Pioneer 11 have gained a great deal of attention and acclaim for their psychedelic covers of popular records, and are now planning on taking their artistic direction to the next level with a new studio album dubbed Gravitorium. Supporting that project’s rollout, Pioneer 11 are linking up with director Ryan Calavano for a new vignette in support of their tripped-out take on Big Pun’s classic “I’m Not A Player.”
“We were initially drawn to ‘I’m Not a Player’ by Big Pun because it has this really cool psychedelic vibe,” Pioneer 11 explain to us, sharing some insight into the inspirations behind their latest release. ” On the surface, the lyrics are a flex about being sexually dominant, but the more we listened to it, the more we found a sense of vulnerability there and a rejection of selfishness.
“Big Pun flexes with his lyrics, but we flex with our instruments, so we stripped the lyrics down to their core moments and focused on using the instrumentation to drive the verses of the song,” Pioneer 11 add, explaining how they pieced “I’m Not a Player” together. “We took less creative freedom in the chorus and heavily referenced the slowed down O’Jays sample from “Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby”, and also Steve Kahn’s cover of that very song (also sampled) in order to get the inflection right for the guitar lick. For the bridge, we broke away from the original song structure and went off on a psychedelic, jazz inspired jam session.”
Pioneer 11 were especially motivated by Big Pun’s famous music video for “I’m Not A Player,” looking to the visual’s more surreal moments for inspirational cues. “We wanted to take the song to a completely different place by the end. Big Pun left massive shoes to fill, so we just hope we did his memory proud.”
You can take a look at Pioneer 11’s new video for “I’m Not A Player” above. Pioneer’s new album, Gravitorium, is scheduled to see release on June 26 via POW Recordings.