VRITRA shares new single ‘CLOSER TO GOD’ with an accompanying self-made DIY video. It’s taken from his forthcoming album SONAR, which strides across the spectrum of hip hop and is produced entirely by Leon Sylvers IV.
Providing more context on the song and visual, VRITRA explains:
“For the video, as well as with the lyrics, I wanted to shed light on the many concepts of god and questioning your relation to what that means individually. Religion takes shape in many forms, some involving a “god” and some without, the goal was to display that visually.”
It follows the album’s first single WHAT’S THAT – an energetic bop that serves as the album’s theme tune. An infectious soul loop underpins Vritra’s liquid flow, whilst 808s add low end weight. Impossible to pigeon-hole as merely a rapper, his output across multiple genres is prolific – also listing production, singing and even visual arts on his resume. When he proclaims “kitted down, fitted down from the prose and poise, I’m in the wind, deployed. I left the game in ‘moil, my cup oil”, it’s clear you’re witnessing next-level finesse.
The Second single ‘CLOSER TO GOD’ is a deeper, jazzier cut, with hypnotic off-kilter drums and a Mobb Deep vocal loop. Leon Sylvers IV purposely avoids quantised programming in his production, and instead finds comfort in grooves with a human and sometimes unexpected feel, as evident on the skewed beats of ‘Pull’ and ‘Air Raid’.
Describing the project in his own words, Vritra says, “for me this was one of the most fun to execute. Most of my self-produced music falls closer to the experimental spectrum, but I feel like I’ve never focused on a solid ‘rap’ album. This is that. I feel like fans of my music wanted that. Leon has been one of my favourite producers for a long time. With him taking control of the production it freed me to focus on flow, style, and rhythm pockets. The name Sonar is fitting as well. Makes me think of beams. What made rap interesting to me in the first place was style. This is me beaming that style and putting it on the radar”.
Hal Williams AKA Vritra, (FKA Pyramid Vritra), is an American rapper and record producer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana who is currently based in LA. He has released music on Stones Throw and Alpha Pup’s The Order Label. He was one of the original members of Odd Future via The Jet Age of Tomorrow alongside Matt Martians, the Atlanta-based hip hop collective Nobody Really Knows and international genre blenders Wilma Vritra. The latter’s acclaimed 2019 debut Burd was also released on Bad Taste and supported by Billboard, NPR, Complex, Channel 4, BBC Radio 1, BBC1Xtra, BBC6 Music, KCRW and KEXP.
Leon Sylvers IV is an American songwriter and producer. The son of legendary singer, songwriter and producer Leon Sylvers III from family group The Sylvers, Leon IV naturally gravitated to singing, writing and making music at an early age. His first songwriting credit came at just 7 years old for the group Men of Vision, who were signed to Michael Jackson’s label MJJ. Since then he’s worked with A-listers including Gladys Knight, Teddy Riley, Dâm-Funk, Danjahandz and N’Dambi.