Muzique Magazine Interviews 10-19 & The Number Men
New millennium trip-hop outfit 10-19 & The Number Men unveiled their music video, “July 10th,” at the end of April, lifted from their debut EP, Spokes, via the It’s Okay, I’m Crying label.
Based in San Diego, 10-19 & The Number Men is part and parcel of the city’s vibrant alternative hip-hop scene. San Diego Citybeat described their sound as “underground rap at its most wonderfully weird.”
Made up of 10-19, Joel Kynan, Brian Scafidi, and Sean Burdeaux, 10-19 & The Number Men take the boom-bap of established hip-hop and refashion it into a lysergic-flavored sound full of kaleidoscopic, dreamlike textures with hefty glowing muscle, at once dark and contagious.
Shot and directed by Upstate Productionz, the video opens with 10-19 & The Number Men in a voluminous drainage pipe suffused in eerie blacklight. Shifts to an empty parking garage, starkly vacant, where their figures appear like superimposed images, accentuating the hollowness in the backdrop.
10-19’s deep, rasping, and measured flow, blending spoken words with a melodic delivery, infuses the rhymes with wicked timbres, narrating his emotional response to the pandemic.
Because of “July 10th’s” totally dope, surreal sensation, Muzique Magazine spoke with 10-19 to find out how he got started in music, his influences, what he’s listening to right now, and the genesis of the name 10-19.
How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?
I grew up with a father who was a DJ. He had a healthy record collection that I was never allowed to touch. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on his vinyl. In high school, my pops gifted me a sampler and one of his old turntables. After that, I was hooked.
What’s the story behind the name 10-19 & The Number Men?
10-19 is where my initials sit in the alphabet 10 = J & 19 = S. The Number Men is the name of the band. It’s a play on the numerical handle.
What’s your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?
Little Red Corvette by Prince is a shower favorite. I get busy with that one.
What singers/musicians influenced you the most?
It changes all the time. But I’ve been listening to a lot of Brian Eno & Gil Scott Heron lately.
Which artists, in your opinion, are killing it right now?
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.
How do you keep your sound fresh and avoid coming across as derivative?
Good question, I’m not sure. Luck, I suppose.
What is your songwriting process? Do the rhymes come first, or the music?
Usually, the music comes first. It sets the mood, but every so often I’ll have lyrics written that we’ll build around.
What was the inspiration for your new single/music video “July 10th?”
Anxiety inspired that one. Last year, I was sitting at home feeling like the country was falling apart. It was, and I was nervous about it. Only thing I figured to do was write a bit about how I was feeling.
What do you want people to take away from the video?
A sense of curiosity. Like, hey, who are these guys? What’s this all about?
What’s the music scene in San Diego like?
The San Diego music scene has been on hold for the past 13 months, venues shuttered, etc. It’s slowly starting to pick back up, though.
What’s next for you musically?
I’d really like to play some shows. I’ve missed live music, A LOT.