After collaborating with rappers like Dr. Dre and Nas, Chin Injeti's new acoustic solo album "D'tach" drops today
During 2009, Chin Injeti was collaborating with DJ Khalil, The Clipse, Kayne West, Nas, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Drake, and others. He was also making music with his band The New Royales...a band that Dr. Dre refers to as the "new crack".
Amidst the process of creating these massive productions, Injeti was spending time on his new solo album, D'tach, which drops today. The profound simplicity contained within D'tach demonstrates a level of musical mastery that doesn't require any special effects. I caught up with Injeti to discuss musical evolution, egos in the industry, and the cathartic process of creating D'tach.
VO: A major portion of your career has consisted of facilitating other musicians' big dreams. But your latest album is solo and the production is simplistic. Is this minimalist style intended to draw attention toward the content?
Injeti: This record was more like therapy for me. At the time I began, I was working on the Dr.Dre record, and I had just finished working with Nas. I was also working with my group called The New Royales. Everything I was doing was so huge and so big sounding. When I started my solo album, I basically picked up my guitar and sat in front of this mic. I just began writing songs about my life and where I was. My father had just passed way.
I don't really think that I'm a great lyricist....it is something that I am still working on. I'm usually an instrumentalist. For this record, I put most of my instruments aside. I just needed to make a record for myself.
VO: Can you explain the concept behind your new album D'tach?
Injeti: It's about detaching from all the politics of the music industry, the politics of my family and even the politics of my friends. The art work for the album cover (By Dedos) represents the whole concept. It's me, as a puppet with strings..but I'm cutting those strings.
VO: You work with some of the biggest names in the rap industry. What have you experienced in terms of ego fluctuations and the onset of solidified success?
Injeti: I don't think that humans were designed for the level of adoration that celebrities receive. When everybody tells you that your shit doesn't stink...at some point, you're going to believe it a little bit. It might give you confidence. What matters is what you do with that confidence. Sometimes the confidence is out of control, or sometimes it's put on for the cameras.
When I was younger, I was faced with success and I was really ungrateful for it...I wasn't into it. I think that I've grown into being more grateful.
VO: A lot of people are saying that hip-hop is dead. However, it also seems like maybe hip-hop has reincarnated into music that consists of more diverse content and production. I'm wondering what you think about the life cycles of hip-hop.
Injeti: Hip-hop is the only form of music that is still evolving. I think that it will keep evolving. It consists of the past, the present and the future. It's based on samples...not that you sample all the time. But, it's based on that mind set. If you take someone like Prince Paul, he sampled the best parts of numerous records that were from various points in history. He took all these samples...and the next thing you know, you have De La Soul. All the other genres are effected by it. You hear hip-hop throughout all genres right now. It is the only genre right now that is truly evolving. This evolution interacts with the way technology is changing. Hip-hop is the only rock and roll right now, because it truly pushes the boundaries.
VO: Are you excited about the ways that new media is impacting music these days?
Injeti: Yeah. I'm really excited. We're in the age of immediacy. Right now, you and I can be doing this interview...we could record it and put it on YouTube...and you'd get hits. It's reactionary. It doesn't have to take a long time to find out how people feel about something.
VO: Community is really important to you. What do you anticipate for Vancouver's Arts and Culture community?
Injeti: There's absolutely no reason to leave this city. If you want to leave...you should leave. But, you don't need to move away in order to "make it". We have so many outlets in this city. We have the best DJs in the country. We have incredible artists. I'm excited for what this city is going to be. Our community is so important. It is important to my career. I know that my career will continue to feed my kids, if I am within a community that reciprocates what I give. It feels like something is happening...it feels like something is bubbling.
There are all these pockets of truth in Vancouver that you can't find in big cities.
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