Today’s feature is on Justin Hibbert, a producer, rapper, and engineer who releases music under his own name as well as the name “i”. Hibbert has worked with artists such as Lola Monroe, Keida, Damas, and Teflon, among others. His most recent release (“Initiation”) is the main topic of conversation in our interview, along with his favorite recording experiences and his future plans.
Could you tell us about your musical background? How did this latest project and accompanying collaborations come to be?
“I began my musical journey as a drummer in local bands and later progressed to production in high school. I made my own beats from there on out and went to school for audio engineering. I have been writing my whole life but stepped up to the plate as a full-fledged artist around my college years. I do just about every aspect of my music besides the guitarists/bassists or horns players I work with. My project “Initiation” was recorded over a few months in Atlanta while I was recording my pop album; I recorded over 50 songs and used the pop tracks for my album and used the progressive tracks for “Initiation”. I spent the past seven months tracking the background vocals/instrumentation and special features from Sole, Project Pat and Troy Ave.”
What can you tell people about your most recent release “Initiation”?
“I would say that it’s the sound of getting on.”
Who are your biggest musical influences?
“I listen to music non-stop and go through many phases. My favorite artists right now are Oh Land, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Danny Brown, Jeru The Damaja, Sole, The Mars Volta, North Korea, M.I.A., and Prince Far I.”
What are your favorite activities outside of music?
“Painting and reading may be my other favorite activities. I live a pretty active life so working out and sports are up there, along with snowboarding and skim boarding. Oh, and getting trippy.”
“I would say working with Sole was one of the smoother experiences, he’s a truly down to earth dude and cares about the music, not to mention he was one of my favorite rappers growing up. These days I don’t really record anyone but myself with the exception of my artist Stella Sol who is always entertaining to work with.”
What does 2014 hold in store for Justin Hibbert? Do you have any live performances or upcoming releases lined up?
“2014 is gonna be a good year; I have a lot of music coming out this year, and will be dropping some music videos which is a first for me. I don’t like the concept of music videos so (initially) I was hesitant to go that route until we did my pop album. I’ll be playing shows this year but am taking my time in terms of letting the music soak into the public first. I’m very happy to just be able to watch my music spread whether it’s [i], Stanki Face, Stella Sol or Justin Hibbert.”