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Turn Up the Volume: UknownWriter 21's Latest Release 'Rock Ya Body'

UnknownWriter 21 recently released a new track called Rock Ya Body featuring Sean Paul.

By mysoundMusicPublished 24 days ago 11 min read

It is with great pleasure and professional admiration that I have the opportunity to once again reconnect with the talented UnknownWriter 21 for the third time. Each engagement with him feels like a reunion with a respected colleague, seamlessly picking up our discussions from where we last left off.

It is worth mentioning that UnknowWriter 21 and I inadvertently began our conversation with the shared sentiment of 'reconnecting with an old friend'. There's a word for that ... simpatico!

Beginning with our initial conversation on the release of Okay Okay, which followed the incredible success of his debut hit Can't Breathe Without U featuring R&B sensation Ne-Yo, UnknownWriter 21's genuine artistry continues to captivate.

Our subsequent dialogue explored the beautiful melodies of Falling Skies, showcasing his distinctive fusion of R&B and Hip Hop with deep emotional depth, creating a seamless blend that transcends genres and inspires.

The recent release of Rock Ya Body featuring the iconic Sean Paul serves as evidence of his artistic growth and unwavering commitment to his craft.

Bearing witness to the remarkable development of such a talented artist is an honor that I truly appreciate and value.

Take a moment to enjoy our conversation ...

Catch us up a bit on what you have been doing since our last Q&A.

I always love chatting with you because it feels like I am speaking with a friend I haven’t seen in ages. I mean there has been a lot of things that have happened since our last Q&A, I have been actively working on new projects with different underground artists, major artists, and making sure I am practicing being present in a moment.

I have been writing a lot of poetry and arranging songs for myself, I was doing sound design for video games for a little bit too. I love that part of audio engineering because it’s a different type of creativity outside of music. I have also been getting my mind right with the changes that have been happening with this release.

What was the inspiration behind the song "Rock Ya Body"?

That is a great question, the inspiration came to me in a few different ways … part of it was from another project I got asked to write for a while ago for a different riddim track … but also, I love the vibe of early 00’s R&B party and club music.

This was before I got the feature from Sean Paul, the vision of the vibe for this came from me listening to, “Spanish” by Craig David. I have been a fan of his since I was a kid hearing his music. I was sent the reference track and the opening to it; it made me think of wanting to write a song that matched that energy for people to want to dance to.

How did the collaboration with Sean Paul come about?

This is a funny story for this one, I was working on it in the studio, and I ended up going to a hookah lounge that I would frequent a lot on weekends to take a break because I was hit with writer’s block since this was a different type of record than I was used to working on.

I was sitting there vibing out smoking a hookah and they were playing Sean Paul’s music in the spot all night and it hit me to see if I could get him on the song. I was talking to my producer Ace Drucci while I was there, and I asked if there was a way we could get him on the song because I thought having a Caribbean artist on it would be perfect, given the feel of the record.

I asked my producer if there was a way that we could get Sean Paul on the song; Ace put the call out to him for the feature and he said yes to doing the song.

Can you walk us through the production process of the track?

The production process for this record had a few layers within the creation from the start to the final point you hear now.

It started with me being sent a reference track to write to, then when it came to the instrumental being put together that all comes from Ace Drucci; he is my main producer who has done my other main songs such as, “Okay Okay” and “Can’t Breathe Without U” featuring Ne-Yo; he is my right-hand person through all of this.

We were in the studio in Atlanta working on the recording, he built the beat around the reference track he sent out to me, and after the instrumental was done I recorded my vocals, Sean Paul did his verse and I mixed and mastered the song.

What message or vibe were you aiming to convey with this song?

The vibe I wanted to convey with this song was that this song makes you want to feel a bit of nostalgia while you want to get up and dance. Get out on the floor and don’t always be that wallflower looking from the sidelines.

I wanted to give people something happy to move to whether you are wining to it with a person you like or a simple 2 step and drink in your hand. The vibe is all love and positive.

How did you decide on the Dancehall, Riddim, Pop fusion for this track?

The way I decided on the way the track came out was talking with Ace about an upbeat type of Afrobeat record with a mix of that Dancehall/Riddim feel that had a slight Pop undertone.

I wanted to make a crossover-type song that didn’t just appeal to one type of audience, I wanted everyone to feel included and enjoy the song … I think I accomplished that with how the song came out.

What sets "Rock Ya Body" apart from your previous music releases?

There are a few things that set this one apart from my other releases, one is that I have never done a song like this before … I was nervous on how people were going to react to it due to it being different from my other songs.

Another thing that sets this apart is that this is the first release I have done where I am fully singing on vs. my other songs where I am either singing under full autotune or rap-singing.

Rock Ya Body feels like I hit something different when I was writing it and when I was working on the mix I kept thinking that even though this is not in my comfort zone, I have a gut feeling people are going to vibe with it.

What challenges did you face while creating "Rock Ya Body," and how did you overcome them?

There were a lot of challenges I faced when writing this record, most of them were the internal struggles within myself as an artist. I was hit with writer’s block a lot because this is not the typical type of record I try to write. It was something completely different than what I have tried doing and I wanted to hit it right.

I was also overthinking the premise and technical approach to coming up with a parallel key for the melody because I thought it was too plain sounding from it being in F# minor but I ended up going with it and it worked. I had to get comfortable and then the vision and feeling I was after grew on me the more I worked the record.

I also have a hard time writing happier and more upbeat tracks so that was something I worked on internally as well. The ending thought that I came to when I was writing this was that you want something that is going to make people smile when they hear it and when I played it back to people they did exactly that.

Another thing was trying to attack the mix right, making sure I didn’t overdo it and I think that sticking with a simple mix approach worked while making sure that the master I did demonstrated the full dynamic range of the song.

Are there any specific instruments or production techniques that were central to achieving the desired sound of the song?

Each of the instruments and sounds all play its own key parts in what makes the song what it is. The drum and bass line laid the solid foundation for the groove, the technique I did to establish that full-sounding thumping kick drum was parallel compression for the drums and a simple boost for the EQ for the bass.

The reverb on the guitar with a slight delay give the production the mystery part while the cross panning the shakers helps accentuate the feel of the song to make you want to move.

I also added a slight reverb to the high hat and snare to give it a little more colour to the mix. The vocals I kept simple, natural sounding, and tight.

A key vocal technique I use is EQ feathering, it helps establish more transparency and room for the vocal to be sculpted along with simple compression, reverb, and delay.

How do you envision the song being received by your fans and new listeners alike?

I hope that everyone loves the song and that my fans are loving the new single while new listeners see it as a great introduction to learn about my artistry through my other songs too to see my versatility as an artist.

The feedback so far is that everyone has been really loving the song, I know that there are going to be people who probably won’t like it and that is okay; you can’t please everyone.

So, for those who do I love you eternally for taking the time to resonate with what I create because it still blows my mind that people are taking the time to listen to me for one, and liking it two because this world still feels surreal to me most of the time.

What role do you think music videos and visual content play in enhancing the listener's experience of "Rock Ya Body"?

I think that it depends on the setting on where you are listening to the song. A music video or some type of lyric video would capture the attention of a listener given the right design.

A full music video for “Rock Ya Body” I think would add to the story written and being sung about. I am working on a music video concept for the song, I can’t wait for everyone to see when it done to add texture to the listening experience.

Are there any hidden references or Easter eggs in the song that fans should be on the lookout for?

I mentioned some of the subtle inspirations that sparked the creation of the song earlier in the interview, but there is another song that I subconsciously was inspired by when I was working on the verse for this, I have had a few people reach out and ask about it and get it right … but I will leave the mystery for people to ask me as we progress on in this journey.

I love interacting with my fans and talking to people about the meanings and things like this.

How important do you think collaborations are in the music industry, and how do they contribute to the success of a track like "Rock Ya Body"?

Collaborations are crucial in the music industry, especially when you are considered a new artist like I am. I learned very early on that the music industry is built on relationships and it always helps to be nice to people because they remember when you are a nice person to work with or be around.

Sean Paul’s contribution on “Rock Ya Body” aids to the success of this track because I am being put in front of his fanbase as well as growing mine more too. The collaboration was made possible because of the relationship established with the people I work with regularly.

It is already a success to me because of how well it is performing already and it’s a personal success because this is another major artist I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with. I have been a fan since I was kid, so I am thankful for the moment in life.

What do you hope listeners take away from "Rock Ya Body" after hearing it for the first time?

That is something I haven’t put a deep thought behind other than, “I hope that they like it”. Now that I have had some time to think about it for it being out for a few weeks now is, I hope the takeaway is that they want to listen to it again and that it makes them smile.

I want the emotion of being happy and wanting to dance be contagious after the first listen, while having each time make them feel like it’s the first time they are listening to it.

In what ways does "Rock Ya Body" reflect your personal musical style and artistic vision?

Oh this is a deep question that deserves a layered response, this song reflects my personal style because it is different than what I normally think to write but my musical style is a healthy blend of a little bit of everything, so making a cross-over record like this felt right after I overcame the initial trepidation of doing something out of my comfort zone.

It reflects my artistic vision in a way that I wanted to touch on a mix of different feelings, sounds, and emotions of positivity mixed with nostalgia for people around during a time that has since passed.

I am coming to learn that as I advance more on my artistic journey I am tapping into potential that I didn’t know how to before, and I am starting to blend what I like in my personal musical taste with who I am becoming as an artist the more I find my way.

Lastly, what can fans expect from you in terms of future releases and creative projects after this song's success?

Let me say that I am sad that this interview is coming to an end because it is always a pleasure speaking with you regarding my releases and in general.

My fans can expect more new music, shows to come up, more interactions, radio and things like that.

Although the future is important, I have been trying to stay focused on the present because in times past I was always racing to the next thing instead of taking the time to be present and appreciate the milestone I have hit thus far.

I am enjoying the ride so far with “Rock Ya Body”. After this song’s momentum starts to slow down a little down the line, you can be on the lookout for another collaboration with West Coast legend Kurupt and an underground artist that goes by the name Rob Lucci, he is a good friend of mine and we have worked on things over the years before I started coming into my own with music. I am telling you, he is going to be someone you are going to look out for. The song shows more versatility I have as a writer and rapper. I don't want to give too much away too soon about it.

Thank you again for taking the time to listen to my new single and for interviewing me; I am looking forward to the next one!



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Comments (1)

  • shanmuga priya24 days ago

    Thank you for sharing.

mysoundMusicWritten by mysoundMusic

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