Interview: ParanormL

Interview: ParanormL

Get an emcee with an eccentric flow to work with an established producer, add a little flavour of Jazz and there you have it: a great combination. ParanormL and J. Rawls are exactly like that. While touring through Japan, the emcee and producer decided to collaborate, resulting in the recently released ‘P&J Project’ album. We hooked up with ParanormL to talk about music, working with J. Rawls, future collaborations, Japan, bootlegging and much more. “P&J coming together like hi-hats.”

Get an emcee with an eccentric flow to work with an established producer, add a little flavour of Jazz and there you have it: a great combination. ParanormL and J. Rawls are exactly like that. While touring through Japan, the emcee and producer decided to collaborate, resulting in the recently released P&J Project“P&J coming together like hi-hats.”

How was it to work with J. Rawls on the P&J project? Can you give us insights on the process of creating tracks?

I was looking forward to working with a well-known producer. Since I prefer working with unknown talents, I knew it was time to work with an established producer and J. Rawls was heaven sent. Creating the music was simple. Besides the reformatting I did to Rawls’ beats, it was easier to format my rhymes with his beats.

What’s your personal creative process when writing a song?

I start first with freestyling to get a feel for the style I want to use. Then I create a chorus to build a concept and song around it. At that point I record each verse with no ‘punch in’s‘ to get a uniformed feel through out. Punch in’s take away the challenge aspect in my view.

Besides working together, what artists would you love to collaborate with?

Producers I’d love to work with are Will.I.Am or Exile (Interview). Artist collabs would have to be Jill Scott and Slick Rick.

The jazzy hip hop you adore and create is relatively bigger in Japan than in in example the USA: why do you think it is more popular over there?

Great question. Most likely for the fact that fans overseas are way more appreciative of great music.

And on the other side, why do you think it’s relatively so unpopular in the USA?

America is too spoiled and forget what they have clouded by the glitz and glamour (commercial crap) music. Along with the fact jazz is big overseas! We’re just simply unaware and too caught up to realize the most sophisticated and complex genres are jazz orientated. It’s also a lack of soul and feel in American music based on being popular or lucrative, instead of making great music with longevity.

How did you experience touring through Japan with Rawls? Can you tell us what the differences are compared to USA/Europe?

Japan’s love and appreciation for good music is astounding! The most love and reaction I’ve ever received in my life. Cats aren’t too proud to show love there, my most favorite place to tour. The culture is striving and strong out there, so it’s refreshing. Europe is very similar. I’m saddened to admit America has the least support and love for a genre created on this land ‘of the lost’.

The P&J Project mixtape was focused on (personal) classics. But besides the golden era we all love, how do you feel about the current hip hop scene?

I truly believe and know for a fact there’s always something new and uplifting for the hip hop culture being released. It’s the unaware who complain about it being dead that makes it seem otherwise… As for the scene, I feel there is a corporate backed structure created to destroy the scene/culture which unites us all. And of course they don’t want that to happen, the same goes for new positive releases.

And since jazz is another important genre in your music: how do you feel about jazz these days?

Thanks for that question. Actually, the P&J project was slated to be my last (Jazz-Hop) release. It’s my favorite style to record to. However, this will be my third Jazz-based release and I feel I did all I can for the genre which I helped coined the term. I try to be the most diverse emcee, so it’s obvious I will be doing different genre-based hip hop which will be stealth until it’s released to thwart all the bitters! [Laughter]

You use Bandcamp to promote your music, but how do you feel about bootlegging?

I honestly despise it.. Other artists are too afraid to speak on it. Only bootleggers will justify their thievery. True fans are fixed on purchasing and supporting the artists, knowing this is the only way for them to progress and upgrade their sound. Creating music is a super talent. They’re willing to pay their tattoo artist and skinny jeans designers, but they’re not willing to support the artists who helped relieve their stress, ignorant to the fact music is the cure to all problems of this earth today.

And how do you think artists should adapt to this current digital era?

I believe there’s NO way to adapt to a format of music created to destroy it (MP3) unless we switch to (WAV) were being sold half quality albums. We traded something tangible and better quality for ringtone quality, an invisible product. It’s a shame.

The end of 2010 is near: any 2010 releases people might not know but SHOULD know according to ParanormL?

They should definitely look out for my 2011 release which could be up to three new albums. I’d also suggest any new albums by Myka Nyne, Blu, Raashan Ahmad, Jill Scott, K-Murdock and anyone else making “music with purpose and meaning”, my favorite quote.

Can you tell us more on the T.A.P. Oneness project you are working on?

The T.A.P Oneness album was created to revitalize and bring soul back to hip hop (soul-hop). I comprise this super trio together with French producer Terem and soul singer Adam Payne. I’ve always did a more soulful brand of hip hop, so this was inevitable. The album also features Braille of Lightheaded, Japanese producer LEMS, Fat Hed and upcoming artist Menacin Johnson, who all compliment the album flawlessly.

What can we expect of you in the near future, besides the P&J album (Buy) and T.A.P. Oneness?

I’m currently recording a new album with K-Murdock, producer of Panacea, which will be a mid-summer 2011 release. Maybe another Live Sound Infinite album for late 2011, which I’m very much anticipating.

If there’s anything else you’d like to share, feel free to:

Word! About hip hop in general, it’s up to us to bring back that cycle of positive music with an important message for the future hip hop heads to come, or there will not be a future for hip hop at all. Let’s use disco as the example of what can happen to a genre that lacked support and advancement in any way. Hence the reason I’m also switching to progressive hip hop, because that’s the future. If your music isn’t progressive, it’s the opposite.

My final message is share and shine the light and love during this very hostile time, which will cause the chain reaction needed for mankind to advance into the future with a positive outlook. Let’s activate the upgrade! Peace, Love and multiversal Onenesss to all, namaste.


Words by: Thimboz / Danny
Out Now: P&J Project (iTunes)
More info: Facebook / Bandcamp / Myspace / Twitter

Just an ordinary guy always on the hunt for extraordinary music. Not just as the founder of The Find Magazine & Rucksack Records, but also as a freelance music journalist (bylines at Tracklib, Bandcamp, Wax Poetics, DIG Mag, among others) and—above all—out of love for all kinds of good music.