Wrecking the narrative paralysis of genre conventions, DENZEL HIMSELF is a concoction of aggressive synths who pushes the polarizing boundaries of his artistic compositions onstage.
A creative force in the hard-hitting scenes of underground fests, Denzel Himself acts as an auteur that charges up pulses of uncharted notes of hip-hop by rearranging its blueprint over a hardcore percussion, all while being the author of his own script as his own producer and director taking full control of the tenacious vision of his music. “I don’t personally find it very difficult. When you’re passionate about something, working hours and days on it doesn’t feel like a task. So when those hours and days accumulate, the result is being quite comfortable in one’s chosen multi-disciplines,” quips Denzel of his unparalleled focus. “It’s all symbiotic, everything informs both consciously and subconsciously,” the musician adds. Often likened to Tyler, The Creator’s similar penchant for ripping rebellion in today’s social sphere, the multi-faceted artist countered, “I aim to contribute to the art world in a way unseen.”
“When you’re passionate about something, working hours and days on it doesn’t feel like a task. So when those hours and days accumulate, the result is being quite comfortable in one’s chosen multi-disciplines.”
With his verisimilitude performances spun from fragmented phrases of his thoughts, and a lyrical structure rapped in an undercurrent of discontented flow where every syllable rolls off the tongue that are distinctly him, the clandestine nuances flowing through his work “Thrasher” often get lost in translation amidst the humdrum static of our screens. “I’ve had various mental complexes and conditions, so my writing style is self-serving and self-remedying. I treat it more like incantations and pseudo-intertextual rhymes as opposed to writing for the general audience to understand, or even like.” Being an offbeat genius that doesn’t like to let his time go to waste, he uses his enviable energy to put his staunchly melodies into motion by studying film. “I guess paralleling and implementing what I was taught of artistic approaches to cinema, with how I approach sound and music, has furthered my understanding of patterns within human response and stimuli. Understanding film helps me understand people, and life.” Boasting a sinister, low-beat rhythm that captures the synthesized mayhem of his world, his latest EP Pleasure traps you in a kaleidoscopic mosh pit. “The sound of Pleasure was mostly inspired by the mid-noughties L.A. hip-hop scene. Just really beautiful and idiosyncratic melodies and arrangements plus quirky bass lines.”
“I don’t belong to a scene, I just express myself.”
Passing references to the candid and indelible narrative of the youth, Denzel tears the cardboard cut-outs of musical genres that demands more limitation rather than distinction simply by staying true to himself. “I don’t belong to a scene, I just express myself. I’ve always found rapping easy to do and hardcore, it’s more of a cultural root-point for me. Me and my friends (Keyah/Blu and Modest) from my label, Set Count Worldwide, always joke about how we can all rap really well yet we have no involvement or even hold much reference for hip-hop as a culture. Of course, there are certain aspects of it that we all love, but if I speak for myself, I feel quite removed from it, as a person.”
By Bianca Serrano
Photography by Michelle Marshall