DENZINO, the 21-year-old musician hailing from West London currently flying through exciting stages of his creative career has been one of my favourite artists for some time now. He began creating music back when he was playing the guitar at the age of 13, then turning his hand to producing alternative beats and sounds which eventually lead to the release of his first Rap single in 2017. Shortly after, he found his passion for engineering as he wanted to "apply the mixing techniques of mix engineers like MixedByAli" into his own sound for the future.
These days DENZINO is an established artist within the scene and can be located at two studios in West and South London also offering audio engineering services. He is influenced by artists consisting of a number of genres and including MF DOOM, Childish Gambino, Pharrell Williams, Three Days Grace and Bryson Tiller, his musical output swings from soft sounds like “Infatuation Demo” to aggressive flows like on 'Combos''. He also tends to experiment with his voice in a variety of interesting and different ways; and that is evident within this project. His ability to be so versatile is what makes him such a great artist and he is looking at a very promising future.
Project: Chairman took about 2 years to create, during this time he was participating in his first 2 years of university, formulating it between uni lectures and running studio sessions; you can imagine the amount of work he had to juggle to get this project finished. It turns out he actually had a version that was entirely different from what we have today. The only tracks that made it from that version of the project were 'More Power!', 'Monéts Interlude' & the last track on the project 'Terrible Weekend//Beautiful Weekday'.
UK Underground Rap caught up with DENZINO to have him break down every song from 'Project: Chairman' and provide you with an exclusive look at the thought processes that went into it. Hear DENZINO's take below...
Denzino - Project: Chairman:
Red Pirates [feat. Sifa] [self produced]:
"The last song that made the tape, somehow also my favourite. I was in the studio with Sifa when I made the beat and she came up with the hook. I free-styled on it just for reference and I was sitting on that version of the song for a while. Eventually I wrote the whole song on a 'tfl' journey one day and when I mixed the whole song together, I knew it had to make the tape. Every verse is longer than the last which goes hand in hand with the beat feeling like its evolving. The pitched down effect is like the icing on the cake and the transition into the next song is super subtle."
Get Money [Prod. by Finch Fetti]:
"This beat feels incredibly dreamy, so when producer Finch Fetti sent me this beat, I simply applied my own money dreams onto the beat. I like the overall vibe of the song, it's really chill and relatable."
Jugg In London (feat. Ayrtn):
"When Ayrtn and I find a time and place to cook up, it's always something to look forward to because I know we’re gonna inspire each other in some way. In the process of that we make amazing music, like this song. In terms of who produced, mixed and mastered this song, it is exactly 50/50. There are like 700 versions of this song, we recorded again from scratch a couple of times and revised the mix plenty - sending different mixes back and forth. This song was going to be released as a single but at the very last minute I cancelled because it didn’t feel right and we revised the song and the best product made the tape."
Nighttime [Prod. by DXVL]:
"If there’s someone who I can rely on beats when I choose not to use my own, its definitely DXVL. This beat gave me strong nocturnal vibes hence the name so I just developed on that concept with the chorus. In general, I’m a fan of the late night. I enjoy the quietness, at the same time I strongly find people who are out at times like 2-5am to be interesting."
Cheesecake (feat. Nace):
"Nace was at the crib and I felt immense amounts of musical productivity, this beat was one of the results of that. I sorted my verse straight after and so did Nace. The outro of this song is reflective of the fact that I’m a huge fan of chopped and screwed versions of songs."
"When I was making this beat, my objective was to create a vintage 'XXXTENTACION' type beat. I have no problem bringing energy to tracks vocally. I make reference to a lot of weird things I desire like a portal gun from 'Rick and Morty', or a car with hydraulics. My favourite part of the song is the way my adlibs float from right to left with delays coming in and out at the beginning of the second verse as I’m shouting on the mic."
Cover Art by: @ilustradiam
"This song is my very strong opinion on cigarettes. I have no problem with blem smokers, but cigarettes themselves? I can’t stand them honestly. There’s actually a 3 minute version of the beat with the 808’s going crazy but I think what I did lyrically on the beat was enough to just cut the whole thing short. It's a short and sweet message."
Stay Up [Prod. Pan]:
"This is where the tape switches up in terms of overall energy. This song, produced by Pan, serves as the end point to the 1st section of the tape. My early fans know I live for these chill hip hop type beats. This kind of music was all I would make when I started rapping and maybe in the future it's something I can go back to and develop in a new way."
"This song was the first collaboration between Monét and me. I resonated with her approach to my beat, I felt as though she caught the dark, smooth R&B sound that emanates from the beat. From this point on in the tape I maintain a chill energy."
Questions (feat. Donalee):
"I vaguely remember connecting with Donalee at a show. After meeting her, I listened to her song Can’t Help It and I knew she was someone I wanted to work with. I sang the chorus in a way that makes it hard to decipher whether I’m saying “Are we in love?” “I want your love” purposely. Sometimes you don’t know where you stand with someone you’ve been talking to and I wanted to reflect that. Donalee's verse contrasts to mine shedding light on another angle of miscommunication that a relationship can suffer from. Sometimes there is an undeniable connection between people but for whatever reason, things don't seem to flourish. Fun fact: I recorded myself playing the guitar for this song."
"This song expresses having an abundant amount of gratitude for someone and not wanting a moment to end. I was in a relationship at the time and incredibly happy when things were good. I think the lyrics in this song are especially precious and compliment the soft pads and shimmers in the beat."
Watchin [feat. Monét]:
"When making these chill trap style songs, my go to sound choice is spaceship-esque stuff. I believe thats my influence from artist/producer Ethereal. I was with Monét and Nox Cartier at Nox’s Studio 69, after making the melody he hopped on the drums. I tailored it slightly, arranged the beat and Monét was already writing the pre-hook as well as the hook 1 in the background so she was ready to record that by the time the beat was arranged. So at that point it was the beat with only the hook on it. When I had finished my verse, I sent it to Monét and she was able to get a verse back to me in no time."
Terrible Weekend// Beautiful Weekday [Prod. Nace]:
"At first, the beat was called only terrible weekend due to some misfortunes I had. The events caused me to feel like I was mentally falling and I think that shows in the verse for that side of the song. I had only that version of the song with the beat drop and I knew I was going to have to approach this beat I made with a special energy. I decided to call this part of this song Beautiful Weekday as its intrinsically more uplifting and I wanted that to represent the polar opposite of the pain I was feeling. As the synth filters in on the verse after the chorus (2:10) , it feels like the beat is harnessing its energy before it hatches like a butterfly. In this sense, the song constantly feels like its evolving similarly to the first song, which is why I chose to put this song at the end. With my first tape on streaming platforms I wanted to show people I’ve not only evolved as a musician, but I am still evolving."
Project: Chairman brought out the best of DENZINO's abilities, being one of the best structured and thought out projects of 2020. You can tell a lot of effort went into each track to make sure everything was perfect for his audience and although he is an established artist within the scene you may have missed out on his project so be sure to go show some love and check out Project: Chairman. It is available on all streaming platforms or alternatively, all our personal favourites can be found in our Spotify playlist.
We want to thank DENZINO for his time and for going through his thought process behind the project, it is always interesting to hear the artists perspectives and get that extra bit of insight! We can't wait to see what 2021 has to offer for him here at UKUR and we'll be sure to keep you lot up to date with his future releases!
STREAM 'PROJECT: CHAIRMAN' HERE
FOLLOW DENZINO ON INSTAGRAM HERE
Words by: Sam Pyke @_sam_pyke_
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