London rapper yusef slim, whose work I have featured on in the past, requested I write a series of instrumentals for him that reflected his existing work but also brought some of my own sound into the mix to create something new (he is familiar with my work and influences). He also asked me to sample conversation between two characters in films or television shows of my choosing throughout these instrumentals. He wanted me to do this so, upon receiving my instrumentals, he could challenge himself lyrically by writing to the themes these conversations created. As he wanted this sampling primarily as a jumping off point for himself, I had to use them in such a way that, if they were removed, the instrumental would stand by itself.
A Unique Form of Co-Writing
Obviously this is an incredibly specific brief based on an existing working relationship between myself and yusef that is unlikely to be directly applicable in other instances. However, I have included it in my portfolio as it not only provides challenges which broaden my writing skill-set (as I am still new to writing in the rap genre, and I had never used sampling prior to this), but it has also created and incredibly unique form of co-writing between us. Being able to dictate the topic material of the song almost means I am responding to his brief with instrumentals that then provide him with a brief in turn.
Feedback and Further Writing
Ultimately this is a process that is still very much current, both in regards to the two instrumentals I've already written and future pieces I may write for yusef. He has heard both pieces and is very happy with 'California', so will be working on that himself shortly. We however agree that 'padre and hole-y ghosts' needs some further work with pacing and creating space for vocals, although he is fond of the guitar hook and bass riff! So I will continue to work on this and hopefully turn it into something he can use.