Peer Review: Evan Haywood Discusses King Milo

Photo by: Elyssa Eve

Welcome back to Current Magazine’s Peer Review! Every week we’ll be posting a short conversation with a local band member about who their favorite local band is and why. The following week we’ll talk with a member of the band that was previously named and the feature will perpetuate itself in wonderful succession.

Previously on Peer Review: Hydropark heaped praise upon their favorite local music act, Evan Haywood. This week we talked with Evan about his favorite local act and also for some history on his own music. Before getting to his answers, take a moment to check out “In the Evening (of the Day)“ from his latest release, Ramshackles.

“In the Evening (of the Day)” by Evan Haywood

When did you start making and recording music?

I’ve been making music for as long as I can remember… but I didn’t start recording until my grandparents gave me a replica of the Talkboy tape recorder from Home Alone 2 for Christmas. I think I was about 10 years old.


Do you have an origin story?

Man, I’m really just an obsessive observer! And the things I create are a byproduct of that.  I found a lot of honesty in hip-hop when I was a teenager and it probably saved my life.  But even before that, I was singing opera and playing in rock bands.  I’ve been fortunate enough to draw guidance from some very powerful mentors– from my first hip-hop elder Nahshid to my guruji in Mysore, Rajalakshmi. Also, I’ve been inspired by thousands of records from all over the world…. absorbing all of this beauty, it would be impossible not to express my gratitude through sound!


What kind of music do you feel you make?

I just put my soul into a blender and see what comes out. Sometimes it’s whimsical, sometimes it’s aggressive… usually it’s just a reflection of my inner self at that point in time.  I thrive on spontaneity and capturing the ecstasy of creative expression, in the moment– then relentlessly sculpting away at the sounds until they resemble what I’m hearing in my head.  Collaborations provide unexpected opportunities to combine ideas and experiences… I think making art together is one of the purest points of connection we have as human beings.


Who is your favorite Washtenaw County band?

…recently, King Milo AKA Scarcetti has become one of my favorite artists in the 734.


How would you describe their sound?

It’s definitely tied to the hip-hop tradition, but way, WAY left field… the kind of stream-of-consciousness narrative that could only exist in the post-Based world (thank you Based God). His vibe encompasses an equal proportion of chaos and beauty and the songs really reveal their deeper qualities with repeated listening.  Plus he’s working with some of my favorite producers on the scene, including Sonny Dulphi, Monsuun, and LEXXI!  I think it sounds like a symbolic representation of life in AmeriKKKa, 2016.


What musical influences do you hear in their work?

There’s a lot of mysticism at work here…. I can tell this cat has explored the outer limits of human consciousness and proudly returned with scorched documents containing the blueprints of unknown dimensions. So it sounds like some sort of psychedelic delirium, existing in a lost realm significantly past the threshold of sanity, while retaining a strange clarity of vision.  And that’s more or less what I’m into, so we have a lot in common!


Have you played live with them? What was that experience like? What is their live show like?

I haven’t done a show with King Milo yet, but I did see him perform at THE DOJO, my friend Duke Newcomb’s monthly hip-hop event at the Elks Lodge. The level of energy and positivity was inspiring…. his set gave me motivation to keep doin’ what I do.


What about them makes them your favorite band?

King Milo is an inspiration because he wears his weirdness like a badge of honor and seems be endlessly taking risks and reinventing himself. That’s more or less how I walk my path as well, so I can find a lot to appreciate in the unconventional nature of his work.  Plus the beats are absolutely fire.

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