“Containing a raw, energizing instrumental centered around evocative pianos and bouncy percussion, ‘No Matter What’ is an infectious yet thought-provoking listen. Whalan’s flow here is confident and smooth, and his lyrics are pensive and sharply crafted. With addictive production and lyrical substance to spare…” – Jacob Ezra, Roundhouse Music Co.
“No Matter What” is a prime example of a problem that most artists face. How do we know when something is finished or if it’s even worth sharing publicly?
The truth is: we don’t know. We just decide to share it. Or we don’t. It’s the decision that makes it complete. Everyone can chime in with their opinion. We can let our inner-critic or others’ opinions shelve our music, but in the end, it’s about our decision to call it done and put it out.
I started this song almost ten years ago when I was still living in Brooklyn, NY after graduating from The New School around 2013-2014. I had some rhymes on it that I wasn’t happy with at all, so it just sat there on an old hard drive. Years went by and one day I needed to find a missing file on that hard drive.
Of course, when I listened to music that I hadn’t heard in so long, I become fascinated with it. That’s how I re-discovered this abandoned song. It’s like all the time that went by just made all my criticisms of it go away. All those things that I’m super critical of when I create something, end up not mattering as much after so many years go by.
I was in love with the beat. It’s one of a few times in my music production where I feel like I achieved that classic hip-hop vibe that I love. I produce all my beats in Ableton. I layered breaks with one-shot drum sound. I put sounds from my visit to India into the melody and added some instrumentation.
Flash to 2020-2021. I copied the project onto my current drive and started buttoning up the production, completely scrapping the rhymes that were recorded already. I started focusing on the lyrics. I’ve always wanted to rhyme like this, just straight lyrical bars that aren’t about one thing. I’ve been swayed in other directions with songwriting in the past, but this one just really brought me back to what I love about hip-hop. I love just speaking my mind, boasting, and operating with pure confidence.
I wrote and re-wrote the lyrics, re-recorded, second-guessed everything, mixed it, called it done, and then sent it over to the U.K. to my mastering engineer, Bob Macc. Bob has been mastering my music for almost ten years now. He said this might be his favorite tune of mine.
Coming off some big releases last year like the KRS-One feature on “From the Woods” remix, and “Thought Pollution” with Rittz, Just Juice, and Lateb, it’s important for me to keep the bar high and do my best to come with straight heaters.
The music video came together super-fast in two takes in downtown Housatonic, MA. It’s been bitter cold here, and that day it was all ice on the ground. We shot the video with a GoPro, thanks to Mat Inglis for filming. This is the first time I’m putting out a music video that is one continuous shot. I’m pretty stoked about it. I’ve been wanting to film a series of videos that really show where I’m from.
To conclude, I’m back on my grind of dropping music on a consistent basis. I’ve got a lot of songs I’m finishing up and getting ready to put out. I’m also planning an April northeast U.S. tour and booking throughout the summer. I want to play live shows so bad. We have some dates confirmed and I’m so happy about the possibility of touring again.