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Interview with James Schlageter a.k.a Sinderella Mann

Sinderella Mann is the mystic spellbinding abstract art anomaly character creation of his harmonic whole recording producer, Singer, Songwriter/Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, DJ/Turntablist, & Multi-Instrumentalist Spinderella Mann. With the hard-hitting eclectic razor-sharp lyricism.

Spinderella Mann creates wholesome hearty hip hop self-proclaimed as R&P (hip hop/urban music with workmanship dignity & depths) not “just rap’! Speaking to listeners through vocalized recital arts like he’s right there alongside you or just smashing syntax utilizing the musical metric form of “rhyme” to its near fullest extents through skill peppered proficiency on his powerful proses ingenious intricacy whilst expanding consciousness and broadening the horizons of what “rhyme” as a form of expression is perceived or thought to be by innovative flows being state of the art like many of his influences progressing culture! Both Sinderella Mann & Spinderella Mann are upcoming underground unapologetically original gritty D.I.Y. proverbial bootstrapped indie creatives stressing authenticity hoping to attain a prolific diverse discography through having an all-encompassing musical vision proving heartfelt harmony has no genre! Inspired by unique classic creatives or mainly band culture from the 60’s-90’s Era where music culture was a lifestyle you had to fully embrace(not just do business).

Spinderella Mann is a world music baby wanting to prove there are no borders around pulsating creativity utilizing happily forever after records signature sound identifier “eclectic music” properly by composing Sinderella Mann’s positive quality timeless messages through strong songwriting/Lyricist workmanship with incredible production values stylizations ranging across a broad gamut starting with the golden era or old school hip hop on “the red demo tape” being what he considers niche related urban music but will evolve or most likely hybrid blend elements of other musical stylizations such as funk, rock & whatever else he can get his hands on!

Wanting to leave an everlasting iconic impression not only in hip hop/urban music but recorded music as a whole history through being unique phenomenon both Sinderella Mann & Spinderella Mann hope to lay it all down melting soul into their uniquely made distinctive grooves composition not in the vein of any other creatives into audio recordings being true originals making healing occur so listeners plus any loyal forneverlander’s part of the core fambase who stick around can look at how “life happens” in a better light through the addressed urgent topics such as exclusion on “lame deer games” thanks to musical diversities vibrancy not to mention enjoy more fun track productions people can jam to keeping the records spinning & the gamut of track diversity running for plenty of years to come!

Hi James! How did it all start for you? And what’s the story behind Sinderella Mann & Spinderella Mann?

James: Ahhhh The beginning so that to me was more like just being exposed to quality wholesome records/music of the 60s-2000s & even records/music before the 2010s (because humans are exposed to the power of sound or “records/music” all their existence unless they are born deaf or become that) but ultimately being around song & melody/harmony all my life(from Aerosmith all the way to ZZ top and any styles of music I mix listen to really ) or “music” was just basically my reason for being(still is to this day happily & I listen to a full varying array of records/music on the gamut of harmonic music daily digital or vinyl )thinking about it wildly enough to live, embody or become a lifestyle recording compositions because records/music just left such an everlasting impact on my human’s personal well-being and all human beings really so much so that I literally wanted to be part of that genuine “Groove”! Like Sinderella mann has been part of me for ages now starting with some odd coincidences were the name fused into its own meaningful spirits entity through anomalous art…the inspiration was from a hybrid of things but main sources was the song “cinderella man” by Eminem on his recovery album that track how he created it always spoke to me very clearly like how I try to make my own records/music but essentially after hearing that & I religiously live music plus read lyric because I like to know writers intent & that idiosyncratic stuff I looked up the song’s lyrics & soon found that Eminem wrote the song based off a movie called “cinderella man” which strangely enough was about a American boxer born back in the early 1900’s named James J. Braddock so I naturally had to buy the movie cause me & the boxer share the same first name James plus “fighting spirit”(you could say indomitable spirit or as I like to consider my being when in high spirits motivated dauntless & inexorable) that boxer lived as well as died by so I had to watch it to see how incredible it was which I still own it today & yeah it was like a cauldron of eclectic ideas that invented Sinderella mann through musical stuff(like the song by rush called “cinderella mann”) & all stuff orbiting around my own selfhood or what “I am” deeply(without delving into ideology or philosophy) like shamanism because he was essentially my voodoo child creation/character (I’m a voodoo chile like jimi Hendrix & the many other James’s who are true trailblazer creative singers or musicians in American record/music history I can name off left & right who I emulate in my own similar but different sort of way with my own unique spins flair) so eventually what happened was I realized Sinderella mann is not the only part of me at least creatively…cause I as in Spinderella mann the musician am a dignified whole came to realize Sinderella mann is only a portion of my entire harmonic entity through “the power of sound” using that 6 letter word “hip-hop” I like to consider more “urban music” cause there’s just so many facets  & nuances on top of what I bring to the table as a genuine innovator who don’t always get major/label spotlight or want that because true hip-hop/urban music is independent! There’s an incredible book I read on that called “the values of independent hip-hop in the post-golden era: hip hop’s rebels which explains it quite well within hip-hop/urban music because bootstrapped indie creatives such as myself & my “ART” usually stays in the technical proficiency region of what hip-hop/urban music originally stood for I consider R&P(urban music with lyrical dynamic depths & “rhyme metrics” so to speak like lots of underground classic creatives have such as swollen members ,souls of mischief ,dilated peoples , jurrassic 5 ,public enemy, hilltop hoods to name a handful with incredible craft being true innovators) and I’d say overall Sinderella mann is just how I perform rhymes through urban music who still cares to help & share with people what his impressions are through how I see things in my own shades of truth light that like reality itself has many shades of grey (like the hip-hop artist braille’s album who I respect) but this is just a decent manifesto of the crazy thoughts many a day that are how Sinderella mann got molded into records/music then I became his record producer Spinderella mann spinning him into existence!

You describe your music as (hip hop/urban music with workmanship dignity & depths). Tell me more about that.

James: So this has to do with the mathematics & so to speak metaphysics of how I put my own beings words using “soul/essence” that become lyric (which tells more than a story when used precise & wisely when listeners learn a lesson from the takeaway value of some hip hop/urban music that has entertainment & education) chiseling masterful written verses for a structured song that become vocalized reciting arts through my rhymes said as I am a very prideful artisan/writer with due diligence from my creative process making sure there’s a message involved that goes into what I consider beyond “just rap” because there’s layers or dimensions to being an emcee(not just being a commercial 1-dimensional rapper with face value whose more so an entertainer that’s common in popular music than strong gritty genuine artisanship or workmanship!) which’s how the whole abstract or theorist concept (“philosophical idea”) through depths & insight of what “R&P” got web designed into!

I can name many a past actual hip-hoppers & more modern MC’s that are “R&P” which’s almost in the simplest sense more of a classifier to what is? “technically proficient hip-hop artisanship/lyricism” that varies based on creative approach because some don’t use keyword “lyricism” from a “technically proficient” standpoint whether it be as a lyricist, a wordsmith or fusion of both through ones song written recited rhyme performance…

(Prime examples are KRS-one, beastie boys, Rakim, Zak De La Roacha & Masta Ace who use hip-hop records as a medium to utilize what it originally stood for which was a “statement” through ones written songs “message” as the emcee was the expression for the DJ’s rhythm reciting core themes of what hip-hop was born from such as love, struggle & pride or something “relevant” & the classic party jams which were what older hip-hop started off)

…plus the spirit of bonafide “hip-hop/urban music” like I do through Sinderella mann. I try to utilize signature sounds through classic urban production plus my own written songs message involved to provide edutainment & other things of interest by my own fruits of creative labors i season & harvest very carefully! I for one have always felt “records/music” as a form of expression or medium ultimately should speak for itself through the dynamics & metrics a true creative artist put into it(weather it’s a rhyme or a song) to begin with because there’s just so much that goes into art (not shoddy thrown together entertainment that’s “just rap” ) & how it all BIG keyword “translates” because as Stevie wonder said “music is a world within itself” and it truly is…that’s why it evokes responses for others talk about it because records/music captivate interest even on Sinderella Mann’s concept album the red demo tape it’s a voyage from start to finish ill elaborate later.

 

What is your creative process like?

James: Well so this is going to be nothing less than calculus because the method to my madness is unusual but still it works very well to get that final overall resulting cohesive composition putting the pieces together! The pieces working on an album are interchanging constantly as you go from one project to the next but you still need certain similar things to anchor or create records! So, in urban music at least from my knowledge as a producer overall the composition is molded around the vocal’s delivery of verses & song lyric…(which you could say is true for all styles of music but instrumentation doesn’t need a voice or can do fine without a song…the song with melodic dynamics just makes a record composition more riveting or fascinating as it runs)…anyhow when I start with songwriting it is quite divergent how the lines of a verse add up to making a song and I’ll try to simplify it but when it comes to writing a song it’s like an open book test so anything does go! That doesn’t mean you should write anything in it because your personally culpable for “what’s said” in your records/music and I’m not big on profanity, pabulum, ignorance & degeneracy nor do I fully filter or sensor what I want to convey using my unique technique. My method for writing I stick with is “songwriting structures” while wanting to make sure there’s some type of takeaway value as I’m filling in my song shell starting off with a “interesting song name” or what I think I’m gonna make the song about then based on what the songs concept, topic or message is about or around I use my technique going from point A to point B in as few words as possible.

Now because there are so many ways to produce & angles to approach producing records/music (based off one’s music stylization) when songwriting I usually have too much material so I try to trim down my compositions concisely using the keyword “Curation “as much as possible so I make sure I’m staying within the tracks “songwriting structures” …

(I like the idea of objective “creative parameters” or borders from a producer perspective because that helps me stay within a certain framing, limit & final ending to what I’m trying to put together & assemble into finished production whether it’s a concept LP or records single because without creative order there is just chaos!)

…& that my message or point in my song has been made while putting as much interest & or education in my verses as possible. Ultimately when I’m putting together a record or an album though I do like the main concept to weave together but this varies from record to record & is a quite intricate process kind of like sewing! Written Songs don’t always have to be tight using lyricism as they can be loose & abstract because lyricism is in a vague broad sense however or whatever you’re trying to convey/express…

(which can go in any or multiple directions based on how you want something “said”)

…like how a song name doesn’t have to necessarily indicate something in the production it’s just your idea to title the track recording!

Production soundscapes or “Melody” wise based on the type of album style being done I like to integrate different features without veering to off the project’s main attraction style!

(Example “the red demo tape” was very old school or underground hip-hop you could say with how I produced & sequenced the arrangements as Spinderella Mann!)

I used mainly the typical things you’d see produced with classic urban records/music productions such as a groove box(sampler/Drum Machine), A turntable(I own several wheels of steel but my portable reloop spin is my favorite), samples from other records, turntable scratches but overall the melody/arrangements for each production are hand-picked separately based off a vibe I thought would tailor fit a particular song’s message & at random to some songs because based on how you look at it the song gets laid on top of the instrumental beds soundscape groove or is more so worked around a melody/arrangement because the song is a driving force in records/music!

 

I really loved your “The Red Demo Tape” album. Can you tell me more about it? Is there a story behind it?

James: So the idea of this concept album kind of flew out at me one day last year in late 2019 I believe & as a multi-disciplined person said I’m going to run with this concept & see how much I can shape or mold this into a total album which regular albums are hard to put together but concept albums take a lot more time & just the lyrical design stitches or workings going on is razor sharp lyricism like I don’t see it as a masterpiece(which to me that word is cliched) but definitely a tour de force cause it took some painstaking virtuosity from detailing the songs names which go from me initially taking a leap of faith to the album ending on living my lifework day in, day out just doing my expertise while living all the tracks in between really…still living beyond “just rap”…(cause music is a lifestyle choice to me not just in hip-hop as Sinderella mann the beginning segment but fully as Spinderella mann the whole harmonic entity & I still struggle to progress in evolving my sonic gifts & brand when I have time to make for both which I do daily)…still trying to be tipping 4 life with my virtuosity…(although your gonna slip sometimes which is fine normal accidents happen but to avoid being a failure you must develop, adapt & overcome)…still adamant on being myself because I love who my “YOU” is and want others to embrace that as well so you don’t lose your own individuals personality in the noisy world still will shoot gift education jewel dropping as Sinderella mann trying to provide lyrical lessons for others to edify expanding consciousness still don’t wanna settle down entirely dealing with old. Person. Syndrome but life happens when your adulting like that eventually so I’ll hold that off till later than sooner still deal with lame-deer games from time to time but lesser than I used to which’s relieving & being persecuted is not a good feeling that’s why i was looking to belong in the sanity safe haven which is my studio I basically live in “were fears and lies melt away” because I feel secure & sheltered in this environment(which’s part of life…we all gotta organize with who we identify with or were we innately wanna belong being comfortable & accepted) until I found myself a home at professionally which is something I am forever grateful for finding this home that’s basically like a promise lands I keep building onto adding to my lifework legacy. It took a long time work hour wise to produce the album cause I was still working another career and assembling it while gaining experience doing & learning about all the core processes of compositions(songwriting, crafting melody, audio engineering, performing & overall producing)but now I focus on recording & some other minor revenue-driving business plus marketing & distribution so I’m not beating myself up too harshly that the stress I’m forcing upon myself is causing unhappy side effects…its exhausting some days but I find worth in the value even if it isn’t much monetary wise yet cause I enjoy the process or “work ethic” plus know when to back off & take rest breaks finding a “golden medium” positive balance so I’m not having breakdowns running myself into the ground because I’ve lived that before & don’t wanna go back to looking in the mirror beating myself up when my steadfast paces progress is moving onward further down the road every day as life goes on! Sometimes you gotta be hard on yourself but you also gotta learn how to take it easy as well relaxing so you don’t go crazy! Finding how things personally flow for your own lifestyle(professionally & privately) is a tricky task requiring experimenting but that’s how you learn to function managing your own life’s daily operation proficiently which your lifework is important but you shouldn’t sabotage your welfare for that single priority…doesn’t seem like a good tradeoff or course of action but when it comes to success some humans have funny or legit reasons to fuel their own personal reasons ambitions & are either too hard-driven to back off like me or too afraid of what might happen when you do take a leap of faith putting lifework in to change things!

When you create music, what is your personal purpose or goal?

James: So I see records/music as an incredibly magical medium(near if not sacred) almost like authoring a book but faster acting and indefinitely cooler(although I do like reading don’t get me wrong) plus the effect to me is almost equal to near telepathy transmitting something(cheesy or quality which’s subjective taste & preference territory I won’t delve into because records/music speak for themselves, however, the songs written & recited on a melody) so the purposes & goals vary a lot from album to album & record to record but mainly my goal/purpose is a broad gamut of things using lifework compositions I like to reveal the truth as all great artists do try to seek their “moment of truth” whatever that is or becomes plus do what I consider provide edutainment(educating entertainment) enlightening and make sure what I produce is myself in the grooves with all my own character quirks and idiosyncrasies!

Do you enjoy recording and production? And where was your last song recorded?

James: YES very very very much…like the whole 9 miles to hell & back like I really hope further down the road I’m able to orchestrate wholesome quality records/music for the masses with incredible depths & workmanship like Depeche modes Album! Without having my records to exploited becoming a cheap commodity or cheesy trend (some might call those creatives a “sellout” which there are some truths to that whether good or good bad based on the deal/offer given) like some records/music saturating the market weakening sounds power! “The power of sound” is sooo mystical & magical right off the get-go or jump street & what can happen is on you (whether you strike oil with a big song which’s seldom or just keep plugging on without any larger-than-life songs) because you get out of records/music what you put in! Predicaments vary drastically but records/music just did so much for me I want to pay it back for keeping me so centered within the soul grooves I am in debt to! I also feel like my melodies & recital arts can fill & cheer up the most tattered/broken hurt spirits plus all sorts of other magic stuff like ward off pestilent vibes! “Melody” is the one thing I resonate so loud with to if I ever reproduce (not just produce records/albums) or have kids (that’s a big IF HA!) I wanna name a daughter “Melody” because it’s got a pretty nice ring to it *laughs* so hopefully through my own “Melody” & soul grooves, I do hope to get through to some listeners and help them out during their own hard times speaking to them in a down to earth language that goes past the dividing barriers this reality sets us up in as life happens Adulting!

And my last song was recorded in my partially assembled production studio (using what I have to get what I need) …Spinderella Studios!

Which famous musicians do you admire?

James: There’s too many honestly to name admiration wise (inspiration wise as well) but I’ll go with some of the other James’s in record/music history as I said before because we just groove & Jam hard! So much music speaks to me but the true grit some put into the melody I just happen to be listening to daily through their own personal mojo working definitely lasted or had an impact on me…. Jimi Hendrix, Harry James, Rick James, Jim Morrison, James Brown, Jim Croce!

I have many larger-than-life creatives biography and I’ve read “no one gets out of here alive” Jim Morrison’s biography plus own a good amount of vinyl LP’s I listen to when I’m not preoccupied by production tasks and records/music so let’s just say “creation” does seem to shape the world or at least leave its impact/mark on you when done timelessly!

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

James: So I’ve never been a true troublemaker type plus am quite the atypical not regular quiet guy(the quieter you become the more you can hear)whose sort of hardcore yet less rough on the edges as the years go by(or so I think *laughs*) throughout my life without ever serving any jail time but uhhh id have to say being expelled from high school for a few months from getting snitched on! I won’t go in-depth but it was just this whole faulty misjudgment on my part and being foolhardy HA! People informed me the kid who told on me & I knew him (not very much as a decent friend) but it’s just sad what some human nature will do to backstab you being petty!

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

James: So, I’ve met a handful of renowned celebrities with major league clout & big boy fortune & fame from bodybuilders to established creatives that have been around for decades but the best advice or just statement I’d say that was given to me that sank deep as of nowadays leaving an impact was probably something Tech N9ne said to me when I met him and a bunch of his buddies at a show! It was concise like how he speaks earregular in volumes through his prolific records anyhow he said something in response to what I said to him which was something about how my mom passed away at a young age because we shared that identical scar he brought to light on his records cause his mom passed away to I heard through his songs & i said something to him about it and he responded “she’s never gone…she’ll always be in your heart”

What are you currently working on, and what’s next for you?

James: So I am currently working on a record single I’m getting art for called “verbull Fitness” that’s about done plus am trying to get digital & physical distribution for my LP! I just finished a track called “indie classick flows” and it just spoke to me fairly strong when I was assembling it like I hope all my records/album productions do for others who check out my discography. Also next for me is going to be an album project that’s been calling me ever since I came up with its name & the songs! I just need to get down to producing some arrangements then get into the whole recording & producing plus mixing which the whole process is a burdensome journey but I enjoy it nevertheless as I get quicker plus proficient at its delicate intricacies! I don’t want to give away the LP’s title yet but as with all who stick around as loyal forneverlanders part of my fambase or just some listeners that tune in randomly in the years to come I just want everybody to know I pivot record/music stylization wise from time-to-time so things don’t get to stale doing one thing plus so I can acquire more production ability and nevertheless think what I’m providing production-wise has the ethos my record label lives up to since its inception in 2018 through “eclectic music” combining strong messages through my timeless curated songs with the instrumental melodies I painstakingly sequence & arrange until its gone through my own process of elimination worth publishing for others to listen to!

At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?

James: The ability to live (not just exist!) stronger in more harmony being a closer unified whole with others you identify with than before after hearing my records/music & how divided life happens…. Oh also to uplift others so they know you got what it takes if your ready to take that leap of faith trusting & believing in yourself bringing to the world what you think it needs coming alive fully as yourself or “YOU” putting serious time into your lifework day in day out! Here’s to not just all my idols dead or alive but to all us living according to our own spirit keep the curtain up at all costs whatever that is for you and keep the show going on the road so the world knows who you are when you make your mark on history!!!

To learn more about James and his music, please check:

Website

Youtube

Instagram

Thank you!

What do you think?

Written by Emily

Emily is currently finishing her studies in journalism and popular media abroad in the School of Media studies in Tel Aviv. In free time she writes for several popular magazines and loves hip hop culture very much.

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