Inter­view: Intro­du­cing THE NEW BLXCK (@TheNewBlxck)

 

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THE NEW BLXCK, are a Lon­don based col­lect­ive of artists work­ing towards push­ing bound­ar­ies and shift­ing the cul­ture pro­gress­ively. They do not com­prom­ise with their work and sin­cerely believe in being true to them­selves and the art-form. They are con­vinced that art should be presen­ted to the people as inten­ded by the artist (far removed from any extern­al influ­ences).

The col­lect­ive con­sists of Rap­pers, Pro­du­cers, Sing­ers, Song­writers, Video­graph­ers, Edit­ors and so much more. They strive to fol­low in a sim­ilar vein as the vis­ion­ar­ies of old, up to those of the present day, who ded­ic­ated their lives to their craft. People who were fear­lessly driv­en by their ambi­tions (whatever they may be), mak­ing it clear to all that if you see your­self as such then you too, are THE NEW BLXCK.

 

Q. For those that haven’t already listened to your latest pro­ject The Night is dark and I’m Far from home what can they expect to hear? 

To be hon­est, one of the words that kept present­ing itself when we embarked on this pro­ject was “exper­i­ence”. Everything from the song choices and their arrange­ments to the over­all sound and con­cept of the pro­ject was thor­oughly thought out in order to bring the listen­ers into our world and give them an exper­i­ence so vivid, they’d feel they were present in the stor­ies we told. Of course, we injec­ted some ima­gin­a­tion and cre­ativ­ity but everything was dir­ectly inspired by real events that took place in our lives and we needed that to be evid­ent. So an exper­i­ence is what the listen­ers can expect. An exper­i­ence that is brought into fruition by real heart­felt and descript­ive poetry, accom­pan­ied by pro­duc­tion that is true to our hip-hop roots but also push the bound­ar­ies into new found ter­rit­ory.

Q. This is also in short film form­at – how does that work? 

Yes, the EP is struc­tured just like a short film. We wanted to make the pro­ject as real as pos­sible so it was import­ant to us that it be listened to and taken in as such. It needed to be more than just songs. We set out try­ing to bring togeth­er as many ele­ments of a movie as pos­sible that could be exper­i­enced using just audio and worked around that. For example, with “The Pre­lude”, we set vivid scenes and hired act­ors to play a few roles. We went to spe­cific loc­a­tions and recor­ded the ambi­ence and vibe of the envir­on­ment. To some degree we just worked on mak­ing sure the essen­tial parts of the jour­ney that we wanted to tell were told and filled in the gaps, mak­ing sure everything fit togeth­er seam­lessly regard­less of its unortho­dox nature. As men­tioned before, the goal was to get this as close to the real events that inspired the pro­ject as pos­sible, so that it was fully relat­able and gave the listen­ers an exper­i­ence that draws them in more and more.

Q. You’ve also made a fant­astic short film to accom­pany the EP, which is really cool and unusu­al can you tell us a bit about how this idea came to fruition? 

Thank you, really glad you enjoyed it. The idea arose from us feel­ing that we wanted to give the people a little some­thing extra. It’s stand­ard for musi­cians to release just albums, mix­tapes and EP’s; that’s what is expec­ted. But we wanted to do more. We wanted to be as cre­at­ive as pos­sible and basic­ally enhance the over­all listen­ing exper­i­ence. I (Emman) was watch­ing “Annie Hall” (for what could eas­ily be the 50th time) and remem­ber think­ing it would be dope to make a short film using com­edy, poetry, philo­sophy and even a bit of fantasy to basic­ally hold up a mir­ror to ourselves and for­ce us to be amused by the many facets that make us who we are…but also be bru­tally hon­est with what we see and ask; is this what we want for ourselves. We covered quite a few themes in that film and just hoped that we could make it inter­est­ing enough to make view­ers revis­it it and actu­ally uncov­er them.

Q. Did you guys always know you wanted to do music? Or was there like a defin­ing moment when you real­ised it’s what you wanted to do? 

I think it was always innate to be hon­est. How­ever, pur­su­ing it at this level was some­thing that developed gradu­ally for us and for some reas­on reached that zenith at around the same time in our lives. We’ve all had a great deal of music around us from our youth. ‘Him’, stud­ied the piano when he was young. ‘Moment’, was hon­ing his craft in grime circles years ago when it was at its purest. ‘Emman’, star­ted off writ­ing poetry/lyrics just as a form of expres­sion, years before even think­ing of pick­ing up the mic. ‘The Miss­ing Note’ has been dig­ging in the crates also since a youth and ‘Domini’ can’t remem­ber a time when he didn’t have an instru­ment in his hands. So this has always been our com­fort zone and some­thing we’ve ded­ic­ated a huge part of our lives to. But for all of us, it’s been more than just some­thing to do. We believe we’re on a mis­sion and music is just one of the many out­lets we’ve been gif­ted with to ful­fil that man­date.

Q. Who are you guys listen­ing to now and why? 

Right now, we’re listen­ing to quite a few things. We’re always listen­ing to Hip-Hop clas­sics from the likes of Nas, Jay-Z, Ice Cube, Out­kast etc. Their music is time­less. In a time where a lot of music is here today and gone tomor­row they give us some­thing to aspire to and keep our minds focused on striv­ing to cre­atequal­ity music. We listen to all sorts too, right now we jump between artists ran­ging from Fela and Fly­ing Lotus to Little Simz and Trav­is Scott. We’ll listen to any­thing that is inter­est­ing and dif­fer­ent. It’s not unusu­al for some of us to listen to com­edy albums and movie scores even.

 

Q. Why do you think we don’t hear much socially con­scious music like yours in the main­stream these days? 

The sim­ple answer is because it isn’t trend­ing. Most people are con­cerned with mak­ing some­thing that is pop­u­lar, irre­spect­ive of wheth­er it’s a true reflec­tion of them­selves. Safe songs, with basic lyr­ics and catchy hooks are more likely to get con­stant radio play, so that’s what most feel they should make in order to be heard. When socially con­scious music becomes pop­u­lar again, you’ll see and hear more con­scious rap­pers. We don’t even class ourselves just as socially con­scious rap­pers to be hon­est. Espe­cially when we feel that our music encom­passes that and so much more. Socially con­scious to some degree, means to be aware of ones sur­round­ings. But what’s next? There has to be pro­gres­sion and the only way to pro­gress; to be big­ger and bet­ter, is to break free of any restraints and just be. Be brave enough to apply what you see and know in areas nev­er ven­tured before. Artists have to be brave enough to dis­cover bet­ter; bet­ter ways of expres­sion and bet­ter ways of get­ting things done. But any­way before we digress any fur­ther, we def­in­itely appre­ci­ate the title. It’s an accol­ade in itself espe­cially since most shy away from it des­pite there being much reas­on to be proud of being that.

 

Q. How import­ant has the inter­net been to bud­ding inde­pend­ent musi­cians like yourselves? Has it made it easi­er for inde­pend­ent artists? 

Extremely import­ant. It can’t be over­stated. It allows us to enjoy the obvi­ous pros like pro­mot­ing our music to people in dif­fer­ent coun­tries without need­ing a middle man. I wouldn’t say it’s neces­sar­ily made it easi­er because now the inter­net is flooded with bud­ding musi­cians who feel they deserve a shot and so it’s quite crowded. We wel­come the com­pet­i­tion so that’s not an issue. The biggest thing is that it allows us to really con­nect with the people. The back and forth mes­sages that are now pos­sible between ourselves and people who really relate to our music is unreal. It has nev­er been like that. The feel­ing we get from read­ing a DM or an email from a fan/supporter let­ting us know how much a song or even a par­tic­u­lar bar touched them, makes the hard work all worth it. And then being in a pos­i­tion to respond so eas­ily makes that exchange even bet­ter. It just has to poten­tial to make everything more intim­ate and per­son­al.

 

Q. What have you guys got cook­ing at the moment? What does The New Blxck have in store for us in the future? 

Well we’re focus­ing on the pro­mo­tion of The Night Is Dark and I’m Far from Home at the moment. Try­ing to do as many shows as pos­sible and really con­nect with the people. We’re also plan­ning on mak­ing more music videos for some of the songs on that pro­ject. But in terms, of work out­side of that…we are indeed work­ing on our next pro­ject, the title of which we’re keep­ing under wraps for the moment. But that’s just a num­ber of things we’ve got planned for 2016.There’s going to be lot of inter­est­ing things com­ing from THE NEW BLXCK and our YOUNG AND DIS­GRXCE­FUL move­ment. Stay tuned, you def­in­itely wont be dis­ap­poin­ted.

The pro­ject can now be streamed and down­loaded free from www.younganddisgrxceful.com

Watch the Film Here:

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Seth Pereira

Seth Pereira

A bud­ding music Journ­al­ist spe­cial­iz­ing in all things hip hop. Who Occa­sion­ally dabbles in polit­ic­al ram­bling.

About Seth Pereira

Seth Pereira
A budding music Journalist specializing in all things hip hop. Who Occasionally dabbles in political rambling.

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