After two years of planning, developing and creating rapper Ioan Delice releases his debut album: Thelonious Whale.
Out today, Ioan Delice’s debut album is the rapper’s musical celebration of individualism and an artist’s existential crisis. The project which features original production pays homage to one of nature’s most fascinating enigmas, the 52-hertz whale. Often referred to as the “world’s loneliest whale,” it’s call vibrates at the very unusual frequency of 52Hz. This pitch is much higher than its counterparts, and despite sharing the same migration patterns as other whale species, its distinct song goes unanswered and the whale lives in complete solitude. Through this metaphor, the rapper reveals a deep well of musicianship and taps into hip-hop’s ability to explore philosophical themes. As a self-proclaimed Thelonious Whale, Ioan describes humanity’s own conflict with uniqueness and emotional fortitude as well as the challenges of being a modern day artist in a saturated industry.
“Ultimately I’m creating my own hip hop vocabulary.” Ioan explains. “My music blends different genres and different styles but is fueled by a common human factor. I believe we all have the tendency of setting out to leave our individual mark in this world, of being our best and truest selves, and of sharing Love in its highest form. Some of us are less afraid of putting ourselves out there time and again, like the 52 HERTZ whale.”
Why is your album called Thelonious Whale?
It references a whale they call the loneliest whale in the world. There’s also a musician named Thelonious Monk and I thought that it sounded cool. It also represents this existential crisis I was going through as an artist where I felt like I wasn’t being heard just like the loneliest whale in the world isn’t heard by other whales because it sings at a different frequency. There’s so much to relate to in that, I mean imagine you’re a whale and you can’t find a mate because nobody can hear you. Not because nobody is listening, just because they don’t understand you. That’s some deep shit.
Is this your first album?
I would say so, yes. I’ve done mixtapes in the past. I put out 4 mixtapes. This is the first project I’ve done, where I produced every single song. Mostly original production, very minimal samples.
What do you want people to hear from this project?
My versatility as a lyricist and producer. I feel like this is the perfect balance of lyricism and production where you can still enjoy the music or choose to just listen to the lyrics whatever kind of hip hop head or music head you are.
You say you’re this whale and no one can hear you. In music today, a lot of people sound the same. There’s normalcy in this monotone sound. How is your sound unique?
I think the best way to tell is to listen to the music. But if you want my answer, it’s based on not just what I talk about but how I speak. The way I use poetic devices or how I formulate my words. How I translate those feelings that the music gives me into words. So if I got a feeling in me that I want to convey, words will come or music will come. What sets me a part is the matter in which I create. My cadence, my flavor. How vulnerable or prideful I can be. There are elements in it that I don’t believe you will find in abundance in other artist music.
What about production wise?
I think that my sound, my production, when I create something I have a feeling and it becomes a thought and that thought becomes a word or the music might come first because of the feeling. People that sound the same don’t have the level of hands on creativity that I do – I create from top to bottom. I’m not worried about being hot on the charts, I have a standard for what I think great music and great lyricism is and I put that together. The inspiration can come from anywhere which is why its important for me to be on all of the time – I need to create.
CHECK OUT OUR FIRST PODCAST INTERVIEW FEATURING IOAN DELICE:
GET ALBUM “THELONIOUS WHALE” HERE
Photo story by Maachew Bentley