Everybody’s got a dream. And when you’ve got talent, your dreams get bigger and bigger and you start looking into the distance to see what you can be. You start to talk, you start to create, you start to plan. You start to collaborate. CompLex and Simba are two young collaborators with some serious talent who have come together to make one kick ass mixtape. We asked these two dudes with long dreams about their new project.
So, what was it like collaborating on this project?
CompLex: We made this whole project in a span of 5 days. We just kind of decided one day while hanging out that we should combine both of the concepts of our upcoming solo tapes to create a collaboration. We’ve know each other’s styles for along time and have always been comfortable working together, so we basically just sat in a room and created whatever felt natural at the time.
Simba: The tape was something that came organically and was long over due. Both of our styles complemented each other on various songs but we never tried actually locking in on a specific project. Since being friends for a long time we pretty much kno everything that each other is best at. So with each song we approached it as if we were just having fun and being authentic.
Describe your creative process in and out of the studio.
CompLex: I usually try to go out and experience life as much as I can before making my music. Once I naturally feel inspired to make something I basically sit in a room alone and just let the music make itself. Some of my best work was made in the shortest amount of time because the emotions I felt at the time came out naturally when I wrote. I usually make my beats before writing or coming out with a concept but I also enjoy using production from other artists as well.
Simba: My creative process is pretty simple, I like being alone like most of the time. I listen to beats almost everyday but I don’t write anything down until I like something enough to keep it. I don’t have any idea what I want a song to be about until I get a vibe cause vibes is what I’m all about– “if it don’t touch my spirit I don’t get near it.”
What was the biggest hurdle to overcome in making this mixtape?
CompLex: The biggest hurdle for me was definitely time. We created this in 5 days while also working on our solo projects. I also had to realize that this was its own thing and had to have its own sound, so sometimes it was hard not to bring in certain sounds from my solo tape. I really wanted this to have its own flavor and be completely different.
Simba: For me it would definitely have to be trying to keep it music and not make it to much about myself. I had to realize that it was a team thing. I’m so used to being alone in everything and using my own ideas. But Lex always sees my vision. I’m the brain and he’s the hand so I just rap and I let him go over it and I do the same for him.
What sorts of venues/avenues have you used to promote your talent so far?
Simba: I’m from New York so I always been around cyphers and people artistic. I love doing fashion, that’s actually what I would be doing if I didn’t rap. I’ve had music played at fashion shows that my cousin hosts and I’ve had some played at college radio stations. I’ve preformed for a couple colleges but nothing too major.
CompLex: I’m really big on social media, there’s so many people out there we can connect and share music with who don’t know about us yet. I’ve had a lot positive support on Twitter and soundcloud from people all over the country that I’ve never even met yet, it’s honestly crazy. I’ll also be doing a lot of local shows to promote my work in the Seattle area once I drop my mixtape.
What direction do you see the genre going these days and how do you fit or not fit into that trend?
Simba: I like the way it’s going based on creativity. I feel like everyone has a story to tell & no one should judge a person’s life and vision. If you ask me about lyricism well, that’s different. I dress and rap my attitude so I don’t really fit into any certain trend. I’m high profile but I stay low key.
CompLex: I feel like you have to be a lot more creative and versatile these days. I’m hearing a lot more melodic music in the genre for sure. It’s evolving into this new thing where you hear artists rapping and singing on the same track. I definitely feel like I fit that mold of the new school rapper that can give you bars and then give you strong melodies all in the same song, but I do feel like I have my own unique way of doing that.
What’s next on the horizon for each of you?
Simba: Next is working on some clothes for a friends new line & finishing up a new mixtape called “The Long Gone” this fall. As of now Lex & I haven’t talked about a sequel mixtape. We don’t work like that, everything has to come organically but shit if it come soon then what a time to be alive for you guys.
CompLex: I just finished my upcoming mixtape “Day Dreams” so I’m just focused on releasing that and getting that out to the world. I’m working on a music video as well. And I have another project with another close friend and artist “Precision” where you’ll hear him rapping on all of my productions. I let things sort of just happen and fall in to place, so after that, only time will tell what I’ll be working on.