Monday, 9 July 2007

Introducing Caspa Codina…

Q: Who is Caspa Codina and why is he here?
A: Caspa is a true soul survivor, here to bring back some dirt, fantasy & originality into modern soul-funk-electro for the 21st Century.

Q: Where does the name come from?
A: Caspa Codina is my real name... well almost: Caspa is my middle name & Codina was my grandmother's surname, which is just as valid as my dad's surname in these modern times.

Q: Some people may be doing a double take, you're also Medasyn the producer and a member of the group Spektrum - how do all of your aliases vary musically?
A: Well, my Medasyn projects focus on hip-hop, garage & grime; and are usually MC based [I’ve worked with Lady Sovereign, Shystie, Zuz Rock in the past & am currently doing some new shit with Envy from Manchester & Kovas from Brooklyn. Spektrum is a live band and has a rawer electro, punk-soul-funk sound fronted by female vocalist Lola Olafisoye. Caspa Codina is more song & soul based, but with hints of grime, hip hop & electro production and a curious mix of falsetto & baritone vocals.

Q: Is it hard juggling the three projects?
A: Damn right it is. I'm finally, finally finishing the Caspa Codina album this month! But because of the other projects - making the Spektrum albums, writing and producing the Lady Sovereign album [as Medasyn] meant the Caspa project got stuck on the hard drive for a few years. The problem is that, crazy lead vocalists, drunken band members and big labels like Def Jam are much more demanding of my time than my own alias!

Q: So how would you describe the Technology EP?
A: The song is like a twisted electro-soul lament on the danger of getting completely lost in technology - like spending all your life online on myspace or that in virtual world 'second life'. In ‘Technology’ Caspa finds love online, but eventually ends up uploading his brain to try and get closer to his cyber-girlfriend.

Q: How do the remixes vary from the original and do you have a favourite?
A: The remixes are all aimed at the dancefloor, whereas the original has a more laidback hip-hopish groove. It's hard for me to have a favourite cos each remix has such a different mood and all of the remixers are good mates. Tugg's So So Sick remix is a properly sick sounding dirty warehouse electro-techno party tune which brings gurning sweaty 3am ravers to mind. He’s also done a tasty broken-beat remix - I think he's been spending too long in West London. Jonny Rock's remix has got these really 80s sounding Tom-Toms along with a rock'n'roll feel, but all with this Chicago House undercurrent. Laliq's remix is like a forgotten rave/ speed-garage record, complete with that slightly out of tune vocal sample vibe - genius at work. All killers when the mood is right.

Q: Is it your first release on StopStart Records?
A: Yes. StopStart is a new label that's taken on a few artists from my label Nonstop Recordings. StopStart is definitely a label to watch; with some really fresh UK hybrid hip-hop/electo releases from The EarlyMan & Man Like Me lined up for the summer.

Q: I saw in your press release about a 'penchant for Crystal Meth', explain...
A: That's the StopStart press office getting very creative! But I guess that reflects how F***ed up some of the music & lyrics might sound. It's kind of similar to the Chopped & Screwed vibe in Houston, which apparently is credited to taking lots of cough mixture - I just get very high on nasty electronic bleeps & bass noises, lock myself in the studio for days, create stories and get busy with the microphone; that's my addiction…

Q: What are you working on next?
A: Well next week I'll still be finishing the debut Caspa Codina album (which will be out in September). After that, I'm gonna be shooting some promo videos and then getting "The Codinas" [Caspa's band] together.

(CF) A version of this appeared in Blues & Soul (June 2007)

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