Interview: The more Blu learns, the more he grows (July 2020)

This interview is with Blu, someone who I have to thank for many things, but most importantly, EveryDejaVu's name.
Blu Exile Miles
Ryan Magnole
Ryan Magnole
Lives in Somerville, MA and founded a record label / blog called EveryDejaVu. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @Wontu.

LA rapper (and legend) Blu worked with me on a few of our compilations and I released his collaborative album with Fate, Open Your Optics to Optimismin 2016. Before all of that, I interviewed Blu in 2013 and that was the first time I think the blog got more than 15 views in a day. Without all of that, EveryDejaVu doesn’t exist in the form today.

I caught up with him briefly about his upcoming release, Miles, which is the third album alongside his right hand producer Exile, about their chemistry over the years, and opening up personally on their new record.

It’s been 13 years since Below The Heavens was released and you’ve known Exile for years longer. How has the collaboration between you and Exile evolved over the years? Has your writing process changed when working with Exile?

We are much more mature in our craft and that makes it much easier to create music together. My writing process took a more mature approach as well. For instance, I looked back at particular albums and songs that I made in the past and drew inspiration from myself.

You dropped the “Blu version” of Flowers on Bandcamp that had a more raw feel to it before it was released through Fat Beats. Did you feel it was ready to be released or you just wanted to give your fans new music? What happened to “Ope”?

Well we create the project in 2009, and sat on it for two years. It was never intended to be released really. We both were creating our own projects at the time. “Flowers” was a collection of ‘journal’ raps, spit over beats, recorded over the span of two weeks. I thought the title fit because we were giving the people “Flowers (songs), while they can still smell (hear) them”. “Ope” got replaced by “Ease Your Mind.”

Do you have a favorite project of your own? If so, what is it?

I love them all honestly. Its hard to choose.

It seems like you open up a lot about your hardships and personal life on Miles. Was it hard to open up about these topics? How personal does the project get?

Some say this is my most personal project to date. I feel I get pretty personal on the majority, if not all, of my records. So it wasn’t hard to open up. It’s just the question being, “do I want people to hear this?” I left out a lot that has gone on as well, but most of it was covered on this record.

You covered the history of life on “His Story” and focused on that subject even further with “Roots of Blue.” Can you tell me about your interest in history and how it influences your music?

I love History. It was my favorite subject in school besides English. They work hand in hand when creating my music today. The more I grow, the more I learn. I dove pretty deep in my early 30’s, but I don’t read as much History now.

I see a track called “When The Gods Meet” on Miles. Is this the same track premiered in 2012?

Yes, it is the same track we performed live once. Fans always hit me up and ask me about that song and when it’s dropping. It was slated to be a 45 after Flowers, but we vaulted it and it became a spark of inspiration when we started creating this album.

Are most of the songs on Miles newly recorded or how far back does it go?

The majority of the album was recorded between 2017-2019. Except maybe 3 songs.

Where does music for Blu go after this? More raps? Is film still in your scope?

More raps for sure. I’m sitting on a good 6 albums. Counting two albums me & Ex may never drop, or may haha! I produced a project for my good friend, John Robinson, also known as Lil Sci. That should be dropping soon. And films, oh films, oh films.

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