Soul Science Lab explained their emphasis on culture, as they conducted a listening session for their forth-coming album Plan for Paradise
Soul Science Lab is a duo embodying artistry for the sake of healing culture. Straight out of Brooklyn, the duo openly taps into the city’s bulging veins that carry musical history. Chen Lo plays the role of artist, educator and creative director, taking his brush in hand with absolute confidence. Asante’ Amin, a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, humbly builds vivid sonic landscapes for Chen’s lyrical splatter. The team strips away a lot of the production today’s Hip Hop fans are comfortable with, challenging listeners with the live instrumentation, which is what the culture found its early footing in. It’s more than just nostalgia, Soul Science Lab are connecting with the roots of a culture that they love and to which they owe their artistic formation.
After the listening Chen Lo and Amin opened up the floor for Q & A and a few suggestions. Here’s a snippet of what occurred:
Q: We’re in a time where it is very important for hip hop, particularly to put live instruments in the forefront mainly because hip hop is based on sampling music and it’s great and brilliant but I feel that, there is a lot of young people who are unfortunately moving away from the live music. Was that something that you all felt was done purposely towards the album?
CL: I mean you can’t connect with this man Asante Amin and not have live instrumentation. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, he plays five instruments himself, he’s an arranger, a composer. While he can deal with machine, he can deal with protunes and bang out beats that way. He’s got to play his horn, he’s got to play his flute; and I think it’s very necessary to infuse the vibrations of live instrumentation into this music. I think It’s really important for young people.That’s one of the reasons we created sound trap, showing young people that the continuum of this music and of our tradition. Yeah you can hear hip hop over a live orchestral arrangement of all kinds, over a Ray Charles song. That is possible.
AA: That is an amazing point. Like JR, like Chen; I work with kids. I’m also a band instructor at a school in Brooklyn, and it’s just very important for us to pass this tradition down to our children. I love drum machines, I love native instruments, I love synthesized sounds, I love molding sounds in a lab. But you’ve got to be prepared for when the electricity goes out, the party should not stop if the lights go out. So when I look at Classical American music which is Jazz, and Classical American composers like Duke Ellington and James Brown. These people were masters of making you move and putting vibrations in your chest, using human intention and using instrumentation. I’ve had many people tell me, “There’s too much music in the track, I don’t want it. I’m not rocking with it, where the high hats at? Take them horns out. Just give me some 808s and call it a day.” So I’m really thankful and appreciative that Chen believes in my artistic vision enough to give me that freedom to say “I’m going to spit two verses but it might be a minute of music.” And people have to vibe on that, you know what I’m saying.
Q: I just want to know what is the Plan for Paradise?
CL: There’s a really important distinction we made early on in thinking about the title of the album. We were like is it ‘The Plan for Paradise’ or is it ‘Plan for Paradise’? Because if we say “The Plan for Paradise” it’s like we have a plan. I don’t have the plan. I don’t want to disappoint you but you know, I don’t have it. So really it’s a directive, you should plan for paradise because it’s coming one way or the other.
AA: Right and your paradise can be a great on or it can be not so great, depending on the life you live here. You also can have paradise on Earth, as you’re here. We see many people experience that, hopefully we all experience it too. But there are four different principal we deal with in Plan for Paradise that are going to be revealed.
CL: Plan for Paradise is actually a whole world. It’s an ecosystem in itself that includes Proverbs and parables and daily devotionals that really look into what we believe in our lives are great steps, the stepping stones to creating paradise in our lives. So you have to create your own paradise, it’s really about that; about finding what really brings you paradise. We’re finding what we think we found and we’re trying to exercise what it bringing us paradise.
Q: What you said just inspired an idea. I don’t know how many tracks you’ll have on the album. But in this Plan for Paradise, since you’ve used parables and such; perhaps you might want to consider meditation. Some sort of musical meditation that would take us to the potential vision of paradise, whether it’s a chant or spoken word.
AA: You’re on it, you’re in tuned with the project. Of course we were just giving the people a taste tonight but there’s definitely that element on the project. We just look forward to unveiling the entire idea, but there’s definitely some of that going on. And really just on the tail of what Chen said, you know working with kids and working with people who may feel like they are disadvantaged and historically victimized. It’s always important for me to remind kids that the absolute technology is God, your spirit. So you can garnish your spirit using words, using sounds, using music and using culture. That’s why it’s very important that we protect our culture and utilize it correctly but apart of my paradise has been utilizing this music and staying in this creative space. So that why I try to encourage kids and people I come into contact to do
Q: When can I cop that?
JR: Summertime 2016
This listening session came to a closure with another live performance of their first single titled “Gimmie Dat”
Plan for Paradise is set to drop coming this Summer so be on the lookout.
For more information on Soul Science Lab and their movement, visit www.soulsciencelab.com.