The latter phone-in came from Eyeconic who was joined by Jack Craggs and he too answered a few questions in alignment to playing a large role in creating tracks together and on his solo music. A semantic of subjects are covered within the time, they touch on ‘DNR’ (Do Not Resuscitate), where would be the ideal venue for performing once lockdown measures are lifted and new music in the works.
Shakk: Jack plays a big part in Eyeconic’s new album which has been absolutely massive, it has put him leaps and bounds ahead of everyone in the scene right now especially with the work he’s put in. Jack produced ‘Ninety Six’ and sang a few choruses.
Process of ‘Ninety Six’:
Jack Craggs: “The process was we recorded the cover of ‘Sleep’ which Sam wrote two/three years ago and then he said ‘I need an intro to my album’ and I just played some chords first take on the piano then we went upstairs and laid it down pretty much, we chopped up the piano and within thirty minutes ‘Ninety Six’ was born. He was spitting bars over it while I was creating it, it was such a fluid process.”
Shakk: When can we expect any new music from you, any solo stuff you’ve got planned?
Jack Craggs: “Yeah absolutely, I have a project that I’m working on currently, vocals are about half way done so I’m hoping to get those done in the next two weeks. I’m going to release a few singles first then drop this project which is about victim mentality and touches on a few bits about depression, anxiety, mental health. Eventually going through the processes pretty much and by the end escaping it, it’s called ‘The Escape Artist’.”
Prod Rage: What’s been going on then? For those that don’t know you, introduce yourself:
Eyeconic: “Literally just still running hard on the album and setting up plans for releases for next year. I go by the name of Eyeconic, I am a Polish born artist that lives in the UK, English is my second language, and yeah I like to write raps, I usually just delve deep into human psyche and the majority of my music is a very introspective look into who I am as a human being.”
Shakk: How did you get into the rap music, what got you into it first, was their any artists that had drawn you into hip-hop in particular?
Eyeconic: “When I moved to England, my brothers used to listen to hip-hop all the time anyway but I wasn’t really into hip-hop back in Poland. When we came over to England that’s when I spent a lot of time with them playing PES and listening to old school Polish hip-hop and then eventually a friend of mine in school Meran, he showed me the likes of 50 Cent, Tupac, and then onto secondary school that’s when I started looking for hip-hop myself. One of the first artists that actually made me want to write, something that not many people actually know, is Akon. ‘Konvicted’ album and another I think I forgot the name of it but ‘The Rain’ – that song was just beautiful, it made me wanna express myself and the things I was dealing with.”
Shakk: What do you think drew you into the more introspective side of making music?
Eyeconic: “I think it’s the therapeutic side of music and the main reason I actually started writing it was to process the things I was dealing with and I learn much more about myself. I manage to articulate myself a lot better on paper than I do through words, sometimes it’s difficult for me to sit down and explain how I’m feeling but when you put me in front of an instrumental and a piece of paper it just flows so much better.”
Shakk: From an early age you were very complexed and at a very high level. Where you are now, how do you feel about it in terms of your skill level?
Eyeconic: “I’m not sure if lyrically I care about, I love the lyrical side of things but it’s not my main focus any more, so when I step on mic, I’m not really trying to out bar everyone because the content I have, I have so much faith in what I’ve got to say, so I know that what I am saying pushes the message forward enough. But I can’t help but write multi syllables and stuff because that’s just the way my brains wired now. You mentioned that ‘Ninety Six’ is one of your favourite tunes from the album, for me, a lot of the complexed rhyme schemes on there wasn’t actually intentional it was because it was coming out that way.”
Shakk: What was the basis on DNR, what inspired you to create this album?
Eyeconic: “It was very exponential the process of it because I’ve got a folder on my computer where I put all the music that I’m not intending to release, that’s where I put all this music, into one folder called ‘release this if I die’ and one day me and my friend Bobby who also goes by the name of No1self, he sat down with me, we listened to the music and he told me it would be a shame if I never actually got to release any of this. He was the one that suggested that I make a conceptional album that’s based around the ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ kinda esque idea.”
Shakk: On the album itself, what are the tracks that stand out for you?
Eyeconic: “‘Ninety Six’, ‘Friends’ featuring Notebook, ‘Could Be Worse’ I think that’s one of my best verses I’ve ever wrote, ‘No Paigons at My Funeral’ (featuring Jack Craggs) and ‘We’re Moving’.”
Shakk: Are you looking forward to perform again once things get up and running?
Eyeconic: “That’s what I’m thinking about all the time. I get this weird feeling, I actually had a nightmare about this, so when lockdown came about I had an anxiety that maybe by the time things open back up, I won’t be able to perform the way that I used too. So I had this weird nightmare where I got booked for a festival and I just froze up and I didn’t know what to do, it was just a dead performance, I didn’t get no reaction from the crowd, I hadn’t had no back and forth with the crowd the way I usually do and I woke up sweating. My anxieties just manifested in my dreams.”
Shakk: What would be the ideal town or city you would like to perform in first in the North East?
Eyeconic: “This is a long shot but O2 in Newcastle, I know it’s a long shot and a half right now because there’s nothing really happening but that would be the one. Even World Headquarters Newcastle, just a dirty drum and bass rave or GAST!”
Shakk: Are you planning on doing any new music, have you got anything in the pipeline?
Eyeconic: “I’ve got plans for music videos but I wont actually be dropping anything new apart from collaborations until about February next year I think. Try and take it steady and try and make up the time lost in 2020. There’s a tune coming out that’s pretty much finished, me, Shakk, NE-O and Wax on a big riddim. I’ve got a tune with Jack Fox that’s meant to be dropping, a tune with Leddie (MC), some interesting collaborations I need to finish with yourself and Jack.”
Just about every topic and question is recited, there is a little on popular tracks of others from the album and a couple comments on playing out with the track ‘No Paigens at My Funeral’ which alongside the full interview is very much worth listening to as full expression is always difficult to infer through a write up. Check that out just beneath, another excellent conversation, enjoy!
Many thanks to Shakk, Eyeconic and Jack Craggs for getting involved it is greatly appreciated, blessings to all!