We had the pleasure of chatting with Caleb X recently and this was one of the books. After starting with a MacBook Air, we find out what feeling freedom in music really feels like and the creative process behind Double Back.
We appreciate you taking time out of your busy day for us. Firstly, please tell us how you got into the game and where you are currently based.
I first got into music at the age of 16 when I decided to not just write poems and lyrics in a notebook and to put it on songs instead of starting out on just my MacBook Air. Before then, I always used to watch my cousin Laure Pen make music in her room as a kid and ever since those days I’ve just been inspired to make my own path in music. After moving from Georgia, I’m now based in Virginia.
Double Back is your latest track. Please guide us through the creative process and who you worked with on it.
Double Back came about while coming up with a new sound for a collaboration project I’ve been working on with a talented artist featured on the song named Zay-Oh along with the production by Mike Lakes. I’ve been having great chemistry with both so it was about that time to put something together and showcase our talents and just create something great. Originally Double Back started with just the melody while going through some beats and once I heard one of Mike Lake’s beats everything started to click and I went on from there. Definitely one of the most fun creative processes I’ve had so far.
Which local music venues in your area should we check out?
Now, when it comes to Atlanta it’s so many to go to I can’t just name one but personally my favorites to check out are center stage and masquerade. You can always catch some dope shows there. Mainstream or underground it doesn’t matter. When it comes to where I’m based in now Virginia, the main one to check out is the Norva. Thats the go to venue here for real.
The Blue Moon. Please tell us more about your last project and what you’re currently working on.
The Blue Moon is my favorite project I’ve made so far. There’s so much that went into it creatively and just things that happened outside the process that makes that time period special to me. There were times I thought it would never get done or go the way I wanted it to but in the end things happened just how it should’ve in order to make the album what it is. I was going through writer’s block before finishing it and I just kept at it in the studio with my good friend Benzo who is featured on the album a couple times. He gave me that push when I needed it the most. he even help me get better at melodies and putting ideas together better. I even got into a bad accident that not too many people know about but that was a factor in kind of messing up my process but eventually I just used that as more motivation to keep going and prove to myself that nothing can stop me from creating. Also, while creating The Blue Moon, I finally connected with Mike Lakes. I happened to make a loose single that was originally part of the album but I ended up putting it on SoundCloud and sent him the track and he was blown away by it so ever since then we’ve been locked in and trying to make more songs and just strengthen our chemistry. The Blue Moon is definitely that project I’ll always love because it was the first time I didn’t rush the process and allowed myself to live in the moment and let ideas come to me slowly and really soak things in which is something I’ll continue to do.
I’m currently working on 2 projects actually. One is the collaboration project with Zay-oh which is titled Ultraviolet Radio and the other is a solo EP. Haven’t told anyone the title of the EP yet so you guys get the exclusive. It’s titled Dreams of Rodeo.
What was it like growing up in your area and how have your family impacted your career choice?
Growing up was interesting I would say. Started out on the East side of Cleveland, Ohio from birth til I was about 6. I would say it’s not the ideal place you would like to raise your children but it was out of my parents control but we were blessed enough to move to a more safe environment located in the city of Cleveland I guess you can say before we eventually moved to Georgia when I was 9. My dad bought me a karaoke machine when I was like 7 and I was the happiest kid ever. Always used to battle rap with my friends while using the mic and when it comes to family influence in music it’s like a never ending list. But my dad would always play the oldies like Marvin Gaye, Dazz Band, Ohio Players, you know all the classic artists of that time that I still listen to. My mom wasn’t too big on that music but she played a lot of Gospel and Whitney Houston when I was growing up so I would say hearing the mix of 70s music and gospel definitely made me fall in love with that type of sound along with melodies. The love of melody really hit me when my dad introduced me to Bone Thugs & Harmony music as a kid for the first time. Their sound hit me like a tsunami I swear. If it wasn’t for their music I truly don’t think I would have the type of love for music I have today. Also, I have a brother who rapped for a while and opened up a show for Bone thugs ironically and I have 2 nieces and a cousin who sing along with another cousin who produces and they all record their own music so it’s definitely always been a family thing. We didn’t go for the music, it came to us. That’s how I always looked at it. It’s something that will never leave us. It’s just part of our DNA.
Do you have any advice for new artists in the game and what are the best words of wisdom you’ve ever experienced?
As far as advice goes for new artists out there, I would say to stay true to yourself no matter what. Don’t let any outside noise take you away from the vision you have for your art. Not everyone is going to like you but there are some who will. Those are the ones that will take you further than you imagined. That’s something my dad always told me and I’ve been running with that advice ever since.
Last, what does making music mean to you?
To me, music means freedom. Music gives us artists the freedom to tell people who we are and what makes us tick. You don’t have to be the most lyrical person out there. We’re all telling our stories in our own way that connects with millions of people around the world. There’s people in different countries that don’t speak English at all and they still be vibing and trying their best to sing along to their favorite artists songs so that should show you how powerful music is. Music is the most powerful form of freedom in the world. You got to love it.
Hear more on Spotify.
Interview by Llewelyn Screen