By Hollie McGowan
VANCOUVER – In a chaotic and complex world, how do we as individuals take responsibility for the roles we play in our own communities, societies, and on this great sphere circling the sun we call Planet Earth? This is the question that George Evelyn, a.k.a. Nightmares on Wax, is asking all of us, including himself, with his latest album, Shape The Future.
“I just started to question reality and what that was about,” explains Evelyn over Skype from his home in Ibiza. “[I questioned] how everybody has their own free will of their perception, [and questioned] what is their relationship to that? Do we even recognize that it’s us relating to it? If I can at least be responsible to how I’m relating to my reality, I can make the adjustments that make things a lot smoother and a lot more pleasant in the reality that I live in.”
The last 30 years has certainly brought Evelyn into a wide array of diverse realities from which to build his theories on the subject. Being one of the most influential artists in downtempo and hip-hop, one of the first acts ever signed to Warp Records, Evelyn has touched just about every continent in his travels throughout the course of his notable career.
In order to change the world, the people to make actual change in their own lives.
“The system is so corrupt and broken that nothing’s going to come from there,” declares Evelyn. “It’s down to us as individuals to make the change and the shift. We can talk about marching, we can talk about protesting, but what are we doing in our own lives? What are we doing in our own reality to change things? That’s really where my inspiration came from on this album and what Shape the Future is about.”
Evelyn believe that global awareness is not just about social responsibility. It’s also about sharing a responsibility to the planet itself. If our desire is to heal the world, then it follows that we must remember that we are a part of a wider organism, the planet.
“I was thinking about the human race and how we behave, and what state consciousness is in,” reflects Evelyn. “I started thinking that, somehow, we’ve gone into this amnesia state where we think that there’s nature and then there’s us, like nature is something that happens in the background. And then I’m thinking, well, that’s just ridiculous. Everything in this organism [called] Mother Earth, everything provided like oxygen for us to be here, how can we even think that we’re separate?”
Ultimately, Evelyn hopes everyone will receive this message from both Shape the Future and its North American tour:
“Own your reality. Own your imagination. It belongs to you. It’s your sovereign right to feel good.”
Nightmares on Wax owns the Imperial (Vancouver) on June 6th.Chill, Downtempo, Dub, Imperial, Nightmares on Wax, trip-hop, Underground Hip-Hop, Warp Records