Smyles – Trans-Emotional (Album)

Trans-Emotional is a 10-track instrumental album featuring Latin, Reggae, Soul, and Hip-Hop genres. It’s an album about love, growth, and humanity. Each song represents a different mood. I want everyone to take this journey with me. It’s a very playful, colorful, stylistic album looking to push music forward.

Hey, super nice to have the chance to chat with you. What have you been up to over the past year in this big old mess?

Honestly, just working and surviving.  I went to school for cybersecurity.  I read almost daily now.  I try to hang out with friends and family as much as I can in my free time.  

What strengths do you have that you believe make you a great musician?

I’m persistent in my approach.  I have no shame in experimenting and trying new things.  I also would include someone who knows how to play a certain sound/instrument, if not I’ll sample lol.  

Who inspired you to make music?

Late Registration by Kanye West.   The first time I ever heard We Major I couldn’t believe how pretty Hip-hop can sound. That album changed my life and how I view music in general. Using Jon Brion was a genius move because he worked with someone who had an ear for pop music and could elevate his soul samples.  There are a lot of influences I have for each record but my main ones would be Kanye, Frank Ocean, David Bowie, The Beatles, Panda Bear, and Joni Mitchell. 

Congrats on the release of ‘Trans-Emotional’, the album sounds great. How was the recording process – any studio meltdowns or unexpected dramas? 

Thank you very much!!!.  Lol I get pissed all the time making my music.  I always either take breaks or I’ll play a video game and reflect on more ideas.  I struggled to make Vagina Poetry.  The Usher sample was already on the song but I didn’t know what else I was going to do with the song until one day I was searching youtube and found an actual pussy poem.  Shoutout to Ebony Stewart, that poem is great.  I also struggled with the drums of This Hoochie, That Nigga.  The main sample for Moan For Me XXX was troubling me sequence wise but at the end of the day, I managed to stay focused and dominate each song. 

What is your creative process like?

I love this question.  I honestly come up with album titles first.  That’s the first thing I do on each project is come up with a unique or cryptic title.  For the songs, I usually either end up listening to a bunch of loops at first or I go back to records I want to listen to or sample and find things I want to use.   I use to rush some ideas but on this record I just let everything come to me naturally.  I would give myself time to channel what mood or emotion I wanted to capture.  Some songs can take minutes for me to find the loop or sample I want compared to other songs where it can take hours to weeks.  The tracklisting comes second for me after naming the album.   Trans-Emotional has the type of tracklist where you are like lol what the fuck is this guy thinking or lol what the fuck does this mean?   I love keeping people guessing.  

What is the biggest decision you’ve had to make?

I had to let go of certain feelings I was feeling.  Before Trans-Emotional, SoulBear was an album I did that described my previous relationship.  I suffered in the end result of the relationship, I had to let go of the past and move forward.  Going back to school was step 1.  

Where are you based and how the music scene there has inspired your sound at all?

I’m from Maryland, I was born in DC.  DMV music doesn’t fit me at all lol.   I don’t replicate Trap/Drill music.   The only DMV artists I can relate to are Pusha T and Pharrell because they are established artists who made a difference in Hip-Hop.  Pharrell is one of my favorite producers because of his diversity and versatility.  I have a diverse sound, I don’t want to sound like one thing. 

What makes you different from others?

I have my own sound.  When you listen to Smyles I want you to know that only Smyles can do this for you.  I don’t want to follow a trend, I want to create one.   As an artist, it’s my goal to paint a picture for the listener.  My records paint their own picture.  I view my music as making a movie because I have the vision and I want to show the world my entire vision.   Colorful At Best is the little slogan I use and I say my music is colorful. 

What is one message you would give to your fans?

I love you, I love you, Te Amo!!!!!!!.   Please continue this journey with me, you won’t regret it.  I appreciate anyone who listens to or supports my music.  

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

It’s opened the market.  Due to the internet, nobody can say they can’t get heard.  I go online every day looking for new music, or finding new samples.   The internet has a way of creating your career and destroying it.  It’s the belly of the beast and you have to know when to say when.  No relation to that Drake song though lol. 

And finally, what do you hope to have achieved as an artist in the next five years?

I hope by then I’m working with other people to help them reach their goals.  Music is a very competitive field and not everybody shares the same vision.  I leave my ego aside when I make music because I realize one day I will need other people around me to help me. Right now I do everything myself.  Within 5 years I hope to look back and say Damn!!! I really did that.

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