Benin City boy Jimi Dean steps back into the music field with his latest sound pitch Off The Bean. The Nigerian born Rap artist born Eromosele Aikhege stays exerting the positive influence of hip hop royalty Kendrick Lamar, Asap Rocky, Kanye West, Isaiah Rashad and record producers like MF DOOM.
The Edo State poet travels on from his younger days freestyling with his friends in high school and shares his gift alongside his band mates in the music group LOMO. Jimi provides the next track from his previous close to home and coming of age record Up to Something produced by good friend and American producer Wave. Now the two reunite to give the second instalment to Dean's solo career with his more contrasting tune Off the Bean. Explaining more about the song's theme of substance use, his love life and its positive and negative effects on being in a creative process. Jimi also talks about his preference for individuality and keeping to himself and also praises his collaborative friendship with Wave and the inspiration of higher hunger, the determination being from his hometown in Edo State and his two EP projects out later this year.
1. Hi Jimi Dean, it’s great to have you return to share more about your new track Off the Bean. The second and follow up song from your first Up to Somethin. Can you share more on what’s it all about? JIMI: Off a bean is a song I wrote at a time where drugs were really my go-to for solace. I basically talk about how it affects my personal life, sex life/relationship, and how it makes me want to avoid confrontation & just keep to myself.
2. You’ve noted prior that the song tackles the themes of drug use, personal life
and love life. Could you briefly chat more about how the references? JIMI: Well, the use of drugs has played maybe a semi-important role in my creative process & basically my everyday life. It’s affected my personal life in both positive & negative ways as it helps me create my art & evade certain life problems, but it’s also made me burn bridges along the way as well as lose interest in certain things or people I used to care about. Used to always have the feeling of detachment from the world due to depression & to an extent the drugs have helped in making me both more involved & completely withdrawn at certain times. It’s also affected my love life in certain ways, one being my inability to give complete attention to my partners or act as much as I in fact love my partner, mostly always acting withdrawn as the bar in the song says “babygirl I like the loving but just trust me, you just leave me for the night”
3. On the song’s production you re-joined with your main producer, American composer Wave. How was it working on this new song together? What was the verbal exchange like and did he custom make the track or even audit the lyrics on the song?
JIMI: Nah, I and Wave just have very special chemistry in the sense that I’m really attracted to his style of beats as it helps me be more versatile and raw as I can or want to be & he gets my sound. I’m just really in love with his sound/production. None of the beats were custom made either, Just me listening to his beats & vibing to it. We also didn’t record the song together as he lives in the U.S, I just got the beat of him & recorded it here in Nigeria.
4. The song has the smooth and butterfly delivery that you speak of. Being easy to catch on to. For your songwriter how was the process of writing for this track as opposed to your first? JIMI: Well, firstly thanks for the compliment, really appreciate that & I did infact write the song all by myself as well as Up to Somethin. I don’t really let anyone get involved in my writing process as I like to be in my own world when I write, I try to really be in touch with my emotions & inner self or state of mind. The writing process was actually quite similar to Up to Somethin’, with the major difference being me actually writing while I was off a bean lol. Wrote and recorded it in my bedroom all by myself, same with Up to Somethin’. I was listening to a couple of beats by Wave while I was high & that one just stuck at the time & it sounded perfect for the story I wanted to tell too. Sat on a chair in my bedroom, speakers blazing, lights off & I’m done writing and recording in probably less than an hour.
5. It sure is good to hear more from more talents from the West African music space. Being from Benin City. What’s new there and how more does it inspire you creatively. Can you can speak more about the positive observations? JIMI: Well there are a lot of things that inspire me coming from here, I guess one thing I’d say in particular is the determination you know? The hunger. Everyone just keeps pushing no matter what may be going on around us, that hunger to grind and struggle to keep pushing, is really inspiring I’d say, I love it. I’ve seen a lot of things happen while I was there & to see the reaction from everyone to pick themselves back up & keep pushing & getting on with it even with the circumstances against us, is simply inspiring.
6. To finish off here, Jimi, thanks for sharing your new track and your voice and
more about your city. As you say in the song ‘What’s next ‘for you later this year. Have a got a full tape or EP in the works? JIMI: Always a pleasure speaking with you guys. I have about 2 EPs in the work now, that I plan on dropping later this year, God willing. Maybe after the summer, we’ll see. One thing for sure is that there’s a whole lot of music on the way with new sounds, new vibes, and something different. I always try to push myself to create something different, and experiment.