How many years have you been making beats for, and how do you see music production fitting into your future plans?
TEEZY (Cal Tesar - Ann Arbor, MI) has been creating loops since he was in high school, he has been practicing the art for over four years. His partner CARTEL (Erick McLellan-Martinez - Minneapolis, MN), has been self taught and trained in classical music theory since the beginning of his high school career. WOKREW has been collaborating together for over a year, but started getting serious about their music recently. WOKREW strives to create music that reflects their various experiences, they hope to fit music production into their busy lives, always aware that anything can be expressed through music.
Why do you make music?
WOKREW creates music to express their ideal form of how they view the world. Both members of WOKREW find that writing original music is therapeutic. The rewards of creating and presenting their original works to the world is fulfilling.
Who/what are your biggest inspirations, and how does that affect your process of making music?
For TEEZY: J Dilla, Dr. Dre, and The Gorillaz are his biggest inspirations when it comes to writing his music. It is through these artists that TEEZY was able to find his passion for electronically producing beats and sampling music. CARTEL derives his inspiration from Sergei Rachmaninoff, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Gustav Holst. These great classical composers have inspired CARTEL by the way he layers his music through a bass line, a mid line, a secondary voice, followed by the melody. CARTEL and TEEZY work hand in hand, where CARTEL focuses on the melodic part of the loop, and TEEZY works on all the percussion sounds.
What do you hope listeners gain from hearing your music?
We hope that our music will create a sense of bliss and relaxation to our listeners. When we write, we like to combine a “Popped White Collar” sound with sounds that are inspired by the urban art scene. CARTEL is fascinated by the Minneapolis graffiti scene and many of his melodic works are based off of local urban artists’ work.
How did you first hear of Mindful Release, and what does Mindful Release mean to you?
CARTEL was first introduced to Mindful Release about a year and a half ago, when he was scrolling through his Instagram “suggested” feed, and he came across this beautiful style of handwriting. Curious, he went and explored the soon to be Mindful Release account. CARTEL was amazed at the artist’s interpretation of the alphabet and immediately was drawn in by the incomprehensibly complex designs that could be drawn from letters. CARTEL had no idea that there were so many possibilities for one letter. Inspired, he reached out to Mindful Release and asked for a design for his back tattoo. The tattoo design consisted of his favorite song lyrics, when the design was ready CARTEL met with Mindful Release and has stayed inspired ever since.
What WOKREW hopes others will realize about Mindful Release is that there is power in vision, that trying is how positive progress gets done, that to be pioneer like Mindful Release, you need to step out of what is normal. Mindful Release has taught us that some of the most simple designs bring out the beauty of a letter, and to never be afraid to try something new.