In this non stop world, new music is the best kind of present, forcing you to take a minute to purely just listen. Lucky for us, later this week we’re going to get a weekend treat in the form of LUNA GOD's EP. After releasing a music video to ‘LGEP pt. 1’ earlier this week, this 4 track compilation features production by LUNA himself, and features from some Seattle ‘homies,’ including Campana and Astro King Phoenix. Peep the music video below and keep an ear out on Sunday.
And of course I couldn't leave you hanging without just a little bit more...
So tell us, who are you?
I am a creative who uses music to tell stories and create worlds.
Because I'm pretty heavy into hip hop, especially being from Seattle, I know that you’ve previously produced songs for other artists, as well as worked with Cold Water Theatre, what made you decide to put out your first solo project?
I'm always creating. This LUNA GOD sound was something I had been messing around with for awhile. But never really thought much of doing anything with it until a couple months ago. I've made a lot music that never makes it off my computer. It just feels right to let this music out into the world and I'm super excited.
Created by Ron Comoda
And even though you’re obviously not the only artist to have a ‘stage name”, what inspired you to pick the name, “LUNA GOD”?
Astro King Phoenix and I put out a project this last fall (http://astrokingphoenix.bandcamp.com/) and he asked me how I wanted to be credited. It kinda just came to me. I'm a Cancer and Cancer's are highly connected to the moon. I feel strongly about being a Cancer. The moon is important to me. The night is important to me. And this music was mostly made under the moon.
Is the sound of the EP going to have a similar feel to your first track with Campana, or have more of a variety?
Ya it will! Campana's is the lightest of the songs. There's more where that came from. But the rest of it is pretty dark and bass heavy.
How do you plan to stay relevant in a music scene that’s currently so cluttered and full of artists?
I don't even know. Sometimes I think about this. Like why am I different? Am I even cool? What the fuck is cool? Am I wack? What is wack? Why do some succeed and others don't? I look at people like Kanye, I love Kanye, but what makes him so great? Why is his music so revered and loved? I honestly think its just about convincing other people you're great and believing you are great. I believe we all have that greatness in us. We are all capable. But it's so easy to lose sight of it. To feel small. The world wants us to feel small. But to me each cell in the body is important and serves a function... But who knows. I'm probably full of shit. All I know is I really like what I'm creating. And I'm excited for people to hear it. There's nothing like this music that I'm about to drop. There's no one like LUNA GOD. But also I ain't shit and thats cool too.
Photo by Ron Comoda
What can we expect for the rest of 2016?
I'm very excited about this year. I'm not usually one to make resolutions or goals, but I did this year. I will say there will be more projects from LUNA GOD and also from Cold Water Theater. Who knows what else I will create. I'm just happy to be living. I'm just happy to be creating. All the homies on this project are bout to release some dope shit. Honestly, Campana, Astro King Phoenix, Turtle T, and Rell are the dopest to me. Their artistry and talent is above all. And I feel so lucky to work with them and to chill with them, they really are fam and we're all about to do some dope shit this year.
I have a love/hate relationship with album reviews. On one hand I enjoy reading them and consider it a much better waste of time than mindlessly scrolling though my Instagram feed, on the other hand I think album reviews are too opinionated to be held as valid forms of measurement for an albums quality. Because of this I don't think I'm going to necessarily make this a post about who I thought had the best albums of the year, or who totally flunked, however, I'm going to give my very biased opinion on what I believe the state of hip hop to be in 2015.
Even as the trap gods rose out of Atlanta with their fare ranging from Taylor Swift friendly, to hidden cries of help (Future anyone?), this wasn't what I held to be the most interesting sounds of the year. To be honest I find this style of music to be somewhat boring now. As much as I enjoy Thugger at high volume, the repetitiveness leaves me wanting more. Yes, the music itself sounds great to my ears, but I can't enjoy it as much as possible because it provides little in the content category. I 100% understand that many of the artists rapping about living the trap lifestyle are merely providing a window into that portion of America and what they know, however, sometimes I wonder if artists use this as a crutch to produce mediocre music that simply sells. Once you have housewives in middle America singing about baking soda you know you've made it.
What struck me as creative this year was those straying from the made up boundaries of hip hop. Artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Goldlink, and Raury, who weren't afraid to incorporate other genres into their music. This was fresh to me, a certain vibe which wasn't afraid to borrow from the past while sounding very new wave. A return to emotion almost. The popularity of a fairly new genre of music with R&B vocals, grimy lyrics, and pounding beats also reached a new level of success this year. From The Weeknd's love ballad to cocaine, to Bryson Tiller's bedroom tracks, this was almost enough to keep me satisfied without a new PARTYNEXTDOOR EP. Come to think of it, I enjoy these artist's work because its somewhat of a happy medium between top 40 pop fare and rap. Dark but seductive.
Overall, 2015 was a weird time for hip hop. With so many projects being produced in a short period of time it was hard to process each and every piece with enough time to truly hear it. But even with all the mediocrity and misses, the amount of talent was enough to call this year a success. 2016 should be interesting.
Los Angeles is great in its absurdity, but Seattle’s still
where I’m from, and also coincidentally the home of some of my favorite music.
A few weekends ago, while back in Washington for Thanksgiving, I saw Nyles
Davis open at The Crocodile for Dave B. A great performance and a set list of very
playable tracks led me to his Soundcloud profile, which ultimately led me to
become a big fan of this town rapper. After releasing a very solid music video
to Summer Jam/Real Talk Pt. 3 yesterday, I’m excited to see and
hear what else gets developed over the next year. Here’s a little insight:
First off, what inspired the visuals for Summer
Jam/Real Talk Pt. 3? And how was working with Lea Godoy and Jon Sal (who are
definitely some of my favorite creatives)?
The inspiration for the video really was all spur of the moment and impromptu back and forth brainstorming between Jon, Lea & I. Working with them was most definitely a pleasure. I was nervous because I was worried that we were rushing the product (plus I like to be prepared when working with Lea and it was new to me, working with Jon that is).
Even though I cant exactly describe it, I think there’s a sound that’s unique to the Pacific Northwest and its not like everything else
being released right now. So if you had to put it into words, how would you
describe your own sound?
Myown sound, I would describe it simply as a new wave or else. I say else because if you look it up it means different and in addition, and that's what exactly what I'm going for. I don't want to be different, I just am, in my opinion. I just want to add my perspective in the game and be heard.
Out of all your projects or songs that have been
released so far do you have a personal favorite?
My favorite song that I have made to date is "friend or foe", which is on the ep "supply & demand". The way I produced it, the emotion that inspired the song, and how it all came together is what I like about it so much.
Photo by: http://luisfromla.tumblr.com
Does subject matter make or break a song? I
don’t know if you heard Goldlink’s last album but something that struck me in
it was when he mentioned that hip hop will die if everyone keeps lying in their
raps, and what I like about your music is that it does sound truthful and
personal, not like a façade.
Subject matter is very important to me. I am not too familiar with his last album but I agree that music has taken a turn for the worse because of things as such. I rap to encourage myself a lot of the times in hopes that someone relates and is inspired as well.
Teams are of course important as well (even for
stage accompanying purposes) who are some of your people to work with/turn up
My favorite people to work with is my squad, FTB. I believe a lot of intentions aren't genuine but with my day one's I know it's purely based from a good space and positive energy which is a necessity for me. Shout out to my bros Teez, Hayes, Erm, Taxman, and the whole squad. I can't forget about my PG bros either (especially when it comes to turning up hahaha).
Photo by: https://www.instagram.com/reeseisevil/
Since it’s nearing the end of the year, what do
you think about the past year in terms of hip-hop and what would you like to
see happen in 2016?
I think hip-hop is in a interesting place. Honestly there isn't as many artists as I would like that inspire me currently, but I like being surprised by someones talent that was unexpected. I would like to see just as much fun in music in a different way. To me that means, less turn up music and more memorable music. Not much is classic anymore.
Can we expect a full-length project in 2016?
Yes, I hopefully will have a project ready to go and released by spring of 2016, with fly merchandise as well.
You tend to meet quite a few people going out in Los Angeles. However with all the small talk that you're obliged to participate in, you sadly forget most of the individuals you come across. But after running into artist Justin Rose at a 424 Fairfax event earlier this year, I've kept up with his antics and haven't been disappointed. With a killer track named She Movin' released a few months ago, and a song featuring Playboi Carti getting hype on the internet, this is definitely a rapper to keep on your radar.
Heres a little bit of the New York state of mind.
What burough of New York are you from?
EAST ELMHURST, QUEENS, NY
Are there any non-written rules of the city one has to know?
Cuff someone with central heating by October.
Do you believe where you’re from still influences your musical sound even with the major use of the internet and social media?
(I'm from queens). I've lived in Brooklyn and Queens most my life but this summer I moved to the Bronx. The Bronx in the summer has certain energy about it that I like to make music in, probably the abundance of Spanish women.
In addition to the classics of course, who are some new players killing the NY rap game right now?
Junglepussy'skillin it. AmirObe is wavy. Joey Badass is still moving strong. I'm in it now so its lit.
Justin x Toronto rapper Tory Lanez
What spots do you frequent on a regular basis?
The Bodega, Crown Fried Chicken, the 4 train
Finally, the age old question, is the East Coast truly the beast coast?
I mean I've never called it the beast coast before but uh, New York is always lit.
When I hear music that I personally love I feel the urge to share it, and by share I mean share with everyone. I'm that person at a party who asks "Whose your favorite artist? Because you should listen to ______." One of my most mentioned names in this scenario is Dave B. Hailing from my previous home of Seattle, Washington, this isn't anything like your Nacho Picasso's of the town music scene. This is soulful, smooth, but still relatable to a younger audience in terms of content. From pursuing passions in Leaves, to finessing for photos in Polaroid, nothing goes un-mentioned, yet the sound isn't contrived. New wave in the most classic sense.
Ps. If you're in Seattle at the end of November be sure to check out Dave's show at The Crocodile, and feel free to say hi if you see me there as well!
A few months back I went to a packed Vic Mensa show on Sunset expecting to stand through the usual mediocre openers. But to my surprise I was pleasantly impressed at the performance of a California native with iconic stage presence. Fast forward to a Sunday afternoon in October, and I sat down with rapper Wes Period to discuss Los Angeles life and the mind frame of a young creative in today's crazy world. Here's the transcript of our fire escape talk, and a video to accompany.
Describe yourself in one Tweet. Hashtags welcome.
#latebloomer, #photosynthesis, #rapgamedonnieosbourne Seeing as that we’re doing this interview in
downtown and I first met you at your studio in South Central, how well do you
know Los Angeles/how long have you lived here? I grew up in north orange county (like 30 minutes away). So as soon as I got out of the house, I started coming here as much as I possibly could. It took a second but yeah now I know the city pretty well. Do you think LA is a city conducive to
creativity or more just about business and image? I just think it depends on what circle you're in. Its super super extreme in both directions because you're in the epicenter of entertainment, so because of that I think you're going to get the full spectrum of people. I think half the people (or maybe less) here are super genuine and trying to accomplish something dope from a good place, and I think everyone else is on some bullshit.
But moving past just talking about the city, why
music? I really don't know why, I've just always loved music. My parents are big music fans, but they don't make it, theres no one in my family that does really. It just something that I attached myself to early.
Have you always been into rap music (for example
listening to it at home) or was it something you more grew to love?
My parents are older so they kind of missed the rap generation (which is rare for a lot of people my age), they were still on like Frankie Beverly and all this soul stuff. But yeah, I have two older brothers and my middle brother Jerome was super into East coast rap. We were listening to like Bad Boy, Diddy, Mase, The Lot; so that's where a lot of my hip hop taste came from.
What’s your ideal song writing habitat?
Its one of two, either a lit ass studio with 50 people going crazy or I gotta be by myself really zoned in.
Is there a general concept behind your latest
project Photosynthesisor is it more just
an EP of songs ?
Its a little bit of both. From a sound perspective its really just a collection of songs that aren't going to make the full length project (Late Bloomer), but conceptually I think the through line in it is about growth. I've been in this game a long time, growing up really close to LA and in LA. So now I feel like this is sort of my second approach; I've had a lot of time to grow and develop a story over time.
Would you say there’s more room for artistic
expression and creativity for today's youth (with the availability of the
I think over all there is more room to do whatever you want to do. But I think the thing that the internet also does is give everyone access to compare themselves all the time. And really that does the opposite, it stunts creative growth.
In your opinion isputting out quality music or “star quality”
more important for an artist? I think that the star quality probably is important because in this day and age branding is so key for music out there. And its not that I'm the type of person that puts branding over the music, its just that everyone has a good song because of technology and computers (in production) so you have to have something to separate yourself. Even though the internet is such a good way to get your music out, overall you can't substitute physically reaching out and making someone feel something. I think that's still the most important piece.
Since this is also a blog about personal style
and fashion, how would you describe your personal sense of style and would you
say it has an effect on how you feel?
Its so crazy! Its really just how I feel when I wake up in the morning. I'm inspired by everything; the freshest person I've seen today was this bum chick. She had on this long extendo tee with these dope striped pants, and this sick ass corduroy jacket! I'm super about the eclectic look and kind of throwing things together. I like to mix match patterns a lot. Honestly a lot of my biggest inspiration is transients. Its straight up Kurt, Andre 3000, just people who aren't really 'fashion' but more so style.
Finally, what should your fans look out for
next? Any exciting news?
We got a couple things coming. I have this song called Photo Booth that I've been playing for probably like a year and I'm finally putting that out. And I'm actually doing a video with PHHHOTO so that should be really dope. Then more content for Photosynthesis, and I might sneak in another project before Late Bloomer. But honestly just gonna be tons of video, music, all kinds of stuff!
Write that down in your note pad, or i-Phone 6, or as Graffiti while coasting on your hoverboard.
When I'm telling you Brockhampton is the most creative sonical boy band to emerge this year I mean this 110%. This is no One Direction, this is no 1975. This is a mish mosh of music that will leave you confused, albeit very satisfied. Brockhampton is fully aware of the crazy territory that is the internet, and their ability to stay true to themselves while catering to a crowd that eats up Fetty Wap's and Young Thug's trap melodies for breakfast is impressive. With the addition of an accompanying visual for their latest track Dirt (directed by Tyler Mitchell) released through V-Files, Brockhampton proves their ability to entertain. Even as the lyrics of Dirt mention the likes of the A$AP Mob, its clear that theres something maybe even more genuine about this group. Gold chains and thousand dollar sneakers are traded for GirlPower sweatshirts and windbreakers. If this isn't what music in 2015 should be I don't know.
The end of August always feels kind of dreary due to the wind down of summer (even with the non stop sunshine here in California), and for some, the beginning of school. Luckily to get rid of our blues Cold Water Theater just dropped a single entitled Yes I'm Free on this Tuesday afternoon, asmooth trackreiterating once again that some things are much better than money.
Peep it here: https://soundcloud.com/coldwatertheater/yes-im-free
“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
amateurwork.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.”
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!