Childish Gambino has done close to zero promotion for his new album, Awaken, My Love!, outside of releasing two singles (without performing or interviewing about them anywhere) and his PHAROS concert, which didn’t have any footage released from it until five days before the album dropped. All the hype and acclaim and interest has seem to have developed organically.
Monday, though, Gambino called into Australia’s triple j radio station (where he covered Tamia’s “So Into You” that one time) to talk about the album and promote shows he has there at the end of December.
The most astounding fact he revealed over the 10 minutes was that all the vocals on the album were his. He didn’t change any pitches with a computer, he only added slight autotune or vocoder effects afterward.
For example: He’s actually reaching that high in his falsetto in “Redbone,” which then has a slight wavering effect added to it. He also said he created a lot of sounds on the album with his voice — not a computer — and then he gave an example of one over the phone.
Gambino also said he liked Questlove’s reaction to hearing his album. (Questo called D’Angelo at 4 a.m. freaking out about how good the album is the day it came out, according to his Instagram.)
“Him being like, ‘It’s a sucker punch,’ I like sucker punches. I like things you’re not expecting,” Gambino said. (That’d explain the invisible car running over people at the end of that club episode of Atlanta.)
In the process of making the album, Gambino said he didn’t have as much fun making the inclusive, funky sounds of the album as someone may think.
“I think people hear the album and, to be completely honest, it wasn’t a lot of fun,” he told the staton. “It was actually really hard. I was going through a lot, and I also think in America we’re going through a lot right now, with everything that’s going on.”
Listen to the full interview below.