theMIND – Saturday, January 14, 2017

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theMIND

Saturday, January 14, 2017
High Noon Saloon
Madison, WI

26-year-old vocalist, TheMind, real name Zaris Wilder has years of experience working with a who’s who of Chicago’s finest future stars as part of production crew ThemPeople bagging credits with the liked of Mick Jenkins, Vic Mensa, G Herbo, Alex Wiley and Pro Era’s Kirk Knight along the way. Now, it’s time to put all of his experience into action, stepping out into the limelight with his debut project Summer Camp.

Summer Camp, aims to take listeners on a journey – back to Wilder’s childhood, which he says wasn’t the most pleasant, but is full of vivid, fond memories of the innocence from a camp he and his sisters attended one summer in his native Philadelphia. “I don’t know how that got snatched away,” he says. “With responsibilities and becoming an adult and seeing how fucked up the world and society is… I want this to be this moment of innocence when you’re like 16 years old and you walk outside and it’s after school and you’re like ‘I can just live.’”

Now, having relocated to Chicago, stepping off the plane in the middle of Kanye West’s Graduation era his adventures comes from solo visits to the back of the cinema or holing himself up in a library or bookstore for five hours reading cover to cover. “I just want the people to have this vacation that they can listen to at any given moment,” he says. “And I think that comes from the spirit of the records, they take you on this adventure and on this journey.”

Refusing to be placed in a box and being labeled as “R&B” – he views himself as a ‘lyrical exhibitionist’ rather than a singer – TheMind doesn’t mind being sprinkled amongst the ‘Alternative R&B’ artists that have been breaking through over the past few years, feeling more sonically related to British artists like Sampha, James Blake and Kwabs than his US peers dominating the pop charts. When asked how he’d describe his sound, he’s quick to reply ‘Rabbit Hole Music’, explaining that it’s something that his listeners can get lost in. At times his music goes off on tangents, one song might be making a very direct point, whereas another could conceptually drag him back-and-forth through sometimes contradictory thoughts and feelings. “I like it that way,” he admits. “I think that’s the way that our minds work: they talk a mile a minute, we’re constantly thinking about different things while we’re trying to focus on one thing. So I like that my music does that too, and you get that out of these situations and songs.”

When asked how he’d describe his sound, he’s quick to reply ‘Rabbit Hole Music’, explaining that it’s something that his listeners can get lost in. At times his music goes off on tangents, one song might be making a very direct point, whereas another could conceptually drag him back-and-forth through sometimes contradictory thoughts and feelings. “I like it that way,” he admits. “I think that’s the way that our minds work: they talk a mile a minute, we’re constantly thinking about different things while we’re trying to focus on one thing. So I like that my music does that too, and you get that out of these situations and songs.”

Summer Camp, has taken advantage of his current living situation; an artist loft, directly above the studio that he and his ThemPeople brothers built to continue the development of the Chicago scene. He’s made good use of it, joining the dots between the notes and voice memos spewing out of his phone. “I write constantly,” he admits. “If something happens to me I’ll just write it or record it and then later on in the studio I have pretty much a blueprint of what I want to do.” Like his own favourite records, Donnie Hathaway’s ‘A Song For You’, James Blake’s ‘I Never Learned To Share’ and Brandy’s ‘Bring Me Down’, he strives to keep the creative output as vivid and real as possible, believing that to be the key to reach his goal, which is simply for it to connect with people. Other than that he believes in actively setting small targets along his own journey through the rabbit hole. “I’m slowly coming to the realisation that if I set it for myself I can do that,” he says. “But most of the time I’m going to supersede anything that I thought that I was going to do.” For now, just follow TheMind on a lucid sonic adventure through Summer Camp, you never know where you’ll come out on the other side.

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