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I Love Makonnen : Interview (english version)

Dirt Noze, le samedi Février 2014

Lire l’entretien en français

Who are you ? Where do you come from ? What do you do ?

I am Makonnen,a 24 year old Male human living on earth. I come from North America, I create art, many forms of art.

How long have you been playing the music ? You have a style of your own, a very personal one. Have you received any music lessons ?

I have been playing the music seriously since about 2011. When I was a child I would always make my only little songs and tunes to sing In my head. Then around high school I had my own personal keyboard and I just started creating. I would get the after lesson from my older cousins real piano lessons, in high school I was in an AP music theory class, didn’t really pay too mutch attention I just liked the time to play on the keyboards, lol, but I’d say since about end of 2011 I started to really play.

Which devices do you use ? Have you got a special way of processing your music ?

The device is a Roland keyboard to compose the melodies and music, I lay the vocals down on an old Boss mixer machine, kinda started recording on the computer lately. My special way is making sure it feels right to me, I have to enjoy the music before I record it, then I need to be able to enjoy what I recorded. That’s the special thing about it for me.

When did you change the way you see your music, from « I play for me and my mates » to « This is getting serious. I’m going to conquer the world » ?

Haha, I kinda like to keep the feeling of this is for me and my mates, something we can enjoy, then the whole conquer the world part came when others started telling me they enjoyed it and it should be taken worldwide to let everyone hear it because they enjoyed it so much. So that’s where I am, keeping the balance of both, I don’t wanna gain the world and lose the reason why people enjoyed my music In the first place. To answer the question in with a date, if say December 2012

Would you agree with me if I said that your style is half way between the « based rap » and the « lo-fi pop » ?

Yeah, I like that, I’m into making music for all genres and clashing genres, but I really the DIY and bedroom pop.

If you do, do you feel close to the musical approach of Lil B and ISSUE, or Daniel Johnston and, more recently, Phantom Power with whom you have worked ?

Yes, I love all those artist. Phantom Power most, he actually introduced me to Daniel Johnston’s music. I feel like our approach is a real one, we express real feelings of real humans, and I love the outsider ness about it.

By the way, how did you and Phantom Power meet ? Have you got other plans together ?

The universe just happened to connect us online, I found his music, sent him a weird email , he responded and he listened to my music and we enjoyed each other’s tunes and then we started to collaborate and the rest is history. Ha Ha ! We have a lot of plans together, we are releasing Vol.3 of our Phantom Posse tape, which includes the rest of the Posse, who are all based around the world, it’s gonna be great ! I think it’s our best work yet !

Apart from based rap, do you listen to nowaday’s rap : Atlanta’s trap music, R n’B ?

Sort of, I listen to more classical, electronic dance music, soundscapes, oldies, overseas music in languages I can’t understand, I like a more worldly approach, I don’t really go off genres, Some current artist I like are Dream Panther, Phantom Power/Posse, Jonny Bravo, Ramsi Aliani, DJ Carnage, Ares Carter, Young Scooter.

Whom would you like to work with ?

So many, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Kids, Young Scooter, Lady Gaga, Sigur Ros,Lil Kim, Coldplay, I really have no idea. I’m pretty open to working with anyone as long as it makes sense.

Which artists have inspired you ? Who is your idol ?

Prince, 2Pac, Biggie, a lot of artist from the 70s,80s, and 60s, Lady Gaga. I don’t know who my idol is, it’s so many people I’m inspired by. My idol probably wouldn’t be in music, someone just an overall great creator.

The visuals are very important in your work. Did you go to art school ?

No i didn’t go to art school, but the visuals are very important. I like to give something that’s not being given and I like being original.

I discovered your music with the Sneaky Lady video, and, hum… Damn, who is that girl ?

That girl is Yauna K. She is a model and singer, you’ll being seeing more of her soon, we have a lot of worked plan together.

I really like your low-fi sound, I think it’s an important part of your own style. Your last project is steel a solo album with that feeling, home made, but what will you do if you have the opportunity to work in a big studio ?

I’ve actually had the chance to work is some big studios, and it does kinda take away from my feeling and my personal sound, but I think it’s all good if I can have my creative direction, but when it’s all overly commercially sounding , I don’t enjoy it, but when I have my direction, it works.

Any plans for 2014 ? Will we be lucky enough to see you on tour in France ?

Plans for 2014 is release more music more videos and more shows, I started off in January with Drink More Water 3, I have another release with Jonny Bravo coming end of February, Vol 3 with Phantom posse in March, start some touring in April, and yes I will definitely make it to France Spain and More By years end, thank u for all your support ! See ya soon !

Thank you for your time

- Download Drink More Water 3 on his website