I first started releasing music back in 2011 when I was 17, only I would rarely jump on anything that wasn’t an old classic hip hop instrumental, rendering my releases useless in the eyes of big streaming platforms (and rightly so).
Now I try to infuse hip hop with anything that makes me feel an emotion. My love for electric guitars and rock elements is finally getting the chance to bloom in my music, as well as taking influences from R&B and indie sounds.
I’m making music with someone who is also my friend, SamXVI, as well as some other amazing producers out there. All of the music is original. I’m finally making music that makes me feel free from boundaries and I just want to share it with as many people that care enough to listen!
Home Is Where The Start Is is my first project in over 6 years, and is something that means a lot to me. It was recorded entirely in my bedroom with the exception of one song titled “The Light” being recorded in SamXVI’s living room!
After having a long break from music, when lockdown hit, it gave me a lot of time to think and reflect on what I really wanted to do, and I finally reached the conclusion that I wanted and needed to get back to making music, for expression if nothing else.
I purchased a laptop, interface, and a mic and got to work on making new material. I got back into contact with SamXVI, my first proper engineer and music friend, the reason I even had all of the material I had to release years ago (I recorded everything in his old garage studio). Sam sent me some instrumentals and the rest is history.
The project is about my return, the emotions I’ve had to overcome, some of the things I’m still dealing with, but most importantly my realisation about my love for creating music. This is the first time I’m releasing a project independently, and I’m just hoping it’s received well and people enjoy the musical journey me and SamXVI tried to create for you all.
The opening track starts with a cassette, skipping through tracks on all my previous projects, the opening sample being from my first ever mixtape AMPlified:Mixed Emotions, and then songs from each project thereafter until it stops, and we start our journey into this new project.
The first track “Dreams” is a song where I express that dreams should be followed and never given up on. I’m essentially talking to myself in this and telling myself “please don’t go, don’t leave this is your dream, it’s time to live it out and now that you’ve come back, you can’t turn your back on it again“.
The next track “Falling” is about how I’ve been feeling since I’ve not been able to make music. I took a 5/6 year hiatus from music and during this time I was sad, and angry that I wasn’t making music and it just felt like I was falling down a hole I couldn’t get out of.
It’s a song saying don’t turn your back on what you truly want to do, to be yourself and live your life how you want to. Just don’t let go.
“Same Page” follows from there and it is a song I wrote about how I feel towards females in the industry. I’ve noticed that we aren’t always the friendliest towards one another and instead of embracing and empowering others, their seen as competition, or the opposition!
The song is me telling the world I don’t operate that way, if you’re good and I like your style, I’ll work with you, we’ll make great music and both benefit from it!
And then there’s “I’ll Be Fine”, which is me telling myself I’ll be okay, I’ve gotten the hard part out of the way, and the years of me not being able to make music is over. The interview at the end was taken from an interview I had with an American radio show when I was 22, the last time I was making music. The advice I give in it then is the advice I’m following myself right now!
The next track “Take Time” is a song I wanted to dedicate to my fiance. This is the first project where I’ve essentially been ‘out of the closet’ and wanted a song that could be appreciated by the LGBTQ community.
The song originally came from a verse and hook I wrote for a rap competition I was in on Instagram. I got to the semi-finals with this track! Sadly I got knocked out… however I think I won overall because my outcome is getting this song! This was produced by Whiteboi beats, my only international producer on the tape, coming from the USA.
With “Self Reflection”, I just wanted to kind of let loose on the track, it’s just straight rapping bar the singing at the start. I wanted people to know, and remember that yes I may make nice songs you can sing along to, but at the same time if I need to rap my lyrics aren’t going to be basic. I can hold my own.
“The Light”, which I mentioned briefly at the start, is about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s about realising my music isn’t typically what you hear on the radio, so it probably won’t get airplay, and it might not get a lot of views but it’s music that I’m proud of making, and music I enjoy making, and that’s the most important opinion of them all, my own.
The tape then ends with these piano arrangements on “Reprise”, which is actually my chorus melody from “Dreams”, reprised to bring the EP to a close, and to bring the cassette to a stop. The tape rewinds again ready for the listener to either press play again, or leave it ready for the next person.
This project is about my life, my struggles with finding my true self, and finally getting to the point I needed to reach to realise I can’t ever turn my back on music again. Home is where the start is, but it’s not where it will end. Thank you for listening!
Photo Credit: Arjun M Shah