Say hello to the birthday boy!
Christian hip hop artist, writer, podcaster, sports fan, and Star Wars junkie are just some of what makes Mitch Darrell who he is.
‘Dreadhead Lando’, his new 10-song album, is available now…as in today! I was lucky enough to get a preview of the project and you can get my reactions here. Darrell is a unique artist when compared to his peers, something that helps him to stand out within CHH.
“It’s funny because I only discovered CHH like two and a half years ago. Before that, I was in the process of trying to find myself. I use to try extremely hard to sound like the artists I liked (Kendrick, Gambino, Chance), but I eventually found my own voice. I’ve always made music that I enjoy – lyricism, wordplay, flow variations, concept-driven music, and bars that make you think.”
“I’ve never tried to sound different than everybody else, it’s just that what I enjoy happens to not be the norm for today. I like the fact that I’m distinguished.”
The new project is certainly distinguished as it brings in an overarching theme that would impress even George Lucas.
“I’ve always loved setting a theme or topic to write about before starting a song. My first couple of projects were all themed around myself and my life. I decided I wanted to write some songs about something important to me, but maybe be a little less sad and sentimental…some of my partners tell me I make a lot of sad and serious music.”
“I’ve loved Star Wars since I was born thanks to my dad and uncle. I found a way to connect my love of Star Wars to my race and love of hip hop. I mixed the three together and got ‘Dreadhead Lando’. Because it mixed those three things, it was extremely easy for me to write songs. I initially had about 18 songs for the project, but eventually cut it down to 10.”
Don’t plan on a ‘Lando: B-Sides’ project though…believe me, I asked.
“Unfortunately no, haha. I never like to release anything that’s not completely finished and polished.”
After working on ‘Dreadhead Lando’ for over a year, Darrell has a plan already in place for what should come next.
“After this project releases, I’m gonna take a break from Star Wars themed music. Some people think that that’s what all my music is about because they haven’t heard my earlier work.”
“I’ve always been a fan of making music with a message. Conscious rap that educates the listener is what I enjoy making. I’ll probably try to make more music like that. I’ve already got a few songs I’m working on that touch on Black Live Matter and the true race of Jesus.”
“I haven’t taken a real break since 2016, so after releasing ‘Lando’ I’ll work on some visuals, probably do some features for other artists, drop some singles, and work on promotion.”
It is very much the blueprint for today’s indie CHH artist. No one can fault Darrell and others like him who are simply working to share their music. From this side of it, I am not envious of what artists have to do “make” in today’s industry. Mitch has his own thoughts on this as well.
“Honestly, it’s bittersweet to me. I love all the independent artists who are making a name for themselves as I hope to do that myself this year. But at the same time, I feel like way too many artists are following the sound that’s currently popular in the mainstream, which is trap. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with trap, but I prefer lyrical rapping. I also would like if there was a bit more individuality displayed and less of the Travis Scott/Migos stencil being used.”
“I really want to do a song with Joe Ayinde because I feel that he would challenge me lyrically. I want to work with anyone who I feel is an extremely good writer. Kham is another along with coreywordsmith and even nobigdyl someday.”
While he is clearly a gifted emcee on his own right, there is more to Mitch Darrell than just his ability as an emcee.
“Outside of music, Mitch is a guy who loves spending time with his friends as much as family. He values friendship a ton. When he’s not working on music, he’s watching football/basketball, going to the movies, writing articles (both sports and music), working on podcasts, and going to church.”
“I’ve been on a few episodes of a sports podcast with @DopeCauseWeSaid, a website I work for, back in the fall. The Panthers are my favorite [team]! My other account is basically a fan page. I loe the Hornets as well. I’m a huge LeBron fan and have been since I was a kid. I’m being given my own podcast soon to speak to artists about balancing the stress of life with making music!”
One tip that he plans to give artists,
“Always put your mental health over everything. If you aren’t right mentally, you won’t be able to do anything wholeheartedly. For me, music has been a way to heal myself mentally. Find things that do that for you.”
Go purchase or stream ‘Dreadhead Lando’ now on your favorite digital outlet. Give Mitch a follow on Twitter @MitchDarrell_ and wish the homie a happy birthday!