Fresh off the Rae Maxwell-directed music video for “Opulence”, Ticket To Elsewhere (consisting of Brooklyn emcee K.Gaines & Los Angeles-based producer Maxwell Benson) recently took the time out to chop it up with us here at VannDigital about their upcoming collabo EP of the same name. As they prep for the release of said EP, you can give what was discussed a read below...
VannDigital: How did you come up with such a crazy concept for a series of EPs???
K.Gaines: The concept is 4 EPs each from a different region, (West, East, North, & South), produced by a producer from each region, artwork done by world-renowned artists and each one connects to the other via a puzzle. When the fans figure out the puzzle it will lead them a 5th EP, which when connected with the other 4 EPs, forms another puzzle where they can get even more prizes. The entire project is titled “Bon Retour” (Good Return).
I try to not only make and give good music but also give something engaging for the fans. I had the idea for a while but to pull it off took a lot of planning and plotting…that's why it took so long. It encourages the people to participate and engage in the process of the album. Like an adult Easter egg treasure hunt. This is such a big and arduous endeavour that I have no idea of how I’m going to top it for the next project, but that s the fun part of the journey…the unknown.
How did you choose the artists to collaborate with on each cover??? Was there a reason why each artist was paired with a certain region EP or did you just go with what felt right???
Maxwell Benson: Reef is a good friend and kind of like the 3rd member of Ticket To Elsewhere.
K.Gaines: I am really interested in art and the process of creating it. I even curated a couple of art shows to promote the music and during the process of curating the art shows at “The Bishop Gallery” in Brooklyn, I was able to meet as well as cultivate some good relationships with some very interesting artist who shared invaluable knowledge to me about art. I told them about my idea and all of them were on board.
I chose artists who I thought pushed boundaries or whose art I could get lost in while creating music.
West Coast artist: REEF
East Coast artist: Juan Carlos Pinto
North Coast artist: Mitch LaGrow
South Coast artist: Charles L. Harris
Inside Puzzle artist: Cern
What do you feel is the strongest line you’ve ever written and why???
K.Gaines: I don’t know what my strongest line is. I’m always trying to 1up myself so if I wrote a strong line today I’m sure I would top it up tomorrow. Currently the line I have to top up is, “The absence of light is a hard thing to harness / I’m at perfection when its darkest”.
What’s a life motto you try to live by???
Maxwell Benson: If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you reap.
K.Gaines: Enjoy the journey, embrace the process, push the boundaries and live life with no regrets!
What are your plans for the next year???
K.Gaines: With the Bon Retour project, we are already in 2019. We have 5 EPs to release every 3-4 months, the first being 'Ticket To Elsewhere'. We will be doing everything possible to promote and get the music to the people, videos, interviews, and shows. Touring extensively is a fundamental element which we will use to get the word out about the projects. See all of you soon!! I’m sure Maxwell will have a more elaborate explanation.
Maxwell Benson: Tour Tour Tour hahahaha