A lot of people are getting into you guys with your return Reflections, what led to the mini movie creation?
Dill: What really led to the creation of the video is we had the project and had been sitting on it visual wise for a few months, going on a year. We basically thought this was our strongest project and the music impacted people a certain way. We thought it would be a perfect time to really put this together. We wasn’t aiming to do three tracks into one movie but it made sense to put them in one big body of work because the songs jelled together it made sense. We wanted to think about how we could translate the music into a video and still honor Phife.
The Phife component is big, how did you first get an introduction to Phife and Tribe as a whole?
Ant: Technically how we started bumping a lot of A Tribe Called Quest is because within that week he passed away, the night before, we were bumping their tape, Beats Life and Rhymes, and we was like this shit is hard. We never really listened to the whole body of work and then the next day he ended up passing away. It hit us and made us sad and we ended up saying we had to do something and give a tribute to shed light toward his life. We didn’t come to a conclusion of making three songs but created what we could. We put it out and didn’t tell anyone we were doing it and that’s why we think it was received very well.
When it came out it was your reintroduction to producing music. Do you feel returning was a hard transition?
Dill: I think we were in a period of time where we were really open to creating. There was no doubt in our mind the music would resonate with people. The thing to connect the dots was trying to relate the messages and still found a way to connect with Phife and A Tribe Called Quest, it’s nothing to take lightly because that’s somebody legacy.
With a lot of what’s out in the culture being simple or has to be a banger, do you find it difficult to maintain your art within the climate of this music?
Dill: Me and Anthony talk about this a lot. We are very versatile and go through times where we create other things but our sound sticks to us and comes back to us one way or another. I don’t think we feel any pressure to change anything but we really come into our form realizing this is the music we make and there is a lane for this. We have to really plant our feet and be in the lane we want to be in. Even though there is an atmosphere of bangers, there is a resurrection of real music finding its way slowly. I don’t know if it’s going to resonate slowly but we’re going to be right there and people will accept and love because we stayed true to what we make and evolved why doing it.
What sparks you to go off into those other pieces of music?
Dill: I would say experimenting, what about you Ant?
Ant: Definitely experimenting and one thing a lot of people might not know about us is that we started in high school and been rapping for like seven, eight years now. We weren’t ISO Indies and didn’t have the sound we had right now and we’re experimenting with different instrumentals.
Your new project, Life Goes On, what could we expect from it?
Ant: Growth, just a step up from everything we ever created. This project is definitely a soundtrack to our life, previously, current and into the future. We are talking about where we want to be in the game together. It’s straight forward, everyday life struggles and what we experience at this moment.
You mention growth; do you guys see that in the process you have when creating this album?
Dill: Just to piggy back off the term growth, we really came into form. A lot of the other projects were stepping stones coming into this form and how to relate to our fans or new fans and grasp other people’s attention. We notice that people always relate to the story and we know through story telling we can grab people. We wanted to give more of ourselves, give more stories within verses and we elevated with our hooks. We hooked up with our producer and we handled what we wanted it to be, it felt like we were at peace with this project. We weren’t all over the place, scrambling, overspending on sessions. We were really focused, had tunnel vision to the plan and stuck to it from the jump until now.
What’s the advantage of having that full creative control?
Dill: It gives us leverage. One thing about us is we love feedback, so with this process, we created a lot of the music together and after we recorded it is when we ask for opinions. We get that leverage of not having someone dictate what we wanted.
You are going into press runs and promotions for this project when you have the digital trends online as far as challenges to make a single hot.
Ant: Nah as a duo we just stay true to ourselves and work of our own tactics and roll outs. We don’t make any decisions unless we make them together.
Dill: With us, as time rolls by, we press ourselves to find a way to appeal to people with certain gimmicks of our own and catch people’s attention. We are very in tune with the mainstream and industry, have favorite artists and we check their roll outs but with us, we feel like they have a power of what works for them. We feed off of what our fans like and how what would catch people’s attentions. We freestyle ideas with each other and put these ideas into each other’s heads on how to campaign our music. What cover art should we get to resonate with the song? We try to really understand how these photos would appeal to someone?
What do you guys want listeners to walk away with from this project?
Dill: I really want people to walk away with a sense of believing in you and being yourself. Don’t stray away from your daily belief and always giving your all with what you do. Always make sure your confidence level is where you want it to be. I want people to walk away with the messages we relayed, I have no doubt that they will relate to it. We been through a lot of trials and tribulations that young black teens and women can relate. The whole theme of society and always set out to be who you want to be. Know that Life Goes On but God will always prevail and help you go where you want to go.
Ant: We went against the grain with this project but a lot of people don’t know is that last year we took a back seat in music. Not on purpose but just because of life in general. Me personally I got married last year and it’s a lot that goes on in everybody life. This project is just talking about life experiences, the past and current relationships. My father is incarcerated, he’s doing 25 years to life and we talking about those experiences. Just to the fact that people told us that we shouldn’t drop it now, but we felt in our hearts we should listen to anyone else’s opinion and do what we feel.