By the way of Seattle, Washington, Scotty Sensei gives us the inside scoop on his second solo project “Kanji”. Teaming up with producer Dextro, these 11 tracks will have you bobbin your head throughout this Asian-esque release.
How did you choose the title of your project?
The word “Kanji” first came to me a little over a year ago, at the release show for my last project. Somebody gifted me a Japanese Hachimaki headband with the kanji characters on it for the word HISSHO, which means certain victory, or determined to win. As time passed I grew a strong liking to the word Kanji, and thought it would be cool to use it as a name for my next project. Kanji are ideographic Japanese characters that originated in China. Unlike most languages, the characters themselves represent ideas and meanings rather than just a sound. So Kanji to me is like my literature and ideas being expressed as a sound that is sort of open to interpretation for the listener. Someday it would be cool to learn to read and write it as well.
Can you explain the story behind your artwork and who is the designer?
So the characters on the front cover are the kanji for HISSHO, which I mentioned earlier, that mean certain victory. In the past year I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my abilities so that word kind of represents how I’ve been feeling with my art. The triangle has always been something we’ve used to identify our brand even before when I was part of The Cinematiks, and the rising sun and cherry blossoms just add a dope feel to the cover. The front is a dark theme and the back cover (track list) is a light theme to incorporate the duality that i express in the tape. The majority of the art was designed by my main man, Ryan Priestman, who has been my graphic designer ever since i started making music, it’s been really dope having a good homie to play that role. The only part of the cover that isn’t his is the cherry blossoms, which were drawn by another good friend of mine, Alicia Pereira.
How long have you been working on this project?
The first song from the tape was “Fly Away”, which was recorded and finished in December 2015, and I released the whole project in late November of this year, so about 11 months to a year. Like any artist I’m very picky about how everything sounds and I like my music to be as perfect as I can get it, so it took a lot of listening and re-recording of a few tracks until I finally got it to how I wanted it. It always seems to fall together perfectly though. With working a job and stuff as well it was harder for me to always be working on the album, but it got done when it was supposed to,
Where was it recorded?
A couple years back I got an interface and microphone, because I wanted to be able to record my own stuff. The entire project was recorded in my bedroom, haha. I do all the tracking by myself and then I just give the Logic Pro files to my producer/engineer to do all of the mixing and post production. It’s nice being able to do it yourself and not have to rely on other people/booking studio time at other places. Plus I get really in my zone when I’m by myself recording.
Who are the producers?
The mastermind behind Kanji is Dextro (my homie Collin). Every single beat was tailored by him to suit my voice/sound. We’ve been working together for a little over 3 years now and it’s been a blessing having someone so talented to make music with. Without him I honestly would not be as far down my music path as I am now. He mixed and mastered every single track too. He can pretty much do it all, and him and I have legendary chemistry so I’m stoked to keep working with him.
Who was featured?
Nobody. I wrote and recorded every single part. It makes the process of creating an album quite a bit harder and longer, but in the end it’s very rewarding. My singing voice has been getting better and better so i sang all the hooks n shit. It’s a dope blend of rapping and singing, and I’ve been getting a lot of comments from people saying they really fuck with my melodies and what not so it’s dope to hear that after putting so much work into it.
What was your favorite track?
That’s hard to say. There’s so many different vibes on the album, yet they all fall into my sub-genre/sound. I’d say if i had to pick one i’d pick Anime House. But then again everyone who I’ve talked to about it has a different favorite. LIMITLE$$ and Right Here seem to be the favorites of lots of people as well.
Who would you like to thank for helping with this project?
All my extremely supportive homies. They’ve believed in my talents since day 1 and everyday we are getting closer to achieving our goals. Dextro of course for being way more talented than me lol. Special thanks to Ryan and Alicia for the dope art as well.. The list goes on but my people know that I got them.