To keep albums sounding fresh, in-house producer, Michael “Seven” Summers, tries something new with every release.With Krizz Kaliko’s new album GO, Seven and Krizz pursued a completely new direction, while still building off of the sound Krizz’s fans know him for. In this exclusive interview, Seven speaks about the diversity of ‘GO’ and the musical cohesiveness that glued it all together.
Well, we were definitely thinking of that era of music. Late 70’s, early 80’s Funk and R&B. Just soul elements. I feel like we pulled from all different areas as far as inspiration goes. There was definitely a lot of funk and soul that was inspiring a lot of the songs on this album.
“Orangutan” has kind of a throwback feel. It’s the one song that he raps on. “No No’s”, he’s not full on rapping on that. I think that it was important that we didn’t go 100% new artist on this album, because we would be forgetting about the fact that Krizz does have fans. I would hate to see him abandon his entire fan base. We wanted to make sure that we still had elements of what he does.
We still tried to approach it in a different way and when we made those songs, we didn’t say, “let’s make a song like this”. When people listen to this album, I want them to be like, “oh man, this is something we haven’t heard from Krizz”, but I also want for there to be some familiar sounds there. That’s where those come from. I suggested that he still rap on “Orangutan”. He got a lot of recognition from doing “Speedom”. I do think that there was a large amount of people that found out about Krizz from that song. I suggested that he follow up with something and just kill it, just to remind them.
Every song is different the way it comes together. “Happyish” is a song that Krizz had an idea for already, and that song went through a lot of stages. That song almost got thrown away. I pretty much forced him to use that song. I kept telling him to use that song. To me, I thought that was the song that we should’ve ended the album with. We had so many different versions of it. The song that you hear on the album is the stripped down, acoustic version. There’s no drums, there’s no bass line – it’s pretty minimal.
It wasn’t always like that. It started off with drums and bass. Krizz even had different versions of the vocal performance. I think that there were four total that we were trying to choose from. Each version means something different emotionally. The one that we ended up using is the most honest performance. Stripping away all of the other parts of that song, I feel made it even more honest. It helped magnify what he was talking about on the song.
Were there any specific songs that immediately clicked with everyone that was working on them?
A lot of the songs were like that. It’s kind of weird with Krizz. He’s an interesting artist to work with. If something I put together for him doesn’t hit him immediately, we just don’t do it. There are a lot of songs that we’ll do and he’ll just sit on. I know immediately when he’s going to use a song or not. All of the songs on this album were immediate. Like, within the first 5 seconds of hearing it, he’s just like, “Oh yeah”. It’s just organic. So, there’s a lot of material with Krizz that is there, but may not get recorded or is just not “it”. Everything on this album was immediate.
Do you have any personal favorites from this album?
“Wallflower” and “Big F U” are my favorites. There are a lot of songs on there that I really love. These are songs that I’ve wanted Krizz to do for so long, but we’ve never done before. “No Love”, “Logged Off”, “Big F U”, and “Wallflower” – that set of songs was a sound that I always wanted Krizz to do, but we never did it because when me and Krizz make albums, they all sound unique.
We don’t make an album and it’s just all over the place. All the songs have something that’s gluing everything together. Since I’ve known Krizz, which is like a decade and a half, I’ve wanted to do that sound. I wanted the “Wallflower” and “Logged Off”. That was what I wanted to do. This batch of songs is probably my favorite that Krizz has ever done.