Hailing from LA, bLAck pARty is a promising singer, songwriter, and producer from a military family upbringing. He began his musical life by playing trumpet in middle school bands, and by high school had taught himself guitar, keyboards, and bass, as well as engineering and recording. He DJ’d, promoted shows and performed in bands.
His love for rap-rock fusion has been inspiring him since High School. He was the lead vocalist/rapper in a band called ‘Flint Eastwood’ —the bands ultimate breakup lead to bLAck pARty coming into existence, stylizing it with capital letters to single out “LA” for Los Angeles, where he lives, and “AR” for Arkansas where he was raised. In 2013 he began producing for Kari Faux. The two had met when both were in their mid-teens. Their collaboration, “No Small Talk,” caught the attention of Childish Gambino, who remixed it and featured it on his STN MTN/Kauai mixtape. Which only lead to bLAck pARty inking a deal with the Childish Gambino’s Royalty collective. bLack pARty contributed production to Gambino’s GRAMMY® Award-winning album Awaken, My Love! as well as scores a placement with TV series Dear White People, Insecure, and Atlanta.
His 2019 album Endless Summer is his first release through Wolf + Rothstein and RCA Records. The first single, “No Complaints,” features DMP Jefe, watch it below.
Out of his busy schedule bLack pARty took the time out to catch up with RESPECT MAG about everything from music to his future plans.
RESPECT.: Growing up, what were some of your biggest musical influences?
bLAck pARty: Growing up my biggest influences were Stevie Wonder, India Irie, Nirvana, MF Doom, Kanye West, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bad Brains, Zro I came across a lot of music being around the different people in my life. I also grew up in the internet age when music became much easier to access.
RESPECT.: So congratulations on signing with Childish Gambino’s label! How did that happen?
bLAck pARty: Thank you! I actually connected to Childish Gambino back in 2014 when I was mostly doing production for Kari Faux, we had made this song & video “No Small Talk” that went viral and through that I ended up connecting with one of Gambino’s business partner’s Fam, Kari allowed Gambino to remix the record and we built a working relationship since.
RESPECT.: How did your first conversation with Childish Gambino go?
bLAck pARty: I don’t remember exactly, but I remember it was the day his Sway interview dropped so it was mostly conversations about that and conversations about rap music in general. I’m a huge supporter of underground rap, so I remember showing him some of the underground rap groups coming out of Atlanta at that time.
RESPECT.: You also produced on his Award-winning album, “Awaken, My Love!” how did that happen? What was that process like?
bLAck pARty: That actually came about because I had moved to Los Angeles around the same time he was working on “Awaken, My Love!” We always talk about music so it started off from me just being in the studio giving feedback to doing background vocals and some drum programming. It was an interesting experience that I feel I learned a lot from. It was actually the first major album I worked on and being able to be around some of the most talented musicians in the business was a blessing.
RESPECT.: So you write, produce, and engineer and do vocals? Which one is your favourite and why?
bLAck pARty: I’d say my favourite is probably producing because it’s the more creative and fun job. It allows you to think outside of the box and make something that resonates without actually using language.What I’ve learned from playing in places outside of the US is even if the people don’t necessarily speak my language they can still get with the rhythm of the beats and even catch on to the lyrics if they’re simple enough.
RESPECT.: Do you play any instruments? Regardless, what is your favourite instrument and why?
bLAck pARty: Yes, I play whatever I can figure out. If i were to pick a favourite I would say guitar. I always find it easy to write songs with just a guitar. Also a large majority of my favourite artists play guitar: Lauryn Hill, D’angelo, Prince, Kurt Cobain, India Irie, Amy Winehouse- all guitarists!
RESPECT.: Tell us about your song “Dancing”. What are some of the themes found in that Track?
bLAck pARty: Dancing for me was a record that originally was up as a demo, over time it was revamped to be more groovy. I wanted to make something that felt like a day party going into the night time. When it came to video the director [Dylan McGale] and I wanted to play off of one of my favourite movies, KIDS, and one of my favourite music videos, “Frontin” by the Neptunes. I’ve been skating since I was young, and skateboarding and music go hand in hand, so I had to show love to the skaters.
RESPECT.: How do you feel after having your music placed on Insecure?
bLAck pARty: Shout out’s to Issa ! It feels incredible. I have a lot of people tell me they found out about my music through watching Insecure. I actually watch the show so it’s kinda wild to hear my music on there.
RESPECT.: Complex described your sound as a retro sound that could fit nicely into rotation if it came out in the ’70s yet still feels fresh for 2019. Do you agree?
bLAck pARty: Yes. I think the 70’s was one of the more interesting times in music. I’m definitely inspired by that era in music and I listen to more older records than I listen to newer music. The thing though is taking that inspiration and bringing into the present or the future.
RESPECT.: What was that moment in your life that you realised you wanted to be a serious musician? Like this was it for you.
bLAck pARty: When I was 13 I knew for certain I was going to make music. I remember watching videos online of Kanye, Alchemist, The Neptunes, Madlib, making beats and rapping and I decided that’s what I wanted to do: make music and have fun.
RESPECT.: Who are you looking forward to working with the most in the industry?
bLAck pARty: It would be dope to work with legends like Al Green, Patrice Rushen, Erykah Badu…
RESPECT.: If I was to see your playlist right now what would I find?
bLAck pARty: You would find Fela Kuti, Amy Winehouse, Al Green, Sza, Khruangbin…I just like to hear something with a lil soul or funk in it
RESPECT.: Tell us about your 5 goals in 2020
bLAck pARty: My only goals are to continue to get better as a person and as a creative.
Follow bLAck pARty on instagram to keep up with all his updates.
All Photos by Manny Singh.
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