Local rapper Jaron Ikner has a varied palate when it comes to musical tastes, but it's a little-known fact that the man who calls himself Black One has roots in turntablism and EDM.
Ikner released a new track Wednesday called "Turning Out the Lights." The song which he says is a "super-smash dubstep single," is off of his upcoming release, ENJOY: The Cherish EP which drops on Wednesday, May 23.
As he continues work on yet another album, Block House, Ikner will start appearing monthly at Olive Branch in Tempe, starting on Saturday, May 19. Here's a sample of the club-banging tune, as well as a few words on the album, single, and his electronic roots.
Up on the Sun: The new EP is scheduled to drop May 23. Now that it's wrapped up, how do you feel about the release?
Black One: Well, originally, my main focus was the Block House album that is slated for a December release, as well as few collaboration projects. I have tons of songs and ideas in the vault, but I still haven't figure out what is going to be on what, and I have even more songs to make. I wanted to give the fans something in between now and the release of the album, so I went to the lab and knocked out a few songs with the sole purpose of spreading them out over the year. However, I realized it would be better to give the fans what they want: a new free Black One project. I have always believed that I make better projects than songs, if that makes any sense. I wanted to give them something to enjoy, hence ENJOY: The Cherish EP.
The premise of the EP stems from that idea that there seems to be a heavy backlash against the current sound of hip-hop music. While it's not the golden era, I have much respect for the current crop of young, hungry artist bringing a new sound to music. Admittedly, I have been listening to a lot of Drake, Wiz Khalifha, A$AP Rocky, Childish Gambino, and Big Sean lately, and it would be hard to say that they didn't influence my sound on this EP. The song "Fallen Star (Cosmic Love)" borrows lyrics from Soulja Boy and Waka Flocka. It certainly is a departure from my normal sound. I didn't write any lyrics for these songs, I just went in and recorded. I just wanted to make music that I would enjoy without making it too serious. Hopefully, you all will enjoy it, too.
I have always had love for electronic music, especially drum and bass and dubstep and while I'm not a fan of its constant usage in radio pop songs recently, it is something I will always dig.
Can you talk a little about your latest single, "Turning Out the Lights"?
Ah, yes, I have been sitting on this track for, like, three months. It embraces my electronic roots while adapting to the current sound that is out right now. This track is pretty much a very hard club banger, designed to get the kids wild. Have-fun music, if you will.
You call it a "super-smash dubstep single." Do you listen to a lot of dubstep. Is dubstep a sound that's going to be prevalent on Enjoy?
Well, what a lot of people don't know is that I actually have very deep roots in the DJ and electronic dance music scene. I MC'd over drum and bass with my best friend Tyler Disney (a.k.a. Table Manners) for a number of years and have rocked some pretty big shows. He actually taught me how to DJ, and I held down a DJ night for a year or so in Tucson as a result and rocked a few shows, as well. I have always had love for electronic music, especially drum and bass and dubstep, and while I'm not a fan of its constant usage in radio pop songs recently, it is something I will always dig. As far as the EP goes though, "Turning Out the Lights" will be the only track that will really be in the electronic category. But if you dig that track, I do have something planned for Block House that will be amazing. I don't want to say too much yet, but the track is called "Criminal," and it's crazy.
When's the next time we can catch a Black One performance?
I am actually starting a brand new monthly over at the Olive Branch on Southern and Mill on May 19. I will be doing a couple of songs, and there will also be appearances from Span Phly, N.E.M.O. and Savant with DJ DN3 on the tables. There will be a hookah lounge and food available, as well. I may even have a few copies of Enjoy. But who knows? You can only find out if you go.