Erick the Architect: A solo journey into the world of 'I've Never Been Here Before'"

Erick the Architect : Un voyage solo dans l'univers de 'I’ve Never Been Here Before'" - HYTRAPE

Erick the Architect, prominent member of Flatbush Zombies, embarks on a solo adventure with his debut album "I've Never Been Here Before", revealing a more personal side of his creativity. In an interview with Hypebeast, Erick shares the keys to his creative process, marked by deep personal exploration, a categorical refusal of Auto-Tune, and a diverse palette of inspirations.

Personal Exploration

Erick explains how his unique approach to music creation strays from the beaten path. "When I started playing the song for people, they were like 'Yo, who is this?' and I was like, 'That's me,'" he says of recording "Mandevillian." This method of recording, where he chewed ice to capture the essence of his musical ideas, illustrates his desire to capture authentic, raw moments. “It was a little difficult to understand what I was saying, so I re-recorded the same part without the ice cream in my mouth but with the same feeling in mind.”

Refusal of Auto-Tune

Erick stays true to his artistic vision by refusing to use Auto-Tune, a decision that underscores his commitment to authenticity. “I'm determined to embody many different alter egos throughout this album,” he explains, emphasizing his desire to explore different facets of his voice without resorting to digital modification. This approach allows him to present a range of characters and emotions, enriching the listening experience in an organic way.

His Inspirations

Erick's creative universe is fueled by a wide range of inspirations, from the photography of Annie Leibovitz to the art of Keith Haring. "I'm less psychedelic in my design style. I'm more clean and literal," he says, marking a clear distinction from the Flatbush Zombies aesthetic. This diversity of influences is reflected in his album, where each track offers a window into his inner world, colored by his experiences and reflections.

A Revealing Solo Album

“I’ve Never Been Here Before” presents itself as an unintentional audiovisual archive of Erick’s life, weaving together threads of community, identity, and beauty in the darkness. “The album really took up 35 years of my life,” says Erick, emphasizing the personal and historical depth encapsulated in the project. Featuring heavyweight collaborations like James Blake and Joey Bada$$, the album is a celebration of musical diversity, blending hip-hop, house, soul and psychedelia to create an immersive experience that transcends genres.

Erick the Architect, through "I've Never Been Here Before", invites listeners on a journey through his creative universe, marked by uncompromising personal exploration, vocal authenticity, and a wealth of inspirations. This solo album not only reveals the artist in a new light but also affirms his place as a versatile creative force in the contemporary musical landscape.