With the impending release of their new EP Misty Blue, Concept Of Thought’s illiterate and Awfer took some time out to discuss the new project. Seven years have passed since COT first dropped their now notorious debut Painting On Silence, but the duo has hardly been slacking. With illiterate dropping his debut solo offering whatifthenwhat, touring their live hip-hop band Along Came Shifty, working on individual solo projects and still regularly popping up alongside the rest of the Yogocop / Team Dreebs crew.
Misty Blue finds illiterate and Awfer painting a picture of the landscape they call home, themes of growing up, looking back, mental health, love and loss permeate the EP. Both lyricists handle these profoundly personal, topics with ease and great care, writing with the honesty they have always done, only now with experience and hindsight. Tackling production duties is renowned beat-maker Joe Corfield, who has been making waves as part of the Radio Juicy roster, dropping Phase Shift in 2017 and Roach Ritual in Feb 2018. The EP also sees them collaborating with the soulful Daisy Drage, whose lush harmonies add a whole new layer to the mix. All these elements add up to an EP that bursts with positivity, peaceful melancholy, and acceptance.
“We have both known Daisy since before we even made music. We’ve been friends for a long time and have worked together previously in the band ‘Along Came Shifty’, so the dynamic was already there. When we asked her to be part of this project, we all knew it was gonna be a pretty natural process and that’s what I like about the whole EP, it’s very personal to us all.”
“I can honestly say that we have only ever made tracks that mean something too us. ‘Misty Blue’ has derived from an accumulation of our past experiences. The title ‘Misty Blue’ comes from the view from a hillside spot near the chalk pits, where we used to party when we were younger in our hometown, Lewes. In the mornings when the sun rose, it used to be real hazy with mist so the name is from that I guess.”
“The entire project is an ode to a good friend of ours that sadly passed when we were younger. This all happened during the times when we used to party at the chalk pits, so that period of our lives inspired the project.”
“Mental health, particularly amongst the youth nowadays, is a very prominent issue throughout the EP. We both feel very strongly that music, especially Hip-Hop, is a great means of expression for those who usually suppress their emotions. The world today has become a very anxious environment to live in, more so for the younger generation. With things such as Instagram and Facebook, it’s very easy for one to portray a lifestyle which doesn’t reflect a realistic standard. You then have somebody who has become uncomfortable in their own skin due to the use, or misuse, of social media. As well as touching on this we also discuss global conflict and political issues, the whole project addresses many different aspects of present-day life.”
“We wrote nearly every track together so the themes stay pretty consistent, we even wrote ‘BKK-HKT’ on an internal flight after a show in Thailand. But yeah, all the tracks maintain the influence of that time of our lives for sure.”
“Me personally (illiterate), am inspired by a lot of things. Mostly what I see around me, life experiences and travelling are huge inspirations. Kind of the same with my influences to be fair, I only really write when I feel like I need to vent or get something off my chest.”
“For me (Awfer), writing lyrics is a means of expression. Sometimes I can go a few months without writing anything, but then something will happen that triggers me to write. Although it stunts my productivity, I am pleased that this is the way I do things because when I do write, it’s always a reflection of how I’m truly feeling.”
“It’s kind of crazy looking back on Painting On Silence, you know. ‘Our Thought’ was the first track we ever properly released, and we did not expect the response or feedback we ended up getting from it. So looking back at that project compared to ‘Misty Blue’ there are similar traits in the content but as a whole, we have grown a lot since then, as has our sound. The new EP is still a reflection of ourselves, just a bit more matured in comparison. We’ve also learnt a lot more about how to release music and what you need to do to promote it successfully, which is something we didn’t even consider 6 years ago.”
“Yogocop all started with myself (illliterate), Benaddict, M.KOZI and Cloud 9 in my flat in Brighton about 4 years ago. But back then we didn’t really know what we were doing, we just wanted to create a platform for our friends and us to release music on. It’s pretty crazy how much its grown to be honest and it wouldn’t be possible without the help of a handful of people, so massive props to Tom Yum, Benaddict and Mr Slipz! I don’t think people realise how much work is needed to run a label until you decide to take the leap and start doing things properly. I think as a label we are gonna keep moving forward and putting out music, which was always the plan from day one. Lastly, we’d like to thank anyone who’s ever supported or contributed to Concept Of Thought or YGC in any way, artists, designers, filmmakers, promoters etc… it’s all mad appreciated!”
One Love x
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