David Bell Jr. of Slimdog Productions is a Colorado-based member of the 'Indie Hip-Hop Block Scholars'. He has been creating music since 2004 when indie artists started using his instrumentals in their songs. After 8 years since his first album 'Slimstrumentals Vol. 1', David Bell Jr. released the instrumental album 'Slimstrumentals Vol. II' and off it is the experimental song "Rainplay".
"Rainplay" features an ambient rainy background that soothes your mind, punchy steady organic drum grooves, an almost jazzy dynamic ethereal piano, a gnarly guitar riff, and intricate little synth parts that catch your ears' attention. The background atmosphere of the track is incredibly calming to hear, it has occasional children's voices reminding you of playing on a playground as a kid. "Rainplay" feels organic and fluid, the music simply flows inside you and you'll instantly be feeling good. David's musicality shines through here, every musical element gives space for each to breath but maintains a fancy high-class feel. This is one of those tunes that you will be playing back on your speakers at night. We can't wait to give the rest of this album a listen.
Listen to "Rainplay" here.
Hey David Bell Jr.! Welcome to BuzzMusic! We are absolutely loving "Rainplay"! What was the songwriting and production process for it like? I’m a sample guy. Love samples and messing with them. I cut, tweak, twist. With “Rainplay”, I was scrolling through samples and if there’s a sample that I like, I will stop and try to figure what to do with it. Build upon it. I just found this sample of a melody that reminded me of dancing in the rain, playing in the rain… Rainplay. Didn’t do anything to it at first. I usually don’t until I have the track pretty much built. I look for samples of other instruments to compliment; guitar, bass guitar and others were added to it. The kids playing in the rain was added last actually.
Your album 'Slimstrumentals Vol.II' is focussed on being interesting instrumental backing tracks, what had inspired you to create this? I did “Slimstrumentals Vol. 1” 8 years ago as solely a Hip Hop beats album. Notice the beats and instrumentals are MUCH longer and more Hip Hop oriented than “Slimstrumentals Vol. II”. There’s one song on the first volume that’s over 8 minutes long!!! Hahaha!!!
Those tracks were meant to have or had Hip Hop artists that I have collab with spit 8, 16 or 24 bar verses. A few of the tracks on volume 1 were on actual tracks, different name with lyrics. Volume II was geared more towards the LoFi hip Hop/ Chillhop listener. The beats aren’t as aggressive sounding comparatively. More mellow, chill…
How would you say this release compares to the 'Slimstrumentals Vol.1'? How do you think you have grown as an artist? What about your sound? I’ve grown more as an artist as in the type of style of beat I am putting out. I still put out Hip Hop style tracks but I am learning more about the LoFi Hip Hop style this time around. There are some particular LoFi artists that I listen to get inspiration from;
Nokiaa, Philanthrope, Cheap Monk, B-Side, Jinsang and some new up and coming as well. I had always done jazz type beats since I started making beats but LoFi has a certain style, a certain vibe that is different. I knew I was doing ok when reputable LoFi stations put me on their Spotify playlists like College Music and Indiemono (thank you both). I’m headed in the right direction.
What had inspired you initially to be creating the backing tracks for other artists? What has it been like to collaborate with artists in that sense? I started doing beats way back in 2008. I had played drums in grade school and high school, so when I got my first ejay “Hip Hop 4” beatmaker, I was hooked. I met Bennett “Nobull” Baskerville around 2009. He was a beatmaker, a rapper I met through a mutual friend. He is a music/beat-making/studio geek in every sense of the word. Hahaha. We hit it off and started a Hip Hop group called, “Block Scholars”. Later we had Nathan “2mental” Andreas join us. It has been great for us. We have had national accolades independently; Grand Prize winner in Patron XO Café’s national contest, 3rd place Billboard/360 Starmakers songwriting contest and Hollywood Music In Media Song of the Year in Rap/R&B in 2014 to name some. We have had to raise families while doing this in the meantime, that takes priority but music is still in our blood. We have some things in the works with the Hip Hop/Rap aspect but I will keep putting out singles and albums in-between time. Got 2 LoFi/Chillhop/Jazzhop singles, “Stranger” (April 17th) and “Sway” (May 8th) coming to Spotify and major streaming services.