After a lengthy hiatus, the R&B crooner is back to Conquer with a new album.
HHW: How long have you been working on Conquer?
Carl: Well, mentally this album has been a culmination of fragmented melodies, lyrics & concepts for the past four years. But, the pain from my brother’s murder, raising my son, and just living life through it all made it challenging to marry concept to lyric to melody. So, Conquer was theoretically in the making for the past four years and actually under construction for the past eight months.
HHW: Where is your favorite place to record and why?
Carl: I don’t really have a favorite place to record. Recording period is what’s more important to me. I mean I can record on a tour bus, in my home office/studio or the famed Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studios, as long as the mic is right.
HHW: What type of vibe do you like or try to create while working in the studio?
Carl: The vibe in the studio, tour bus or office all depends on the song I’m recording. If it’s a sensual woman adoring love song like “It Ain’t Fair,” I gotta have the lights dim, incense burning and a cold bottle of German Riesling on chill to look forward to when I’m done. If it’s a strong alpha-male type song like “Conquer,” the scene would be serious focus mode no nonsense, no tomfoolery, no distractions, war counsel.
HHW: When do you prefer to have your recording sessions? Is the time of day relevant to your creativity?
Carl: I prefer to record in the daytime or early evening. Ah, yeah the time of day does impact on my creativity and productivity. I get crazy when it gets too late or if I start recording late in the evening extending into the bewitching hours of the morning.
HHW: What are a few things that are must haves at your sessions?
Carl: I must have on comfortable yet dapper clothes, I need to look the part I’m translating in the song but still be comfortable. I must have water, honey just in case, food…oh yeah, cold German Riesling.
HHW: How did you come up with the album title?
Carl: This album was designed to help me, conquer me.
HHW: How do you know or determine that you have had a successful session?
Carl: When I leave the studio smiling with the song still in my head. And, I call those that matter to play it, talk about it, and dream about it.
HHW: Who are some of the producers you worked with on the album, as well as any features?
Carl: I had the pleasure of working with Mike City of “I Wish” fame on a song I perform in my show and already a crowd pleasure titled “Not The Same,” the Internz on a wedding staple with a melody that haunted me for years titled “I Do,” Rico Love blessed me with the infectious ode to the classic dusty lead single “Don’t Kiss Me”, as well as Blac Elvis with DJ Roger’s Jr. on a powerful life beat anthem titled “Running.” No features yet but I do have some surprise remix collaborations in the works.
HHW: Let’s talk about your first single “Don’t Kiss Me”…how did that come about?
Carl: “Don’t Kiss Me” came about when I was searching for a modern day throwback. A couple of times I thought I found it, but when “Don’t Kiss Me” came I knew that was it. It’s a mixture of what u can feel and what u can do on the dance floor with your lover. Thank you Rico Love.
For more of our exclusive interviews, pick up the new copy of Hip-Hop Weekly on newsstands now or click the subscribe link right now!