Look, let us be honest — RapCaviar is not cutting it for you at the gym anymore; you are tired of listening to the same J.Cole—21 Savage collaboration from back in the day. Plus, it does not look like Kanye is dropping Donda anytime soon. If you are looking for a track to really pump you up and get your adrenaline going, Shain Romanowski a.k.a A Certain Energy should have you covered in that department.
Making his way back from a moderately long hiatus, A Certain Energy releases their latest track Foreign. The four-minute number is not only a ridiculously contagious upbeat pick-me-up track but also serves the necessary musical seasoning to make it an anthemic banger. Romanowski seems to borrow inspiration from some of the most widely celebrated tricks in the cypher game to deliver his flow on the beat — one that starts off relatively moody and rhythm-and-bluesy and quickly gets accompanied with the groovy 808s and brass-like percussive elements, soon erupting into a word-spitting machine with the lyrics — ‘I’m like a nightmare on Elm Street / Trying to ride the wave / This is high seas’.
Wanting to learn more about the inspirations and story behind the track, we reached out to the artist for his words. Here is how that went:
Congratulations on your new track! How would you thematically characterise the cypher for someone previously unfamiliar with your music?
“Foreign” is about the drive of always wanting to achieve more towards your dreams and goals. Would say it is definitely a great work out song [laughs]. Up-beat, charismatic, overall great song to get goosebumps and your adrenaline going. I’ve been told the song is like a rollercoaster of good vibes with a great pace.
First track of the year – quite the hiatus since your releases in 2020. How would you say you have musically developed during this period?
I took time off on releasing after I secured a deal with Sinclair Media Group Limited back in January, a record label turned marketing agency in the United Kingdom. From there I wanted to effectively market each single I release with them, so a hiatus had to be made. This hiatus also allowed for me to recruit key players on the team in Adam Eazy, Amir Hussain, and Bobby Balow. Eazy is a music producer and mixing engineer, Amir is a videographer that owns Sight Beyond Sound, and Bobby Balow is a mastering engineer. Eazy and Amir are both in Fort Wayne, Indiana with me while Bobby is in Maryland. Adam Eazy and I developed our own cohesive sound together during this period of not releasing music. I’d say it helped bring diversity with my sound, because I’ve always been able to write to every genre. Now being able to deliver vocally to every genre is a completely different beast of its own. I’d say we finally got a super team ready to go [laughs].
Understandably, there is an interesting story behind how you started to get into music in association with your father’s curation. Tell us about that story, and how much that inspires you in making music in the present day.
My father used to bring me to studio sessions back when we lived in Guam and Saipan. He recorded ballads, rock, alternative, and had such a strong vocal presence every session. As time went on he began molding me on the mechanics of musical performance. These things included vocal range, the use of the diaphragm, stage presence and performance, everything that was key to be an entertainer. The amount of genres I was introduced to because of him at an early age allowed me to love music as a whole. One moment I’m listening to Led Zepplin and the next I’m listening to Snoop Dogg. The genre range played a significant role in the development of my song composition capabilities. I not only owe my life to that man, but my whole career to him. Without those early years of development, I would’ve never thought music was a possibility in career choice. Even though you don’t think about those things growing up he made it clear to me that you must find your passions and excel at them. Here we are.
Are there any particular influences to your music that play a dominant role in the production processes? If so, who?
I personally write all the lyrical components. My writing process is influenced by daily life. I have a balcony where I live, and I get to constantly see the movements of daily life from an eagle eye view. Everyone out and about is doing something which is a story of its own. That’s what influences me to write, but when it comes to the production process the engineers and producers always play a key role in the sound. I work closely with Adam Eazy, and of course with the Sinclair Media Group Limited family with David Sinclair-Black and Aidan Ackerly. We all come together collectively on how we want to attack a certain sound that either they each produced or that I wrote and vice versa. It’s a crazy chemistry, because we can knock songs out from scratch in no time at all. Can’t forget my man Cory Orlando in Jersey. He’s currently doing photography, but everyone should know that the No Pressure series isn’t over.
Two years since Glenwood Ave, and quite many singles dropped since then. Are you building a fortress that will end up becoming a full-length EP/album? If you are, when can your fans expect it?
I am building a fortress of songs I cannot lie. Instead of a fortress though we call it the vault. The genre range is actually insane as well, so fans that enjoy a good genre mash-up or remix will surely enjoy what’s coming up. For now we’ll just be dropping singles though. Speaking of which my next single will be September 24th, 2021. It’s called Fake Love. Who knows, maybe you’ll catch it on MTV Jams.