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Mirrored Skies

Will they fall?

By Kuro Seijaku Published about a year ago 8 min read
S H I F T I N G .W A V S | | W E .A R E (not) A L O N E (Alt cover)

S H I F T I N G .W A V S | | W E .A R E (not) A L O N E

22 tracks of refinement, being one with my creative process. This album helped me become an artist beyond my own expectations. The focus is more instrumental than vocal, while host to more than a few vocal tracks, they’re more of a backdrop to the central narrative. That said, what is the narrative? What is the album saying?

This hasn’t been easy for me to nail down for a litany of reasons, chief among them is perspective. When I started this album the year was 2017. I’d just graduated, and barely entered the working world. I got to meet some amazing people, had some wonderful experiences, and made friends that would help me grow in ways I never anticipated. My perspective on the world had just began to expand.

At this point in my life I had been a producer for 4 years. In that time I was able to establish a fairly strong cult following. It wasn’t crazy, at least not now any ways. As 2017 was also arguably one of, if not my strongest year as an artist. My second strongest being 2022, so we’re still doing pretty well. That’s a big part of what makes this album so special.

2017 was the end of my beginning. This is when the genre of “Lo-fi” exploded in popularity in my opinion. A ton of my contemporaries, and friends I’ve made in the music scene managed to achieve great success during this time. It was quite the experience, and it was incredible to be a part of. However something within me wasn’t there. That is to say, at this point in my life I’d began to fall into a depression that held me for years.

I’d just moved away from the place that I grew up in. It was the same city, same state, and yet everything was completely different. It was like the world completely changed the moment I left. I had established a little routine, had friends I could hang out with and everything. Despite this I think I felt a great deal of regret. All of this probably sounds selfish. It was my choice to pursue music so fervently, and I’m thankful for that choice. Though it’s sad to say I wish I hadn’t gone so far so fast.

Flashbacks of sleepless nights, early mornings, staying up for days at a time, skipping, and making music in school are how I reflect on the early days of my music career. I wasn’t a “bad” kid by any means, at least I tried not to be. After moving away from the environment I went to elementary in I did my best to stay out of trouble. I still managed to get into plenty of it. So when I got into high school I chose to play it safe, initially.

I stayed away from drugs, had crushes on what my idea of the “good” girls was at the time, and hung out with my friends. I even managed to go my entire high school experience without having to fight. I almost did more than a few times, but cooler heads prevailed. All in all I was a kid, did some bad did some good, did a lot of stupid stuff and grew up a little. In school I don’t know how I’d describe myself. Mostly cause it’s more irrelevant now than anything, but it wasn’t bad.

High school sucked, but a part of me misses it, having lost a few of my friends since then helps it make more sense to me. Long story short, I ended up getting into things that a younger me would’ve tried to avoid. I’d spent a lot of time doing parkour, and free running. Climbing on buildings and free running over obstacles. Nothing too crazy, just average fun.

While I was doing all of this though alot of my friends had to go through some heavy experiences. It made me feel like I wasn’t there. It pissed me off and turned me into a more callous man than I had hoped to become. For a long time now I’ve felt trapped between two worlds. Unable to live in one because I’m drawn to both. It’s not as black and white as being good and bad. It’s like having two separate mindsets, being unable to reconcile them.

It was this back and forth that’s caused me to self isolate. I guess the idea was that as long as everything was moving in a good direction I’d stay out of trouble. I was afraid, afraid to hurt other people in any way. I didn’t know my own strength and I’m not very good at holding back. So I chose to be alone. Thus circling back to how this album changed it all.

During all of this I had a dear friend who told me about XXXTentacion. Now mind you, today, saying that is kinda like “okay that makes sense” but at the time it was revolutionary. This was 2014 or 15. He had asked about recording with me and I was completely open to it. Before it was time to head home though he put me onto his homie X. I was immediately impressed by his quality. I wasn’t sold on the sound, but he definitely grew on me. As I got a ‘behind the scenes’ look at things that were going on though I fell in love with his story.

X inspired me to seek out more like minded individuals online. Hearing a kid like him be so thoughtful at such a young age gave me hope. So I started to reach out. Soon, I found friends, some of those friends felt like family. That’s around the time I met Datfootdive. That man was like a brother to me. I never asked how he felt or thought about me, but he was always a great friend. We collaborated for years, and though it was brief the time I spent in close contact with him is something I cherish.

Fast forward to 2017, high school is over. X is famous, Datfoot headed off to college I believe, and I became a quintessential transient. Basically I was a nomad with a home. I did my best to stay out of the house, hanging out with friends/girlfriends, going to the studio, going to shows, whatever. If it meant I got to get out of the house I was there. Mostly because when I was home I felt a crushing depression.

It was my hope to start making enough money in music to take care of at least some of the bills. This is around when Vine began to wind down. So the initial wave of “do it for the vine” antics declined as well. I wasn’t too keen on acting crazy on camera for views. I was plenty crazy without being egged on for social credit and clout. Unfortunately that also meant it was harder to stand out. You had people putting things together so quickly back then, it was like magic.

While I respected the hustle and immense work ethic, I chose to let my music do most of the talking. I fancy myself a philosopher and as such, take no joy in not contributing to philosophy. In my mind the way I chose to proceed was the only logical option. Because no matter what I’m a scholar first. That’s what saved me from being on the streets. My aim in music was to shine light on that which we don’t get to see everyday. These people we obsesse over, the celebrities that tell their stories to millions are regular people too.

Many are miraculous and stupendous regular people. Yet and still are regular regardless. Growing up I often heard folks complain about something being regular. The funny part is everything around them was regular. The parts of life that tended to be irregular are now mundane. Sad to say, yet, true. What we didn’t get to see though is the depth of suffering that people who are idolized often experience. That’s where I come in.

My music has an intentional dark tone to it. My life is a fairly happy one. I could complain, however most of my issues are with myself and I’m improving on that front. That said, my songs speak to the disheartened, depressed, sad, maligned, and cast off. To the intimate moments you share with your own self. To the moments you allow your guard to drop, and for the façade to crack. When you feel like the world keeps crumbling and you’re trying to hold it together with bubblegum, expired glue, and half a roll of duct tape.

Shifting wavs speaks directly to someone experiencing this. In a sense it’s me talking to me, allowing anyone to step into my shoes for a little while, to follow my thoughts. It plays like a double album, the first 12 tracks are a story of their own. It’s a self contained narrative. The remaining 10 are direct references to Neon Genesis Evangelion and the concept of the album.

To preface, I have a very rough understanding of Eva. I’m a fan through and through, but I’ve only seen some of the movies and half of season 1 I think. The point is that I understand the story but not the exact story beats. I hope Datfoot ain’t disappointed, he’s the one who put me onto Eva in the first place.

Tracks 13 and 14 are interesting for separate reasons. 13 is lifted from “Rainy Daze” the first rap album I ever recorded. It was a dark concept album that explores the lives of two brothers who fall into a life of crime. In the end both are slain and consumed by their environment. “Tired” address the interplay of the world of “Rainy Daze” and my real world. Putting myself in the shoes of people I’ve met, or stories I’ve heard, things I’ve seen. Tired of running away when all I want to do is be angry at everything, fight, and tear down this disgusting excuse of “charity” we’re given.

14. Façade, this song is what makes 13 and 14 so interesting. Façade is a cascading cacophony of being a trash dude, on the surface. The idea that I’m addressing on this song, when put into the context of it’s track listing takes on a whole new meaning. When the credits roll (track 12) this world can be a tired (track 13) façade (track 14) and it hurts to say it. I take a lot of time out to order and organize my songs into one cohesive idea when approaching my albums.

When I am finished with the arrangements and it comes out the way I envisioned it there’s an unshakable feeling of satisfaction. When I get that feeling I know it’s good. That’s what made this album so innovative for me. It was Lo-fi and experimental to the core. There’s an aesthetic that makes it feel like those songs are older than they seem. Even with the songs that have vocals. I did my best to engineer them in such a way that they appeal to the eclectic ear.

When you want to hear something smart and don’t have to think about it. That’s what S H I F T I N G .W A V S is about. Being alone until you remember that it’s really not so bad outside. That no matter what happens you’ll always come back to a better place. That things will always improve, it’s just a matter of time.

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About the Creator

Kuro Seijaku

“Kuro Silence (Seijaku) is a rapper/producer from Baltimore, Maryland. From trap to experimental, Kuros work defies normative currents of Hip-Hop’s soundscape with his work ethic and forays into Hip-Hop’s many sub-genres.”

-Channel10 Podcast

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