Tunji Ige hops into a car heading to Venice, California, echoing how this past year has been for the artist; constantly on the go. Between meetings during his west coast venture and tweets back and forth with ILoveMakonen about dropping their new song “Don’t Do Too Much,” the Philly native phones in to speak on everything from new music to travel experiences.
It’s been over a year since the rapper, writer, producer’s debut EP “The Love Project,” was released. The excitement in his voice rises, “we just finished the next EP,” Ige tells me over the phone. “It’s going to drop very soon, within a month or two.” While the title is withheld for creative purposes, Ige has no problem elaborating on the content of the project to come.
“It’s more of a coming to age project whereas “The Love Project” was an introduction to everything I was trying to do,” he says. “You can tell it’s from the same person but you can tell he’s experiencing different stuff. I’m trying to make these songs pretty much capture all that, to capture the fun entering the new life, the stresses of that, pretty much everything that comes with it just from my perspective.”
That new life Ige speaks of is the transition from recording his debut EP in a Pennsylvania dorm room to taking his craft all over the world. Ige’s travels have brought forth life changing experiences in the last year.
While touring Europe with The Neighbourhood this past fall, Ige found himself in Paris on November 13th, the night of the terror attacks that killed 130 people and left hundreds of others wounded. “I did a performance the day before,” he said. “The Neighborhood was staying literally on the same block and we were going to go there the next day (the 13th) and check out the town and stuff. I guess that’s like one of the first real surreal moments in my career just being a musician and dealing with some crazy stuff.”
Ige’s artistic expression has always flourished within his videos. With the help of Josh Goldenberg who goes by Glassface, Ige’s camp has unleashed feature-film like music videos for songs like “Slow Dance” and “Ball Is Life.” This trend continued this fall with the release of “Function.” Shot on the same day as the Paris attacks, the visual holds a special place in Ige’s artistic vision.
The song was purposefully left off SoundCloud in hopes that the Glassface directed visual would paint a complete picture of the day’s dizzying effects. “It’s complicated because Josh (Glassface) shot that essentially the same day as the Paris attacks,” said Ige quietly. “I really feel like that song and that video just puts you in the moment. Instead of giving a SoundCloud or download link so you can keep on playing it, you have re-visit that video so you’re always brought back to that moment.”
Through his time exploring different avenues and stretching past ‘a basement in Pennsylvania,’ a frequent ad-lib on “The Love Project,” the Philly native’s discography has developed drastic ebbs and flows. Contrasting anthem-like tracks like “On My Grind” with mellow, introspective songs like “Over & Out,” Ige has created an exciting experience for listeners.
“What we’re trying to do with this next round of music is just to always hit people with what they’re not expecting and just show every single side,” says Ige. “There’s always going to be that bravado, confident, and go-getter side then there’s the introverted, conscious explanation of where I’m coming from.” With new music imminent, Ige concludes our talk with a chuckle, “I guest the gist is to expect the unexpected.”