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Behind The Album: Enso Stranger “Graceful&Golden”

in BEHIND THE ALBUM/INTERVIEWS/MIXTAPES/MUSIC by

Emerging in the Orlando music scene as a bright and hopeful light, Enso Stranger is making music to empower the soul of everyone around him and pushes an agenda of self-love, among many other things.

The happy-go-lucky rappers of today such as Lil Yachty focus more on themselves and in terms, say “If I can do it, so can you,” but Enso Stranger is taking an approach to include everybody along with him in his “journey” to empowerment through his rap music.

All of this comes from the point of view of his newest EP “Graceful and Golden” and I sat down with him to talk about what it means to him, what his goals are with it, a run in with Ski Mask The Slump God, and quite a bit else.

You seem to be trying to empower everyone with happiness, on this EP. Was this your goal for just this EP, or for your music overall?
Well, I believe music is power, I’m sure you’ve heard that before. And I want to use my power to help people and empower people, which is through my music. You know Kid Cudi right? He saved my life in high school. He made me feel like “fuck em, I don’t need certain people just to live my life,” and I want to help other people feel like that too.

On that note, based on some of your previous work that seems darker, what helped you make a transition into the light on this?
At that time I had been dealing with a lot of fake friends and people I didn’t need around me. One time, I almost went to jail and they didn’t give a shit. They told me they were my brothers. Y’know, it’s fake friends, everyone can relate to that kind of stuff, it isn’t healthy.

So now that you are expressing more of a loving mood on this EP, is this EP simply a reflection of how you are feeling now? Or are you still dealing with most of those problems?
Yeah, definitely, definitely. I met Max (manager) right before I started this project, and prior to that, I still had a lot of people I didn’t need with me. Everybody who’s been a part of this, even you, have been great. Thanks again. So yeah, it’s definitely reflective of my mood, I’m happy as fuck right now. Music is a great form of expression for me.

So, it’s a new chapter?
Yeah, exactly!

Speaking of the people around you, how did your team come together on this project? Production, advertising, merch, etc.?
It was Max (Maxwell Frost of Rhythm Park Production, based in Kissimmee). I had no idea how this was gonna sound before-hand, I just knew that I had to keep pushing myself to be better on what I could control. Make it more skillful, make it truer. Because all these rappers are starting to sound the same now, I wanted to make sure I was making my music as true to me as possible. Max came into the picture and brought in Ricardo (Fortuneswan on Soundcloud) to produce because he thought we’d sound great together. Ricardo and I clicked because we’re both just so emo.

So FortuneSwan produced this whole thing?
Yeah, all except the first song.

What were your biggest influences as a kid to lead up to your music now?
I’m a fucking geek. I watch a lot of anime, especially Dragon Ball Z as a kid, and Goku made me a positive thinker and pretty persistent. My dad was also a musician and wanted me to grow up to be one as well. And obviously Kid Cudi.

You’ve been selected into a playlist curated by YesJulz right?
Yeah dude, that was crazy. There were a lot of great songs in that thing.

What else are you planning on to solidify yourself as someone who should be taken seriously?
Well, our releases as a whole aren’t teased too much. When we have stuff, Max helps get it released when it needs to be instead of teasing it for a year. Also expanding onto different platforms like Spotify helps us a lot instead of just staying on SoundCloud.

With all the rappers popping off in Florida in such a small amount of time, with little to no management, do you feel like you’re competing on the same level as them, or are you more confident because of how official your team is?
Well our audio engineer, Sam Silva, he’s great. Engineering is his form of art and helped make us sound super professional. We even met Ski Mask (The Slump God) at the studio and I didn’t know who he was. He seemed like he was itching to get on the beat I was rapping on, so I offered him to hop on if he liked. At the time, we didn’t know who he was and that he charged like hundreds for features, but he offered us a lower price. My old manager at that time though didn’t want to do it though, so I guess it wasn’t meant to be. But seriously, as a Florida artist, I don’t think my sound can be compared with the others that well, but I do feel like I’m in there with them in terms of grinding together.

So what do you think of this Central Florida scene as a whole, not just rap, but are you into any of the bands too?
Dog Church, Champagne Blonde, and Nundayo are definitely great. Nundayo is my favorite band in the Central Florida scene right now. I’m definitely on that wave.

Well we’re about out of time, thanks for sitting down and talking. Is there anything else you’d like to say or share?
Graceful and Golden is a summer EP, so bump that all during the summer because it’s pretty light-hearted. Being with all the people that helped me along this journey helped me kinda release my weirdness, so if you’re a weirdo, this is for you too. Music can help you heal and meditate, so we’re hoping anybody who listens can get a good use out of it.

@ENSOstranger
soundcloud.com/ENSOstranger

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