Text and photography by Kat Kuo
Toying with motifs of masculinity, Orrin Campbell’s highly imaginative alter ego runs wild in the music video for “Switch”. He is a rookie to watch out for in the rap game.
In an era where real friends are hard to come by, Campbell is not only unapologetically candid about this issue, but also chronicles his experience in his newest track. Subverting reality in this video game inspired music video, the gamer boy takes you on his journey to see where the pieces of his heart go.
Watch the game, and let the player tell you his story.
How would you define yourself as a rapper and artist?
I do not necessarily want to define my brand, but I am a twenty-two-year-old Brooklyn artist who creates avant-garde hip-hop through the use of catchy melodies and clever punchlines. Growing up, I always wished I had super powers (teleportation) or was accepted into Hogwarts, but instead settled for business school in NYC.
Your new song is called "Switch". What was the impetus for the track?
There were some negative people in my life and I didn’t know who to trust anymore. The song comes from a place of confrontation but instead channeling those thoughts into music. Warren Wolfe supplied the production and we really went hard to create a loud, triumphant track that says “fuck off”
When you are producing, do you feel like there is pressure to create something tangible during sessions?
I usually create art in my room. This allows me to write at my own pace. Being within my comfort zone allows me to experiment because I forget about the outside world and lose myself in the project in front of me.
Is making music a purely cathartic exercise for you or is it something bigger than that?
Music is and always has been a cathartic experience. I started making music out of boredom and eventually it turned into an escape, one where I could express myself without boundaries. As I grow more comfortable and find my voice, I see my music as a platform to create discussion; influenced by social events but also a reaction to the world around me.
How do you control your image and projection?
I think educating yourself is important, in order to figure out who and what you stand for. [Beyond] good intent, the reception and “social” interpretation of your image and brand is really out of anyone's control. The internet has a mind of its own.
How did you figure out the direction you wanted to take with your sound?
This question is interesting because I do not know if I have “one” sound. Right now, I am in a really good creative space where I can experiment with different sounds and textures. [I’m] definitely a hip-hop artist but the next track could be rock influenced or pop—wherever the music takes me honestly.
What is next?
I recently dropped a 5 track EP called "Bad Dreams", a little prelude for 2018. With that online, my focus is finishing my full length debut and playing as many shows as possible in the meantime.
In the making of DRØME we hope to showcase a community of doers and nourish an attitude of empathy in a world that teaches us to pass judgment rather than practice kindness. The stories, images, and people shared in this magazine are an amalgamation of perspectives often overlooked or explicitly excluded from art and media worlds. The dearth of diverse identities and viewpoints within the arts is harrowing, especially for a young generation that is fighting its hardest to overcome conservative notions of order ultimately practiced as acts of discrimination against the very people and things we find most inspiring. In DRØME, the featured creators and creations encourage us to never shy away from who we are and what we want. Each artist, in sharing their story, embodies their own definition of agency. Against a mainstream ideology that indoctrinates patriarchal, capitalist, and hateful theories turned into policy, the artists in our first issue represent the ways in which art can take power back from society's denigrating control.