Dining Hall employee Simon Grimes dishes out album

Posted by Jean-Ann Kubler

On Sept. 23 Dining Services employee and emcee Simon Grimes released a 24-track album titled "Da Mixed Ape," available for free download online.

The album contains over 200 minutes of music, most of which were composed in the last four months. The album was released under the stage name Sime Gezus.

Grimes, who is originally from nearby Cambridge, N.Y., has been involved in the music industry for over 10 years, both as an emcee and a producer. His interest in music was sparked during his junior year of high school.

"My girlfriend at the time got this program where you could make beats and I started to play with that here and there. It was really basic, but the more that I messed with it, the more I loved it," Grimes said.

After high school Grimes enrolled in the Art Institute of Boston (AIB) where he studied studio engineering for a year.

"The kids at AIB were so advanced — they could make the music and rhyme. I couldn't rhyme at that point. I would free style here and there, but they really opened up my eyes," Grimes said.

At AIB, Grimes mainly studied production. "I didn't take it that seriously because I knew I wanted to record my own stuff, not just produce," Grimes said.

Today, Grimes is producing his own music alongside a close-knit team at Sub-Bombin Records, a production company based in Saratoga.

"Sub-Bombin is like a mini family," Grimes said. The artists connected to Sub-Bombin all help produce and are often featured on each other's tracks. Grimes is currently interested in finding female artists to become involved with the company.

Grimes is also involved with the upstate label Glass Ceiling Effect which produced "Da Mixed Ape."

The title of his new album is based on Grimes' state of mind while working on it. "I was going through some difficult personal things this summer and as a result I fell back in love with music after a little hiatus from it. I felt like a weird monster, dealing with these issues and having all of this creativity flowing," Grimes said.

Grimes describes his musical style as abstract, eclectic and somewhat dark. "I don't want to call it depressing, but it's not exactly upbeat either. To understand a lot of it you just need to listen. Every song is a different emotion," Grimes said.

Grimes cites Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur, the Doors, Portishead and Radiohead as his musical influences. His biggest influence, however, is the Wu-Tang Clan.

"I was always into hip hop but when I first heard the beats RZA made for the Wu it really inspired me. I'd never heard anything like that. It's phenomenal," Grimes said.

"The Mixed Ape" is a change from where Grimes began 10 years ago. "My music has developed. I used to just try to put any words to a beat. I've come into my voice since then," Grimes said.

"The Mixed Ape" along with Grimes' previous albums are available to download at www.simegezus.bandcamp.com.

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