We Talk to Paris, From Tokyo About New Project "Agoraphobia", We All Suck and What's Next in 2021.
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
We recently shared that Paris, From Tokyo announced a new music project Agoraphobia-- a project previewed by new music video and single "plantain". The release day has finally come and Agoraphobia is released exclusively on Bandcamp for the moment.
A collab project with producer Cam Spacely, Agoraphobia is a tape-delay soul film that paints big collared, bell-bottom storytelling through clever sampling and realist lyricism. This new body of work is progresso-funky through its "Cold Open" and closing track "The Door", taking the listener on Paris's trip confrontation with his own cynicism, survival, and introversion. Overall, we think this project is packed with lyrical heart and plenty of great ideas on the production side of things.
Our editor, Srchengn got the chance to talk to Paris about this latest project and here's what he had to say :
(conversation is condensed for this format)
Srch: So it seems like this past 2 years or so, we've really been getting back to the sampling based conversation in hip-hop. You really take up that challenge in this project. How'd you get to that space?
Paris: "Neccesity, you cant forget that you started rapping. And that's really where I started. And honestly, fuckin Kaio’s album Dog of the Year man. That album made me feel like I cant let niggas outrap me. And man there's one song where the beat changes and Kaio's rapping. Man. ( in reference to '"Last Summer"' from Dog of the Year )"
Srch: "Man I feel you, that project is insane. So how'd you connect with Cam. I'm still kinda getting privy to who Cam is, coming off of his last project he dropped on Bandcamp"
Paris: " Purely by chance, I was with Zig and she was like "'Yo I'm bout to slide to Cam's house"'. We were working and he was like "'You should rap over some of my beats"'. I recorded Granite and two other songs that didn't end up on the project that night."
Srch: I think listening to this project, I hear a lot of realism and cynicism. Is that a fair assessment and what was kind of the headspace you were in making this body of work?
Paris: "I think that's fair. Honestly, rap is how I reckon with myself. Like losing loved ones man, like not even on some covid shit. Just on some other shit. That really fucked me up man. You just start thinking about a lot"
Srch: I really feel that. You really can't help but think about your own mortality, I feel like it's a part of grieving man. Sorry for your loss man.
So like sonically, what was the production experience like man? Did Cam kind of take lead on the production?
Paris: "It was kinda just like once we had that first song, Cam sent me a shit ton of beats that ya'know supplemented the sound I was going for and we just went from there. This is like the most hands off I am capable of being when it comes to making a project. I feel like at a certain point, my music started becoming kinda self-absorbed. this felt like a larger subject.
Srch: Word that makes total sense man. Honestly, that's the beauty of collaboration; it really gets us out of our own proclivities we get set in.
Srch: So why the switch to Bandcamp for this project?
Paris: "Well my stuff is still gonna be available on streaming but my motivation as far as releasing on Bandcamp first was to sort of get people comfortable with the idea of supporting me more directly and not just me but independent artists in general.
Srch: So outside of this project, what's next for We All Suck. (For those reading, We All Suck is Paris, From Tokyo's very own record label)?
Paris: "2021 is gonna be a very productive year. we picked up a few new really good acts and pretty much everyone on the roster is working on something so I’m excited!"
Srch: That's hard af, I can't wait. What's next for Paris, From Tokyo? Or at least anything you're comfortable sharing."
Paris: " My last Paris, From Tokyo project for at least a couple years is coming out in 2021. I’m not like quitting or anything but after like 9 projects, it’s like what more can I say you know. I’m mostly focused on my band, Lady. we working on our first project at the moment and it sounds magical."
Srch: Where do you feel music here in this region is headed? Thoughts?
Paris: "I think we’ve seen our (Detroit’s) music get kinda absorbed by the world which will push a lot of people to either show em how it’s supposed to be done or say fuck it and just come with some new even crazier shit but that’s more of like a guess than actual insight because frankly i don’t know (chuckles)."
Srch: Honestly I feel that. I like that the sound is starting to really resonate outside of this region again. It's always hard to say though cause the industry and people's taste change so quickly.
Well, this is my last question and it's kinda random but, how'd you get into progressive rock and funk? I love it as you know, but it's always interesting hearing how we arrive at it. Wanted to ask that for a while once we got to talk.
Paris: "I fell in love with them both through just studying them because you know, that’s what you do when you’re young and you decide you wanna do music. The music just felt so interesting and fresh even though a lot of it is mad old. I would watch old p funk performances and it was so inspiring to see so many amazing musicians all on the same page. it made me wanna try harder and do more."
Srch: Thanks for chopping it up man
Paris: "Thank you"
It's the holidays, so that means many of us are at home and Bandcamp crate diggers might be looking for projects to add to their wish list. We're totally suggesting this project for your next Bandcamp grab.
Check out Agoraphobia on Bandcamp!