New York (by way of Chicago) artist Khallee returned to his music roots earlier this month with the four song EP Troll. The bulk of the project was recorded over the course of three days in Brooklyn, with production handled almost entirely by TSJR5. With an EP acting as a follow-up EP to Burgundy, which was released through Mishka Records, I felt it necessary to ask the multimedia creative a few questions about his new project and what we can expect from him in the near future.
What was the process like for your most recent EP?
It was pretty much going to your friend's house for three days and coming out with something that sounds cohesive. There were tracks removed and certain touch-ups made days later, but the EP's nucleus came together within days. It was funny cause I was squatting in a studio space in BK just writing and the beats that Jermaine delivered matched emotions. Also the mood and environment paired up perfect. It's a time capsule I felt is worth sharing.
How would you describe it to a stranger on the street?
If I was describing it to a stranger, it would probably be words like jazzy, modern in its electronic elements and traditional subject matter of just kind of being outcasts. Looking at an old city through new lenses. It's bumping enough to wake up to and chill enough to relax and not impede too much. No C grade tracks on this. Lofi and moody with fall being the preferred season to really listen. It's just so October.
I'm not familiar with any of these producers. How did you link with the cast and crew of this EP?
Well me and Joe Jeffers (a vocalist on the EP) were both part of this art event in Chicago that had the two of us curate 30 minutes of sound to premiere at Dinca Vision Quest at co-prosperity, after that we both figured we should just start working together. Being we were both Chicago natives. Plus Joe was a fan of Jody and brought us to NYC first! I met the rest of the crew Joe was apart of (Palace Sound) out in Queens like Jamie Branch (trumpet), Jermaine aka Martian Peace Child (vocals) and Miko Szatko (producer) who also edited the vid directed by Ben Fain. We all meshed pretty well but Jermaine was the first one to really get things rolling in terms of actually recording. He is almost relentless with his work ethic, it can be intense but I was able to meet him halfway this time around. I really appreciate him for that. Also can't forget Curtee another Palace sound member. As far as production, me and TJ (TJSR5) had known each other through just being musicians around Logan Square and he was always cool with The GTW and also Mint Club which was another sonic powerhouse in Chicago at that time which explains the (Zip) credit for "Control". We were always really around one another in a sense. All Chicago people are on this, even the original director I believe. It wasn't intended to be that way but we like to call it a conversation amongst Chicago cohorts. Miko came through as the last member doing clutch things like production, video editing that gave it a visual representation we all really liked.
What's the rest of the year looking like for Khallee?
Rest of the year I'm just trying to express myself as much as possible. I have a lot of projects with different people so I'll be doing everything from photo shoots, zines, videos and of course more music. Just explore all these facets kind of like an actor. I have a lot of sides so it's cool to work things out and see yourself through new projects and people. Takes some next level patience but it's always worth it. Possible Euro tour as well. But besides that I never really know that far in advance.
Outside of your own music, what have you been listening to recently?
Man, I work at a club that plays nothing but house/techno and dance music. I been listening to one big ass radio with function 1 speakers for the whole time I've been there. I like Famous Dex, his energy is incredible, been really feeling these Rich Forever / Rich the Kid duo's. I like them. Also I like Lil Uzi Vert, he's amazing. Gaika has some waves too. This chick Lauren Auder is crazy as well. I don't and can't focus on one person thoroughly enough though. Skim milk. Far as seeing performers perform I love New York based artist Dreamcrusher. They are like Travis Scott zeitgeist levels. I'm missing some people but...
Have you continued to experiment with visual/abstract art?
Actually, you inspired me to do my first zine man! Can't provide the title just yet but It's going to be somn. Don't know how I'm going to release it but I've told some folks about it and they're excited. So yea more zine stuff just because I'm feeling I want to express myself in more ways then rapping, it's a lot bigger than that and you can communicate in some very uncommon ways. That's where I'm at as of now.
Do you have any final words of wisdom / closing thoughts?
Any wisdoms can be probably seen spurted throughout my Twitter. Nothing off the top. The world is getting smaller, don't waste people's time.