Outasight, Not Outamind; Darwin Deez ‘Flips the Coin’

Yonkers, NY is known for a lot of things. Steep hills. Strip malls. Actor Jon Voight. HBO’s recent desegregation mini-series Show Me a Hero As a born and bred Yonkers-ite, the list goes on… the long-gone County Fair and Caldor, and the guy in this 1986 Lotto commercial. among them. One of its recent success stories is now synonymous with the city, and bigger picture, with pop music in general. Look out Mr. Voight, you may soon be displaced as that city’s favorite native son.

Richard Andrew is better known by his stage name Outasight, and has pulled together a string of hit singles – notably 2012’s platinum selling “Tonight is The Night” – and continues to excel as a singer/songwriter, rapper, and record producer. The musician, who recently moved to Los Angeles, is on the verge of releasing a new album – Big Trouble – and it’s a detour of sorts in that it’s far more funky than poppy.

Andrew recently dropped by the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY, to film an A-Sides interview to discuss the album, its first single “The Wild Life,” and song placements. His songs seem to be the soundtrack to campaigns run by everything from Bud Light to the NFL. Watch the interview here, and be sure to snag his album Oct. 23.

Like Outasight, Darwin Deez expands the world of pop like Plastic Man. The musician dropped his third album Double Down earlier this month, and it’s another showcase for him to flex his melodic mastery of blending genres seamlessly. Oh, and his falsetto kills. Has anyone ever said that before? Can a falsetto kill? Anyway, before we get to the interview A-Sides recently conducted with him, here’s a few tasty tidbits. Deez pretty much is a DIY-er. He recorded, performed, mixed and mastered his album in his Brooklyn walk-up.

Catch him on the road this fall into winter, and read the interview below.

Your third album just came out. Describe the wide range of emotions you’ve been experiencing since you completed it.
Satisfied. Proud. Uncertain. I feel as though there is a vast open field in front of me–it’s dewy, dry dying grass and weeds, by the interstate highway. I feel as though a coin is being flipped.

Dramatic actors often say comedy is the hardest thing to do. I’m curious if writing pop songs is harder than writing deep, dark stuff. Would you agree or can you relate to that notion?
[I] strongly agree. Sad songs are easier to write, because feeling sad is more conducive to sitting down to write and sad atmospheres are easy to create using reverb, delay, extra repetition (means less novelty required per song), and slow tempos.

What’s your favorite track of 2015 so far?
“King Kunta” was pretty sick. All about that bass line.

What’s the best song you never wrote?
“P.Y.T.” by Michael Jackson, er, by James Ingram. Or did you mean like “the song that got away?”

Pretty much. You do everything by yourself… but you got some help for the “Kill Your Attitude” video. Can you talk about your work with Dent De Cuir?
I don’t make my official music videos…those I have very little to do with. I find it better not to interfere with the cool directors we hire. I have plenty of ideas for videos but I’m not a good director. Dent is one Parisian and one Quebecois. What can I say, they know what they’re doing and they’re nice guys. They came up with a fun idea and we let them run wild. And somehow they got Ruffian post-production to do way more work than they were paid to do. It’s funny to me how French their idea of breakfast was for the video–it’s just me eating a croissant.

Are you a gamer at all?
Just a little. Like a lot of 30-somethings, I used to play Magic: The Gathering, but I quit because it’s a terrible game that sucks your life away as well as your money. A true gamer, a friend of a friend, mentioned Android: Netrunner to me in passing last year, when I asked her what games she was playing in search of something to play with my girlfriend. I’ve been obsessed with it since, I play it online now, but it is a two-player strategy card game similar to Magic but with a dystopian cyberpunk theme about hacking and megacorps. Other than that I just play old Nintendo and SNES games on my mac for the nostalgia.

Sweet. Long live SNES and blowing in Nintendo cartridges. Anyway, Deez Nuts is apparently running for president. I assume that’s not you?
My sister told me about this. I put the kid up to it, but he’s not hitting the right angles. Just kidding, I had nothing to do with it.

A-Sides “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its top 12 tracks of the week AKA the “Delve Into Twelve” based on the following contributing factors: songs I’m playing out that particular week (no matter when they were released — think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, song posts and trends I’ve noticed on my friends’ Facebook walls and, most importantly: what my toddler is currently enjoying thoroughly with an assist from my infant.

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman: Jon Chattman’s music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Air Supply, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds and Bastille.

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