We spoke to Hip Hop artist and producer Damu The Fudgemunk about his new album ‘Ground & Water’ which features a fantastic collaboration with Blu! The record is released on Redefinition Records which is also a label that he operates and co-owns!
Your new album ‘Ground & Water’ boasts a whole host of genres in terms of its sounds, samples, and instrumentation. How as an artist did you approach the creation of this album, and getting Blu on board?
First off, thank you for the interview and thank you for listening to the album. Correct, there are many textures throughout the production. I’ve always taken a very wide approach when selecting the proper sounds. Everything is on the table and nothing is off limits if I feel inspired and find a way to incorporate it. That definitely makes part of my creative process fun after doing this for so many years. I’ve been a listener of Blu for several years. Our debut albums both came out in 2007 around the same time and year later we were label mates. This album was significant to us for those reasons at this stage in our careers. I took this opportunity very seriously. Being familiar with his catalog, I wanted to give him something unique that would stand out amongst the dozens of projects already in his catalog. Redefinition Records has had an existing relationship with Blu for over 7 years so we’ve always been in communication. The timing was perfect to do this. It does feel overdue considering our history.
Is this your first full album collaboration with Blu?
Yes, this our first full project. We’ve been fortunate to collaborate in other capacities over the years. Hopefully we’ll consider working on another in the future, but if that doesn’t happen anytime soon, we’re both proud of what we accomplished and are confident it will stand the test of time.
There are a lot of themes covered in the album ranging from faith, guilt, and survival – to name just a few! Is this album a reflection on your own personal experiences?
Blu was the main lyricist and all of the concepts were his ideas. I just helped him bring them extra life. The lyrics don’t reflect my first hand personal experiences, but I certainly can relate to much of what he and the guests displayed in their words. That’s one of the things about this project that stands out to me is that the writing and themes are pretty universal beyond the artists who created it. Blu has always done an excellent job throughout his career turning his experiences into art and making it accessible.
How do you feel the Hip Hop scene has been in 2019?
Not perfect, but 2019, it’s been great. A lot of great music coming out and in the works. Not to mention modern technology makes things more interesting from the way art is created, published and consumed. Very inspiring time if you’re a musician and I couldn’t ask for more after struggling to find motivation to be a participant over the years. I feel like I’m learning more this year too.
Are there any artists who have jumped out recently as ones to watch and discover?
I’m not the most hip when it comes down to new acts and at the rate new music/artists appear, it feels impossible to catch everything. However, I try to find good in everything new I discover. I like K.A.A.N, YBN Cordae and there’s definitely more rappers emerging that are more lyrical than average so it’s been cool to monitor even when their finished products doesn’t exactly meet my tastes.
What you have been watching or reading lately – any top recommendations?
To be honest I haven’t done much of either besides what I encounter while working on my phone or computer. There’s some inspirational stuff I’ve seen on YouTube like motivational speakers, industry professionals or really talented individuals. Most recently the Black Thought lecture was very potent and I appreciated that. Other than that, most of my time has been focused on making music. From doing Ground and Water to my own solo things in the works and other day to day tasks at the label, I’ve tried to dedicate as much time to those things because they require so much of my undivided attention to get them done. I’m very hands on. I’m literally taking a break to do this interview from finalizing a mix on my next album. I recorded several albums over the last year and lived in/out of several studios a third of the 2019. Now I’m mixing, mastering, post production etc. The very next record is a collaborative album with Raw Poetic and jazz legend Archie Shepp that’s goes in a very adventurous direction. Very excited to get that out in addition to the other projects I’m wrapping up.
Finally – what is your tip of the day?
I’ll take a quote from Blu featuring Raw Poetic from Ground and Water and say my advice is “Share the Love”!
You can keep up to date on Damu’s work over on his twitter: @REDEFrecords
Thank you for the interview Damu! We wish you all the best for 2020 and beyond – If you would like to take his advice and “share the love” then please follow us on:
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