Archives for posts with tag: Mixtape

Performing on NYE was a really exciting experience. My friend told me the way you welcome the New Year is the way the rest of it will continue. I sure hope so!

Here’s some footage of pre-gig soundcheck with a brand new setup, where Samson Jatto is playing electronic drumkit and samples, Ryan Robinson on guitar and Chloe Blackwell on backing vocals.

Song title: Jim Beam. Taken from the Breakfast mixtape, which can be downloaded via http://cynikal.bandcamp.com

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It’s been 6 months since my debut mixtape ‘Breakfast’ dropped. Just want to say a big thank you to EVERYONE who has downloaded, blogged, published and supported.

We managed to garner features from some of the biggest publications, radio and TV stations in the country, something I am extremely grateful for.

But in all honesty, the key thing was being able to deliver an honest snapshot of my thoughts and feelings in recent times, and to have people appreciate it.

Thank you for listening. On to the next one!

 

 

 

‘Slurp’

Sat in Starbucks, Covent Garden, finishing what’s left of my Coffee Frap on this late sunny afternoon in London and I think to myself – I’m very fortunate. It’s been little over a month since I dropped my ‘Breakfast‘ mixtape, and in that time I’ve received an overwhelming sense of support from old friends, and new friends alike. I’m not the kind of person to expect anything in life, and nor do I take things for granted, so I guess the purpose of this entry is to say thank you to everybody who has given me a a great sense of motivation to A) continue, and B) do better.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to give a big thanks to all the media that are covering the tape, without you my music wouldn’t be heard by the new listenership it’s beginning to attract.

Much love,

Cynikal


Breakfast Mixtape Cover

I’ve purposely left it a while between my last entry and this one. Firstly, I was making up for lost time since spending the best part of four weeks terribly ill; after all, there was the matter of a small mixtape to complete. Secondly, I didn’t want to give too much information away about the tape before it dropped, and for the couple weeks after release, it was important for it to simmer on its own accord. And most importantly, I was fully engrossed in the creative process to the point which nothing else mattered – I hadn’t felt so focussed since I was in my final year at Uni.

Anyway, for those who have the tape already, thanks for downloading, and for those who don’t, you can get here.

If you’d like a bit more information on the process behind the product, have a watch of this interview:

I first heard the phrase coined on the Kev Brown produced “For Da Love of Da Game”, via his mixtape a few years ago. Little did I know this would become a motto my peers and I would swear by in years to come.

As I write this blog post, I re-listen to the track, gently refreshing myself with the nostalgic emotion of being back in my college years; when my judgement wasn’t interfered with so much by business strategy and responsibility. I was doing things with an extremely inquisitive attitude, almost like a child that was seeing everything for the first time, over and over again. Well, some time has elapsed now and I guess you could say that although I’m still very much that person, I’m also now much more experienced at what I love; life.

Here’s a brand new track which I recorded recently. It’s a refix of J Cole’s Losing My Balance, taken from his The Warm Up mixtape. The track (in particular the music) really resonated with me on a deep level, so I felt to discuss some issues that I was going through at the time. I guess you could say it’s a very personal song, and I wanted to encapsulate that in the recording phase, so I ensured that the process was continuous from beginning to end – literally – if you listen closely you can even tell small differences between the choruses. I also wanted to incorporate a slightly different feel to J Cole’s version for the hook, so I worked out a singing part, as well as a couple of harmonies and brought in a friend of mine (Theo Llewelyn) to lay them down in some sort of hybrid Caribbean/Portuguese type accent. I shot a video to this a couple of days ago which should be online very soon! In the mean time, listen here:

http://hulkshare.com/u80h8gy22tiv
If you’d like to download the track, you can get it from: http://hulkshare.com/u80h8gy22tiv 

Over the years I’ve listened to and absorbed so many different brands of music, either as single tracks, mixtapes or albums. The challenge of making an album which works as a uniform force throughout is huge, and there aren’t too many albums that I’ve heard that can capture my attention through the entire journey. I decided to compile a list of ten of these that are the most influential in forming the person I am today.

Of course, I’ve left out some classic albums, artists/producers I deeply admire, and genres which are far more diverse than those stated here, but I wanted to be true to myself, take a step back and really analyse what was more than just music, more than just art, and was in fact a catalyst to my formative creative process. Not all of them fit my taste palette any more, or give me the same buzz as when I was in that state of mind, but they are nevertheless the soundtrack to my first few years of being an active musician. So without further ado:

1. 2Pac – R U Still Down?
2. Craig David – Born To Do It
 3. D’Angelo – Voodoo
 4. Eminem – Marshall Mathers LP
 5. Eminem – The Eminem Show
 6. Kev Brown Mixtape
7. Lloyd – Lessons In Love
8. Marques Houston – MH
9. Michael Jackson – Thriller
10. R. Kelly – TP-2.com

* In alphabetical order

A few which I believe deserve an honourable mention as they narrowly missed out include Common’s “Be”, Kanye West’s “College Dropout”, Kevin Mark Trail’s “Sketches”, Mario’s “Turning Point” and  Ryan Leslie’s “Transition”.

Unfortunately the much anticipated music video I recently shot for Travellin’ will not be made available for public viewing. My team and I had to make the decision after viewing the edit to not put it out for various reasons – the main ones being that it was neither an accurate representation of who I am/what I do, nor the vision I approached the director with to develop further.

It sets back my plans of course, the mixtape (Breakfast) I was going to drop in accompaniment has now had to be pushed to a later date, and so have other related projects which were pivotal to my future. But it is this kind of decision which is a testament to how much I deeply believe in becoming a success in the manner that best suits my persona.

Some new work will be dropping soon, and rest assured it will be very much the Cynikal you have come to know. Thank you for your patience, Happy Halloween.

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