Q&A: Sol on Haiti, Yours Truly, and His Upcoming Travels"/>
2012 has been a big year for Seattle rapper Sol's career, which has included the release of his Yours Truly album that he had been working on for three years. He even survived almost getting mauled by his audience at Sasquatch, with the help of the burly security team that rushed to his assistance. Solzilla won't have that luxury when he embarks on his next venture, traveling to 11 countries across the world in nine months.
Sol performing at Sasquatch! 2012
His last show before he heads out, on Saturday at Showbox at the Market, is sure to be a celebration and an event any Sol fan won't want to miss.
Before he skips town, Sol took some time to talk about his music and what's in store for him overseas.SW: How does Yours Truly album compare to Dear Friends and other music you've put out?
Sol: Yours Truly, I think, is the most complete piece of work I've made up to this point. It's also the most intense and hard project that I had make. I've spent three years working on Yours Truly, before I even put out Dear Friends Vol. 1. Those EPs were process, to help shed the layers and get down to the core of who I am as a artist. To finally be able to have all that in an album, that's why I called it Yours Truly. If I had one piece of work that I feel encompass who I am, the person I am at this time, it would be that album and that was my goal. I would never go so far to say it is a masterpiece but it is certainly a piece of art that encompasses who I am.
If you'd have to pick a favorite song off of it, which one would it be?
I have a song called "2020", it's produced by a friend Nima Skeemz. That was one of the last songs we made for the album, and it was a chilling song to make. It felt like something that was bigger than me. For the first time, it felt like the music was in control and I was just along for the ride, and that something bigger was happening. It was a sign that the album had reached its completion. For me, it was cool because that was me shedding a layer and, in a way, becoming a more evolved artist. It's great that it happened right at the end of the album, rather than right after, because a few of those last records that we made, it was really me meandering my zone. It was cool to have that to be one of the last things I say on the album.
What can people expect from your going away concert?
It's going to be a celebration. Even though it is my going away concert, I feel like in certain ways, it's a celebration of all that has happened up to this point. I hope for a send off that can leave me on a high for the next nine months while I travel. To be able to spend that time with my fans, my family and my friends, all in one place on one night, it's going to be a magic moment for me and whoever that has been involved thus far in my music and my life. It's going to be a really special night and we're just going to party, it's going to be like Carnival in Seattle.
What will you be doing while overseas?
When I graduated from the UW, I was a honor student and got an honors fellowship called the Bonderman Travel Fellowship. It awards you $20,000 to travel around the world. You get to choose where you go but you have to be gone for at least 8 months and travel to at least 6 different countries. My trip is based around music, but I'm not necessarily touring, out there playing shows. I'm traveling to places that have really rich musical histories, cultural histories that I'm interested in and places I've always wanted to go to.
In reality, I'm in sort of a way taking a break from music. I'm not going to be out there imposing myself as much as I hope to soak up new life experience and inspirations I can add to my life as well as my music. It's kind of a crazy trip, it's going to be intense because I've traveling alone. I'm going to India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, South Africa, and then I go to Peru, Brazil, Venezuela and to the Caribbean, then I'll go to Haiti for the first time, which is where my mom is from.
What are you most looking forward to about your trip?
The unexpected. The crazy things that will happen to me while I'm traveling are going to be some of the things that define me as a person. I look forward to being completely out of my element and not being able to make any assumptions. I feel like it's easy in this world we're in to get caught up in this world, with our Iphones, internet and social media. I hope by traveling, I can be further reminded of how unimportant I am and how there is people living life all over the world.
When you get back, what's going to be next on your agenda?
I think, at least, for me on a personal level it's important that I go into this prepared to be changed. With that said, you don't truly know that's going to happen.
Something I do know is what music means to me, and how important it is in my life, and I look forward to being able to further that relationship with music and being able to jump back into making music again, and use this experience traveling as a way to make a new type of music, maybe one that has never been made before. I'd love to be able to continue traveling.
Playing music is quite possibly my favorite thing to do, to be able to travel the world playing music is my dream. I hope to be able to keep doing that.