In the past six months I've become very familiar with Mello Music Group producer L'Orange. In 2016 I reviewed his collab album 'The Life and Death of Scenery' with Mr. Lif who is also signed to MMG. My first review of 2017 was his Koala EP. Now I've been blessed with the opportunity to interview him about touring, recent, current, and future endeavors, life before and outside of his career, inspiration and a few other topics. Read below, and enjoy!
1. What brought about the life and death of scenery collab with Mr. Lif?
Lif and I had made music on my album with Kool Keith- "Time? Astonishing!". We really enjoyed working together and Adult Swim contacted us to create an album for them. We're both signed with Mello Music Group so it was a natural fit.
2. What kind of space were you in when you were in the making of the koala ep?
That was a really personal project. I spent most of that project in a rough relationship. It was a lot of love and heartbreak. I've been sitting on it for three years and I didn't plan on releasing it. But, I wanted the chance to share something personal and lo-fi.
3. How was your recent tour? How's life on the road usually and how's it to be on a indie label, especially one like Mello Music Group?
The tour was really great. Wax Tailor is a really talented guy to be on tour with. Being with him and his team has taught me a lot about being on the road and studio.
Mello Music Group is the perfect home for me. They're always willing to get behind what I want to do with my music and encourage me to grow.
4. Who and what inspired you to become a producer? Family, friends, producers/artists, albums, life events?
I grew up writing actually. I played music a bit in high school but I started producing when I was in college. I was a lost artist with hardly any craft. I found that I could put what I wanted to say into music better than I could anything else, so I started producing.
5. Do you feel or know of any artists you've inspired? Maybe a protege?
As I've gotten older and more experienced, it's been nice to work with producers who have a lot of questions. When I was first starting there were few people who'd take the time to show you anything. I'm a firm believer that the best advice I can give to a producer is vague. If I don't talk about specifics, they'll be more inclined to find their own style, which, to me, is the most important thing about being a musician. There are a few artists like Aaron Ezzard from DNA Productions, Paul Defiglia, and Papa Brigham that I've given advice to in some way or another.
6. How was your start as an artist? How'd you get your foot in the door and get to where you are now being able to live off your music?
It felt really honest and consuming. I'd make as many beats as I could ever day. I went a few years making two or three beats every day. I'd come home on my lunch break and make it happen. Same routine every day. I didn't make many friends but I loved the routine.
It's always tough if you're trying to make your art a living. I wasn't living off of music until recently. I think the most important part is to work on your music separately from your business. It's important to do both and let your music be seen how you want it to be.
7. Do you have family and friends that support what you do?
It took a while for my family to understand what I'm doing as a career but they've always been very supportive. They're the first ones to buy my new albums even if I tell them not to. Most of my friends don't listen to my music and the ones that do are probably tired of me sending them beats ahead of new albums, but they're all very supportive.
8. How do you feel about the current state of hip-hop? Is there a fair mesh of underground and commercial?
I always like to see the music change and grow. Whether I like every direction that music goes in is missing the point. A lot of music I don't like precipitates music I like a lot.
9. What can we expect in the future as far as projects? Collabs, Solo projects, would they be released in 2017?
I can't talk much about what I'm working on right now but I'm looking forward to getting back into my rhythm after having ear surgeries over the past few years.
Well that's all Sir. Thank you for this, I really appreciate it. Much love to you and Mello Music Group from myself and OK-Tho!