Quelle Chris Premieres New Single "Sacred Safe" & Talks Upcoming Album 'Innocent Country 2'

Produced by Chris Keys and featuring Homeboy Sandman, Merrill Garbus & Cavalier.

Music
2,582 Hypes 0 Comments

Quelle Chris has been releasing some of the most open, honest and thoughtful music of the past half-decade. Last year’s Guns was an emotionally charged, layered project that focused on America’s gun crisis. The Detroit hip-hop veteran was at his most experimental yet and even dabbled with creating his own animation for the stand-out single “Obamacare”‘s music video. This year, he’s reigniting the collaborative partnership with multi-instrumentalist Chris Keys for the follow-up to their 2015 album, introducing Innocent Country 2, out April 24 via Mello Music Group. Each song was produced by Keys with Quelle credited as co-producer.

Today, Quelle Chris premieres “Sacred Safe” with guest spots from Homeboy Sandman, Cavalier and Merrill Garbus of the Tune-Yards. The effort follows “Living Happy” and his “Sudden Death” visual from February. His next LP will also feature guest spots from Earl Sweatshirt, Pink Siifu, Billy Woods, Denmark Vessey and plenty of other notable names.

Quelle joined HYPEBEAST to talk about Innocent Country 2‘s themes, working with his Chris Keys (the project is credited under Quelle Chris and Chris Keys as the album artists for a true partnership) and how he’s holding up during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. More below.


HYPEBEAST: How are things going, especially with your new album on the way?

Quelle Chris: As far as the album goes things are the same. This album was here in the now before we arrived here in this now. So I’m just following it’s lead at this point and sticking to the things my spirit told me were needed as closely as I can given the current situations. 

What’s your routine like these days? 

Wake up in panic. Go to sleep exhausted. Laugh and cry and love and work respectively in between. Pretty much the same as before just now everyone can play along… (laughs)

And has the isolation from the current Coronavirus pandemic prompted you to create more music?

Naw. Creation happens perpetually even when it’s not recorded. And while it’s definitely, coincidentally been a key ingredient in some of my best dishes, distress isn’t an ingredient I generally enjoy or look forward to cooking with. But I’ve definitely been creating as needed and continuing projects that were already in flight.  

You’re coming up on your second installment of the Innocent Country (and fourth of the 2dirt4tv) series with collaborator Chris Keys. How did your approach change for this record since its been 5 years since the first album you two released together?

We’ve both grown as people and artists. We communicate and share our thoughts and ideas with a certain synergy now. Not much unlike five to eight years ago. We still bump heads. I still always make at least one song per album he absolutely disagrees with at first but eventually comes around to the dark side (laughs). But we know each other more now. As humans. As family. We started as collaborators but now we’re brothers. We’ve cried and laughed and all that’s between. So the musical exchange reflects that understanding.
 

You also co-produced each track. Keys is a multi-instrumentalist and you have an extensive history as a producer. What was your workflow and process like in creating each song?

Every song is different. Most of this album, production wise, started with the core ideas from Chris. Some more fleshed out and some less. From there we build. Sharing, discussing and adding and tailoring ideas until it’s right. I listen to everything on repeat 24 hours a day and arrange and rearrange and make notes obsessively until it’s “right”. About half was recorded together in Oakland. And the rest primarily recorded in Brooklyn with Dane Orr who also mixed and mastered the album. This entire album is a series of serendipities that lead to an end only by obligation. It all just kinda happened. Not without action and effort of course. But almost as if life provided it. 

How’d the collab with Tune-Yard’s Merrill Garbus come together on your latest single “Sacred Safe?” 

We did the JoCo Cruise together early 2019 as performers and guests. An innumerable amount of beautiful friendships have blossomed from those cruises (shout out Jonathan Coulton and all the sea monkeys). We’re both fans of each other’s stuff and post cruise said the ‘ole musician’s “we gotta link up after this” bit. And then we actually did it. Which is unicorn level rare sh*t in this universe. Like the rest of this album it couldn’t have worked any other way. Merrill’s the sh*t. 

Fellow Mello Music Group member Homeboy Sandman also blessed the track. The last time he hopped on one of your songs was 2017’s “Pendulum Swing.” What have you learned from him as a member of the same roster over the last few years?

I can’t say I’ve learned from him specifically as a member of the same roster. But as a friend and brother and artist I’ve learned more than I can begin to get into here. He respects the sh*t out of the craft. He honors the energy in the words he casts. He’s always seeking growth. He bleeds. He’s the real deal. 

The last visual you released, “Sudden Death” was an awesome conceptual display where you were left as the last person alive in the world. What else do you have planned in the visual department for Innocent Country 2?

Mr. Beast. Coronavirus. Read the room. [laughs]. We’ll see what life allows. Wherever the dart lands it will be awesome. At the very least I can guarantee that.


This is going to be your 6th full-length album, counting collaborative efforts and instrumental projects, in just under 5 years. How do you keep up that inspiration and drive year after year?

The need to create, the need to provide and where they intersect from year to year. If I wanted to I could do damn near Lil B numbers of solid work. If I had my druthers, I’d spend years working on some albums. But the need to create, the need to provide and where they intersect from year to year is the equation that’s been at the root of the last decade. An important, long and necessary ride. 

Everything’s Fine with Jean Grae talked about the death of the American spirit, Guns was a critique on gun culture and weaponizing race and sort of this fear of “the other”… What other themes are you exploring on Innocent Country 2?

Peace.

What else can fans expect from you this year?

The same things we do every year, Pinky. Try to take over the world.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Toogood Finds Khaki Harmony With PORTER
Fashion

Toogood Finds Khaki Harmony With PORTER

Featuring several bags.

Jake Gyllenhaal Signs On To Star in Amazon’s ‘Road House’ Remake
Entertainment

Jake Gyllenhaal Signs On To Star in Amazon’s ‘Road House’ Remake

The film follows a retired UFC fighter-turned-roadhouse bouncer.

Chance the Rapper and Joey Bada$$ Perform "The Highs & The Lows" on 'Fallon'
Music

Chance the Rapper and Joey Bada$$ Perform "The Highs & The Lows" on 'Fallon'

Chance also spoke with Fallon about his ‘10 Day’ mixtape and his Black Star Line Festival.


Watch LeBron James, Shaq and Magic Johnson in Official Trailer for Hulu's 'Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers'
Entertainment

Watch LeBron James, Shaq and Magic Johnson in Official Trailer for Hulu's 'Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers'

A behind-the-scenes look at the challenges the Lakers franchise faced to become a dynasty.

These Are the Best Artworks Releasing This Week
Art 

These Are the Best Artworks Releasing This Week

Hajime Sorayma’s “Sexy Robot” home decor leads this week’s drops.

Apple's Upcoming iPhone 12 May Feature the iPad Pro's New LiDAR Scanner
Tech

Apple's Upcoming iPhone 12 May Feature the iPad Pro's New LiDAR Scanner

Observed in two teardown videos of Apple’s latest product.

Nike SB Dunk Low "Blue Fury" Gets Official Look and Release Date
Footwear

Nike SB Dunk Low "Blue Fury" Gets Official Look and Release Date

A ‘Blue’s Clues’-indebted style for the Swoosh’s ever-popular skate sneaker.

Drake Announces New Song "Toosie Slide" Releasing Soon
Music

Drake Announces New Song "Toosie Slide" Releasing Soon

The track has already inspired a viral TikTok dance.

Stay Home Snaps: Bodega
Fashion 

Stay Home Snaps: Bodega

The Boston boutique’s staff advises on keeping optimistic while working from home.


NOVITEC Unveils ESTESO Maserati Levante With Huge Widebody Kit & 624 HP
Automotive

NOVITEC Unveils ESTESO Maserati Levante With Huge Widebody Kit & 624 HP

Becoming one of the fastest super-SUVs on the market.

GOOD ART HLYWD Drops Sterling Silver Coronavirus Aid Relief War Pins
Fashion

GOOD ART HLYWD Drops Sterling Silver Coronavirus Aid Relief War Pins

Remember to “Keep ‘Em Clean” and stay “6 Feet Apart.”

adidas Taps BEAUTY & YOUTH for Sartorially-Indebted Stan Smiths
Footwear

adidas Taps BEAUTY & YOUTH for Sartorially-Indebted Stan Smiths

Embracing a soft harbor gray finish.

Automobili Lamborghini x Supreme Spring 2020 Collection
Fashion

Automobili Lamborghini x Supreme Spring 2020 Collection

Jackets, coveralls, hockey jerseys, tees, beanies and more, all featuring Lamborghini’s iconic bull logo.

Children of the Discordance Reworks Vintage Bandanas, Stüssy & More For DSM Ginza
Fashion

Children of the Discordance Reworks Vintage Bandanas, Stüssy & More For DSM Ginza

Hand graffiti-painted deadstock military garments also appear.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.