Ace Henderson Speaks on Free Time, The Recording Process & North Carolina Hip-Hop
Dead End Hip Hop: For those who somehow still don't know, who is Ace Henderson?
Ace Henderson: a human bean! lol im a son & a brother before anything though.
DEHH: Before we jump into the nitty gritty of the project, off top one of the first things I noticed is that you're pulling influences from all over the place. What inspired the sounds and lyrical direction of the project?
AH: i made a mental wish list of sounds & elements i wanted to challenge myself with. i wanted to make a cohesive project, a stream of thought...precise moments that didn't feel the need to be defined. i removed myself from the music and worked with some great producers and engineers to make a high quality project.
DEHH: Where did the title "Free Nights & Weekends" come from?
AH: my sister & I got closer during the process of making this project and somehow, in conversation it came up that when she was in high school and the "free nights & weekends" plan was added to cell phones, the social dynamic changed a bit drastically by virtue. we kinda work for the luxury of having "free time" and thats a pretty shitty bargain don't you think? so this was written less specifically about circumstances & more about the vibe yknow?
DEHH: You had some guests on the record and they all seemed to fit the record perfectly, especially "On The Way", what was the process of making this record like?
AH: it started as an interlude. then there were some verses added & those didnt fit. i just had a bunch of counter melodies in mind, then Niya & I exchanged some lyric sheets and tried to keep the track open and give it more movement with Marc's guitar yknow? this was definitely a group effort and im grateful for the crew that helped pull it together. Michael did a great job with the production, B Kidd & T Ross engineered the hell out of the session. Niya is a phenomenal artist and she pushes me to get the idea from my brain into the ether hahaha. Marc is a phenomenal musician and writer, he found his pocket upon the instrumentation and it added such a nice color to the arrangement...i almost ended up being just an interlude, but im grateful for what it became nonetheless.
DEHH: I've only truly gotten hip over the last couple years, but tell me about the North Carolina hip-hop scene, I think it's truly on the come up, it's going to be scary to see where you guys are in a couple years.
AH: it's beautiful isn't it? let's expand this though. the engineers, producers, directors...etc. everyone has a hand in what you've been witnessing from a far. it's a blessing.
DEHH: When people are done listening to "Free Nights & Weekends" what do you want people to walk away with?
AH: i hope the listeners have an appreciation for the time we to have together. this EP was written in a few locations with friends and i can't take for granted the time and effort placed into each track. I want this project to be played for random people and they can connect without having any attachment to an idea of what a "hip hop" project should sound like. f*ck that.
DEHH: Now I've had the chance to watch you grow and come up a bit as an artist over the last couple months, from getting verified to performing and more. What tips would you give artists just starting out looking to get in the industry?
AH: be yourself. have fun. experience some shit. don't give up. spread love. get rest. express gratitude at any opportunity.
DEHH: Naturally you've gotta be giving us more in 2018? What can we expect from you next year?
AH: in 2018 i want to do more push ups lol but also i've been recruited for a couple projects with some talented artists hopefully those will be ready! I've been writing my next project/studio album which means, whatever doesn't fit the tracklist will be given freely to the people!
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