Going on a "7 Day Trip" with Code Green
Providence's Code Green just released their debut project, 7 Day Trip, on November 21. Moving to Los Angeles a year ago to further their music career and expand their melodic range, this trio - Nesi, Evo, and ER - wanted to document the trip in the form of an EP. With inspirations drawn from artists like Daft Punk and the Gorillaz, Code Green connects their cover art with the overall vibe of the soundtrack. 7 Day Trip consists of seven tracks, including their popular single, "Too Silly," and also features a bonus cut, "D.W.U.D."
Coming from the outskirts of Providence, Rhode Island to Los Angeles, California, the trio reflects on how a new environment has had an influence on their sound and on the future of their music. They, also, dive into the making of this EP and give us some insight on their creative process as a collective in the interview below.
What’s the story behind the title of your EP, 7 Day Trip?
Nesi: It is based off of the seven day trip that we had taken out to LA and ended up staying here. But we wanted to talk about this trip and the things that we were going through at the time. It was a big difference from being back home in Providence to being in LA. The culture, the people we were around, the vibe and we’ve seen a lot of shit. We all grew individually and we wanted to bring that to the forefront.
What inspired the trip to Los Angeles?
Evo: Our manager, also a good friend, he actually (and a few friends from Rhode Island) had moved here to LA and convinced us to move out here and start fresh. He gave us that confidence that we can actually be out here and take on all the opportunities from being in LA. It was like, why not make that move? We’re young and on the come up. It just worked out for everybody. We already pushed our record, “Too Silly,” back home, which was bubbling. We just decided early on that we were just going to do it. Me personally, it felt risky but it’s not really a risk, it’s an opportunity. It’s a chance to take. Just can’t think twice.
How do you feel living out in Providence to moving to LA has had an influence in your sound?
ER: As far as sonically it definitely expanded. We made “Too Silly” and “D.W.U.D.” in Rhode Island and a lot of people’s favorite songs - whether it’s “Luv and Vibe,” “Estranged,” “Wild Wild West” - were made out here. We just wanted to expand our range whether it’s more melodies or different beat selection. We wanted to cater to a bigger audience being in a major city. Definitely the bigger records like, “Luv and Vibe,” you can hear the newness and the range in our song selection.
How would you all describe the overall vibe of this EP?
Nesi: What we tried to do is make a song for everybody. I remember the last time we talked, we said we were just trying to paint every color in the color wheel on this project. I think we did a good job doing that. We tried to make sure that if you were in this certain vibe you’d feel this certain record. If you're deep in thought and are trying to get more into you, you’re trying to figure things out, I think “Estranged” would be one of those songs where you could figure those things out. But if you're just trying to ride with your top down and enjoy the sun, I think “D.W.U.D.” is one of those songs. If you’re feeling blue but you’re feeling happy but kind of moody, I think “Damn, I Took Too Many!” is one of those vibes. If you’re trying to get ratchet and go a little crazy you might listen to “Nights in LA” or “Irregular”. We wanted 7 Day Trip to basically be the soundtrack to your seven day trip.
Tell me more about the cover art? What’s the meaning behind the masks?
Nesi: Starting off, we always had a jungle theme going on for the project. Coming out here and taking a seven day trip was like being thrown in the jungle. We’re like animals in this jungle trying to find our way through. Coming up, (I know me personally), I was highly inspired by Daft Punk and the Gorillaz. I just loved how they differentiated themselves. You can never really see the person but you can feel their emotion by seeing their characters. That’s what we tried to evoke with people. We all picked different animals that we felt are our spirit animals. I was a deer, Evo was a wolf and ER was a bull.
What were the main influences behind the making of this EP?
Nesi: We really wanted to show the light and the darkness. In everybody’s day to day, there’s a darkness or something’s not going right for you but we just wanted to be that positive. That light in the darkness. With everything we do, we just try to keep it as human, as simple as possible. We try to talk about things people can relate to. We are your voice. We are speaking what you are thinking but we are doing it in melody form. We are all human so we all go through these emotions - happy, sad, crying, laughing, celebration. I think that’s what really inspired it was just trying to connect with people more than anything.
I’ve always been curious when it comes to a group working together, how the creative process works out. How do you as a trio vibe together and make music?
ER: We actually dropped a little documentary on Mass Appeal with the project. There’s a little section in there where we are in our friend Mez’s studio and that’s a little glimpse of our creative process making music. It’s just the instrumental playing and it’s us three vibing out and harmonizing. Going through different melodies, putting work together. It’s like a puzzle. We’re just putting pieces of the puzzle together. Everybody’s verse completely identifies with that person. We build on each other without really talking. It’s a very collaborative process I would say. When we do our verses we like to give each other space that way we can showcase our individuality. In that case, you get a little bit of the group and you also get a little bit of that person. You get to know that person’s vision, rather than just the group’s vision. We have a good general sense of what we each bring to the table but we surprise each other also.
I saw on Soundcloud that the EP is dedicated to Dominique “Nonny” Silva. Who is Nonny?
Nesi: Nonny was and is one of the founding members of Code Green. He was a homie of mine that I went to highschool with and was one of the first to embrace me when I got into my new high school. Turns out he was Evo’s cousin. So that’s how Evo and I met. Nonny and I we were just chillin’, we were just those dudes that were like fuck it, let’s make our own group. Code Green was that group. After, I met ER through Sid, another dude who went to school with us and was a part of Code Green too. He’s in France right now. He had to leave the states due to some illegal shit. ER was doing his own thing on his side of his city. It started off on some homie shit. We started a project together. Started hustling together. Long story short, Nonny is who introduced me to Evo and he’s who helped bring the group together. He was the backbone, the ASAP Yams of our group. He’s the guy that saw a potential. He’s the guy that saw a vision. He was murdered by an officer earlier this year. R.I.P. to Nonny. We were just some rappity rap guys and Nonny was always like, “Yo, you need to do way more than this. We need to get out the hood. We need to make moves. We need to make something happen with this music.” That’s really when we started taking it seriously. Me, ER, and Evo were the musical guys and Nonny was the one with the vision who kept pushing it, like this could be bigger than us just rapping at the courts. God rest the dead, he’s gone now but we still feel his legacy. We’re gonna make everything happen that we set out to make happen.
So what's next? You released this debut project to the public. What can we expect now from Code Green?
Evo: We’re constantly creating. We never stop. We’re always trying to be better. This is good. This is a good first offering to everybody but expect ten times more. Always expect better vibes, better visuals, better us. Expect growth at all times.
Nesi: In 2017, we’re going to make sure we are as creative as possible with our visuals. We just want to do the most and be the most creative with our visuals - the representation of our music. Expect a tour, expect live shows, expect merch, expect everything. We’re just trying to take it up a notch and really make this 7 Day Trip a full world. We want to really make sure we touch everybody with this so no heart is left untouched.