The previous few years have witnessed a hip hop resurgence throughout New England. And each metropolis from New Haven to Windfall, Burlington to Portland appears to have no less than one up-and-coming rapper making their presence felt.
In Portland, Maine, that’s Myles Bullen, who brings a method that separates him from his contemporaries — heartfelt, real and chock filled with prose, whereas he’s both performing with a ukulele for an intimate vibe or over some cool beats.
On April 29, Bullen shall be showing on the State Home in New Haven with native folk-rap staple Ceschi Ramos, fellow Portlandians The Bumbling Woohas, and German hip hop artist Traashboo.
Forward of his present, I talked to Bullen about his inspirations and influences, about turning trauma into artwork, and a couple of new album he has out.
RD: Your method to hip hop is exclusive in the way you lean extra towards spoken phrase whereas having a comfortable, emotional tone to your supply. What conjures up and influences this manner you rap and write songs?
MB: I might say the issues that encourage me to jot down songs are my information of trauma and shaped communication. Loads of the stuff I write about is my life, experiences, philosophies and concepts however how I talk them is what I’ve discovered from different poets, singers and songwriters. I’ve discovered from drug addicts and the kinds of people who I’ve surrounded myself with my entire life, they type of taught me easy methods to talk. I’ve by no means actually modified the best way I talk to attempt to emulate something that isn’t genuine to my very own lived expertise.
RD: Again in February you launched your newest album, Mourning Travels, a sequel to your earlier album, Therapeutic Hurts, that got here out in December 2020. In what method do these two information share a typical thread?
MB: I simply went by a extremely fucked up couple of years whereas shedding lots of people, grieving, shedding associates, shedding my dad and my grandfather. Then shedding my connection to the world, not having the ability to tour and do reveals which is type of the place I categorical myself essentially the most and the place I’ve some type of cathartic launch. When all that was taken away I used to be actually unhappy for round half a 12 months, I used to be actually depressed and after that second of downtime I began writing so much. I wrote over 60 songs and poems. I began recording in my bed room and sending issues off to collaborate with different individuals. I made a number of artwork principally centered round grieving and feeling unsure about a number of issues and questioning my identification, who I’m and why I do issues.
As an alternative of placing out 60 songs, I made a decision I might put out seven and type of trickle away at it. Therapeutic Hurts grew to become this type of journey log whereas being stationary, it’s like what am I observing whereas I can’t transfer? I used to jot down whereas I’m on tour about all of the experiences I’m having and having this sort of ongoing movement. After I’m nonetheless, what do I observe? Therapeutic Hurts is about grieving, type of speaking to myself as a therapist and having plenty of totally different conversations about extra wholesome methods of digesting trauma.
RD: Whereas making Mourning Travels, what did you goal to do in a different way to make it stand out out of your earlier releases?
MB: With Therapeutic Hurts, I had a few company on it for just a few options nevertheless it was principally me. It was principally me enjoying my ukulele and singing unhappy songs, which I had by no means accomplished a report like that ever. All of my information just about have been closely collaborative whereas working with plenty of totally different people who encourage me the place I’m not essentially even the middle, I’m type of in a gaggle. My albums have been very mixtape-centered with a ton of options as a result of that’s how I wish to create, in group. Therapeutic Hurts was not that, it was very remoted with a pair options nevertheless it was principally me.
I assume Mourning Travels is like taking over the identical sentiment of Therapeutic Hurts however including extra colours, textures and extra depth due to among the individuals I selected to collaborate with sonically. A few of the voices carry out totally different components of the story that I couldn’t do by myself. I might say Therapeutic Hurts was very impulsive and Mourning Travels was a bit extra thoughtfully executed.
RD: The music video for “I’m No Meteorologist” off the album has you doing your individual model of a climate report that has a bunch of assorted colours and animations. It jogs my memory a number of the music movies that Michel Gondry has accomplished for The White Stripes, Idles, Chemical Brothers and different acts. Who labored with you on the video and was there a collaborative imaginative and prescient behind it or was all of it what you had in thoughts?
MB: I’m very pleased with that collaboration. My pal Ellis Ducharme is behind a number of the visible stuff I’ve accomplished, he’s one of many first individuals I’ve labored with that had a stable concept for the way I needed to be represented visually. I’ve been working with him for years, it’s happening 5 years that he’s been a collaborator with me. He filmed it, we each workshopped the idea of the movie and the place the story was going, we have been simply going to do it as the 2 of us however I felt like there was one thing lacking. I then reached out to my pal Josie Colt who had accomplished the animation for “Swallowing Bruises” which was a really profitable collaboration between the 2 of us.
I belief each of them with their imaginative and prescient the place I could possibly be like “Hey, I’m doing this factor and no matter you do over it, I belief you.” With the entire animation, there have been possibly a pair issues that I referenced nevertheless it was all Josie. They type of took the artistic energy on the animation facet and Ellis took the artistic half on the cinematography facet and I simply confirmed up, so it was cool. It was cool to collaborate with them and among the actors in that movie are my shut associates, like Maya [Williams], Sam [Spadafore] and Dan [Moon]. Then you definitely get a bit little bit of Dustin [Larochelle] within the extras so after the music is over there’s some bloopers on the finish and also you’ll see a man on a sofa standing and enjoying electrical guitar.
Dustin is one among my actually good associates who goes by Laughing Animal. He co-produced the observe with me so having him being added to that was actually particular for me.
RD: I really like the video, I feel it’s nice. You could have this new album out and also you’re going to be enjoying a number of reveals, together with some in The Netherlands this summer season of all locations. Do you’ve got anything happening this 12 months that you simply’d like to say?
MB: I’m doing a number of touring, I’ve 5 months of touring booked that began final month and I received’t be accomplished till August so I’m fairly centered on that. I simply put out a brand new music with Dope Knife who’s an incredible rapper, it’s a brand new single known as “It’s Not All Sunshine”. That was enjoyable, it was one thing that we did a very long time in the past we just lately launched. I obtained some stuff with SB The Moor developing, a bunch of stuff with Jesse The Tree and we’re going to be placing out a report collectively sooner or later. The touring has taken up a number of my mind as of late whereas attempting to push these two information, do them justice and ensure that I’m fairly centered on them for the following couple of years.