Boonie Mayfield Presents: Solomon Vaughn is the latest project from Boonie Mayfield. Although this is not his first project out the gate, this is his debut solo project as an artist. With this project Boonie finally displays his talents as an emcee and singer and producer and multi-instrumentalist (and comedian – just ask the BoonDock band how many times they’ve been docked pay for wearing white suits and missing rehearsal).
We caught up with Bonnie to get the 411 on his latest release.
Boonie Mayfield Presents Solomon Vaughn – THE INTERVIEW
BTR: What is the concept behind the album Boonie Mayfield Presents: Solomon Vaughn?
BOONIE: Basically reaching the goal I initially set when I decided to learn how to produce, which was to produce for myself. Around the time I first started on Youtube, I was honestly starting to think that my rapping days were somewhat over. Beat-making used to be the “side thing” for me while rapping was primary, but then it switched for a while.
I really tried to be a behind-the-scene kind of person! I really tried, but after several years, it caught up to me. I had frequent creative blocks, felt uninspired, bored and couldn’t figure out why until I realized the rapper in me was just itching to come back out. I didn’t want to just make beats for artists… I wanted to make songs… So, the album is the presentation of me totally expressing myself, producing, rapping, singing, writing, arranging etc. Basically, it’s the combination of all the experience and knowledge I’ve gained as a rapper/songwriter in the past 13 years, and as a producer for the past 10 years.
BTR: You get into some singing and even experimental and ambient territory on cuts like Mile Hi and Glad I Found You. Was it important for you to flex your diversity on this album?
BOONIE: Yes, I think it was important, so that people don’t get too comfortable and stuck on one flavor I have to offer as a musician. You can’t put this album in a box… therefore, the expectations people will have for my music from here on out is to bring good quality music, rather than a specific style, direction or sound. Artistically, I’m all over the place… so the album needed to showcase that.
BTR: How long have you been working on this project?
BOONIE: I worked on it for just over a year. Started in September 2012 and finished in October 2013. There are some songs/concepts on the album that had been sitting around for years though.
BTR: The album sounds pretty good. Are you the type that stresses over the nuances of mixing and sound engineering? What would you say is the biggest hurdle in achieving your sound?
BOONIE: Thank you! I have to thank JD Feighner for his awesome display of mixing on the album. He’s definitely the one who stresses over the nuances of mixing and sound engineering (lol). Before, I didn’t stress much over the mix, because I can get my sounds decent enough on my own… but after I had JD mix a few songs that really needed help, I decided to have him mix everything because it was such a huge difference.
The biggest hurdle in achieving my sound was just finding unique ways to enhance the sounds of this unique music without stripping away the rawness of it all. Every song sounds different from the other on the album, so every song had to be mixed differently. Songs like “Blade Brown”, “Everything” and “Mile Hi” took a lot of time to mix. Just like I said about the listeners, JD also couldn’t get too comfortable because there was a new challenge that awaited with each song, and he enjoyed each challenge.
BTR: What was the most agonizing part of making this project?
BOONIE: The most agonizing part honestly could’ve been avoided, because it had nothing to do with the music and had everything to do with my impatience. I was so excited and anxious about this album and I just wanted it out already because it took so many years for me to finally get to this point. I briefly touched on this in the last song, “Closure”. I almost rushed to put the album out before several songs were even finished. I almost released it unmixed! So, the most agonizing part of making this project was having to let it slowly develop and accept that it would take longer than I expected to finish it.
BTR: Who are the features on the album and how did the collabos come about?
BOONIE: The features are my boy Shawn Keith, my cousin and fellow emcee Jordan Craft, a new hip-hop duo, iLL University and my fiancée Giane Morris, who’s vocals can be found all over the album. Jordan and I formed as a duo by the name of Play Cousin a couple years ago, so the song with him is a cut that we recorded prior to me working on this album.
The whole story of linking up with iLL University is kind of a long one. To make it short, they’ve been supporters of my music since the beginning of me uploading my first batch of beats online… way before Youtube. I met Istayjammin through mutual friends last year and seriously didn’t know he rapped until almost a year later. When he finally showed me some of the joints him and his cousin were making, I was instantly hooked and loved how old-school yet new and refreshing they sounded. At first, “Can-O-Dam” wasn’t going to be on the album because all I had was the hook. I had no clue what else to do to it. I couldn’t write to it. But then, it hit me and I felt that iLL University would be perfect to feature on “Can-O-Dam”, which they were down to do, so we tried it and it worked perfectly. After they had their verses laid down, I was able to get mine’s down. They really helped bring the song to life, otherwise the song would’ve probably never got finished.
Shawn on the intro and Giane’s features are pretty self explanatory I think (lol).
BTR: Last time we talked for our interview last year I asked when we could expect the Play Cousins project. I believe you mentioned your focus was on your solo album and here we are so… Audiopium (feat. Jordan Craft) is present and accounted for on this project should we expect the Play Cousins project soon?
BOONIE: Probably not for a while. Jordan is his own artist and was his own artist before I came into the picture. Therefore, I’d rather him be presented as just ‘Jordan Craft’ first rather than “Jordan Craft of Play Cousin”. Play Cousin is a side thing for the both of us, so I want him to get his main thing out just like I got my main thing out first. I’d say to expect a Jordan Craft album before expecting a Play Cousin album.
But, I will say this… I do have a project coming out with my collective, Audiopium, which will include Play Cousin, iLL University and others. So, be on the look out for that!
BTR: In closing, What would you say to someone who asked you to describe your style as an artist?
BOONIE: I’m so all over the place so it’s hard to say. But, I guess I’d say something like… Take Andre 3000 and Q-Tip… throw them in a time machine to experience the musical highlights of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s, bring them back and have them make music that incorporates the genres and styles that impacted them most… And that’s how I could best describe my sound. A gumbo full of classic sounds from many eras and genres.
Boonie’s outing this go around is accompanied by a full-fledged crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo.com