November 10, 2011

Thaione Davis

Thaione Davis
Bridging the gaps of what many fail to realize, Thaione Davis consistently continues to develop and push the envelopes of progression.  As an accomplished producer/emcee born and raised in the mean streets on the south side of Chicago, Davis has silently become a vessel in the ranks of hip hop domestic and abroad.  Well known as a modern day renaissance artist, Davis adds legacy in various forms stemming from music to visual snapshot.  cinematographer, sound engineer, photographer, dj, and all around b-boy; it is worthy to note the dedication given for his craft and conviction.  With several vocal/instrumental releases on both sides of the water, Thaione has developed a niche for capturing the many moods and passions of life.  The signature of his global travels is reflective in not only his music, but in every aspect of his craft.  Modest by nature, meticulous by trade, Davis thoroughly represents the essence before innocence lost.

Lets start with the whole introduction thing…

Peace…I’m casually known as Thaione Davis born and raised on the south side of Chicago. No particular crew or affiliations…cool with a handful of cats, bonded with a couple of like minded individuals.

You MC, produce, and direct videos. What do you have to say about having multiple skills/crafts in today’s musical climate?

It’s a natural progression…if not a natural requirement.  Coming up in Chicago during the times I did, it was commonplace to be multi-faceted. I’m just following suit from the way I was introduced to the culture. All the skills/crafts as you call it are mere vessels of expression.  Some cats only know me for one form of expression, others know me from b-boying, to engineering, to dj(ing), to you name it…I’m definitely an “all city” cat, meaning I can cover all bases of the spectrum, on some modern day renaissance type shit.  I completely endorse cats wearing multiple hats in their craft, but the key is to become dope at all avenues you tackle. Don’t be limited.  Some days I fucking hate rhyming…so I may just focus on production for the time being…some days I just wanna dj and scratch all day. Other times I just chill on the music all together and do photography…they are all outlets, so if you are limited to only (one) outlet of expression then an unbalanced and frustrated person you might become. At the end of the day these are skills and perfecting your own particular skill is keen, that way you don’t have to depend on someone else to provide a skill for you. 

Tell us a bit your new instrumental project.

Emanuelle’s Theme Music. Yeah that shit hella smooth…real soft, sensual mood music. Well the name comes from my publishing, which actually comes from the soft porn joints that used to come on cinemax back in the day…I had a nice fix on the leading lady and her world traveling. I had always envisioned my music to be broad and well traveled, hence the title of the publishing.  As for the album, it’s a snapshot of the many various moods of the many women I’ve come across in my life.  It ranges from intimate and casual relationships, to women as friends and family….even those just in passing.  I just wanted to pay tribute to the essence and the air that they have given off, both positive and negatively during our course of interactions.  I was overseas listening to it and a young lady stated the album makes for a great listen from beginning to end, “goes well with a bottle of wine.” so there you go…

What are some of your favorite instrumental Hip Hop albums?

To answer that I have to first make the separation between hip hop album (as a composition and themed work) as opposed to hip hop album (the instrumental versions to what somebody rhymed over).  As a hip hop album (composition) I would have to say the one album by Nobody called “SOULMATES”.  It was real thematic and very well constructed.  Now as far as “instrumentals” to somebody album, I would go with both Digable Planets albums (Reachin’ & Blowout Comb).  Honestly every hip hop instrumental I’ve ever heard has a special place with me, from something super simple and sparse, to the more dense and complex sequences. I’m a fiend when it comes to the beats…

How do you approach making an instrumental track differently than one for an MC?

I can’t say I have a particular approach or a method when making a track for somebody to rhyme on.  I just do what I do, which is try and create some music that has a feel or a purpose behind it.  I just make mad beats (shout out to the homie), seriously I just produce as much music as I can, no particular sound in mind…all my joints got drums and a bottom, so the low end theory is always there and if it moves you to spit some bars then so be it.  One thing I can say is that my instrumentals can and will always be able to stand their own merit even without an mc guiding you over the track. That’s the faction behind my instrumental albums right there…the ability for the music to be able to stand on its own regardless.

Thaione Davis

If you could collab with anyone, who would it be?

I’m always open to collab with cats that are dope in my opinion or even those who I think have a good amount of potential…the sincere part of me is always open, but the logical side understands that you just can not work with everyone.  Politics and subliminal bullshit may often pop up unannounced…that’s why it’s better to keep emotions on the side when doing collabo. I make sure to keep things face value and strictly based on the music. There’s a phrase in regards to meeting your heroes (or someone you admire) and they actually turn out to be some pretty “ugly” characters…I’ve had my share of meeting a few of these cats and can say there is a bit of truth in that statement.  I guess on first thought would say Butterfly (from Digable Planets); I’m really intrigued by that Shabazz Palaces thing he is doing.

As a veteran, what are your thoughts on today’s generation of up and coming artists?

I honestly love the quantity of what up and coming artists are bringing to the table because it shows that cats have a lot on their mind and are willing at any opportunity to document that feeling or expression and get it out.  I don’t believe these new cats have truly realized the power they possess, so at times that can also be counterproductive. I applaud the new sense of independence and the no holds barred “you can’t tell me shit” attitude, but there also has to be a level of respect and understanding history behind it.  I think all the tools and avenues to get music heard and made readily available to the masses is a huge advantage that really shows the potential of strength in numbers. There is a whole new movement going on right now, unfortunately a lot of the members involved are too young to be familiar with the cats that paved the way for them to exist in the first place. I think with a little more knowledge and some balance, these up and coming cats are set to contribute a new dimension to the culture and the way it is delivered to the masses. I’m looking forward to the intense audio/visual overloads soon come…

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