Introspection and reflection
How does it -other than exiciting- feel to throw your first solo project out?
Feels great! Ever since I started making beats I knew at some point I wanted to do an entire solo, self -produced project. I wanted to showcase the full extent of my abilities. I'm glad people have been receptive to it.
So how different was the recording process from a MindsOne project?
When I am writing for a MindsOne project, Tron and I are highly collaborative. We build on concepts, bounce verses off each other and feed off each others creativity. I love that about working with my crew.
Working by myself required my introspection and reflection. I bounced ideas off Tron during the writing and recording process of my solo album, but it was primarily a solo venture thus everything was on me. I learned a lot about my own writing, recording, and beatmaking. This past year has been a transitional period for me. The album really reflects that.
Is there a track on the album which is closer to your heart than others?
Well, I really like 'Possibilities' because the beat really gave me room to do some deep thinking and express my thoughts about existence, our place in this universe. I like reading stuff by guys like Stephen Hawking, Brian Greene, Richard Feynman, Richard Dawkins, etc. theoretical physics.
I am also in graduate school for clinical social work, so songs like 'Resilience' mean a lot to me. My work in mental health is a very big part of who I am. 'Vows' is dedicated to my wife, whom I got married to during the course of making the album. Man, all the songs have some personal in them. 'And Beyond' is me...no fronts.
For the ones who haven't heard the album: how should they interpretate the album title 'And Beyond'?
'And Beyond' stands for forward thinking. I enjoy reading existential kind of literature. I like thinking about my role in the universe. The idea of infitinity can be overwhelming and humbling in the same breath. It gives me comfort. 'And Beyond' to me and my listeners should stand for moving forward, always growing, and never settling.
What's the role of the beat in getting inspired for the lyrics or does it work vice versa?
It varies really. Sometimes the beat inspires me and sometimes I would make a beat to go along with a concept I want to write about. That is what I really loved about doing this album. Everything was in-house. Sometimes I would be making a beat on the MPC and knew the beat would be perfect for my album. Then I would just start writing while the beat was fresh on the MPC.
What track was the hardest one to finish?
The collabs were a bit tough, but not that bad. Only because not everyone was right in Wilmington North Carolina. But in all honesty, writing the album and recording it was a very smooth process. I got to give credit to Sam Brown from SOUL Studios NC. He made the sessions light-hearted and fun. That's my homeboy.
Belgium's own DJ Iron did the scratches on the intro...
DJ Iron is that dude! I first got linked with him through you guys. We all run in similar circles. Iron reached out a while back about getting MindsOne on his crew's production album. The beats were fresh, so we were more than down to rock with him. We just kept building and I was very happy to have him flex out on the intro. He held it down. In fact, look for a MindsOne - DJ Iron EP in the future!
You told us earlier on that you started dreaming of a solo record when you started making beats. Who were your inspirations productionwise?
I remember first hearing cats like Dilla and Pete Rock rhyme to their own beats and thought that shit was so fresh. They weren't the illest MC's but their styles matched their production perfectly. Then I met Kev Brown and it was lights out. Kev's album 'I Do What I Do' is one of my all-time favorites.
You being a producer and an MC, how do those two skills balance out? Do you approach those skills differently as an artist?
Sort of, but when it boils down to it, my creativity is kind of spontaneous, like most people. It just comes out whether it's beats or rhymes. I do go through waves where I make more beats or times when I write more rhymes. Nowadays I really only write rhymes that are intended to be recorded. I don't just write to write, but that's mostly because I have lots of cats who wanna collab and I have new MindsOne stuff we are working on.
When it comes to making beats, I make them all the time. I make them just to make them. If they go to MindsOne, cats in my crew, artists I wanna work with, or cats I am selling them to, cool. If not, then I'll have them just to vibe to.
What's next for KON Sci and MindsOne?
Currently Tron and I are writing to some Kev Brown heat. We are on the fence as to whether or not we are going to do a three-song free release with him, or release and entire EP produced by Kev Brown. We already got a song featuring Homeboy Sandman, but we will see.
Got some other stuff in the pipeline, like working with DJ Iron. Also working with the talented L'Orange. I am making beats for heads too. A close friend and talented MC Fuzz Jaxx just put out a free EP that I produced called 'The Rise and Fall of Success'.
I am working with my engineer who is also a super raw beat maker, Sam Brown. We all run as a crew called Monumental Music. So I am trying to help them put some stuff out. Got some other collabs in the works, but 2013 will definitely be a busy and productive year for myself, MindsOne, and Monumental Music.
Good luck and thanks!
Peace to Platform8470. Thanks for the support!