“Without Papers” is a follow-up to “Sin Papeles” , which was released on Shine Flow EP with DJ Icewater, June 2009. “Without Papers” is a lighter and more hopeful version of the same concept, made specifically for “Papers” the movie.
Papers is now available for the first time on DVD for personal use.
As the music supervisor for the film, I needed a theme song. I was given the green light to create some original music to pitch. DJ Icewater worked on the instrumentation with his man G Koop.
The film Papers explores the challenges that undocumented youth face in pursuing higher education. But the film takes on broader issues with respect to American society, American history, and what it means to live in “America”. As artists, we had three and a half minutes to sum up musically not just the themes, but also the energy transmitted on screen.
Thirty-eight weeks into 2010. This A.M. Soleil, Retrospectively project is only one blog a week, but putting down something meaningful each week in addition all the new stuff I’m working on definitely keeps me on my toes. The fall equinox already has me reflecting on 2010 like its December 31st.
SOULAJU will perform our last show of 2010 at the Boulder Theater on Oct. 1st. Bill includes us, The Reminders, and Les Nubians. People still needing tix can pick those up here: http://bouldertheater.com/event_detail.php?id=1319. We have a few video shoots coming up and some big youth advocacy events/projects in October, then SOULAJU goes on hiatus until February 2011.
During this hiatus, I’ll be getting back into my solo element. DJ Icewater will be putting out a 45’ single that features my vocals. I have some long-awaited collabs lined up with Denver and Albuquerque emcees and producers.
This necessary shift takes me back to the October 2008.
Hip-Hop meets Bossa Nova, poetry meets bilingual reflections. “Timeless” captures the essence of SOULAJU’s fusion. Aju is a lover of languages, cultures, and foreign lands. I’ve always been that old soul Hip-Hop head that can’t get enough of the rhymes. We both stay hungry for fresh ideas and new challenges. DJ Icewater continually fed that hunger in 08 and 09 with his creative energy.
This was one of the last beats DJ Icewater sent us for the SOULAJU album. Aju was working at a Brazilian Jazz bar in New York City at the time and thinking about how to make a trip to Brazil a reality.
Video edited by Adrian H. Molina. Filmed by Molina and Amy J. Iwasaki in Bahia, Brazil (Aug 2010).
“Timeless” by SOULAJU w/ DJ Icewater, released on the debut full-length album SOULAJU, March 23rd, 2010.
A.M. Soleil, Retrospectively is a 52-week blog series in 2010, tracing back five years of independent music by Molina.
Time in Brazil
Aju and I had an opportunity to spend 3 weeks in Brazil this summer. Aju danced at Escola de Danca for two weeks with American and Brazillian dancers, studying Brazilian cultural traditions, Afro-Brazilian dance, Candomblé rites and the Orixás.
For me, the trip was a break from the pounding of time that I feel in my life, my work, my existence here in the states. My only goal was to shoot some video footage for a possible DIY music video. Otherwise, I was on my own time. No laptop, no cell phone, no schedule, no to-do lists.
I was in Brooklyn when DJ Icewater sent this beat. This was before Aju and I were SOULAJU, before we decided to make an album together. It was a winter day in January 2009. I had the track on loop in my headphones, staring at the thick snowflakes falling outside Aju’s apartment window in Bedstuy.
No doubt about it, this was a love song…
Updated sometime in 2011
Love comes and goes but it always remains the same, true to its essence: Love. We’re always looking, wanting, hoping, wishing, praying… for that one true love. Some of us find it, some of us do not. For some of us, there isn’t meant to be just one. Some people come into our lives to help us prepare for the one.
It’s a tricky game, not supposed to be a game, but so often a game, even when no one is getting played. The game of life. Love is.
Love is… a beautiful song, to be remembered always….
A music video was supposed to come out of this. I spent a lot of time, energy, and money trying to make this happen. DJ Icewater flew out to Denver from NYC. We went through the whole shoot… dope ass footage… but months passed and shit fell through on the editing end. A disaster. A mess of egos and bad business. Unintended complications on the part of some. Toxic intentions on the part of others. Ultimately not meant to be.
There was never supposed to be a visual. But the song lives on.
This was one of the people’s favorites. “Love Is, Molina that’s the jam!” I was often told back in the Soulaju days.
“Dee-Jay, say you give the people what they want / take head of the culture, give the people what they need / Indeed, we the children of the break beat sound / push back, let the truth rise from the underground”
“Dee-jay, say you give the people what they like / word sun then shine, give the people space to fly / Indeed, you da key, get the people on dey feet / let em shake loose, breathe, make sure they dance free”
Icewater sent the beat track in February of 2009. Aju was living in Bedstuy, Brooklyn NY. I was living on the northside in Denver at the time, traveling back and forth between Denver, New York City, and Oakland to work on the Shine Flow EP and SOULAJU album projects.
This was the first track I recorded with DJ Icewater in October 2008. I was a few months into my Up Before the Sunrise tour. I decided to head to the Bay Area and do some volunteer work for Youth Speaks during their Living Word Festival.
I called my friend Jeff Chang and told him that I’d be in town. Could he hook me up with any producers?