How has the reaction to your project been so far?
The amount of reception I’ve gotten so far is really humbling. A lot of different people ranging from all ages & cultures have shown a high amount of love & respect for the artistry & quality of the project.
How long did it take to make your project from start to finish, recording-wise?
Recording the project took me about 4-5 months. That’s me going in for 2 hour sessions about once to maybe twice a month. We used the last 2 months for overdubs, sequencing & just adding sauce where we 1st missed it.
What kind of ‘sound’, production wise, did you have in your mind, prior to entering the studio?
I was going for a lively ballad. A follow up from my debut tape “1701”. Something that screams out uncertainty & unrest but still keeps some kind of musical comfort behind the stories & melodies that I might or might not use. Something that allows you to have introspection & retrospection at the same time. A sound with an empathy & understanding for those major experiences that make us human, mistakes.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound – production wise)
Man, honestly the producer of the beats (Epik The Dawn) hasn’t given me any input whatsoever which I really don’t care for since I’m extremely proud of my own work without that gratification. But the engineer Stevie during the recording process was ecstatic after every song I walked out of the booth from.
Did the producer / (you) use any (weird) experimental mixing and/or recording techniques?
Since this was my 1st full studio project & studio time, every technique Stevie used was like rocket science to me; some of the coolest shit I ever heard & see anyone do with my music. His mixing was super smooth & very certain especially for the pauses, the specific sound effects, & transitions to make the songs a whole complete art form.
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
My favorite songs might change depending on my mood but the 1st song “At Least I Didn’t” was the track that I enjoyed writing the most because of the concept. Trying to stick with the idea of ‘at least I didn’t’ was the biggest highlight of the project. I took myself to a headspace where every event in that time of my life that did/didn’t happen had actually happened & so I’m telling the tale in the perspective of optimism. My other honorable mentions are “Nostalgia” & “My Dawg Pt. 2”. Both tracks feature lyrics that I take with me in everyday life. The best one being “I couldn’t lie even if I had a ghostwriter”. Meaning, always be honest with yourself or you’ll have to face yourself at some point.
Any overall theme of mood that you’re trying to capture with the project?
I was going for a sequel of Schoolboy Q’s “Blank Face” as far as the theme. A raw, gritty tale about embracing the darker part of yourself before you lose yourself. Finding the gems in a pile of needles.
Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
My vision was affected a lot by time this year but usually not really. I usually just tell the story that I feel like I’m ready to tell the world. Being in quarantine forced me to face a lot of bullshit I’ve been sweeping under the rugs all in order for me to come up with a full concept like “Pronoia”.
Are there any ‘crazy’ behind the scenes stories from these sessions that you can share with us?
Yeah bro! On the last recorded song “Quiet Drama/Still Home Pt 2” I actually teared up in the middle of the last verse but it was a comforting emotional moment for me. While we listened through the song’s final mix, chills kept running down my spine with waves of warmth behind every chill. This was the craziest moment for me because I felt the song finally seal the tape as a whole body of work.
How would you describe the sound of your tape to any potential new fan?
To my new fans, I’d describe this tape as a baby “Blank Face LP”. A blend of “good kid, maad city” storytelling with “4 Your Eyez Only” musicality. A ride around town from early sunset to the break of dawn. With no destination, just an escape from reality with no consequences except for the ones you create yourself. That is the setting I can draw in a new fans’ head before they dive into the soundscape.
Who are your influences and heroes?
My family for the story, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Nipsey Hussle, J Cole, & Nina Simone for the acapella and vocals.
Last but not least, shoutout to the homie Jesus because I wouldn’t be here to tell this tale if it wasn’t for the grace of God & advice of the Holy Spirit.