Hailing from Maryland, 26-year-old songwriter and music producer Smyles blesses us with his conceptual fifth studio album, Trans-Emotional.
The producer's primary goal is to add color to your days through unique samples and sounds. Influenced by Kanye West, Frank Ocean, The Beatles, Bon Iver, and more, Smyles is ready to share one of his most conceptual projects to date, Trans-Emotional.
Smyles says the new instrumental record is about women, his experiences with them, and how both genders can share the same feelings. It's a sonic story from top to bottom that helps us understand the explorative artist a whole lot more.
The album opens with the introductory tune, "A Kween's World," which is said to track the story of friends at an arcade. When one of them meets a girl, they get invited to her universe, where she is the ultimate ruler. The song is a bright and beaming instrumental that spans genres like reggae, Latin, and hip-hop. It's a breezy piece that opens the album on a colorful note.
On the second track, "This Hoochie, That Nigga," Smyles explained how days had passed, and people started to talk and spread rumors about their relationship. It's a sensual yet feel-good and slightly mysterious song that dances through the speakers with Latin percussion and the smoothest jazz melodies we could ask for.
Leaping into track number three, "Estoy Borracha, Sin Rinon," we're met with a sample we're all too familiar with. As T-Pain's "Buy U A Drank" rings through the speakers, Smyles melts the scene with velvety Latin instrumentals representing the story's characters having a good time over a drink, forgetting what others might say about them. Anyone can enjoy this fun and groovy tune.
However, after a few drinks, things can get a little spicy. That's when we land on track number four, "Moan For Me xxx." This smooth-sailing and sultry instrumental hits in all the right places with crisp hi-hats and rhythmic percussion arrangements. The sweet vocal chops and guitar samples dance into the foreground to create a truly stimulating experience.
Onto the album's halfway point, "Vagina Poetry," Smyles describes this song as a women's empowerment anthem. The album's storyline sees the girl starting to think that her relationship is only sexual, so she wants her vagina to feel respected. It's quite an invigorating song that smashes the speakers with a powerful female vocal sample that celebrates her pussy, later dancing into a dreamy hip-hop anthem.
Reaching the album's second half with track number six, "Catch My Toxic," this mover and groover open with warm reggae instrumentals that sink into an uplifting island vibe. The song is said to sonically describe how a relationship can be toxic and loving at the same time. That could be represented by the mellow groove that's abruptly yet excitingly interrupted by a soulful vocal sample and crashing hip-hop drums.
Landing on the seventh track, "You Better Hit It!!," this interlude-type piece features D. Holland, K. Lawson, D. Jenkins, and K. Pearce all discussing over the radio which basketball player they would have taken the last shot of their life. It's a smooth and spicy instrumental that feels like a sonic breath of fresh air.
Spicing things up is the album's eighth track, "Bad Girl, Good Relationship," which ups the danceable Latin vibe tenfold with savory woodwind instrumentals, sweet guitar samples, bright brass, and tight drum arrangements. This single discusses how a relationship can be stable even if the person you're with is struggling, representing how we can lift each other out of our darkest places.
Entering what is perhaps our favorite song on the album, "God In My Veins," this piece exudes all the soul, passion, and euphoria we were looking for. It's packed with stunning samples and heavenly vocal chops that remind us how powerful we are as humans to sustain the emotions we have. Someone call Kanye because we have his next track for Sunday Service.
Reaching the album's tenth and final track, "Suicide Schedule," Smyles dedicates this song to those who suffer depression and suicidal thoughts. The song sonically describes the emotions of a woman who leaves you torn and heartbroken through wailing electric guitars that leap into the most dynamic song of the album. Smyles uses genres like hip-hop, alternative, rock, Latin, and a sample from Mr. Biggie Smalls himself.
All in all, there is truly no other experience than Smyles's fifth studio album, Trans-Emotional. From the use of diverse genres to a gripping and relatable storyline, we're sure anyone can appreciate the dynamic arrangements and various emotions felt when listening to the project. Find Smyles's 10-track album, Trans-Emotional, on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Smyles. We're genuinely impressed with the dynamic experience you've provided in your fifth studio album, 'Trans-Emotional.' What inspired you to create an album about women and your experiences with them?
I came up with the concept while trying to find my true emotions of myself. I realized my emotions are never stagnant. They constantly are changing. Women have affected my mood and emotions, so I wanted to pinpoint certain moods or feelings I felt with different women.
What did your creative process look like when creating the many diverse songs within 'Trans-Emotional?' How do you start a song and work your way up?
This project was hectic, lol. I would honestly start a song and then move on to make another one, then come back to it and work on it some more. I always start with loops. I’ll have several loops, and if I don’t like the loop, I immediately delete it or try to enhance it. The first song I started working on was moaning for me. That original beat was nothing like the finished product. I always end up switching things once I dig deep into the sound I want. For most of this project, I became enticed by samples that captivated a certain image. Each sample kind of feels like a screenwriter, it’s telling you a story, and I’m the director.
How is Trans-Emotional different from your previous four albums? What makes this project stand out?
'Trans-Emotional' has a unique sound. It doesn’t sound like traditional hip-hop. I feel like it’s the first project where my personality and identity really show. I’m a colorful person. I make colorful music. 'Trans-Emotional' is more diverse, stylish, and creative than some of my other stuff. I let my creativity wander a lot on this record. I didn’t hold back. I wanted each individual song to shine on its own. By combining multiple samples/genres to sound like one.
What do you hope listeners, specifically women, take away from hearing your new album, 'Trans-Emotional?'
Smyles is for everyone. I didn’t craft a one-sided project. People who enjoyed this album understood my purpose. For anyone new listening, I would want them to take this journey with me. I want everyone to listen to my music for their own purposes. Maybe my music can inspire someone to do the things I did on this record. If I inspire you to make music, I would want you to be better than I am.
What did you take away from creating 'Trans-Emotional?' What was the most rewarding part of the experience?
The best part of making this album was the fact that I created something nobody else would. A lot of music is about people copying each other. I didn’t copy anyone on this record. I pushed the genre of Hip-Hop forward. I’m going to continue that trend. I’m happy that I got a chance to share this record. Thank you to everyone who was involved in making this record as well. Special thank you to everyone who listened and shared it.