By: Carrick Wenke
With more than 2 years worth of work and preparation and an alias change going into the making of Ol’Davi’s full length debut, Continued….All My Friends R Dead is finally among us. Scaling the project down from 25 songs to 9, Davi’s dark reflective sound is pleasantly displayed here and a refreshing original sound compared to what his contemporaries in Seattle are doing.
How did you choose the title of your project?
It actually is a combination of two different titles because originally I had two different projects. One was called Continued…. and one was called All My Friends R Dead, and I really liked both of the names. Basically I threw both of the names together and I liked the fact that I could build off of “Continued…” and have a bunch of them and a bunch of subtitles, so All My Friends R Dead is actually just kind of a subtitle which comes from a place where I was at in life where I felt really detached from everything and all of the people that were around me because I was struggling with an addiction. It was something people around me couldn’t understand, and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because people who aren’t going through an addiction aren’t gonna understand it. That’s kinda where the “All My Friends R Dead” came from. The people closest to you not being able to understand anything that you’re talking about.
Can you explain the story behind your artwork and who is the designer?
That is my friend Julie who designed that, she lives in California. The design is pretty straightforward, pretty simple, it’s three police officers each holding out a different thing at a young black child which is where the “Continued…” came from. Initially that was how I was feeling. I’m trying to remember when that got designed. I think that was when Michael Brown had just died and I was thinking, “when is any of this shit gonna stop?”. That’s basically when I came up with you have the option to go to jail, that’s why the handcuffs are there. You have the option to be killed, that’s why the officer on the cover is holding a pistol. And the other one is just reaching out and that basically represents the everyday struggle of being a black man in America, and that’s where “Continued…” came from. A lot of what I talk about when I make music is about being an African American man in America, and that’s where the Continued… name came from and was the basic design for the cover.
How long have you been working on this project?
It was like a total of three years between the writing and recording/mixing, and then it was process of elimination. Originally I started with having 25 tracks written over the span of 2.5 years of me writing stuff. Right before I went to the studio I was rehearsing songs and listening to them and feeling out how comfortable I was with what I was saying and I broke it down to 15 tracks to go to the studio with. From there we broke it down to 12, and after process of elimination and everything, I got it down to 9.
Where was it recorded?
I did it with Parker Joe from Flavr Blue. He has his homie studio where we recorded and mixed it.
Who are the producers?
We’ve got my best friend Anvil, he produced a majority of the project. There’s also a track that him and Lysander Olsen co-produced. There’s also a track with my homie from Boston, Donato. There’s one track on there by P-Soul, he’s out of Minneapolis.
Who was featured?
I actually chose to not do any features on this project. I felt like that was really really important to have a body of work that was over 4 songs. I usually don’t do features anyways so no one was featured on this project.
What was your favorite track?
“Compadre Deux/Blocks” I fuck with that track, it’s hands down my favorite. It was fun to make and is hands down the one I’m most passionate about. I’m glad how it turned out.
Who would you like to thank for helping with the project?
Everybody that helped with it. Anybody that listened to it with me. I lived in a house with 4 or 5 other people and they listened to me rap the project so I’d like to thank all of them. I’d like to thank Parker for recording and mixing, I definitely learned a lot from him. And I’d like to thank all the producers for all the creative production they provided.