Sophomore Chilembwe Asante couldn’t stand the final month of summer without his friends around. While they were off at college and he was stuck at home, he began to write and produce raps that would come together into a project. Now, under the stage name “Deli,” Asante has written and recorded his first mixtape here at Knox and plans to expand into the future.
The Knox Student: How did your plans of recording at Knox come to be?
Chilembwe Asante: I was inspired by acts like Eric Crawford ‘15 to come up here. They have a good quality mic. I was first recording in my dorm room, but the quality wasn’t so good. I needed an idea of what I was going to do. The writing began last September and it was hard with school. At the end of the term, we came up here and recorded it in the span of four days. I called the mixtape “Delirious” because it was crazy making it all work together.
TKS: What work had you done previously to recording?
CA: I had only recorded some work and put it on Soundcloud, as a joke. No, actually it was just a freestyle. It was so fun just making songs and putting your words out there. You can make anything you want, it’s complete freedom.
TKS: Does the atmosphere at Knox help you write?
CA: Sometimes. A lot of things deter me from writing and make me not want to record, but there’s also a lot of things that do. My friends encourage me to write and classes are a time when I write. I think Knox does help, actually. What else would I be doing in my life? My time at Knox bleeds into my words and into the music for sure.
TKS: What shows have you played thus far?
CA: Back in St. Louis, I played a few shows. I played at a festival called Snow Days and one in the summer called Back to School. It’s at this crappy bar and a lot of my friends came. The shows are the best part of this. More than girls and money, even though I haven’t really gotten paid.
TKS: What’s the plan for the future of this project?
CA: I want to write more, play more shows, get more promotions, more everything. I want to get my name out there and network. I’m not so sure how to do that, so I’m just recording and trying to get people to listen. I have time and I can do it after college.
Asante’s favorite tracks from the mixtape
Track 3: “In a Minute”
This track is about being rushed, as I was recording this, and how everything happens so quickly. When you’re really trying to think about something, it all goes so quick.
Track 6: “Stop Running”
I didn’t think this one would be popular, but it has my most plays. It has a simple beat and I’m rapping really fast on it and I guess people seem to like that.
Track 7: “Ezekiel”
This track is about Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys. It’s probably my second favorite track on the album. The beat makes you nod your head and gets you pumped up.