As Hibernation’s first song “Far” begins, you get the feeling you’re completely still in some massive space filled with nothing. It’s as if you’re floating, and with every beat, the landscape around you begins to take form. At around the fourth measure, a synth comes in that can bring any devoted Kid Cudi lover to their knees. As Kweku Collins’ tropical tone comes into frame of the now very detailed landscape you continue to float in the center of, all speculation vanishes.
BoatHouse is, by all my accounts, one of the strongest producers in Chicago right now. He may not be the most well known of the label Closed Sessions artists, but as one of the top engineers at Closed Sessions’ recording studio half, Soundscape Studios, it’s safe to say BoatHouse is hemming much of the labels core stitching (with the help of Sir Michael Kolar’s teachings, of course.) He’s also a (almost) graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s Audio Engineering program, which he left just one semester before graduating to tour with former Closed Sessions artist Alex Wiley. Besides touring much of The States and parts of Europe, he’s humbly produced notable songs for Lucki Eck$, Webster X, and Allan Kingdom, DJ’d a Boiler Room set in NYC, and engineered a Lil B and Chance The Rapper freestyle EP since dropping out. “It’s still amazing to me that I get to do this everyday” BoatHouse told me in text a few days before the release of Hibernation. “I look at everything as just another step in the right direction towards doing this for the rest of my life. I owe a lot of people a million thank you’s so it’s hard to get an ego when you know you couldn’t have done it without them.”
On Hibernation, the follow up to his 2015 instrumental Girl EP, BoatHouse uses his keen ear and mastery of engineering to perfect each track. On “Twin Flame” featuring Drea Smith, BoatHouse proves he’s more than just some rap producer. An angelic harp floats behind calm and soothing vocals that blend to create music I can only describe as heavenly. By the time you’ve reached Hibernation‘s final track, “Lavish” featuring fellow Minnesotan and Kanye West collaborator Allan Kingdom, you’ve already opened BoatHouse’s other projects in separate tabs of your browser, hungry for more.
Hibernation is by far BoatHouse’s most advanced project to date and is definitely a statement of how strong a producer he is. With the help of his label mates Kweku Collins and Kipp Stone, as well as from Allan Kingdom and Drea Smith, BoatHouse leaves a lasting impression with Hibernation and has certainly made his way into my everyday rotation of music.