Self Progression and The Return of Jazz with Seattle's Campana

“I visualize the future through a crack in the high beams.” 

 If you think this line from Campana’s track House Warming (on the forthcoming album) is just wordplay, you’re wrong. Eviction Notice, the first full length compilation after last years First Month's Rent, should be finalized and released in a few months. After getting the opportunity to hear a selection of songs off the LP,  I can tell you this is not amateur work.With a range of honest, very well produced songs of single caliber, this is a rap album that deserves to put both Seattle and Campana on the rap music radar. As a city that birthed the likes of Jimmy Hendrix, and has a hip-hop scene much bigger than the Macklemore controversy from a few years ago, now is the perfect time for new talent to emerge. Atlanta and Toronto might be in the media because of their exposure, but Seattle certainly has a distinct sound that differs from its West Coast counterpart, California. To get more of a perspective of Eviction Notice, and an artist I admire, I asked Campana a few questions about the upcoming release and the generation we’re creating art in.  As you will see below, Campana is truly a new age artist, putting together something amazing to listen to from the varied inspiration that coexists today.  With this talent Complex clearly missed out on their “One’s to Watch List.”

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What do you hope to accomplish with Eviction Notice, is it more of a personal viewpoint on music or do you hope to bring something completely new to the table?

What I plan to accomplish with Eviction Notice, is what I plan to accomplish when I finish any piece of creative work; progression. Bettering myself in aspects lyricism, sound, and just overall presentability. If I'm better than the person I was before last project, then I'm doing my job. Self-progression is the only thing that can be measured and compared in the most appropriate sense. 

I'm undoubtedly bringing something new to the table with this project, and it will be evident to the consumer upon listening. Everything in this project is an open book; It's directly tied to my life's experience in the most literal way fathomable. A lot of the Hip Hop music released nowadays isn't as conceptual as it used to be, and I hope Eviction Notice will inspire those to simply just be themselves and find comfortability in reflecting on experience, however they might do so. 

How did the title come about?

The title 'Eviction Notice' was merely a thought; a play on words, until a series of life events unfolded that actually made the title concrete. My debut project I dropped last year was titled 'First Months Rent,' which tied into my experience of life anew; moving away from home after graduation from High School. It was also a pretty conceptual piece of work that a lot of people my age could relate to, to an extent. I saw fit to call the next project 'Eviction Notice,' not because it was directly tied to anything at the time, but it complimented the 'First Month's Rent' project. So I sat on the idea, and was just waiting to see if anything would actually come to past to fit the title. Unfortunately, yet fortunately, something did and I ran with it. We can save that story for a different time. 

Describe the sound of the album:

The sound of the album is very soulful, very LIVE. And I mean that in all aspects—live instrumentation is present all throughout the tracks. It is vibrant, intimate, and raw. I tried to really put the listener in my shoes, and allow them to feel the realness within the lyrics. Linked up with some good friends—good musicians—in the making of this project that helped sculpt the vision I had; the sound that I had intended. And amidst the work flow, even sounds that weren't intended came to existence out of spontaneity from putting our minds together. The project has a lot of jazz influence, underneath all of the usual Hip-hop/Trap/Atmospheric-esque type stuff that most are used to hearing me over. It's quite unique; different. 

Can we expect visuals?

You can expect visuals, promos, a couple singles; the whole nine. Linking up with some talented videographers/directors that can adequately convey the message of the music in ways that are aesthetically captivating.

An earlier music video for The Current.

Tell us about some of the individuals you chose to collaborate with on Eviction Notice & why you chose them specifically.

With this project, I made sure to get involved with musicians who had a firm grasp on music and sound as a whole. The reason being is because I felt like if I planned to devote my life to music, I have to start with the root understanding of it. Being able to link up with musicians has furthered my understanding of music theory. The most amazing part about it is that these musicians have been relatively close friends of mine that I've been working with musically from the jump. We're all fuckin' kids. So it all made full circle when it came time to delve into this project. I literally had the names of everyone listed that I had intended to work with on this project before I even started it. My main dudes/producers Meno & Manteloupe comprise 'Cosmos;' they're kind of like the executive producers on this project. We literally sat in my room and crafted majority of the beats from scratch, then incorporated a multitude of other producers/vocalists into the post-productional processes. Other producers that lent a hand in the project that I've worked closely within the past include Tyler Dopps, Pants, Samurai Del, Nima Skeemz, etc.

More and more artists are using varying genres as influences in their music and aren’t afraid to cite other artists as inspiration, do you have any classics who have influenced your sound?

I listen to the most wide arrange of music, and I think it would be wrong for me to note one specific person or group that added influence to my sound. But to say the least, I've been listening to less rap music, and a lot more instrumentally-driven songs/groups. A couple of my favorite bands right now would have to be BadBadNotGood and Hiatus Kaiyote. I've been really into Jazz as of lately; my car radio stays on 88.5. The vibe of the Soulection movement really caters to what I listen to as well. My whole family is from New Orleans, damn near jazz capital, so my cultural background coincides directly with what I've been crafting lately. 

With trap music reaching mainstream status and artists (such as A$AP Rocky) blatantly mentioning drugs as a source of creativity, do you think substances can really help with material? 
As far as "help" goes, nothing is more prevalent than good ol' mind power. Yes, substances have the potential to aid to the process of the material being created, but in no way I feel should they ever be considered as a dependent means to creating the best material you can. Creativity exists always; for someone to act as if creativity is non-existent without the use of substance is a backwards ideology that will plague the already existent potential to create within that individual. In no way am I condemning substance-use nor am I against it; to each his own.

Is there such a thing as over exposure for an artist with the availability of social media nowadays?

I definitely don't think so! If anything, social media has served as a platform for many underground artist to be heard, which is extremely important especially within today's age.

I’ve noticed you openly discussing the likes of Ferguson and Sandra Bland on Twitter, should artists have an obligation to bring attention to current issues because of their platform?

Yes. Artists definitely have an obligation to bring attention to current issues. Like, how I see it is: Everyone has a voice. Artists, singers, rappers, in general, have more so of a voice that is held to a higher standard than most people's voices, solely because of what they represent through their art. We, as artists, are the voices that don't go unheard, which means we, the artists, should use our voices to society's advantage and bring about real change within this world. It's way too easy to speak on corruption in a light that will further propagate it (drugs, money, violence), so why not speak on something that will raise question, serve as a challenge, and allow others to think critically? A Nina Simone quote that resonated with me states "You can't help it. An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times." 

Since the recent Drake and Meek Mill situation was so hugely hyped up, what do you think of the so-called “beef” in the rap industry? Is it just a way to get more publicity?

What I appreciate most about rap music is the competitive edge it brings to the table. Within this situation, I bet the beef between the two shaped them to become better artists in both of the particular lanes they plan to progress in. I don't doubt that it is a means for more publicity, because blogs eat that shit up, but overall it's shows that they're both devoted to what they do enough to speak on it in attempts at showing who's the best at what they do. All pride aside, it'll make them the best versions of what they once were.

I love how you have such a positive vibe to both your music and yourself and how you and your peers finished Distant Implosions for Nick after his passing, is there a key to remaining optimistic even through rough times?

Much appreciated! The key to remaining optimistic throughout rough times is allowing everything to be. Just as it is. Everything, and I mean absolutely everything happens for a reason; just the way it should. Dwelling on situations or events only clouds your mind from the present moment, which is the only thing that matters, ever, which then inhibits room for beauty to arise. Live step by step, day by day, moment by moment. Clarity is existent within each breath you take; breathe easy. It is never the end, everything is OK at this exact point in time.

Any final thoughts? 

I am really excited to present to everyone what I've been narrowly focused on for the past year and a half. The reason why the project is taking some time to be released is because it needs some time to be perfected. Patience is a virtue that I've learned to grasp more so during this project; even composure more so than patience. When the time comes, it'll be evident that it's time for Eviction Notice to be released, because we're going to make sure to market it like no other. This needs to be heard, so I will make sure it is heard. Aside the completion of this project, Cosmos (Meno, Manteloupe, Daniel Leong, Pants) and I have cultivated a live band and we've had the opportunity to take on countless shows throughout the course of this year. Since we're all under 21, we plan to audition for the EMP Sound Off! here in Seattle this year. Looking forward to getting connected with many other artists in the near future, and coming together with like-minded individuals and creating art in it's truest essence. That's what I live for and will continue to live for.

Follow Campana on social media to hear more about upcoming music and musings!