"Sixftsumthin" reads musician Aaron Childs' Instagram bio. Like some lanky heartthrob who rejected the possibility to shine on the bball court or model for whomever he wanted, he instead retreated to his bedroom to whip up some soulful magic.
Childs released an EP dripping in neo soul last year that showed potential for something more sleek. The EP must've caught the ears of Nick Sylvester, co-founder of Godmode, a label that, "takes way-left artists and brings them slightly more to the center, or takes way-center artists and brings them slightly more to the left." To date, Godmode is responsible for breaking Shamir and Yaeji, two different house-influenced artists, both displaying a unique pop appeal, even if they're not fully comfortable with their undeniable likability. Godmode's formula obviously works. And Childs' seems to be on a similar trajectory as his label's forebearers.
Sylvester and Childs spent a lotta late nights working together to produce the increasingly popular "Tangerine", along with "No Hobbies" as a two-song release. The aforementioned Godmode artist ,Yaeji, released a version of Drake's "Passionfruit", Drake's latest foray into dancehall, and it seems this fruit-inspired track may have also encouraged Childs' "Tangerine", in some universal, subliminal way. Regardless of influences, both "Tangerine" and "No Hobbies" are superb tracks that burrow in your head after a only a few listens.
If you’ve seen the movie Donnie Darko then you're familiar with the part where Drew Barrymore, Donnie's English teacher, explains that some high-minded novelist once proclaimed "cellar door" to be the most beautiful combination of words in the English language. I always knew that scene felt off, and now I have proof. No combination of words is necessary because Childs' has discovered the most beautiful word in the English language – it's "tangerine". The way he extends his release of tangerine's last syllable rolls around in your head until you can taste the succulent juice. It's a delight and just slightly cooler than what he's done in the past.
And "No Hobbies" may be the freshest declaration of solitude you'll ever hear. There’s something about the cool humility of this track that draws you into Childs as an artist and individual. Even the way he says he'll work himself to death if "no one stops me" instead of saying something rapper-esque like "if they don’t stop me", implies that he doesn’t yet know if there’s someone out there for him, that he still isn't certain he can find that someone to distract him from his hustle. But by the track's bubbly essence, it's clear he's up for a late-night adventure with maybe a few expectations.
Childs is a promising artist to watch and adds major credit to a label that continues to break "left-center" artists just as they're coming into their own, and it’s a joy to behold.