Closing in on his 10-month journey around the world, Sol drops this track to hold us over until he return home – hopefully with a few tricks up his sleeve since his absence. Produced by The Zillas (Nima Skeemz & Elan Wright), the instrumental style curated for Sol seems to have a more worldly vibe which is something I hope spills over into more of his upcoming music. As for the vocals, Sol is just as magnetic as ever and offers a perfect way to describe this song within his own lyrics: ‘This shit is dope.’ No download available for now, but nonetheless it is definitely worth the time to jam to.
Also check out the Artist Spotlight we did with SOL here!
Seattle rapper and world-traveler SOL has been a Kollection favorite for some time now, and there has been a lot going on in his life that may not be apparent to the masses. So naturally we decided to pry a little bit into the world of SOL and feature him for our second Artist Spotlight! Press play on some of our favorite tracks and dive into the interesting world of the multitalented rapper.
1. How has being from Seattle affected your style of rapping, and where does that influence originate from?
Growing up in a scene in it’s developmental stages was a huge blessing. It forced me to look hard for music I identified with, giving me a more global outlook on hip-hop and music as a whole. But since “Seattle rap” wasn’t and still hasn’t completely been put in a box, it gives me a lot of freedom to experiment and have fun while keeping the trust of my fans.
2. You’ve been globetrotting the past few months, what prompted you to travel? What were you hoping to get out of the experience, and how does that differ than your actual experiences, if at all?
Well the short answer to the first part of that question is that I received a ridiculous fellowship from my alma matar, awarding me funding for this world trip I’m on right now. I would be stupid to turn down the opportunity. I had no expectations except for an emotional roller-coaster. I think I was right about that. This tragically beautiful world comes with many highs and lows, but so far I have been lucky to have way more highs than lows.
3. Piecing together the song ‘Old Him’ with your producers thousands of miles from home is a pretty cool accomplishment. Have anything lined up for when you return? Shows? More music?
Yeah, for sure. It is really important for me to fully experience what I’m doing and where I am. Brasil, right now. But when I get back I plan to get in the studio as soon as possible and back on stage where I belong. I already have some shows booked.
4. How has traveling the world influenced your music? What has been the most life changing event of your travels?
If music was like painting, which it is, this world trip has simply given me different paints to use. New colors. New textures. Only time will tell what it will sound like.
I would say that all the amazing friends I have made, and conversations I have had have left the biggest impact on me. People over everything.
5. What is the strangest thing you’ve seen/eaten/done while abroad? Where did they occur?
Eating raw meat in Ethiopia was pretty wild. So was the many livestock slaughters I have taken part in. It is good to kill what you eat. All meat-eaters should experience that at least once.
6. Any wise advise from your experiences that you can leave with our kollectors?
If you have the means or the opportunity, travel a bit. Step outside your box. I promise you will never regret it.
SIA explores the current duality of my life, split between the places I’ve traveled to and my life back home in Seattle. The title of the song is a reference and announcement that I will finally be returning back to the United States in April after completing this 10 month trip around the globe.
I love the beat and Sol’s classic laid-back flow. Easy listening, and I’m excited to get him back stateside.
Being the procrastinator that I am (and hating the task of limiting the year’s gems to 10), I’m one of the last to compile a Top 10 list. It is likely due to this fact that I am left with no choice but to not repeat previous titles from the other Top 10 lists, as a courtesy to all of you (and an added challenge for me!) There were some mighty fine picks already mentioned, but I’ve carved out a selection of tracks that have been happily recycled in my Kollection, play after play. I remain honest in my love for meaningful hiphop, funky and unusual rhythmic instrumentals, and bone-chilling melodic electronic music. Remixes were kept to a minimum, as most of them ended up sounding the same this year – lacking in character and originality. When we heard something truly special, we knew it.
As I said last year and about 10 seconds ago, I don’t particularly fancy these ‘Top 10′ lists – BUT, they stand for the purpose of quantification of some sort; a nearly impossible feat and a certainly imperfect attempt at culminating a tasty slice o’ 12 months of musical outpour. Here we go.
1. Do I See Color – Adventure Club
The Montreal duo had a huge year – playing at EDC, touring all over the place, becoming nearly a household name in the blogosphere and beyond. Ever since we sat down in February, I’ve been following them closely with each release. “Do I See Color” was released in January 2012, and isn’t necessarily my all-time favorite A.C. cut. With that said, it was a staple all-original release for them – signifying their ability to surprise us with a funkier sound than their usual melodic beauties. Download:Do I See Color
2. Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood
There is something so incredibly pungent about this band’s sound – I’ve gone into detail about the fivesome and their wonderful I’m Sorry EP in our interview, but these recent Columbia signees bolted into our vision last year and 2013 is going to be massive for this talented, dark bunch. “Sweater Weather” is still my favorite from them, a classic track that made us all pay attention as we drove with the windows down. Download:Sweater Weather
3. No Interruption – Hoodie Allen
This hit was a game changer for Hoodie. It’s possibly one of the catchiest tunes I heard all year, the video was top notch (and we knew Hoodie had really made it when it reached about a million views in its first month), and it’s one of his cleanest productions yet. 100% fun, guaranteed to be a good time. Could it be on the radio? Yes. Is it shitty radio music? No. Download:No Interruption
4. 2020 – Sol
I actually know every word to this song. I first fell in love with the simplicity of the beat. I then actually heard what this man was saying – each line is delivered with such an unwavering passion. Sol has a distinct message and direction, one that I truly respect and admire. Download:2020
5. Gold – Bondax
This one really is like gold to me. The beautiful vocals/lyrics emit loads of soul, putting a smile on my face every time. The way this progresses is also irresistible, bubbling under your skin until it melts you completely by its end. If there were ever a track to make you completely let go of everything else, it’d be this lovely production. Download:Gold
6. HyperParadise (Flume Remix) – Hermitude
Hot damn, this is funky! I’d listened to the Australian producer for the last quarter of 2012 and came to the conclusion that he really is the real deal when it comes to production. There isn’t a single word to describe his works, but this track especially is so full of life. It’s vibrant energy is absolutely contagious, and it’s going to continue to swirl through my speakers this coming year. Download:HyperParadise (Flume Remix)
7. Just What I Am – Kid Cudi Ft. King Chip
Oh Cudi. I fell in love all over again with this self-conscious release from our favorite lonely rapper. I never cared for his attempts at rock-infused hiphop, but reconnected with the straight forward nature of this piece and its power to make you feel unstoppable. Download:Just What IAm (Ft. King Chip)
8. Tesselate – Alt – J
An Awesome Wave is one awesome album. I’ve played lesser-known cuts like “Ms” and “Bloodflood” countless times, which is a testament to just how deep in love I’ve fallen for these Brits. “Tesselate”, however, really shined a blinding light on these guys. After only a few seconds, you can hear how genius their instrumentation is – how intricate the rhythms are, how lovable that nasal-y voice is. Phew, they’re onto something. Download:Tessalate
9. The Recipe – Kendrick Lamar Ft. Dr. Dre
I saw this performed live at Coachella 2012, and everyone was grooving out to the then-newly-released Recipe from hiphop master Dr Dre and new prodigy on the block, Kendrick. I surprised myself with how much I liked this, a little more thug than I usually go. Something about those looped female vocals and the gritty verses make for a winning combination. Download:The Recipe
10. Cosmic Love (Seven Lions Remix) – Florence & the Machine
I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful this remix is. The original is so delicate, and Jeff Montalvo respects the gorgeous harp that makes the track what it is. I tried to keep the remixes to a minimum on this list, because each popular song of 2012 has about 3 remixes for each day of the week (yes, I’m being cheeky) – but Seven Lions really owned this one. He also exploded this year, and for good reason. The guy knows how to create beautiful melodic dubstep, as also evidenced on his fantastic original debut EP, Days to Come. Download:Cosmic Love (Seven Lions Remix)
Here’s some brand new hip hop from Sol, with wonderful lyrics, production and instrumentals.
As described by Sol himself:
Here is “Old Him”, a song produced by my Zillas (Elan Wright & Nima Skeemz) 8,000 miles away back home in Seattle, written while on the night train to
Bangalore, India, and recorded in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, while severely sick from food poisoning (caused two months into my trip, after being
convinced by my Indian friends to try KFC for the ?rst time in my life).
Nima Skeemz, the producer that helped create favorites “2020″ and “Stage Dive”, crafts another crispy production for my favorite Northwest rapper (Macklemore aside), Sol. “Be Good or Be Careful” slightly lacks in that top-notch Sol lyricism that we’ve grown to love, but still serves as a genuine, simply produced “farewell” letter before the man ventures off into a 9-month traveling journey. No worries, more music from Sol and his team coming shortly on a new EP… stay tuned!