Aurora Mortis by Samuel Vincent | INTERVIEW
Author: Thommy Delaney

Hey Samuel! Congrats on your latest album, "Aurora Mortis", available on all streaming platforms. Tell us about yourself, how you got into hip hop and some of your influences growing up.

Thank you! Appreciate the kind words.

I'm an East Coast guy who loves music, graphic design, cinema, video games, fishing, and going to conventions.

I wouldn't say my family was a "music family", but growing up my parents would play show tunes and classic rock fairly frequently. When I was about 8-years-old, my mother took me to the Pathmark near our house. There was a small shelving unit near the cash registers that had a bunch of CDs. My eye was of course drawn to The Slim Shady LP by Eminem and Capital Punishment by Big Pun, but my mom is pretty overprotective so no explicit content for this kid. Instead, I picked out the only clean record I could see. It had 8 tracks on it, and the first song happened to be Rapper's Delight by The Sugarhill Gang. I'm surprised I didn't burn that CD into dust. It almost felt like I had been missing out on something so great for so long. From that moment on, I was obsessed with listening to as much as possible.

This quickly turned into me trying to freestyle and copy lyrical styles I was already acquainted with. So I'd jack my dad's tape recorder he used for guitar practice, break out my Yamaha keyboard, play some preset beats, and just go for it. I'd even imitate censored sound effects. My dad played one of those tapes in front of me one day and just laughed, but I knew one day I would actually be taking this seriously.

Some of my influences growing up included Biggie, Cassidy, Jedi Mind Tricks, MF DOOM, Clipse, Big Pun, Lil Wayne, Eminem, DMX, NWA, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Method Man, and Papoose.

Right away, I noticed the hip hop music you make is quite different from other artists. You have this Renaissance/retro hip hop vibe to the songs. With this album, where did the medieval theme come from?

Like most people, I have had a fascination with fantasy for as long as I can remember. Something about escaping to a new and exciting world was always enticing. Whether that's been in the form of movies, video games, or just my imagination. Around 2016, I began playing Dark Souls III, and after struggling for a bit, I became addicted to the game. It wasn't long after that I was already on my third playthrough of it, and shortly after that came the rest of Fromsoftware's library. The interest only grew from there, and eventually branched off into wanting to learn more about Medieval times, Celtic mythology, and taking in as much history as I could. What helped me develop my style as well is that Hidetaka Miyazaki, the creator of these games and president of Fromsoftware, has a cryptic way of storytelling. This is due to him not understanding the English language fully and filling in the gaps of a story that he would be reading at that time. That became an influence in how I write as well. Each track off of Aurora Mortis contains its own isolated backstory, but is not necessarily reflected in the lyrics themselves. You are forced to feel the story through the rhythm, the tone, and the general atmosphere of the song. The album follows Erdinus Athelard, the anti-hero and a warrior born in the cauldron of war. The murder of his father, Elmard, set him on a path to enlightenment and redemption. He roams the Sur-realm, the landscape of which Aurora Mortis takes place in, to try and discover a way to redemption. He gets into countless fights along the way and discovers secrets across the land.

Within these tracks are many different culture references from films and even your hobbies. What gave you the idea to add that to your songs?

I find it almost beautiful that there is so much out there to experience in the arts and life itself. From a young age, my father introduced me to a wide variety of movies. Gangster flicks, comedies, Universal horror, you name it. It wasn't long until I became a full-blown cinephile. At its core, music is entertainment, and it only seems natural for me to intertwine the two to create a unique experience. Aurora Mortis may be an album, but the presentation is set to the stage of an epic, the likes of which you would see on the big screen. I also find it fun to cram as many references as possible from all walks of life to see who may pick up on what I'm trying to say.

"Capital Storm" is a track with an intriguing title and equally interesting lyrics. What are the lyrics of this song related to and what message are you trying to convey through them?

Capital Storm comes towards the end of the album's story, so this one is important. Erdinus is faced with five trials before he faces off with the Demon Prince, Mephisto. I intentionally recorded this track in a less enthusiastic fashion to emphasize how much Erdinus has been through on his journey. Reflective of a fatigued warrior. My producer Sir Nicolas and I came up with a tense intro that features an ongoing battle between opposing forces, which is continued throughout the chorus. Ending in victory, there is a simultaneous feeling of tragedy as well. This combined with my love of battle rap made Capital Storm what it is.

The album also has musical interludes every now and then. Why did you decide to put them in there?

This album works two-fold; It's a journey through the Sur-realm but it's also a cinematic piece. The interludes act as a break between the action. Think of them as intermissions. They add their own meaning to the overarching story as well.

For those just starting out writing their own songs in the music industry, what advice would you give them?

This is going to be generic and almost obvious advice, but just do it. Starting out is always the hardest part, and I know it's gonna take me many years to find my voice as well, but if you have that passion inside of you to create music, just go for it. The more you work at your craft, the more you'll pick up along the way.

Are there any shows coming up that you want to promote?

I currently do not have any plans for a live show. I've been asked to perform multiple times, but the name of the game right now is to build a library of music that I can be proud of. Who knows, I may entertain hitting the stage towards the end of the year.

With 2024 just beginning, what are your plans for this year?

Just keep creating and growing. I've had the privilege of working with some talented artists and producers, and I just want to continue that.

Is there anything you would like to share with our readers?

We're all in this life thing together. Make sure to work on yourself and be kind to others. You never know who is really struggling.

Artist Bio
Samuel has been wrapped up in the world of hip-hop for several decades and has slowly been making his mark with each new release. Brooklyn born and Jersey raised, this East Coast MC attacks every track with fantastical force. Vincent strives to bring a modern flavor while shining a spotlight on what makes old school hip-hop so great.



Aurora Mortis Album

About the Author: Thommy Delaney is a Senior Music Business Major at New Jersey City University. He is also the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the Bayonne Indie pop-rock band BreakTime: a four-piece writing modern pop tunes with generous vintage allusions to artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Looking for something new to listen to? Be sure to follow BreakTime @breaktimelivenj on social media and stream their music on all platforms.

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