Published on January 18th, 2017 | by Jerry Doby0
Who Are Apollo Night LA Artists of the Week Clown The Villain and Kamille Carondelet
From the outside looking in, people would say that we’re a present-day version of Eric B. & Rakim. They may even say that we’re a new age Timbaland and Missy Elliott. We don’t follow any standards or formats. We do our own thing. We look for ways to get people to not just think more, but also get outside the box.
What brought you to the entertainment industry, music specifically?
Clown: I came to the industry out of shear love, passion, and curiosity of music & sound design; the music making process; and the culture of hip-hop. I was able to grasp musical concepts at a young age and I took advantage of it.
Kamille: I didn’t originally plan on it. I wanted to be a professional novelist. However, I freestyled raps over the phone and made beats as a hobby when I was in high school. One day, in my sophomore year of high school, my mama heard me working on some beats and asked me if I could let someone else hear them. I was like, “Cool, I don’t mind.” I let that person hear them and they asked me if I could put together a demo for a label. I got some beats together that I thought defined my sound, put them on a CD, and passed it on as my demo. The rest is history.
Tell us about your current project and your ApolloNightLA Artist of the Week winning single, Hatin’ Ass.
Our project, Fraîche (pronounced fresh), is an entertaining ride of hip-hop music with a message. It takes an in-depth look at the state of hip-hop from a rapper’s point of view. We tackle how hip-hop is affected by commercialism. We, also, tackle how the credibility of an emcee is affected by their beat selection and word choices. We cover this and more, all in a fun way. Our goal with this project is not only to present a fresh sound, but also to get people to begin the conversations needed to improve the view of what hip-hop is today.
Our song, Hatin’ Ass, is a message to those artists who look at another artist’s success and say, “That should be mine! I’m better than they are!”, but don’t put in the work it takes to garner that success. They spend more time making remarks that are reflective of their jealousy than on what they should be doing to ensure their success. We thought it was important to address this because artists need to know that an entitlement mindset prevents them from reaching the success they seek. We want our fellow artists to succeed. So, we gave them a song to motivate them enough to get up and do something.
For new listeners, what song of yours would you pick as introduction to you?
Clown: I would choose both OKANE (pronounced oh-kah-nay) and Hip Hop as introduction to us for new listeners. OKANE is a bait & switch track that sets the listeners up with a semi-typical banger that mocks the current industry format, allowing the listener to have a more palatable dose of our project, Fraîche.
On the other hand, Hip Hop is more of an ode to the culture. It has the original elements of what made hip-hop what it is today. It’s a direct descent from the “Golden Era” and will keep the hip-hop heads in good vibes.
Kamille: I concur with Clown on that. OKANE is very catchy. Besides that, who can’t relate to a song about getting money, wanting money, or needing money? I’m not materialistic, but even I can relate. (laughs) OKANE also, as Feefo from Dead End Hip Hop would say, “bumps in the whip.” It has the potential to draw in anybody.
Hip Hop explains why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s not for the money. It’s not for the accolades we may or may not receive. It’s for the culture, hip-hop culture. Hip-hop saves lives. Don’t believe me? Ask any former drug dealer that now raps as a career. They’ll tell you the same thing I just did: “Hip hop saves lives.”
Last but not least, HYPE wants to know…What’s your CRAZIEST “Where they do that at?!” moment…
Clown: My craziest “Where they do that at?!” moment has to be when I was working with someone who wanted some free s***. An artist called me to set up a recording session. He wanted to use an industry beat to record over. Then he hits me back and starts explaining to me that he needs a beat with a Brandy sample. He laid out the specifics of how he wanted the beat and everything. I told him that the beat he wanted won’t be free and that I’ll charge him for that plus recording time. So, he hits me back and says that it’s cool, let’s just record over the industry beat. The day comes to record and he’s a no-show! He wouldn’t answer any phone calls or texts! (shakes head) The life and times of a producer….
Kamille: I’ve had so many of those moments ’til it ain’t even funny. I can give y’all one though. So, I was working with a couple of people I had signed to the label I owned at the time and someone they brought along as a potential signee. This dude had the basic H-Town flow. You know…that “I’m comin’ dine” flow. The problem was…he wasn’t any good! He was beyond basic! They recorded a few songs to some beats I worked on some time prior to that. Ol’ dude’s verses didn’t even fit the songs recorded, but hey…. He thought he was good! I put the songs on some CDs for them to take home for listening purposes. After a couple more meetings, I was against signing him and he wasn’t with the idea of signing. I figured he couldn’t handle taking directions. He felt my sound was too different for him. That’s not the crazy part though! The crazy part is that, after that, he sold the songs on the CD I burned for him off to another label and they gave him $25 for it! I was like, “Wait…what? You not only sold mine and the people you were so cool with’s work off, but you sold it for $25?!” Now, where they do THAT at?!