Commencing over a game of Minecraft during quarantine, London native Emanuel Andrade, who goes by the stage name Keeper, and Jon Cass began discussing music.
Dancing on the spectrum of an Alternative Hip-hop ambiance, Keeper recruits the artistic talents of Demo Akuro in this charismatic expression of intrapersonal beliefs.
Tapping into Keeper’s first single, “Homegrown,” which can be found on his debut solo album, ‘Guess I’m Keeper,’ he customs his inimitable aptitude to dive into themes of tackling life by doing things on his own terms, and learning that goes hand in hand with that. Utilizing evocative messaging to drive home the important thesis of pursuing your passions in order to live out your dreams, Keeper wants to emotionally connect with his audience on a profound level.
The ethereal Pop-punk atmosphere tempers amongst this modern twist on Hip-hop fusion as Keeper bellows creative timbres in his unmatched storytelling techniques. With a slow to mid-tempo instrumentation that trickles into opulent guitar riffs and enticing Trap drums, the vibrant dynamism which is offered between Keeper and Demo Akuro sits heavy on our minds as a spellbinding alliance that sways into magnetic appeal through intoxicating melodies cascading with a prevailing embrace.
“Homegrown,” is also accompanied by well thought out visuals that hone in on the freedom of leaving work early on a Friday. Keeping the eye-catching scene's light through subject matter, Keeper establishes the unique quintessence that he embodies as an artist paving his own path in the music industry.
Congratulations on the release of not only your debut single, “Homegrown,” but the debut album you have out titled, ‘Guess I’m Keeper.’ With this collaboration between Demo Akuro and yourself, what was it like collaborating with one another in order to bring, “Homegrown,” to life?
Cheers, thank you! Collaborating with Demo Akuro felt both weird and natural. I know that doesn't really make sense, but that's how it felt! Demo helped a lot with getting me started as an artist. I’ve been in and out of bands for years, and during the lockdown, I haven’t been able to play in my main band, so I felt really confined. Both Jon Cass and Demo really helped me channel that energy into a new outlet. Being a solo artist has been pretty different from my other musical experiences, so it was a bit like uncharted territory for me, but the moment I had a track that felt like it needed something more, it just felt right to ask Demo to do a feature. He brought his own vibe to the song and added a fuller, more dynamic feel to it. It was cool seeing it all come together to become Homegrown.
When establishing your sound on this album, what did the creative process look like between yourself and Jon Cass through the audio you sent his way?
We were kinda like an estranged couple. It all started during the first lockdown so we couldn’t
meet up to do anything at first. It began with me joining his Minecraft server. He needed some guitar loops for his beat-making that he did in between Minecraft sessions. I had nothing to do, so I happily obliged. I sent him loads. I mean seriously, loads. He'd send them back finished so that I could hear them before he sent them off to his clients. I could practically hear myself singing on a couple of them, so I asked Jon if I could have them. We ended up getting a selection together and I came up with some melody ideas and lyrics.
Then when Lockdown ended, I went to his studio, masked up, and we worked on them some
more. It was a great experience, to be honest.
How do you allow your musical and non-musical influence to speak into the tunes that you craft?
Musically, my influences probably stem most from my emo, pop-punk, and hardcore
background. I love that style of music. Love it. But I'm also pretty big on RnB and hip-hop. I
remember my dad putting NWA or De La Soul on in the car when I was a kid, so this EP feels like a great mixture of those different styles. Some of my favorite bands also have influences from a broad range of genres - bands like Rage Against The Machine and Enter Shikari - so they were big inspirations for me too. My non-musical influence has definitely been 2020 as a whole. As I'm sure everyone knows, it’s been a crazy year. Watching a lot of the news, reading books, seeing the turmoil across the planet on social media.
There are so many stories. I wanted to write about that. About the different emotions that people have been facing. Homegrown is about being stuck in a rut and trying to pull through, avoiding the easy way out. People have been torn in two this year, I wanted to combine that with my own feelings of worthlessness, but try to make a positive out of it. A push for the light, if you will.
What has been the most important lesson that you have learned so far on your artistic journey?
Teamwork. I can call myself a solo artist as much as I want, but the truth is, I wouldn't have been able to create these songs without Jon Cass, Demo, a bloke called Ben and several others. Another lesson would be, if you’re invited to one, always join a Minecraft server. This project wouldn’t have gotten started without it. And the final lesson, be more assertive on the business side of things. Sometimes I think I roll over too easily, and just let things run their course. I can be too eager to please. Thankfully, I had some great help with PR thanks to HighRoad Publicity and my sister (Trident PR Music) helping with my social media.
What can we expect to see from Keeper throughout 2021?
As of today, I've already sent a bunch of new guitars stems to Jon. We’re in another lockdown at the moment, so can't go over to his studio but I've been in this position before and I'm sure I’ll have another EP on the way once this lockdown ends.
“In the video we wanted to create a skit around the whole, leaving work early on a Friday thing, to go and play golf with the boss. But at the same time, we wanted to ridicule ourselves because let's face it, we're all idiots,” - Keeper.