10K80 by Louis Tambue February 2, 2021
One NYC music collective is able to encapsulate what many young creatives are feeling right now: Acknowledging the difficulties of a tumultuous year, while still being optimistic about the state of creatives right now.
While the state of creative collaboration has reached a high degree of uncertainty, NYC artists MJangles and Lincoln Hart, of the (M)aybe (T)here’s (L)ife music collective, utilized their resources and network for the rollout of their latest joint single ‘Nation.’
I had the opportunity to interview both artists on their musical processes, as well as provide a helping hand by photographing the cover art for the single.
In doing so, I got an in-depth look at the care that NYC artists Lincoln and MJangles have regarding their music collective, the music specifically, and who they work with.
In light of the eventful year that 2020 was, Lincoln and MJangles used this as a time of reflection regarding the situation in the U.S. for BIPOC.
At their inspirational peak, MJangles made the trip from Harvard University to Lincoln’s residence in Harlem, NY to work on the single.
Lincoln and MJangles wanted to make a song that represented the tumultuous times in a manner that was prideful rather than taking the popular perspective of pessimism in relation to the year.
“We had a song that made us feel a common thread of empowerment and excitement so we didn’t want to take away from the joy that the beat carried… Rather than writing a song about being upset with the nation we were trying to reclaim our pride about being in the nation.”Lincoln Hart
With ‘Nation’ entirely produced by the artists, the two provided a sound that encapsulates their diverse musical pallet with its classical chords and jazz samples mixed with modern hip hop drums.
Together the production conveyed an upbeat feeling that matched their lyrical content fostering the anthemic nature to the song.
“When it came time to write the song last summer at the height of the protests related to George Floyd, we felt like it was time to write it… I think we struck the right balance between art and politics.”MJangles
In its entirety, the song upholds the brand of musical content that Lincoln, MJangles, and Tobias Defoe have consistently released over the years.
With their collective EP ‘Harlem Nights’ which released last year along with Tobias Defoe’s single Road Trip featuring MJangles, Maybe There’s Life is seemingly allergic to making the same song twice.
When it comes to the inspiration behind the multifaceted sound, Lincoln attributes it to MTL’s love for music and the desire to innovate in a way that has yet to be done.
“So much of how we think about our craft is all the music that came before us which has impacted our lives in such a profound way… We try to tap into what we find are the greatest elements of all different kinds of music and create something new for the modern context.”Lincoln Hart
While uniformity is a trend, it is one MTL refuses to follow. MJangles and Lincoln uphold their habit of collaboration in relation to the cover art as well as the promo.
In preparation for the release of Nation, MJangles and Lincoln reached out to me to shoot the cover art for their single.
The exchange of ideas and perspectives regarding the photoshoot also highlighted the importance of collaboration within your network, and the finished product speaks for itself.
When talking about the experience, MJangles went in-depth on the inspirational qualities that collaboration provides for him in relation to MTL.
“As a musician, I feel like you have a better appreciation for other forms of art than anyone who isn’t an artist even if it’s not your own medium.”MJangles
With the pending release of their performance video for ‘Nation,’ as well as solo projects from all three members of Maybe There’s Life, MJangles and Lincoln have set the tone for the quality of music that will be coming from the NYC music collective this year.
Be sure to continue streaming ‘Nation’ which is now available on all streaming platforms and be on the lookout for what’s to come from MJangles and Lincoln.