We told you not to sleep on Mick Jenkins!
Just over a year since we initially sat down with the Chicago rapper to discuss his breakthrough mixtape The Water[s], and he has already come on leaps and bounds. With his Wave[s] EP in circulation and an anticipated debut album The Healing Component on the way, the gospel of Mick Jenkins is spreading. Last year he enjoyed sold out shows across the UK, fans screaming his lyrics back word-for-word, and remains one of the most promising new talents for those who take their rap music with a heavy dose of substance. We caught up with him on the road for an in-depth conversation into artistic improvement, delving into the visual arts, spirituality and his biggest fear…
The last time we spoke was around the time you dropped your mixtape The Water[s]. How have things progressed in your eyes since then?
Great, for sure. I’m allowed to live off of this, I’ve been moving into different spaces creatively, trying out different things with the music. Really just because I’ve had the confidence and the freedom to [keep working]. Being signed, having a business manager, just moving into the music industry, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different types of people. I’ve just been learning a lot. Any lessons learned are positive experiences, but it’s not over, I haven’t arrived anywhere. This is very much the beginning of my journey so I’m taking it all in, trying to see what I can learn from. Just constantly creating; finding ways to make the music better, the visuals better, the show better. That’s why we have a drummer, a DJ and a background singer now – all of those things come from experience and learning what works and what doesn’t work. Those are ways we try to capitalise on what’s worked and make the show better.
When you were making The Water[s] you didn’t really have to think about all of the business stuff, do you ever find that it becomes a distraction now?
It can, it can become a distraction if you let it. I do find myself not doing things, turning things down or saying no to people, simply because I need time for myself. I need time to think, I need time to create, I need time to be in the studio. I very much create music how I want to, I don’t set out time for writing or recording, I do it when I feel like it. And if I don’t have the time to do it when I feel like it, then that means I don’t have time to create how I create. I have had problems with it and have had to tell people no, just so that I have free time to possibly create. That’s how I move. Understanding that I’m in control and I can do that, is what’s important and it’s what’s keeping me in the space mentally to make HTC, or Wave[s], just as good as The Water[s].