Interview: Divo Releases Transatlantic Soul
In celebration of his upcoming album Transatlantic Soul, hip hop artist Divo hosted his album release party on March 7 at Studio Bar in Toronto. The event featured live performances from Divo himself and special guests including hip hop heavyweights Dan-e-o and D.O. and Rufus. We sat with Divo and picked his brain a bit.
“I have been around in a minute. I put out my first album in 1999. It was an independent album, a street release. I put out my third album in 2004 and then took a longgg break. I was in the scene for so long, that I actually got fed up with it. I wanted to focus on other aspects of my life."
“Since time I have been working with Classified, Decisive, and some other major artists, but on the new album I wanted to have the focus on me and show what I could do. I named it Transatlantic Soul because first of all it’s cool. My producer GMJ is from France. I wanted to tie in North America with France. What is dividing us? The Atlantic Ocean. All the beats he produced on the album are very soulful and are record samples from Motown, 60s, & 70s kind of sounds."
"A lot of the sounds in France are still old school. Very boom bap and they have not wanted to adapt to the new sound. I know it’s something that has been missing in the industry. There is a nostalgia about it. I traveled to France. I took away a lot of history. There is a lot of inspiration and culture. It helped me guide my music."
"I have some collaborations that are coming up this summer. It is a small hip hop community in the GTA. Everyone knows each other and has a mutual respect for each other. On this album I wanted to showcase my skills. Now that I have gained that foot hole, I am looking forward to the many collaborations coming up this summer."
Overall the album is an easy listen and quite cohesive. It speaks to the continued discussion of the evolution of hip hop and relies heavily on Divo's narrative. Comprehensibility & rhyming are valued, and appreciated by the listener. It is an artistic achievement and a great prelude to summer vibes.