With much of his life shaped by long periods of addiction, homelessness and violence over the last 15 years, Letta -- a complete unknown a little over a year ago -- battled his demons to release one of 2015's most arresting debut albums, 'Testimony'.
Then based in the notorious Skid Row district of Los Angeles, 'Testimony' communicated a lifetime of struggle through ambitious, grime-cum-rap beat abstractions that, although rough and scorn, were rooted in heavyset emotional trauma. "This is just me channelling stuff - it's not beat making, it's not grime or hip hop or whatever, it's just me", Letta said af-ter submitting the final tracklist in July 2015.
Fast forward 12 months and with a whirlwind trip to the UK under his belt -- he made his Boiler Room debut with Coyote in London only 24 hours after leaving North America for the first time -- as well as lengthy US and Asia tours, plus a remix for WWWINGS on Geng's PTP label, Letta's breakthrough year has also seen him relocate from LA to first NYC and now, Canada.
His second album for Coyote Records, 'Redemption', was written in stages over the course of this new-found trajectory throughout the early months of 2016 and although still bound by sadness, details a producer who has finally come to terms with his past.
More song-based than 'Testimony' -- see the stunning, mournful, 'She Does Die' featur-ing New York vocalist, Fielded, as a case in point -- 'Redemption' also sees Letta work with producers outside the Coyote Records camp for the first time, with Ryan Hemsworth and Mr Mitch both appearing on the tracklist.
There are flashes of anger and disdain in both title-track 'Redemption' -- gritty, snarling instrumental grime -- and the anthemic, 'You Were Wrong', that follow on from 'Testimo-ny's emotional out-pouring, but 'Redemption' tells the second part of Letta's story with a deft and delicate hand.
"Where the first album was really about what I had been through, the dark times and times I longed to have", Letta explains, "I think this one is about the friends that went through it all with me. This is a record for them."