“Quality over quantity” is a philosophy that plenty of artists apply to their discographies, opting to hide out in the studio for as long as it takes to make their project perfect. When speaking on That Feel Records, the newly formed Florida-based collective, they struck a balance between the two options, cultivating a prolific release schedule while continuously expanding and improving their sound.
Two of That Feel’s finest, super producer GRYFFYTH and wordsmith Beloveddd, have joined forces for their new album Goldeneye, a project that is brief in length yet rich in knowledge. The soulful minimalism of the instrumentals provides the ideal backdrop for Beloveddd’s intricate songwriting which is driven by the artist’s philosophical views of everyday life. A song like “Amalfi Coast ” is not only one of the best songs on Goldeneye but doubles as a prime example of the duo’s chemistry. Beloveddd’s flow is relaxed as he embraces the unpredictable while the droning horns laid down by GRYFFYTH add a certain warmth to the song that ties everything together so beautifully.
Beloveddd and GRYFFYTH were kind enough to spare some time and answer a few questions about Goldeneye and how it all came together. Listen to the album and read the full interview below:
Purchase/stream Goldeneye here: https://thatfeelrecords.bandcamp.com/album/goldeneye
How did this project come together?
Beloveddd: Children in a sandbox found a discernment and an infallible harmony for divine interventions. Not to mention, young men, understanding the meaning of purpose and passion. Balancing the curation of euphoria, and antiquated lessons enveloped within the filters that perceive life through every bar, analogy, metaphor, etc. Experiencing discomfort while mastering peace within. Recognizing the reflections of thine self in other vessels, furthermore allowing God to usher in new colors for us children in this school of life.
GRYFFYTH: By the domino effect really, Beloveddd, ATP (Ant, The Producer), & myself were locked in the studio for a multitude of days and nights. We became brothers in a short span of time due to that. The consistency and volume of songs we were making in a short span of time, made the reality of Goldeneye. Finding out it was Beloveddd’s first project made it even more divine. I was honored to have produced the project.
How many songs were recorded for “Goldeneye”?
B: A plethora. Many songs were exhaled throughout the duration of realigning with purpose. Literally, 4 to 5 tracks could be created within hours, some executed in “one take”. Endless poetry able to now be plastered on canvases like graffiti in subways.
G: I would like to say around 17-25 during that time period at Glasshouse Studios. We had enough to finally say “It’s Time” & started building the vision.
Did your approach to this project differ from others you’ve recorded?
B: Well, this is my first organized collection of work, to be honest. Nevertheless when the notion of “project planning” came about, bringing together the final pieces was pivotal and intentional while being present enough to let go. I can say prior to having a team, a more hands-on approach played a greater role amongst the process and could’ve been seen as a minor hindrance to fully being in harmony or elevating at least one aspect of artistry within that season.
G: For me, of course. Beloveddd is an enigma and working with him is full of life lessons & divine energy. His imagination and creative direction was something I could relate to, and from that, I shed my skin and stepped into a new light musically and in terms of project execution.
Is it ever difficult for you guys to walk away from an album and consider it finished?
B: Everything we do has no ending. A select number of tracks have been modified, and recycled in conjunction to edify a higher resonance of truth. Mind you, there are also tracks that have yet to see the final light of day, everything happens when it needs to happen for a reason.
G: Not really, when you get to a specific point of creation the process becomes objective-based rather than subjective. I’m more project-based so when I can see the concept of a project forming, I capitalize on that and FINISH with the artist. We know when it’s time to flesh out the demos and when it’s time to build another masterpiece.
What was the process like when putting together this tracklist?
B: Like pondering the thoughts of what you’d feed your child. Every detail is significant to what is nutrition for the development and cognitive functions of who and what “Beloveddd” and or “THATFEELRECORDS” is and stands for. Of course, the journey is always the plot in which caters the pallet, staying diligent and attentive to what is and what was necessary allowed for a refined discernment, to pinpoint a selection that streamlines seamless divinity and perpetual continuity.
G: Very streamlined. With ATP, Beloveddd, and myself, 3 heads is better than 1. There were multiple demo versions of Goldeneye, I wanna say 3 all together but when the brainstorming happens we get into gear really quickly with the flow of our projects. Each one is its own experience and we connect the dots and tell our story through the music.
Do you guys remember your first thoughts after you heard the final mix for Goldeneye?
B: Ecclesia. Chosen ones brought into the marvelous light. Once blind, drowning in an endless abyss of confusion had now been transmogrified into “divine grace”. Like wine tasting, every detail was immaculate. Every smoke session, every moment a car almost got towed, every event… all leading up to gold.
G: It’s like that famous saying for me, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
When was the first time you two connected?
B: In a previous engineering opportunity at glasshouse studio. May have been running sessions and ATP introduced us. Since then, everything was up and stuck.
G: In Glasshouse Studios, through the extension of Ant, the Producer. ATP was the liaison of our relationship. He was quiet, but I can tell he had a lot of fire in him. Beloveddd and I were chilling in the studio building with the like-minded and started to play 2k. Being transparent, I didn’t think Beloveddd and I would cross paths again but I’m grateful we did.
What does an eye represent to you both?
B: Windows to the soul. Understanding what you “want” to see is a powerful concept and conception. Before I could “see” a project called “GoldenEye” I had given up all worries of being “heard” and worked towards building a better version of me.
G: To me, Eyes are the window to the soul. Eyes represent your spiritual perception, signifying sight and understanding.
Beloveddd, what is your writing process like?
B: Sporadic. Whether in the shower, driving on a busy highway, or at work risking my job, inspiration arrives at any and every time. Maybe even while sleeping in a dream, I could awake and immediately begin writing. Truly an “out of body” experience but it’s the only time where I feel as though it’s capable for me to be fully understood. Thankful for the gift of speaking, writing, and having a profound innate ability to cohesively inner-stand & overstand my version of life and tribulations to share with another.
GRYFFYTH, how do you approach crafting an instrumental for Beloveddd compared to a beat that would go on a Mind Gems project?
G: For Beloveddd, it’s literally in the moment of how we feel that day, that hour, and that minute. It’s like our inspiration clings to us when we get the juices flowing. On the “Otherside” I craft instrumentals specifically for Beloveddd. He’s one of my favorite artists and it comes second nature. As we continue to understand each other as humans, as brothers, and as black men, the better the experience gets.
For Mind Gems, that’s completely personal. I dive into my subconscious to pull the “minds gems.” Digging deeply into the crates of records and my mind for nostalgia. Mind Gems reminds me of when I was a yute and my mother would take me on the beaches of South Florida to collect seashells. I always tried to find the ones that resonated with me and she would keep them for me. That’s how I feel when I craft a Mind Gems EP. Searching for gold.
The artwork is extremely intricate, what does it represent to you two?
B: “When moving with love, being able to see what God sees. Furthermore moving with purpose entering Godspeed” – Beloveddd
Every detail is miraculous, to my “day/date” of birth, “time”. Upon GRYFFYTH discovering a correlation between worlds was an indication of again, a “divine intervention”. It means everything… to create safe spaces that can be shared.
G: It represents family and the progression of collective consciousness. The artwork you see as the Goldeneye cover is an abstract painting I was working on prior to the project being created. As time went on, I kept adding words, symbols, and distinct colors. One day, I decided to grant everyone the opportunity to add their name to solidify how far we came in this journey together. It was essential to have that painting to be the cover due to the relativity it brought to all of us in the moment. As we go down in history, that’s a piece of our story we can tell the world.
In the Bandcamp description, you guys mention that you “Built the premise of divine chaos”, how did this concept play a role in the making of the album?
B: Chaos is a common dichotomy that can be learned from as an aspect of what “not” to be. Furthermore, understanding the morality of decisions and the power of them as well.
G: That’s a coined term from Beloveddd. Divine Chaos is the duality of life. Understanding the frequencies of divinity and the rollercoasters of chaos. Finding the balance between both in your own world is the key.
There are a lot of concepts explored in this project, if there is one lesson you hope listeners take away from the album what would that be?
B: You may never understand what you are, because change is the only thing constant but accept why you are, and what is becoming. What to become, the change you want to see… that … is the answer.
G: Be true to yourself and know thyself in this world. This project is the groundwork for spiritual perspective. Even though it’s through the eyes and mind of Beloveddd, the relative lessons can still can ring through each soul who takes the time to experience the project. Plenty of lessons and epiphanies to witness while listening to this work of art. The thing is…. are you finally ready to listen and open up YOUR Goldeneye?