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New Album: Rei

‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Auckland-based rapper Callum McDougall aka Rei Music, who has just released his new album ‘A Place to Stand’.

When/where was the new album recorded?
The album was recorded at my home studio and at Kog studio in Auckland.

Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
I produced the album myself. I’ve been making beats for about 10 years now, and have been rapping for just as long. I produce best when I’m in the comfort of my own home and there’s no pressures around me. If I’m producing at a studio, it feels like I’ve got to come up with something great then and there. At home though, I can feel free to make something stupid, knowing that no one will ever hear it if I don’t want them to. This album was produced at my home studio. It was mixed and mastered by Chris Chetland of Kog Studio. He’s an awesome engineer to work with and always takes the time to teach his clients various tricks and tips of the trade.

How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
The idea of rangatiratanga is central to all my music. I want people to feel like chiefs when they listen to my music. I want them to know that they can be chiefs of their own environments also. When I call myself a chief in my music, I’m only trying to be a chief of my own destiny. Most of my songwriting comes from this kaupapa, and the various struggles and victories that come my way as a young man chasing his goals.

Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
I use a lot more melody on this album than the I did on C.H.I.E.F. Rap and Hip Hop is heavily dominated by catchy melodies now, so it’s a natural progression to keep up with I guess. That being said, I started writing music as a singer/songwriter, writing songs with my dad’s guitar. So melody does come very natural to me.

Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
A plug in called Melodyne is pretty crucial. It’s a vocal tuning software that lets you edit the pitch and tone of every note. It’s so much more accurate that just slapping an autotune plug in on a vocal track. A lot of hours of melodyining went into this album, that’s for sure!

Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
Right now I’m most proud of ‘Mix’. ‘A Place to Stand’ is all about me being comfortable in my own skin, and being at peace with who I am. It’s also about embracing where I come from and knowing where I’m going. ‘Mix’ embodies this journey to me. It’s one of my most honest tracks yet, and I still feel kinda vulnerable playing it to people. I like that feeling though, it just means that the track is special to me. I even played guitar on that song. I had to edit it pretty hard to get it fully in time but still, not many rappers play the guitar as well!

Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
I’m working on getting a few physical copies made up. Till then though it’s available on all good online platforms. iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp etc..

Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
Yup, I’ve got a music video for ‘Deep’ coming out this Friday, which I’m really excited about. You’ll see why very soon. Will probably shoot about 2 more videos after that. Just seeing which tracks people like the best to help decide which tracks they should be for!

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