Ode To Tha Grind marks a heavier direction for Shivastep, who returns to us after a year immersed in the footwork/juke influences of his native Chicago and dirty southern hip hop. We spoke a bit about his work last night.
How did you approach this second EP?
Ode To Tha Grind comes from a similar place as my previous EP, but I dove more into hip hop, especially to augment a more visceral, dirty, and heavy feeling. The clattering 808s of juke feels like home to me – I love that sound so much but I slowed it down to draw out the grittiness.
Yeah, the heavy feeling really bleeds through on the title track, “Ode To Tha Grind”. Could you speak a bit about how the song came about?
That track was all about bass. I was playing with some drum patterns and vocals chops and heard that “ode to tha grind” sample just pop out. I then took a pretty normal sounding bass synth and destroyed it with effects. I wanted the song to sound filthy, and think that I achieved that sound.I combined genres in the middle of the piece too because I have a soft spot for chord movements that go for the heartstrings and always try to inject a strong melody in every song I write.
What particular footwork/juke tracks were you listening to?
Theres this random track by Lil Wish called “Pop Drop” that I would always go back to and throw on cause its all about this super simple 808 pattern but the way it cuts to half time and back just gets me. I also listened to a lot of DJ Rashad – Teklife is amazing. I’m on what.cd so I found all these random footwork comps from all over too.
It’s interesting that you made an EP inspired by southern hip hop and Chicago footwork while living in Los Angeles. Do you think location played an integral part in the creation of the EP?
Not really. I’ve lived all over so I like to pull together all of these things that have made an impact on my life, the way new places and experiences make your expand your perspective that you’ll always carry with you. That’s also what I find so exciting about music right now and how the internet feeds into it, there are no more boundaries and all of these people are breaking molds of having to fit into a style or genre.
How have the live shows been going?
I live to do this shit live, to play it loud and feel the energy between the audience, the music and myself. Nothing else compares to it.
When and where can people purchase the EP?
It’ll be free download on my bandcamp February 7.