Blank: Obviously, most of your released work has been both of us, but I want to ask how you started making music & your early SoundCloud catalog?
Zim: This is tough because there were a lot of factors. I used to listen to a lot of stuff when I was younger like G-Eazy and other more reductive hip hop acts, but when my older brother introduced me to Tyler the Creator in roughly 2011, & then odd future right after it really expanded my love for the genre. Especially with someone like Earl being so close in age to me at the time, it felt more meaningful. Listening and loving that music along with some other names like MF DOOM, Earl & Chester Watson really drove me to want to make my own music.
Blank: As anyone who heard your most recent feature on Paris Ball’s new album From Paris, With Love knows, you and Paris have great chemistry. How did that relationship start?
Zim: Me and Paris have been best friends since about 2nd grade and he was always super talented. Actually, my first ever song on SoundCloud (Invader Zim) was produced by Paris who had recently got a MacBook and got into producing. From there, he finally started to sing & create with his talent and we both just gravitated towards working together. One thing Paris is really good at is creating hooks, which is extremely helpful for creating ideas for tracks. We can just be listening to something & he’ll come up with a hook & the rest is easy for us.
Blank: So, for those unaware, me and Zim released a collaborative project named Movies at Midnight in November last year. I know what the creation was like for me, but what was your experience?
Zim: You know, surprisingly I felt a lot of pressure. It was a smooth process, you made things really easy both in terms of workflow and the beats, but I felt a need to prove myself. It was my first time collaborating with someone and putting music out on streaming, and I had just started to gain a bit of a following on twitter. So, while I’m really happy with how things turned out, in the moment it caused me a bit of anxiety.
Blank: What was the most unique experience you had with creating a track on Movies at Midnight
Zim: I would say probably End Credits or I-91. End Credits felt like nothing was really clicking, so I just ended up turning off the beat and just writing what I had felt at the moment. Once I had finished the verse, I spit it over the beat, and it just sounded perfect and ended up being one of my favorite tracks on the album. I-91 was just a really different kind of beat then I had been experienced with creating on. I came from writing on a lot of stuff with soul samples and that’s what I really fell in love with, so to tackle something so different presented a challenge. If it had been a beat in a random pack, I don’t know whether I would have picked it or not, but I'm happy with how it took me out of my comfort zone. I also definitely have to mention Catwalk, and S/O to Mosa on the hook, that track ended up being really great and the hook he spit was infectious. All my friends love the track, and I would occasionally hear them singing the hook to themselves.