premiere: bristol-based rapper thisisda tackles on police brutality in introspective “control, shift”

April 11, 2017

Bristol-based hip-hop artist ThisisDA’s new single “Control, Shift” comes fresh off the heels of his two critically acclaimed EPs, Based off Black and 21 and done, which made a name for the rising star in the music world. The introspective track demonstrates the rapper’s effortless lyricism while touching on police brutality over a jazzy beat produced by Jakuta. The three guests featured–Luke Eira on the clarinet and Fenne Lily doubling up on vocals by seventeen-year-old Gaidaa–each adds their own intricate touch to the soulful melody.

“Was at my boy Jakuta’s place and he said he flipped an old guitar sample he recorded in some time ago. He played the track and it was exactly the sound I was looking for at the time,” ThisisDA explains. “I sat with him whilst he continued producing, and structured/arranged it how I requested. His Logic started playing up and the keyboard shortcuts weren’t working – said it’s never happened to him before. That’s when the words “control shift” popped into my head – but as a double entendre kinda thing. So I took the track away, laid down my vocals then brought in Fennne (doubles up on the 2nd chorus) and Gaidaa who did the outro melody. Gaidaa is 17 but can sing from the soul like no other. Sometime after I heard a busker playing clarinet at the bottom of Park Street in front of the Banksy’s piece at like 1 in the morning, so I got his contact and invited him to play on a few songs for me. He’s a real character. Turned up with no shoes or socks on and had a wild presence. After that it was a wrap.”

Listen to the track here!:

Producer: Jakuta
Clarinet: Luke Eira
Additional vocals: Gaidaa
Backing vocals: Fenne Lily

*Hari Ziyad is a New York based storyteller and writer for AFROPUNK. They are also the editor-in-chief of RaceBaitR, deputy editor of Black Youth Project, and assistant editor of Vinyl Poetry & Prose. You can follow them on Twitter @hariziyad.

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