Monday, September 6, 2010
7 Questions with Sivion
Dallas-based hip hop artist Sivion’s new album, Butterfly Sessions beats by Dert, drops today and is the first in a series of EP releases from Sivion and Illect Recordings.
Since it contains seven original songs and accompanying instrumentals, I decided to hit the Phat KAT with the same number of questions for a quick Q&A.
1. First of all, any hidden meaning behind the Butterfly Sessions name and Silence of the Lambs-inspired cover art? If so, please explain.
Ha Ha. Good question. Well first off, y’all know I love butterflies. They are just some of the most beautiful creatures God created. I mean, just look at them. What's not to like? I've never seen anything so colorful in my life. Their wings are truly a work of art. God out-did himself on those designs.
But also, the more I grow as a believer, I realize that the whole cocoon transformation is so symbolic of our rebirth into the knowledge and grace that comes through Christ. So, so very fresh.
Now as far as the cover art goes, I'm a huge fan of the design of the Silence of the Lambs poster. As spooky as it looks, it's a really dope idea. So for years I thought that it would be cool to spin off that with the butterfly concept instead. Thanks to Jon, Josh, and Jae at Illect Recordings, I finally got the opportunity to do that. And thanks to Dert too, for sparking this whole project to begin with.
2. A few years ago you were involved in a pretty bad car accident. How has your life changed since then?
Man, my life has changed in an immeasurable amount of ways. For one, that wreck reminded me that God is in charge of when I go home to my resting place in the kingdom. It has nothing to do with anything else. He had/has more work for me to do, so therefore, here I am.
Secondly, it was a blessing to think about Jesus and scream His name seconds before impact. You always wonder if God is who you will truly turn to in your final hour and it was very encouraging to me to know that what I feel in my heart is really as strong as I always thought it was. God is my salvation so I call on him in my time of need.
And thirdly, man, I've grown so much closer to my family, it's crazy. My wife and I are the closest we've ever been. My kids are close to me and the whole family unit is in perfect alignment (as perfect as God can make it, because let's face it, I know I'm a screw-up without him).
God knows what he's doing and he never puts us through more than we can handle, but if we hang in there with him through the trials and lessons, we become so much stronger in the end. Praise Him!
3. In today's radio single and multi-guest-driven environment, why decide to work with a producer like Dert for a full project?
As most probably know already, I'm no super mega genius or anything like that. I can't take credit for concocting this elaborate marketing scheme to get my name back out into the global media world. Nope. All I have going for me is my passion for God and following his lead.
So when I say that this project came about by accident, I really mean it (though I know nothing happens by accident.) If Dert hadn't lost the session files for the joints he did for me, I wouldn't have been prompted with the idea to find a way to make sure they saw the light of day. That's how all of this came about.
And the funny thing is that I couldn't be happier about how it all shook out. Dert's the one that's a genius. Working with him is a no-brainer. Just ask KRS-One, LMNO, and a trillion other emcees way doper than me.
4. Why does the record only have seven songs? And why include the instrumentals to those songs? Are you trying to encourage some "mixtape" remixes?
Actually, the limited number of beats available in the small batch of production I had from Dert helped me to determine that it would just be seven songs. But that's an amazing number for many reasons, so I thought it would be "perfect." And it was.
The instrumentals were actually Josh's idea. He thought it would be a nice bonus on the CDs. The beats are ridiculous. Who wouldn't want the instrumentals? Although I will admit, the thought of some mixtape/remix type stuff would be dope and I highly encourage it. The a cappellas will be available too so the producers will be able to put their remix hats on and get after it soon!
5. Your lyrics often speak fondly of your wife and kids. Why don't you think more hip hop is like that?
Man, I'm just coming from a totally different place, all together, compared to most emcees. And I'm just not on the same tip that most cats are.
What's important to them, ain't important to me at all... status, wealth, fame, fortune, street-cred, bling, whips, cribs, drugs, swagger, status, visibility, sex appeal, etc. etc. etc. I could care less.
What motivates me is family, friends, love, and God. Not in that order, but you get the picture. I'll throw health in there too, so I can be here to do what God has me here to do.
Until rappers get over themselves (Christian rappers too) you'll never hear them talking about their wives and kids. That would interfere with their sex appeal which is totally manufactured and phony to begin with. Don't get me started.
6. You're involved in the underground deepspace5 supergroup but weren't a founding member.
How did you feel coming into the group after they had already started and put out a few projects?
To be honest, they were pretty wack until I joined. Ha ha! Just kidding.
These cats had been holding it down for a long time, so I was honored to be tapped into it. And realistically, at first I was trying my best not to shake the tree too much and mess up the vibe they had going.
But after a while, I realized that I was an integral part of what makes the unit dope, so I just started totally being myself on every song and every track, which made my contributions even more unique (which is what my ds5 brothers wanted from the start.) Playdough and Fred B, especially, were instrumental in helping me bring out my true artistry on our projects.
Silly me for thinking I needed to sound more like Mars ILL or Labklik. I love my brothers!
7. I've been jamming an advance copy of Butterfly Sessions for a few days now and would probably describe it to a new listener as "break-friendly, coffee-shop hip hop."
Do you think that's an accurate assessment?
Do you lean more toward a b-boy, barista, or both?
Dang Sketch, you're gonna make me pull out the Webster's Dictionary to figure out what you just asked me. Ummm, what? Barista? Break-friendly? I'm not sure how to answer that.
I will say, to me, this joint is on some cool out with the family, picnic/b-boy in the park, sliced tomato with a side of avocado, turkey burger type hotness.
Some of it sounds familiar, but then other parts make you go "What? Avocados? Turkey burgers? Really?"
Yeah, but just know that this record can be whatever you need it to be. A warm blanket when you're cold or an extremely loud alarm clock when you've slept too long! Time to wake up people!
Listen to Butterfly Sessions beats by Dert's lead single, "Here We Go," here.