by Jeff Milo
An effective way to make your debut? Have SelfSays slew some sinewy rhymes over the bridge of your single - "Bad for Me" - an already impressive blend of shadowy dream-pop drifts, softly shimmered slams of trip-hop and soulful/sultry vocals pirouetting over sonorous chimes, buzzy bass and twanged-out, burred n' bent guitars.
"Initially" says the eclectic Ypsi-based songwriter Joel Skene, "I just wanted to make a band that was more hip-hop and dance-able." (Heretofore, Skene's played and contributed to psyche-tinged folk bands like Fields of Industry and currently jams with indie-pop-mashing space-rockers Team Ethic). "I've loved hip-hip since (Nas') Illmatic," Skene said, "but I've never had the set up (the recording equipment), to do it. And I was never around anyone else who was creating (that kind of music) so I didn't feel very comfortable with it."
But Skene recently dove enthusiastically into Detroit's alt-hip-hop scene, noting inspirations like, of course, Danny Brown and Elzhi, but also quirkier characters like Doc Waffles, Detroit CYDI and Passalacqua. He also makes not of hip-hop leaning space-folk fryers Jamaican Queens.
"I felt like that was all something I would love to be a part of. I also just want to have shows were people can dance..."
And so, aligned with fellow students at Spring Arbor University (Mike V. Edwards and Del Belcher) practicing for a few months before serendipity introduced them to the sweet and stellar vocal talents of Brittany Willis (another SA student who would eventually switch to the Berkley School of Music). "And that's when it started to click."
Then Skene met up with Vann (a.k.a. SelfSays) after seeing his set opening for Shabazz Palaces. "Charles has excellent taste in beats, his lyrics are really interesting and he has a presence that makes you pay attention."
*Future plans for In Fact include a forthcoming EP.
***Future plans for Mr. Vann/SelfSays: July 1st a show hosted by (iN)Sect Records and Butter Made Records - featuring SelfSays w/Doc Illingsworth, Clear Soul Forces and audiopilots.