize my people and initiate the first successful revolution of “Blacks” in modern history.. In the meantime, we have a series of singles we’ll be releasing over the next year leading up to a mixtape in 2022.. It’s going to be crazy too, Big 40M s***!

Thank you!

Facebook/Instagram

D-Kel & Los Bandidos – 2020 Flow [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Original, London & Balanced

Tell us a few things about your new song “2020 Flow”. What is the main idea behind it?

DKEL: From my part, it was pretty much the frustration I had/have during lockdown, personally I’m struggling to be as creative and I guess you have a lot of time at the moment to over-think, and it’s that idea of questioning so much that you don’t have the chance too when your in the ‘rat-race’ also I just wanted to vent and take it back to the basic, straight bars.

You have been involved in the #SaveOurVenues campaign. How important are the small venues to the UK music scene?

DKEL: For band like ours, without small venues, we are pretty non existent. We really depend on grass roots venues to grow as a band, they are the foundation of band music in the U.K.

Can you share something funny that happened during one of your gigs? And what would be your dream performance venue?

DKEL: Ha, that’s an easy one, it was our first gig and I will let Ryan tell the rest…
Dream venue? I would of said KOKO but that’s no longer so I’d go with The Roundhouse

Ryan (Guitarist/Producer): It was our first gig and right as I hit the first note of my ‘big’ solo my guitar strap came flying off. Needless to say the guitar then swan-dived into the stage floor. I died inside, but everyone in the band laughed their ass off as I had to pick up my guitar and try to play on. (They still take the piss out of me for it 3 years later)

Is London the world’s music capital? If yes why and if no then which city is..

DKEL: For me it is London, there’s so much history of subcultures that brought amazing music, not to mention all the great artists to come from this city but even artists who made a name for themselves in this city.

Favorite hip hop album of the past year?

Knucks – London Class, a perfect example of current British lyricism

Any future plan?

Prayer hands together, fingers crossed, eyes closed, GIGS! Well that would be our ideal future plan, but we got some great singles we are preparing, we just hope we can release them in the way we want, with some great visual concepts and fingers crossed we can make up for last years lost gigs and festivals

Thank you!

Follow the band
Facebook/Instagram