You may know LIKE as a member of the Cali rap trio Pac Div or as the producer behind Kendrick Lamar's "Sing About Me, Dying of Thirst" and Anderson .Paak's "Room in Here". With the release of LIKE's debut solo project – Songs Made While High, he makes a strong first impression as a solo artist.
Songs Made While High is a jazz, Golden Era of hip-hop vibe filled project that is the perfect soundtrack for drives, chill sessions, and everything in between. LIKE shared with us how he balances being a producer and artist, his jazz influences, as well what's on tap for him in 2017.
EARMILK: How does it feel to have released your first solo, rap project? How long did it take for this project to come to fruition?
LIKE: It feels relieving to finally see something out that's been sitting in my head and macbook. And to have it as my very first vinyl ? – it's great. I've been working on these songs for about 2 years.
EARMILK: As a producer and MC, do you find it hard to balance both?
LIKE: Yea it's kinda difficult to balance both because the work load is more extensive. But the luxury is total creative control. It's especially difficult to jump back and forth from producing and writing for other artists' projects, then tapping back into my own conceptual world.
EARMILK: What was the inspiration behind "Songs Made While High"? Is the project's title true as far as how it was created?
LIKE: It's a pretty simple title,and sort of cliché I must say; I worked on a lot of these songs under the influence of marijuana – like most artists. Tried shrooms a few times as well. Not saying that I can't create sober, but years from now if I ever go completely cold turkey, I'd like to compare the musical dynamics of a sober me vs a high me.
EARMILK: The project has a jazz vibe to it. Are you a big Jazz fan? If so, who are a few of your favorite jazz artists? Were you going for more of a nostalgic sound?
LIKE: Vintage Jazz and soul/funk are some of my favorite genres of music; the progressions have always stood out to me. From Miles Davis to Herbie Hancock to Lonnie Liston Smith to Rufus and Patrice Rushen– this is mostly thanks to my heroes like A Tribe Called Quest and Slum Village, etc.
EARMILK: Can we expect to see LIKE (solo) on tour soon? What's next for LIKE?
LIKE: This album is more of a vibe than a performance piece. I doubt that I'd tour with this body of work. However, my group Pac Div is finalizing mixing on our next project, dropping top of 2017. I'd like to focus on releasing the group album, then hitting the road. I'm also working on a couple of collaborative EPs with some indie friends of mine. I'm building a project with Iman Omari. I'm also working on a ep with my homie Myke Bogan out of Portland, he's dope. I've started an indie label called Squatch Records. I'd like to cultivate my brand thru the label and sign like-minded artists, drop dope projects there and allow everything to grow organically.