An under-the-radar highlight to emerge out of the pandemic was that of a psychedelic reggae-hip hop duo, Space Kamp. These boys spent the last couple of years coming into their own and developing a sound that sonically reflected their “break rules and spread love” mantra and in that time, the dynamic duo of Adoo and Oskee have resulted in two albums while playing countless live shows.
Now, Space Kamp is prepared to take another sonic leap with their new 12 track album, Butterfly Effect. The album takes listeners on a journey with some breezy melodies, and feel-good vibrations, that has a way of forcing listeners to smile. On the Butterfly Effect, Space Kamp has truly created an ideal playlist for speeding through the cosmos with your hair blowing in the wind. All you gotta do is hit play to be transported to a feel-good psychedelic galaxy far, far away. The album features guest appearances by Adam Rocco Viola, Akai Marley Viola, Leonidas Valoy, Rob The Viking & Jessica Lamb
We sat down with Adoo and Oskee from Space Kamp to investigate the Butterfly Effect and explore this stoney new album.
Interview: Space Kamp
The Pier: You released Electric Lemonade in 2020 and when the pandemic hit. Did that change the writing process and songwriting approach on Butterfly Effect?
Adoo: It did, we knew going into writing Butterfly Effect that we would be unable to travel to Vancouver and record with Rob in person. My mother was also getting pretty ill so we approached this one completely different. Oskee would come to my Moms house and we would write and send demos back and forth to Rob. When it came time to track vocals we went to our old friends at Marsten House Recordings in Philadelphia and then sent it to Rob at the Chamber Studio.
Listening to the Butterfly Effect, I think you elevated your songwriting and created an album that you can listen to on repeat and with an album full of feel-good songs. Why was the Butterfly Effect the perfect title for this record?
Adoo: We were going through a lot of changes, not just personally but the world as a whole. We look for the beauty in change and try to always find the positive. So much has happened since our first record we feel like we are finally coming into our own, kinda spreading our wings. We believe that all the good that has been coming is a direct effect of us embracing Love as our mission.
You continue to work with Juno award-winning producer Rob the Viking from Swollen Members/XL The Band, who at this point is like the 3rd official member of Space Kamp. What does Rob bring to the table that compliments the Space Kamp sound so perfectly? His work with Swollen is a 180 from his work with Space Kamp.
Adoo: Rob is a mad scientist! The beautiful thing about Rob is that he listens and really cares about your vision. He’s not just a producer that is going to sound similar no matter who he is producing for. And don’t get us wrong there’s nothing wrong with that. Some of the best producers have a signature sound. And Rob does kinda have that with Swollen. But for Space Kamp he just kind of listens to ideas and asks a lot of questions and isn’t afraid to do something completely new to him. I think that’s where the magic really happens is when he’s doing things that are a bit out of his normal box. Because he’s so creative and talented we kind of just give him free rein of whatever he wants to do. You just kind of give initial ideas, and then he runs with them. We also linked with an amazing musician named Chris Lawrie (Cygnill) out of Arizona. We knew we wanted him involved with this album as well. He produced three songs, and then Rob added a little salt and pepper and mixed. We will be doing a lot of work with Cygnill in the future and actually already have an acoustic EP in the bag with him.
Watch: Space Kamp – “Fast Times”
The art and the videos add a whole different visual experience that I think perfectly compliments the music. Can you tell us about that side of Space Kamp?
Adoo: For us it’s about the whole package, we enjoy every aspect of creating a project. Artwork wise we have a few artists that we love that really bring the music to life, visually. For our covers, we work with an amazing illustrator named Wicaksono Azis. We sent him demos of the songs early on and told him the thoughts behind the name of the album. We don’t give really any art direction much past that. What he sends back is his interpretation of the body of work, and we love what he did for Butterfly Effect. Pretty much everything else, art wise, we do is with Graphic Designer NGRH! His art is just fun and really represents what we are all about. He brought the Astrobear character “Shizzzz!” to life and now it has a life of its own. His art is just fun and really represents what we are all about. Video wise we work with Jack Nine Films, Nu Vision and Overpower productions.
Looking back to early Space Kamp for a second, you started out as a hip-hop trio and slowly evolved into this psychedelic East Coast reggae group. Talk about that evolution and what you think the catalyst was for that?
Adoo: Truthfully it was a really organic change, once we started touring, Oskee and I really connected. We are both fathers and both grew up around all kinds of music. We wanted to expand the sound from early on and really wanted to do things that we weren’t necessarily comfortable with. There was a point in time that there was a real separation between the 3 of us because Split didn’t sign up to be in a group that wanted to do different things, he wanted to bar out and just rap. There was also a separation in the overall mission of the group. We really wanted to put our focus on Love, Unity and Uplifting people. Create something that can live on after we are gone. We understood Split not digging what we wanted to do, and when he left we really thought that we could continue to be a team and champion each other and support each other’s growth and path. Unfortunately, not everything worked out that way and he felt differently. The energy you put out is what comes back. We can only focus and put energy into what we control and say, and for us it is, and always has been nothing but love.
Do you see every Space Kamp album as a sonic evolution?
Adoo: Definitely, the number one thing we want to do is be in the now, and not worry about what came before or what’s next. We create what feels good in the moment, in doing that I think we will continue to progress and evolve.
Oskee, your father is world-renowned Dominican Republic singer/songwriter Cuco Valoy. What was it like growing up surrounded by songwriters? How did that influence you and what you currently do with Space Kamp?
Oskee: As a kid, I was always surrounded by music. Growing up I watched my dad put in countless hours on the guitar, piano, and vocals. I have been with him to the park so he can practice his range so his voice could always stay strong, and countless notebooks filled with thousands of songs. He influenced me in every way possible, from work ethic to believing in myself.
Does it add pressure on you as a musician with the success your father had?
Oskee: I wouldn’t say it adds pressure, but I will say it does add motivation. It keeps me wanting more knowing that through hard work anything is possible.
Watch: Space Kamp – “Water”
Adoo you came from the underground hip-hop world touring the world with the likes of Jedi Mind Tricks, Vinnie Paz, Danny Diablo, Ill BIll and Slaine! What are you able to take away from hip-hop and apply to Space Kamp?
Adoo: I’ve been super fortunate to have learned the ropes from some tried and true people. I was able to see the world and I have some amazing memories. Especially the early tours with Danny Diablo were some of the best times of my life. All of those artist have always done things on their terms and have been able to have amazing careers independently. I learned about the importance of good merchandise, how to route tours, travel hacks, and how to essentially do things completely on your own.
I also learned a lot from Kevin Zinger, especially about just doing what you love and not putting energy into things that you don’t control. His advice was monumental in making the switch into being in a group and doing something completely new. I knew if I was creating from a honest place there wasn’t anything anyone could say that would effect me.
Tell us a bit about the Rebel Hippies movement. What is it and tell us a bit about the community’s creed or motto?
Adoo: All around the globe, we have met and connected with like minded, free thinking, beautiful people. Rebel Hippies Community is a 100% organic family that really just grew into its own. It started as just something that was just said in a song, and then we did rolling papers that we called Rebel Hippies. People really dug the logo and connected with the name and soon we were getting gifted artwork and people were showing us rebel hippies tattoos at shows. We got some community cards created and made them available completely free for people to get as a give back. Every card has a QR code on it that has access to Exclusive Merch and Early access to music and visual content. Cardholders will also receive a discount on merchandise at every live event. Rebel Hippies and Space Kamp are at it for Life. We know that without this community we’d be just seeing these songs in Oski‘s basement, so we’re forever grateful and will always give back.