Born and raised in Pasadena CA, 20-year-old rapper Ol Sol, has a style to mirror his ambition. Since early high school his hunger has fed his lyrical development and help craft his music into a combination of boom bap, and a sound that embodies his environment.
Currently, Ol Sol is putting the finishing touches on his debut mixtape, PHAZES. The project is set to drop August 27, which will mark the transition from his stage name, Dienasty, to his career as Ol Sol. The range of production on PHAZES is only matched by the variety of flows Ol Sol uses to create a sound truly his own. As he steadily grinds in the booth and on stage, he creates his role in the music world.
Ghettoblaster caught up with Ol Sol recently to discuss the mixtape. This is what he said about it.
When did you begin writing the material for your forthcoming mixtape?
I started writing two or three tracks off of PHAZES last year, but I really started writing the majority of the project about a month ago.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
The most difficult track to write, record, and mix was definitely “WRDF”. Writing the song I really wanted to express the point that I’m asking myself whether or not I really want to pursue rapping, and if so is the rap game really all it’s cracked up to be.
In terms of recording and mixing I tried to use a much more contemplative tone and flow as apposed my go to which is just spittin and it just took some time playing around with ad libs on the hook and adjusting the reverb and echo to really fit how I wanted it to.
Which of the songs on the mixtape is most different from your original concept for the song?
Good question. “Anything” was the track that changed the most through the writing process. Originally I was really spittin’ on the track with a faster flow just talking about anything, literally from space, to crickets, to ice packs. Ha ha. You name it and it was probably mentioned on the track. Eventually after a few run throughs and trying to figure out scenarios where the word anything is used a lot. What better situation then when your chillin with the homies and don’t have shit planned, ha ha
Everybody always says, “Yeah bro I’m down for anything. Let’s just do something.” 95 percent of the time, “anything” just ends up turning into smoking and drinking. Taking it a step further I try and express that I can’t get caught up in doing anything cause then I’ll never make it. I gotta stay on my grind!!
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the mix tapes?
No musicians or singers but a couple of features. We got FDK from Long Beach CA. Funny story about me and DK — first time we met we actually had to battle each other and we both rocked but pretty sure I won. Ha ha. We got Airborne from Frisco, and lastly we got Richy Rott another Pasadena native.
Who produced the mixtape? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
In terms of who produced the tracks, we got a couple of different names. We got Amazing prophet, SKYWLKR, The Architekz, Kountdown, MoJoe, and in terms of engineering the project a majority of it was done in a house in Pasadena with some solid acoustics orchestrated by my man Michael Lopez.
Meeting up with Lopez was perfect because this new sound that I’m kinda dipping into is heavily influenced by boom bap, and spitters, spitters being rappers fundamentally sound with word play and rhyming schemes, and Lopez’ specialty was boom bap rap and he just makes my shit sound crispy. Other solid engineering on PHAZES comes from MoJoe at Raw Records, and Tim Moore at Mas Music both in Eagle Rock.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new mixtape that ties the record together?
I think the grand concept behind PHAZES is really expressing the different kinds of ways I handle situations with this new found maturity and a lot of it came through a reality check. I used to rap about ya know the typical radio bangers being in the club, I just turned 20 and don’t have a fake, having racks to blow, bottles on deck, bitches to fuck, the whole nine and I just got tired of it. So that being said for the first project I was trying to just express what I know best which is current situation.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
I haven’t begun doing any shows. I’ve actually been back at the studio with Lopez working on the next project. I think we already have like five or six done for that one, but I’m not too worried. I know the shows will come.
In terms of feedback from the tracks we’ve released, “Transformation” was fucking dope. I got a lot of love for that track. A lot of people showing respect for the flow on that and that really hit home for me cause I want people to know Ol’ Sol spits and just keeps it real.
(Check out Ol Sol here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ol-Sol/579891842063458)