The veteran Delhi rapper, New Jersey resident and one half of the duo 2-ShadeZ, Slyck TwoShadeZ is back with his new album “Umreeki”. The OG emcee has been making Hip-Hop music since 2006 and this is his fourth project (15 years in!). The album arrives via. Slyck’s own independent record label “Kalakaari Music”.
“I rap about being an Indo-American. I rap about being a fucking boss in everything I do. I rap about how 2-ShadeZ gave the blueprint for gigging in New Delhi. I rap about my tryst with anxiety and learning to live with it AND NOT THROUGH IT. I rap about creating a legacy and not chasing clout. I rap about the love of my life. I rap about the fact that a lot of your favorites learned from me and act like they selfmade.” Slyck wrote on Instagram about his process.
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DesiHipHop caught up with Slyck TwoShadeZ for a quick interview, check it out below.
Q.1 Making a whole album with all the lockdowns because of the pandemic must have been a tough job in itself. Please elaborate about the process and work it took to make this album happen? Who recorded, mixed this?
Ans. The album was recorded primarily at DLM Studios in Central New Jersey and mixed and mastered by Madplug in Ahemdabad, Gujarat. Usually I have always had a mix engineer and studio at my disposal but I had to start from ground zero once I moved to NJ, USA. Each track on the album was finalized after hours and hours of screen share sessions, taking notes, scrapping demos, revisiting the demos, rearranging the drums or synths etc. Working on an album with all your collaborators dispersed across the globe makes it a mammoth effort and the whole lockdown did not make things any better.
Q.2 What was your thought process behind picking your first time collaborations with Gravity, NoNation and Asura? What do you see in these guys?
Ans. I have been following Gravity, Asura and NoNation for a while now. Always been a fan of Gravity’s work and had been talking about a super rapiddy rap song for quite some time and I had this beat from Noran for quite some time. I just sent him the beat and he ate it up like it’ nobodies business, that verse forced me to bring out the old Slyck on the pen. I heard NoNation for the first time when he dropped the track, ‘Gas Pe’ which was a part of Sez’s album , ‘New kids on the block’. I immediately resonated with his rapid-fire flow and prodigious lyrics and knew we would be able to create a bar fest for our listeners. Asura is one of the few artists who is doing new school music proper without sounding corny and delivering quality music. One thing common with all these collaborations was that they lead the project creatively which enabled me to add my signature flavor appropriately.
Q.3 What was the thought process behind picking these specific producers Madplug, Premium, JayKll and Noran?
Ans. I have been working with all the producers separately for quite some time. I heard Madplugs work along with Nasty Ninja and got him to produce quite a few bangers on this album. Madplug was originally not a dedicated Hip-Hop producer and he brings a very diverse soundscape to the album. Noran has been a long time affiliate and I love his beats, he has worked with me for quite some time and now has an ear for the kind of beats I usually go for, that makes working with him a lot easier. NoNation put me on Premium and I believe this dude is going to be a name to reckoned with in the time to come. I love his experimental approach and he is super receptive to feedback and builds on it as well.
Q4. Talk about “Hold Your Hand” and story behind it?
Ans. ‘Hold your hand’ is a song I wrote for my fiancée Belle aka YaTing Chuang. I wrote this song as a proposal for her and she loved every bit of it. I am so thankful to Premium and Zummer Boys who helped me out with the track and video for the same.
Q.5 What are your plans for the future?
Ans. Well the plan is to keep making music. ‘Umreeki’ is an album which is meant for strict Hip-Hop listeners and has been appreciated for the same. There are still more music videos from the album to come out. I am following up this with another EP prior to the end of the year which will involve a lot more Storytelling. I also plan to bring my Label, ‘Kalakaari’ to the forefront and support upcoming artists in any way possible. Stay tuned!
Stream Slyck TwoShadeZ‘s new album “Umreeki” below.