Casper x KOMODO
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Casper x KOMODO

Durham, NC | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | INDIE

Durham, NC | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2017
Duo Hip Hop




"Meet the Artist: Casper x KOMODO"

This week one of our journalists sat down with newly signed Limelight artists Connor and Will or as they are better known as; Casper x KOMODO. While this hip hop duo is new to Limelight, they are more than developed in their craft.

Both Connor and Will are from North Carolina only about an hour apart, but did not meet until Elon and the Music Production and Recording Arts Program brought them together. Through their years at Elon they shared a few classes together but never really connected musically until they both participated in the Elon in LA program this past summer. During that three month period they were roommates and both interned at ES Audio. Together they bring an incredible and developed artistry to their new and unique sound.

Elon in LA is a summer study USA program many MPRA majors participate in. While they were there Connor and Will learned a lot. Most importantly, to believe in themselves and their abilities. They were shown it takes a lot of drive to make it in LA and braced themselves for the struggle of reality. But through it all their passion for music remained and so did their determination to try new things. They both agree that this experience sparked their creativity and brought them closer together.

Both got their start in music at a young age. Will’s father was a pastor and as a result music was everywhere. And even though hip hop was not allowed, he managed to find his passion for it by sneaking an MP3 full of music to and from school. High school was the time where his experimentation with hip hop began and it continued to take off through his college years. Hip Hop has always spoken to Will because of its honesty through poetry. One of Will’s goals is to “capture the soul behind a record” believing each aspect of every song is unique.

Like Will, Connor was exposed to music and young age. He says he can remember freestyling with his friends for the first time at the young age of eight. Connor was drawn to Hip Hop for its honesty and lack of censorship, he feels you can freely express yourself and spread truth. The amount of variety is also very desirable, he describes how all genres can fit and collaborate with hip hop to create something amazing.

Casper and Komodo are a new and interesting take on hip hop creating a unique pair. All songs are written and produced together to make the whole process more of a collaboration and allowing for an interesting blend of lyricism and commercially accepted sound. They also both state their excitement to share their projects with the world. Connor describes one of his favorite moments as a show he played at Cat’s Cradle. He was performing and at one point noticed that everyone was singing his lyrics back to him. It was a turning point for him to see this wasn’t just a hobby and he had succeeded in affecting people. Connor states, “until people reflect your legitimacy you doubt yourself”. Will sees these songs and their content as a “timestamp on [his] life”. A way to say what’s happening and how he feels about it. He will be able to look back 10 years from now and remember how he felt, what was said and what the world was like.

As we neared the end of their interview, they pointed out that music creates us, we are instruments just like a piano or guitar with an important sound to play and with a right to be heard.

Be sure to come to Tap House on October 20th 10pm-2am to hear Casper and Komodo perform! - Limelight Records Wordpress

"On the Record: Hip Hop at Elon University"

Walking through the corridors of the Arts West music production hall, you’ll hear the muffled vibrations of creativity through the supposedly sound-proof doors. A remix of Ed Sheeran’s, Shape of You, acoustic guitar, acapella–all these being worked on within. But one room bumps particularly louder than the others. A comforting rumble could be felt on the bottom of your feet, stronger and stronger, the closer you approach. Inside, Connor Smith works on his latest project.

An old-school hip-hop beat with an eerie violin plays in the background.

“This is from my latest project I’m about to drop, be on the lookout,” he says, while hunched over the computer.

He gives a quick tour of the fully-equipped recording studio. A 6-foot soundboard, massive speakers, multiple boxes with endless flashing buttons, and Smith knows how to use every single one. Attached to the room through a sliding door is a sound-proof area with microphones and instruments. We sit down with one of his songs softly playing in the background.

Connor Smith, or his rap name, Casper, is a senior music production and recording arts major. He works in the recording studio, but it’s more of a sanctuary to him.

“I’ll be in here late at night, and the lights in the hallway will go off. Once that happens, hours will go by and I won’t even realize. I’m just making music.”

Smith is a North Carolina native, raised in Chapel Hill, and now at Elon. His goal, like many young rappers, simply make it big and get your name on the map. Being from NC however, his chances are slim. North Carolina doesn’t boast a large roster of big-name rappers. Their most famous being J.Cole, the mid-2000s group Little Brother, and their producer, 9th Wonder who now teaches down the highway at Duke University.

Elon University’s hip-hop culture reflects North Carolina’s. Non-existent for a long time, but slowly on the rise. Down the hall, past a massive chalk mural of a band, and to the left is another recording studio. In it, Will Henderson, or Komodo; who’s at the forefront of the hip-hop movement with Smith. They’ve known each other since freshman year, in passing really, but recently began working together.

Henderson comes from Durham, North Carolina, or “Durm”, as he likes it. The son of a pastor, he began recording church services in high school. This evolved into recording his friends in his bedroom closet to home-made beats. Now he works alongside Smith. Both literally in the recording studios, and through their music. They began collaborating more when they found out they were going on the Elon in LA trip together. They became roommates, got an internship together, and started making music in their downtime.

Their time interning at ES Audio was life-changing. A relaxed work environment gave them free reign to create in their down time, while gaining experience recording local talent. Other notable artists also came through the studio in their time including Amine and Trinidad James. Their success inspired them to work even harder.

Now back at Elon, they’re taking charge of leading an up and coming wave of hip-hop artists that have joined the music production major.

“A lot of these young guys have the lyrics, they just need someone to mix or record them. That’s what we do,” says Smith.

“I can make a beat, record, mix it, get a camera and take the album art, you’ve gotta be versatile,” Henderson explains.

Spending so much time in the studios has made it easy for Henderson and Smith to get involved with the growing hip-hop culture at Elon. Most rappers on campus have had a session with one of them. As Smith said, the voice is out there, they just need someone to put it together, which is why these two are so crucial to expanding hip-hop on campus.

Join Will and Connor in the studio as they tell their story, and discuss the current state of Elon hip-hop. - Matthew Williamson Weebly


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Connor (Casper) Smith and William Anthony Henderson (KOMODO) are both 21 year old rappers coming out of Durham, North Carolina. Casper is currently getting a degree in Music Production at Elon University where he is working to improve his craft. He was originally inspired by NYC uncensored, lyrical rap, and soulful hip hop and hopes to emulate that tenacity in his lyrics. Casper has also performed locally around North Carolina at the Local 506, Green St, and Cat’s Cradle. KOMODO is a pianist and saxophonist pursuing a music production degree at Elon University, as well. Starting piano lessons at the age of 3, he has won numerous awards including a trophy for second place in a regional talent show for North and South Carolina. Studying music production and recording arts, William aspires to work as a sound engineer for a major record label, pursue a career as an artist in the hip hop industry, and eventually own a label of his own.

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