It was 2007 or 2008 when I was introduced to the music of Blackdaylight by the man himself as social friends on Last.fm. His intoxicating neo-soul grooves are among the first tracks in my player when I need my R&B chilled out with no/few vocals. Chicago-based producer Blackdaylight is releasing a new album this month, and I wanted to talk with about the album as well about net labels, copyright, and possible war. Read on.
JW: Describe the concept / mood for your upcoming album.
Mr. Daylight: the title of the new album is psilocybin & cynicism…i use psilocybin therapeutically much more often after my quarter life crisis so that explains half of the title. as for cynicism i don’t think any thoughtful modern person should be cynical or at the very least skeptical given the general b.s. revisionist history the status quo of American society embraces. even my real name Thomas has non belief built into it, so i suppose the concept of the album is a reflection of myself & the world at this particular time in history.
JW: What instrument are you trained on / did you first train yourself on?
Mr. Daylight: I’ve never been trained to play any instruments, but when i was 20 i started teaching myself to play the clarinet & trumpet very poorly…a couple years later i also started playing the tenor sax. despite being terrible at playing every damn near everything i have recorded & sampled myself playing all three plus the guitar & piano dozens of times over the past 10 years I’ve produced music with surprisingly dope results
JW: You started out doing hip-hop, right?
Mr. Daylight: We did start out recording rappers & rapping over the instrumentals my friends & i produce, but i honestly don’t think there’s any difference between hip hop & my current sound. that old boom bap of dilla or DJ Premiere are not the end all of the genre. the music on the professor gorilla dickens album i produced almost 10 years ago was simply ahead of its time…also really thinking about it i started recording with singers just as much as rappers. I’ve just never been afraid to allow my sound to evolve. Radiohead is still one of my favorite bands & in hindsight i think my growth as a producer & the changes in my sound are due to skill & the ebb & flow in my personal life.
JW: How long were you doing hip-hop before moving into the sounds of Blackdaylight?
Mr. Daylight: I think that my last 5 or 6 releases are more considered trip hop, edm/idm, downtempo, neo soul trap music or whatever silly flavor of the week genre name people want to use…the thing about all of them is that whereas they are mostly composed of “new” material they all also feature songs i created years before their release. again i don’t want to come across like I’m feeling myself too much, but i think a lot of people’s ears simply were not ready to hear what i’ve been laying down for almost a decade.
JW: Describe the experience of working with various netlabels. How did you find each other?
Mr. Daylight: Very literally a week after my friend slava [who also makes great electronic music & was a founder of momentsound.com] told me about netlabels i found 2 [stigae music & gargan records] based in europe that were interested in helping me share my music with the world. i found them casually from just liking some of the other music they were putting out. actually to be honest my current netlabel [kreislauf.org] was the main one i wanted to be down with back in 2005…6, but we didn’t connect until a few years ago.
JW: Were / are they concerns about copyright?
Mr. Daylight: First off I’d like to say that copyright & the concept of owning ideas is antiquated & in opposition to creativity & innovation. i use creative commons licensing on most of my music so i retain commercial use rights, but i have always felt that sharing music & art with as many people as possible is the greatest goal. you never know who or how you will inspire other people with your work, so why make it more difficult to access your work?
JW: On to something completely different affecting our world today. Do you think the U.S. military will strike Syria?
Mr. Daylight: Americans love falling for propaganda & buying into disaster capitalism & warfare after the beginning of the second world war, so congressional approval for action against Syria would not surprise me. perhaps if the U.S. & European based corporations that made & sold weapons to the Syrian rebels & government had more of a moral compass 3 years ago this wouldn’t be an issue. perhaps the u.s. getting involved in military action in another foreign sovereign country wouldn’t be seen as so black & white if the public was hip to all the long-term health concerns associated with the depleted uranium in many of the munitions the U.S. military uses already…since Korean
JW: Do you think Russia will truly get involved if we do?
Mr. Daylight: Again my cynicism sees this as kind of false question because the United States & Russia are already involved. there are obvious profits to be made by playing both sides. insecurity in the world is the best way to keep the sheeple believing in the judgement of the military industrial complex