From ¡MAYDAY!’s Believers to Stevie Stone’s 2 Birds 1 Stone, 2013 is the year of the sophomore album for two of Strange Music’s most loved acts. We all were glad when Believers was able to live up to the monumental expectations of Take Me To Your Leader, but how will Stevie Stone follow up Rollin’ Stone? Will there be bangers that surpass “808 Bendin”? Will there be a softer number that somehow pulls more emotional strings than “My Remedy”?
On August 13 the world will find out as 2 Birds 1 Stone hits shelves and digital music outlets the world over.
But until then, we have this exclusive interview with Mr. Himmi Hyme himself to give us a preview on what to expect from the next album. If there’s one thing we’re gathering from talking to Stevie, it’s that you’re not prepared for what 2 Birds 1 Stone has in store.
How is this album a progression in your sound? I know you’re always looking to expand your sound.
Yeah, and that’s what happened on this album. From the new production – different, farther left I would say. I think it’s going to be some records on here that are going to shock people. They’re not going to expect it, which is already happening. I play this for people and there’s just certain records that they haven’t expected. It’s broader and it’s bigger. The drums are bigger. I love it. It’s definitely a progression. It shows you where I’m at right now and where it’s going.
I think it’s cool to have some unexpected songs like that. From listening to Rollin’ Stone and Momentum we’ve come to know two Stevie Stones, the “Animal” that’s on tracks like “Momentum” and “Get Buck” and the sensitive, introspective Stevie Stone on “Outer Lane” and “My Remedy”. So you’re saying there’s some songs that kind of fall outside of these lanes on this record?
Definitely. Yeah man I don’t want to let the cat too much out of the bag but there’s a couple of different ones. It’s just going to touch a different element. That’s what I feel. That’s just about growing: growing as an artist, growing as a person, being out here on the road and experiencing new things. It’s just bound to happen, you feel me? It’s going to happen.
If you want to break it down, I know you’re not a newbie to music in general, you’re very experienced and have a deep musical background, but in relative terms you’re still relatively young when it comes to the amount of material that you’ve put out.
Definitely and that’s what I love about this journey because every CD is getting better and better. I feel that in my heart. I AM new but I’m not. It’s like you said, I’ve been doing music a long, long time but the world hasn’t been hearing it for a long, long time and I’m blessed right now to be able to hear it now. It keeps growing.
It’s like someone who’s had all the tools this whole time but you’ve only been able to use them for like 3 or 4 projects. It’s pretty exciting because I think a lot of people think your best work is ahead of you and that your range is only as limited as your imagination.
Definitely. To go there, even on this album, I sang more on this album than I did on Rollin’ Stone. I played with certain things. I let the music lead it and the music guide me. In life I’m going through certain things so that’s what it is about, me tackling whatever these issues that are going on, good and bad, and letting the music lead me and vent to me. Let that music be a vent. That’s the wonderful thing about music.
What are some things that you are doing on here that are new to you?
I let a couple people do some hooks on here. It was a whole different approach on that. I also think my range and my content of what I’m talking about. I think between the mashups that I have on my features, I have a couple of dope mashes together: me, Tech N9ne and Rittz; me, Brotha Lynch Hung, and Kutt Calhoun; me and a Funk Volume artist.
But yeah, to the beats, from me reaching out. I got a couple of joints from down in Atlanta, Nick Fury, Squatbeats, Bandcamp Chris out of St. Louis, These guys brought a whole different element to the album. A different sound but it still complements everything that I was doing. It was meant to happen. These records were meant to go on this joint. It rounded out the album.
Working with Kaliko. Me and Kaliko got three records on here where we’re rapping and singing on some records, both together and in our verses. It’s crazy. I’m loving it. I’m loving the blends and everything.
A singing collab between you and Kaliko: it became pretty apparent that you guys needed to do it after we all found out you could sing so well.
You will definitely be hearing that on a couple of records that’s going on in this album. One of my favorites that we did together is called “Phases” and it’s a more serious record. It’s about stages and phases in life and how you have to deal with them to overcome those obstacles. So it’s like that but it’s a wonderful record. Johnny Juliano did the beat.
So you got some more from Juliano? Nice.
But it was way different than “808 Bendin” though. “808 Bendin” was club and this one was a whole different vibe. I went different on this one. This one is slower and more conscious.
Do you have any favorite songs on this album?
Yes. There’s this one record called “Finding A Way”. It’s a more serious record and it’s on the iTunes Deluxe edition. I love that record. I love “Phases”. I love the whole album but I love the record the record that Tech, Rittz and I did “The Baptism”. The one me, Kutt and Lynch did, I love that one. “Gravedigga”, “The Reason”…I mean I love them all, but the ones that are closest to me is probably “Finding A Way”, “Phases”, “Relentless” – it’s going to be the slower ones probably. Those are the ones that are going to be closer because there’s a really important message on all those records. It’s me venting on some shit that I feel needs to get off my chest. There’s other records where I’m doing the same thing on but it’s just a different tone. These are more laid back and has stuff for folk to marinate on and to think on. Get lost in. Motivation or being able to relate to what’s being said in those records.
I’ve heard you talk about the meaning of the album’s title: there’s one Stevie Stone but there’s two birds you have to face: family and music.
Definitely and we’re talking about that on the record. There’s personal and then there’s business. There’s always two sides to everything. You feel me? It’s me going. I feel that it’s even deeper now. I’m hitting so many spectrums. I’m hitting more than two sides. I’ve got far left and far right on this album and it’s like from the party to the pain to everything else. I can’t wait until everybody hears it. When they hear it, they’ll feel what I’m saying. The transitions on how the songs are going explain that: from me on some music shit to me going through some life shit, whether it’s personal, stages, obstacles that I have to go through, whatever. It’s just life. It bounces back and forth all the way through.
Life as a musician, it comes with it’s own set of weird problems that nobody else really has. How has that been working out for you so far?
I mean you gotta pray about it, keep pushing and vent about it. You write it down. That’s MY antidote. That’s my medicine for it to get it out of me. I write about it and just get on with it. I say it in “Phases”: “Never facing these phases, makes it harder to swallow.” Obstacles and phases in life, you have to face them in order to get past them. It ain’t just going to go away.
How have you grown as a person since you’ve begun this journey with Strange?
I’ve seen a lot more, you know what I mean? I’ve been there for almost 2 years now and have done over 200 shows, three projects. That’s a whole lot of living. I’m more in tune to me. I’m more in tune to what kind of music I want to do. More in tune with my feelings and everything – being able to get lost in it, probably even a little bit better. Understanding my method, understanding my formula more. I just think all the way around that’s what it is. Strange has set it to where I can do that better because it’s like a mode. I guess I’m more in tune with my mode, who I am and what I want to do and my message. I know who I am.
What expectations do you have for this albums and what do you want it to do for your career?
Set in stone, you know what I’m saying? I just feel like it’s going to be set in Stone. I think it’s going to solidify that Stone’s not going anywhere. The beautiful thing about it is that it’s still getting better. It’s better than Rollin’ Stone, it’s better than Momentum. It’s better than New Kid Comin’. You know what I mean? I love it. I can’t wait until everybody else hears it. I think it’s more well-rounded. It’s definitely well-rounded. My expectations. I don’t like to set expectations but I say that good music is going to do what it’s supposed to do. We’ll leave it at that. I’m not going to expect anything, just going to bust my ass and keep going hard and the reward comes when you least expect it. I’ve been a living testimony of that so I’m just going to keep that attitude. I poured my heart out on the album and the campaign started. August 13, 2 Birds 1 Stone, Himmi Hyme! You dig?
What have you not done yet in your career that you would like to accomplish eventually?
There’s a whole bunch of things. Like you said, this is only the beginning of it. You were like “You’re a newbie.” Yeah I am. From certain features that I want to do to certain places that I want to travel in the world to other business ventures that I want to embark upon. The list is long and it’s just the beginning. This is just the beginning.
Anything you want to say before we peace out and wrap this up?
I appreciate you. Everybody at Strange Music, all the fans, everybody that supports. August 13th, 2 Birds 1 Stone. Strap up your seatbelt and turn up!
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