Trebles and Blues Release Interview - From My Father (by HeadNodsEargasm)
1.Master of Ceremonies
2.A King’s Entrance
3.The Stars Align
4.Clear the Fog
5.From My Father
6.An Unbreakable Promise
8.Until We Meet Again
9.Leave Everything Behind
10.Evening of Reflection
11.From Dusk to Dawn
12.The Time Has Passed
13.When We Met Again (Skit)
14.Reunited in the Fields
16.The Will to Overcome
17.An Uphill Trot
Album Description from Bandcamp:
From My Father is an 18-track instrumental LP that acts as a personal narrative of my father’s journey through life.
My father was a South Korean immigrant that came to the United States with my mother to realize the ever-so-elusive “American Dream”. Fifteen years after being in this country, he found himself in the middle of a crisis that resulted in him being deported back to Korea, with the strict order that he would never be able to step foot in the States again. He was abruptly separated from his wife and children, returning to his homeland with essentially nothing to his name. However, through patience and perseverance, he rebuilt himself while in Korea, and eight years later, my mother reunited with him and has lived with him ever since.
Although this tale may seem specific to him, I felt that the nature of struggles, reflection, rebounds, reunification, and eventual triumph can resonate within any human being. Since I wanted this story to embody my father’s personal life, I only sampled material that my father listened to when he was my age, which consisted primarily of Korean folk music from the 70s and 80s. Also, much of the music was given to me directly from my father himself, adding to the significance of the album’s title.
“This project is dedicated to my father, Seong Ho Yeo, and my mother, Hee Sook Moon. Your love for each other and for your children knows no bounds, and the story you share together is a testament to the power of patience, persistence, healing, and unconditional love. Thank you for the warmth and care you continue to bring to my heart. Even through the distance, I feel it every single day.”
released 23 April 2013
All tracks produced and mixed by Trebles and Blues.
Mastered by K-Murdock.
Artwork by Vi Pham: www.vipham.de.
HeadNods Interview with Side B
What name do you go by and where are you from?
Well my name is Nick, but I go by Side B. And I’m from (and currently residing in) Fresno, CA. It’s not that great of a town to be honest with you, there’s no local scene for beats or anything like that. We’ve got a pretty vibrant jazz scene though, and I’m way into that.
How did you begin to make beats?
When I was about 11 years old my neighbor’s older brother had an mpc2000 and I remember I was really really REALLY interested in how that thing worked. So eventually my buddy and I started messing with it and instantly I fell in love with the concept of sampling. Ever since then I’ve been putting together little beats and big beats however I can.
Who are your biggest influences?
That’s a tough question, haha. As far as musicians in general go I’d have to say I’m a big Al Hirt fan, Martin Denny, anyone who I’ve dug for and sampled really. And as for producers I’d have to say : Kay Gee, Dilla, Dj Regend, Dibiase is also a savage.
How do you describe your style?
Definitely jazzy and I guess laid back, I’m a huge jazz fan so a lot of my stuff is based around that. The upcoming beattape/album is pretty diverse though.
What type of equipment do you use?
Well well well, I’ve actually never answered this question, haha. Currently I’ve just been messing with the MPC a lot, then adding extra shit with software or whatever BUT I try to keep it analogue as much as possible. I mess with the MPC2000xl, have an mpd32 (but everyone knows MPC > MPD any day), I have a few vintage synths laying around those of which will remain unnamed ;]. I’ve got an APC40 I use mainly for the knobs and faders (feels so much better than clicking with a mouse), countless numbers of sub-par decks/turntables laying around, Bought a VMS2 recently for the interface features but I’m working on a custom midi mapping for ableton, got a dope little TR-606, and a few other small midi devices.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
I’m gonna have to say dibiase, also I’ve hit up Little Dragon I don’t even know how many times now, haha.
What is the biggest challenge for you on music?
For me personally, finishing songs. Most of the times I decide to start a beat I sit down with fresh ideas, get them out of my head, and end up starting like 3 different beats instead of working on one. The beauty of creating music is that you can create anything you want, but sometimes not all of that shit will fit into one song. In those cases I end up with 3 or 4 unfinished beats, resulting from trying to start just 1.
What do you like to do on your free time?
I have some pretty dope friends who I love to spend time with as much as possible. I also Dj a little bit, just for fun though at friends parties and shit like that. To be honest it’s kind of hard to think of things I do in my free time that aren’t music related, haha.
Are you working on anything on the moment?
I’m so happy that you asked! I actually AM working on my first EVER beattape/album that drops June 22nd, THIS MONTH!!!! It’s titled ‘excuses’, and it’ll be up for free download, so everyone better get it!
Abnormal-Needs Creative Title(Simple But Dope) (by abnormalisdope1)
HeadNods Interview with Abnormal
Abnormal, how did you decide to go with that name?
I chose that name because my sound is not left field yet it’s not normal. So I think it’s a pretty good way to describe it. I guess the same can be said about my personality as well.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in St.Louis,MO
How did you get started making beats?
My Dad got me into it as a means of keeping me out of trouble. He feared that if I didn’t find something I could be passionate about I would end like my brother selling drugs or pimping. Once my hobby became an obsession I started to take things seriously once I started High School.
What equipment have you used? What do you plan on using later?
I have an M-Audio Axiom 49,Ion usb Turntable, and horrible computer and some vinyl. I use Reason 4.0 and FL Studio to make the beats. Besides a new laptop and studio monitors I’m considering buying an SP-404 or Kaoss Pad.
How do you describe your style?
I can’t really think of a group of words that would describe my style. Adult Swim-ish might be a good fit though
Who are your biggest influences of all time?
J Dilla is my primary influence but Elaquent,Flying Lotus,AFTA-1,and Dibia$e are my secondary influences. At the end of the day all dope music inspires me in one way or another.
How often do you make beats?
It varies. One week I might make one beat then the next I might crank out 7 joints. I try not to force creativity.
What do you like to do for fun?
When I’m not hanging out with my friends I love to watch anime and weird movies.It may sound lame but I love learning about new things be it technology or mythology. Basically I having doing cool nerdy shit.
What kind of collaborations do you like to do?
I like collabing with artist but I’m trying to work with more producers. Working with other producers is nice because it gives me some insight on how other create music and I can use that to improve my own way of doing things
Any “dream” collabs?
Erykah Badu,Common and Blu are 3 artist I really want to work with. I’ve been trying to get at Blu for awhile not but to no prevail. Hopefully I’ll be able to make that happen soon.
Are you currently working on anything at the moment?
I’m currently working my next project Pretty Girls Like Dope Beats. I’m about 5 tracks in so far. Besides that I just hope to work with more artists and work on getting my name out there.
http://flavors.me/abnormalisdope (for all contact links)
HeadNods Interview with Bhonstro
So, I read a tweet where you said one of your biggest influences was your cousin weirddough, was he the first one from the two of you that started with beats or did you start around the same time?
I say cousin with the utmost respect towards my dude “Weirddough”, because even though we’re not related by blood he has grown to be one of the most humble, and honest people I know artistically, and out of music.
On that note he was the first one I believe to get in to the beat making scene. I actually started taking it serious about a year and half to two years ago.
What equipment have you used so far?
Current set up consist of my handy dandy mpk 61, Fl Studio, and of course my laptop to run the joint.
What has been the hardest or more challenging thing about making beats?
It used to be trying to get my beats to sound the way I want it, haha. I used to wonder how certain beat makers were able to get their drums to have a certain snap to it, or how they get it to ride so properly. Also, Samples were also a big challenge for me. I always used to just filter, raise/lower the pitch and loop certain aspects of the sample, and add drums over it - which is no problem- but overtime I started to want to evolve as a producer, and get over just looping a few bars. The biggest challenge of that was developing a great sound from an already great sounding sample. I go by the saying “if it already sounds good, leave it alone”, but me being a paranoid idiot tends to get cocky and believe that I could make it sound even better. So thats my dillema to where i’m at right now. Every now and then youll here me sample something, but not in the way that you would think. I always got to chop it up or make it not noticeable which does not always end well for me.
where are you from and what do you like to do for fun?
I live in Las Vegas, but was born in Guam. For fun, I love to play video games. I’m a big Gamer, haha. If im not making music or working, i’m either with my lady or you can catch me on my xbox/ps3.
Aside from weirddough, do you have other producers, beatmakers that influence you?
Biggest influence is Nujabes (Rest in paradise). I studied his music like a religion. If you really listen to my stuff you can def sense the jazz inspiration. Hi tek also influenced me to be very versatile with my craft. “Reflection Eternal’ was a big part of my hip hop career. I started off as an emcee, but once I heard that album I wanted to get into making instrumentals. Lastly, DIlla. plain and simple.
What have been some of your collaborations so far, and do you have a dream collaboration?
I still emcee, but focus mainly on beat making at the moment. Ive done an album with Elaquent, titled “Self I Am”, a song titled “Fish” with Bambu of the former Native Guns, and a few with various artists. My dream collab would have to be with Talib Kweli. Emceeing, or making a beat for him.
Do you have anything in the works, How often do you work on beats?
I am currently working on an EP with weirddough, and one with the lovely Tumi, and TRYING to get mine and Elaquents sophomore album back on track. I dont make beats too often. I only do it when something inspires me. I probably shit out 2-3 beats on a good week though.
What can you say is the easiest, or more challenging thing for you in making beats? (sampling, looping, ect)
Easiest: Getting an idea from a sample you hear. Challenging: Actually getting that IDEA to sound good, haha. Oh, and bass lines.
The Doppelgangaz - Schemes (Official Music Video) (by TheGroggyPack)
HeadNods, The Doppelgangaz Interview
Where are you guys from & how long have you been working together?
EP: We’re from Parts Unknown sometimes known as Orange County, NY and we’ve been making music since 1998.
The doppelgangaz, how did you guys come up with that name?
EP: Its the most swagged out word in the dictionary. It was inevitable!
How did you guys meet and what made you decide to make a duo?
MOF: We met at a youth sexoholic’s meeting back in like ’93. We were like hey Arnold and Gerald in real life so it just made sense to make a rap duo. E is my only friend.
What’s the most exciting thing about working together?
EP: We know exactly what we want to accomplish and it’s not a spoken thing. Creativity starts taking place, along with some prostitutes showing up and maybe some designer drug action and then out of nowhere we have a completed project. It’s not work when we’re working if that makes any sense (laughs).
What came first, beats or writing?
EP: Initially, it was all about rapping. We used to buy the singles to songs we liked just to get the instrumentals so creating tracks for ourselves wasn’t even a thought until we decided we wanted to make albums, which required original beats.
What inspired the idea of incorporating both?
EP: It was about us wanting to put out something that represented our sound and the best way to do that was keep it all “in house” from the writing to the beats to the artwork, etc.
How would you guys describe your style?
MOF: I would describe it as cloaked out rap. It’s a new sub genre that many other artists have claimed since we invented it.
What equipment did you guys start with to make beats?
EP: We started with a small Yamaha keyboard that we’d play drums on, record it on a tape and then play back the drums while playing a melody onto another tape. It’s funny looking back on that process.
Black cloaks and the rubbing alcohol in the videos, can you tell us a little bit about that?
MOF: Well, everybody knows that black cloaks are very fashionable. Rubbing alcohol is cheap, strong and easy to purchase. Plus it gets you totally shitfaced bro!
What do you guys like to do on your free time?
MOF: All we do is frequent brothels. Believe it or not, sometimes just for the conversation.
be on the lookout for beats for brothels vol. 2
HEADNODS INTERVIEW with A-BEATS
I’ve noticed that you constantly upload on soundcloud, how often do you work on beats?
Yes is truth. Most of the time is just 1 or 3 days at home. Maybe the two days on weekend and if I feel cool I work one day on weekday that probably is my day off now. These days need to be morning time, best time for me to make beats because is when I feel good and inspired after I wake up with fresh ideas, dope samples and make 3 or 5 beats for rest of the week, then choose one to put on soundcloud every 2 days. Others days that I am not making beats at home, I am digging for samples, watching tutorials and listing a lot of beats to get inspiration. Since last year I was everyday making beats in class until I left the music technology course. It was like 24/7 working on beats.
How did you start getting into the producer aspect of music?
I started getting into the music producer myself with not help, just through watching a lot of tutorials on youtube that I think was really useful about how to make beats, Websites about hip hop production one of them is “CrateKings.com” was the most relevant for me and when I had time to read some Production magazines as “Sound on Sound” .
After of few months watching tutorials. I decided to go out and find a music workshops or something like that, where I can share my ideas, take doubts and do new friends, because I had finished to move recently From Portugal to Bristol and I was most of times at home making beats until find a workshop in “Basement Studio” at Bistol Colston Hall. It was 4 hours of free session in studio and you had chance to make beats and learn DJ, but the main reason to go there was to get some tips and tricks about production and “Reason 4” in special.
Two years ago I worked in a professional studio called “orange studio” in Bristol for a project to help young musicians to record and make beats. It was a big experience to me gave a good idea of what I really want to do in future, I developed more my skills as producer. At this time I met some good musicians and I made some dope collaborations there. I can say this period at “orange studio” was the best period of my production career and born “Celso A-beats” I found my style of production and I felt more confident and motivated to make better beats and create my own sound.
What inspired you to begin to learn about making beats?
When I was 16 years old, me and more 3 friends we started to make hip hop songs we were like a music group but nothing serious just make for fun. Every time when me and my friends wanted create a song and talking about me, alwaysbothered me when I wanted to write some lyrics and have the problem to find a good and original beat. If you want something like it you have to buy or make your own beat and always when I was listening instrumentals from famous rappers or just beats made from friends. I was always wondering me “how they make this beats?” and “how they get this sounds?” Just few years ago I started understand more about beats and all production in general. I think was the interest, curiosity and passion that made me to begin to learn about beats .
What equipment have you used so far?
Everybody ask me if I am using MPC to make my beats, Since I really started was with Propellerhead Reason 4 and AKAI mpd 26 just now that I upgrade to Reason 5. I have had chance to try before the Akai MPC 2000xl and Native instrument mashine. If we talking about the software I have tried before the Ableton Live, Logic I am still using sometimes and I have another one is the FL Studio, was the first software that I started make beats but this was just a experience for few days. I think is pretty easy to understand, start and to get is a good software.
How does your music taste compare to the types of beats you make?
I don’t know really, but think that my music taste good. I listening different styles of hip hop beats but got one style that I really feel where I find most of all my inspiration to my beats is the Soul hip hop from producers as 9th Wonder, J Dilla and more. For me this type of style is all about good vibes and feelings if you don’t feel it is because Its not really your type beats. Move on to the next one.
What had been your best collaboration/ Do you have a dream collaboration?
My best collaboration, I think was my first song with Relly from Bristol, England. Please check RellyBristolBlitz out on soundcloud, twitter and facebook amazing artist. This collaboration was when I was working at “orange Studio” and where I met Relly, I showed him all my beats that I made since I started, he choose some of them. Next day at studio, he had most of all songs done and the first one I heard was so good that always will be my first and best collaboration the song call“Me & my soul” prod by A-beats . I will upload it on Internet one day.
What do you like to do on your free time?
If I am not making a beat, I like to do nothing …I am lazy person. ahah
But yeah when I have more energies to do things the best thing to spend a good free time is with friends, go out, party and skateboard and spend the time the best we can. I enjoy stay home just chill out, listing music and watching films.
Source: SoundCloud / A-BEATS
The Stuyvesants - Girl, He Ain’t Me (by HeadNodsEargasm)
HeadNods first ever duo interview
“The Stuyvesants” is a collaborative effort between music producer Allan Cole (Algorythm), and record collector Darien Victor Birks (Flwrpt). Both reside in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY. The two wanted to work together on a project where they could incorporate several of their talents, related to music and design. They wanted to do this under a moniker that would pay homage to the ’70s. The collaboration allowed them to do four major things, design, beat dig, produce amazing music, and simply have fun.
So how did you guys meet and how did you get the name “The Stuyvesants”?
Darien: We met in middle school, down in PG County Maryland where we grew up. Both Allan and myself were in the fine arts program…we were two of the best artists during our time at the school. Initially, that’s how we became cool.
The name “The Stuyvesants” spawned from one simple fact, we both live in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which is a well-known (for good or for bad lol) neighborhood in Brooklyn New York. I moved here after college and have been a resident for about 7 years, Allan first moved up here to attend college and lived in Harlem for a while, then he moved to Brooklyn 6 years ago. Most of our creative inspiration for design and music had really come to life while living in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, so we decided to pay homage to the source of our inspiration by going with the name “The Stuyvesants”. It also sounds nostalgic, which is the direction we wanted to go with the music project overall.
How long have you been working on music?
Allan: I started messing around with music in 2000, so about 11-12 years. I’ve done all kinds of stuff with it from producing songs for singers/rappers, to scoring, but I’ve always come back to making instrumental music.
Darien: In this capacity, The Stuyvesants is my first official music project. But I’ve been working on music in other capacities for years…creating mixes/mixtapes for the most part.
What are some of your favorite or most influential records that you have sampled?
Darien: I’d say we had a blast sampling from Mass Production, Spanky WIlson, and Eugene Record…most of the material that we sampled from those artists turned out to be some of my favorite beats from the 2 albums that we’ve made to date. We try to pull from unconventional sources, maybe not the unconventional genre, because we lean on soul…but that’s us, and we’ve found a way to get to lost records from unpopular artists and make something from it. So far it’s worked.
Allan: I have to throw in some of the Al Jarreau stuff we sampled. Sometimes we work virtually and just send music back and forth. Other times were sitting in the same room going through various sounds. The latter was the case with that Al Jarreau record. I remember the exact moment when we listened to it and as soon as the part we sampled came on, it just clicked. We both knew something dope was going to come from it. There’s just certain moments when we hear parts of a record and immediately it just works. The funny thing is that a lot of times those moments happen when the records aren’t particularly good or memorable. Sometimes it’s just a 10sec change up at the end of an otherwise bland song from an artists that nobody is really checking for like that. Those are the best.
Have you done any collaborations?
Darien: We’ve done some collaborations with a good friend of ours named Naturel. A track called “Stoops, Parks & Rooftops” which we released on the first day of summer, and it turned out to be a big hit. We also did a beat on Naturel’s debut album Momentous…the track was titled “Good Sh!t”, again…a song that went over well with listeners.
Other than that, we just enjoy making music to share with the world. Collaborating isn’t something that the project really lends itself to. It’s more of a soundscape for enjoyment, less of a “hire us” beat tape lol!
Are you guys working on something in the moment?
Allan: We’re always working on something, but it isn’t always clear what that thing will be until its done. I think the thing that keeps this project so interesting for us is that it kind of makes itself. There’s no record label to turn in our record to by a certain deadline. There’s no marketing team figuring out an image for us or a demographic to sell to. New ideas come in and go out all of the time and having the flexibility to entertain those ideas on the fly is something I don’t think we could do without. We’re both artists at the root of it all, so the typical constraints of the “music industry” would suck the life out of the project for us. Unfortunately, that means everything were working on is probably too vague in its current state to talk about — a month from now it could and probably will be completely different, lol.
Quick Interview with D-Pro, you can catch him on twitter @DesmondPro
extra links on the bottom.
Where are you from?
I’m from, and reside, in Springfield, Missouri. Our hip-hop scene is extremely limited, unfortunately. If I stick with music through the end of college, I’d like to move to a place where I can be around like-minded people. Outside of the musical aspect, it’s a decent place to live.
How would you describe your music taste with the beats you make?
When I started out I was extremely inspired by people like Dilla, Hi-Tek, Just Blaze and the Blueprint era Kanye, so I started out doing soulful sample driven instrumentals. As I was working at getting better at that, I started making more pop inspired non sample tracks for some people I was working with. Eventually I kind of blended soul and pop together, which is what would best describe my beats today. I try to keep it fresh and switch things up as often as I can though.
What equipment do you use?
My set up is extremely basic at the moment. My beats are all made with FL 10 or Reason 5. I use a wide range of plug-ins to make up for the lack of hardware. I have a MIDI controller for composing, playing out chopped samples and triggering anything that requires automation. Lastly, I keep a condenser mic for miscellaneous purposes, mostly to add self made percussion.
How long have you been making beats?
I started making beats on a serious level in the summer of 08, my first experiences with it came earlier though. Back in the day my dad was really into DJing and would create some awesome mixes, then spend hours dubbing cassettes and distributing them to people. When you grow up around old vinyl and break beats it’s hard to not want to be involved in some way. So I signed up for band in school to get some kind of basic music knowledge and went from there.
Are you continuing your education on music?
I’m currently studying electronic media production. I have a few semesters to go before I get around to Audio Engineering and things that will directly effect my music, but in the meantime I’m learning a lot about video and radio production, which is just as interesting.
How often do you work on music?
At first my music schedule was completely unguided. I would go through consecutive days or weeks making music nonstop and then I would completely stop for weeks. That was a bad habit. I make it a rule to work on music in some form on a daily basis, whether it be by actually working on beats or just writing down ideas or searching for things to inspire me. In an average week I complete anywhere from 4-10 beats.
What other things do you like to do?
In my free time I like to get out of the house, chill with friends and connect with new people. On an average day I find myself too preoccupied to socialize outside of the internet, so it’s always nice. Every once in awhile I’ll go crate digging, nothing feels better than finding a dope sample on a random record. I also consider myself an amateur chef, so to ladies; I like long walks on the beach, I can cook and I am available
Is there a collab that you dream of?
There is no person on earth that I would like to collab with more than Elzhi. If I ever perfect the soul-inspired side of my production and get to that kind of godly level, I will personally show up at his doorstep every day with a box full of beat tapes until he accepts.
well, there you have it, check him out
Kuroisoul - Um Naw - Jazzy Hip Hop Mix PART 1 (by Bob42jh)
Our First Interview of the year with none other than Bass And Format Creator (website that just launched this year) & beat maker (some of you may have heard his beats by the name KUROISOUL)
So, kuroisoul was a name you went by in the past when you made beats, what name do you plan to go by now?
I have thought about this for a while and this will be part of an announcement I make soon on the Bass & Format website and YouTube channel.
What inspired you to make beats?
The feeling of infinite. Hip hop has that feeling when it is done right. It’s hard to put into words but that feeling is in the essence of certain tracks that could go on forever even though they might not have the most complex arrangement. They never get old no matter how many times you hear them. A great example of a producer who does this well is DJ Premier. He can take 3 or 4 sounds and make it the most addicting thing you’ve ever heard. It has always been my goal to make something at that level and I won’t rest until I do. I want at least one track on that level.
Do you remember the first hip-hop album you heard?
I don’t remember because I mainly just listened to what was on the radio or I would buy a cassette single from time to time. The first album I ever bought with my own money was Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death. Unfortunately, it was later stolen by someone.
Is there an album that you can listen to from beginning to end without skipping any tracks?
I have never done that before and I think it might be impossible for me. I constantly skip and go back and forth just to hear a certain sound as my mood changes whenever I listen to anything. If I get bored for even a second I’ll change the track. Now that I think about it, this listening behavior of mine might be something that influenced the Bass & Format music player. Before I designed the player, I had always wanted to be able to hear tracks with only a certain instrument, or style, or sound.
What equipment did you use and do you plan to experiment with any other type of equipment?
I try to use as little equipment as possible and if anything, I want to get rid of some things but I am already at probably the bare minimum. If you want to know what I use you can see a picture of it in a post I made at Bass & Format. I’m basically using a laptop with FL Studio and Cool Edit, M-Audio monitors, a Technics turntable and a Mackie mixer. I would love it if there was something that could provide the same functionality in one device because I can’t stand all of the cables under my desk.
What do you like to put out on your beats, the feeling of them?
I make all of my beats from experimenting while I am making them. I know there are some producers who say they “hear things” ahead of time as if the beat was magically created in their head - and maybe they do, who knows - but my mind doesn’t work like that. I have to experiment with the sample and figure out what I’m going to do with it. I have gotten better over the years at recognizing samples that sound good, but might just be a waste of time trying to convert to hip hop, and samples that will let me be the most creative right off the bat. I think about everything. What tone will I make the sample? What parts will I use? What BPM? Sometimes I’ll make different versions of the same beat and argue with myself about which one is better. Sometimes I will be working on something for hours and then completely change direction and make something entirely different in the end. There have been a few beats that originally started out as 6 or 7 other forms before I got to the end result. It’s tiring but when you finally get to the beat you are satisfied with and you have recognized what you’ve done… that is the time I most enjoy the feeling of making music. One thing I also like to do is pick a bunch of samples and start working with all of them back to back. I do this to test my creativity. The one that I feel is turning out the best with the most feeling is the one I pick and I forget about the other ones. My mind is very all-or-nothing, good or not, no grey area so if it isn’t good, it isn’t good. I want to be able to review my own tracks and not have to skip music in my own catalog in the end.
What was the hardest beat or set of tracks you worked on?
Those are now long gone so I can’t give out any names, but I have realized that the true difficulty usually arises when picking a sample that is too hard to convert to hip hop and not realizing it until it’s too late.
What do you enjoy the least about making beats?
Early on, when I was trying to improve my drums there are some days where I would sit listening to thousands of drum sounds from morning to night. I would spend my days off doing this because I was so frustrated about what I had for sounds at the time. I didn’t enjoy it because it was boring and tiring, but it helped me out and eventually people started to tell me my drums improved. Sometimes I would play tracks and people would ask me “What Dilla track is this?” and that’s when I knew it was worth the time to sit around all day picking drums. Also, I don’t know if other beatmakers admit it a lot, but digging is not always that fun. It’s fun when you find a great sample, but other than that there are downsides to it as well. I would procrastinate digging a lot in the past because of various reasons. Sometimes you can go hours without finding anything decent depending on how strict you are and I have only become more strict with time. Usually records are old and dusty, covered in bacteria, and it will upset your allergies or cause you to get sick.
What do you like to do for fun?
Right now the only thing I am doing for fun is working on Bass & Format with Masato Takahashi and occasionally I will go out with friends (not so much anymore), or I’ll collect Japanese dramas to watch with my girlfriend. I don’t have much time these days for anything but work, but I made it that way.
Are you currently working on anything?
I will announce that on Bass & Format soon.
How much of the Japanese culture do you take into influence on your beats? lifestyle?
It’s not something that I can judge myself musically, but from the things I have released in the past I can say it’s about 50/50. As for my lifestyle, I can call myself black because that is how the world sees me, but I am actually a very mixed person. My own personal culture has always been all over the place. I am mixed with at least 5 different nationalities, so I just learn from other people what I can and apply it to my life however I want to. I feel like we are all human beings and we can take on whatever influences we want into our life. When it comes to Japanese culture and how it influences me, I think there is a lot of influence because I have grown up in mostly Asian communities my whole life and my particular hometown has a very large Japanese community. I can remember all the way back to 1st or 2nd grade having a lot of Chinese and Japanese friends and they introduced me to all kinds of things like food, art, media, customs, etc. I actually think Chinese culture was a bigger influence on me in my elementary days and Japanese culture came towards then end all the way up until now. It was a big deal for me back then to be able to tell apart Asian cultures because I was going to schools that were 70%+ Asian and I was nearly always one of the few people of color in the school. If you messed up, you got messed up! There are times when I talk to people and they literally say to me “I feel like I am talking to an Asian person.” That has happened to me so many times. I don’t know what to say about that but I have to admit I am influenced. So yea, I wouldn’t say Japanese culture is the only culture influencing me as an individual but I can say that it is responsible for a lot of my development.
Is there anything you would like to say to someone as passionate about hip-hop as you regarding your new bass & format website?
I would tell them to join Bass & Format and do what they can to help us grow as a community. If you are truly passionate about hip hop then you will be able to see that what we are doing is real. We are going to try our best to do what seems impossible and change the industry for the better.
Links to Check out
HeadNods FLOYDCHEUNG Interview (last interview of the year!)
How long have you been making beats?
first started my proper first beats around 2 years ago, i was uploading onto youtube but it wasn’t going to well so i got souncloud around 1 and a half years ago and focused more on that, i dont think the hiphop on soundcloud was big back then, it was mostly electronic and dj sets so that was good
how did you get started or what got you inspired?
yeah i never used to listen to hiphop like i do now, i was a proper metalhead, you know all that screaming, heavy distortion and blast beats. also got into drum and bass and dubstep, you know the rave scene,and i think the two got me into dirty south beats with the electronic sounds as well as the aggressiveness of it, and from there i found that sampled oldskool hiphop sound !! dilla , 9th , pete rock, it just amazed me how you could listen to one loop over and not get bored, it didn’t make sense , i try to recreate that sampled stuff, 70s 80s soul funk jazz ,
i used to absolutely hate r&b , now i love it, its a strange thought
What did you use to make your beats on? equipment? Have you done any collaborations?
at school we’ve learned to use protools and logic, but personally i like to use reason 5
as for collabs ive done one with the boss NegroSaki ! and also hopefully an upcoming one with Nefarious whom i also dig a lot
ive done collabs with rappers also, mostly from the US such as
Jetpack Jones (Venom)
Shamir & Nyce
check em out ther cool
ive done some with uk and hong kong rappers aswell but nothing as big yet
wanna get a singer on my tracks sometime !!
oh so you took some school for it?
yeah we learn stuff about sound engineering, recording bands etc, microphone techniques lol kinda nerdy but its fun
what do you like to do for fun?
for fun? i really dont do a lot at the moment i used to actually go out and do things but the past year or so ive been focousing on music / networking, expanding my knowlege , watching shit on the internet lol
i like discovering new (good) music ( especially to sample ) and i fucking love video games!!!! www.minecraft.net
Source: SoundCloud / FLOYDCHEUNG
Late Night Groove Session #2: Been in the Lab [Tryezz] (by Tryezz)
HeadNods Tryezz Interview
I’ve been following your music for a while now, you have many styles, is there one in specific that you enjoy more?
Mmm…not really. I have my phases that I go through.
It’s more about the mood and vision of the particular song. I pull from anything and
However, there are core constants that I make sure I put in every song I make, in emphasis, the groove. ;)
I see, is there any style of music you haven’t tried? One that you look forward to?
There are a few, but the reason being is that I doesn’t fit my overall style.
As far as one(s) I’m looking forward to starting…I do plan on making more Kraftwerk/Planet Rock/Egyptian Lover type tracks in the near future.
These days, I’m finding myself gravitating towards breakbeats and atmospheric type sounds (more atmospheric than usual…haha).
What got you into making music?
Well, I think it was something in born. I started playing the piano since early childhood (3 years old)….on a cheap, hand-me-down Casio SK-1.
I was fascinated with the sounds that it made. One thing led to another, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
I’ve always been a creative soul. It was just there from the beginning.
What equipment have you used?
Haha…I’ve used all kinds of keyboards and midi instruments. I’ve used FX mixers…I’ve used a guitar and bass…a lot of stuff.
However, my current setup consists only of a midi keyboard and a computer, and a recorder to record live sessions and small vocals.
Occasionally, I might use a guitar or bass. Over time, I’ve learned what my style is and what works. Sometimes, it’s best to keep it simple.
How did you come up with the name tryezz?
I actually came up with this name primarily for dancing. Back in the day (03’),
I was heavily into b-boying, and I wanted a name that would stick. I wanted a unique name that represented who I was.
So I sat in my room for a good while and came up with it.
Musically, I didn’t always call myself Tryezz.
For a good while, I was known as “The Tyrezz Project”, or “Tyrezz” (just switching the “y” and “r”). This was between 04’ and 09’.
At the time, I wanted to have separate names for everything I did. Needless to say, that got complicated.
So now…I just do everything as Tryezz….
Where are you from?
I hail from Tennessee.
However, a lot of people who live in Tennessee ask me if I’m from out of town…hah.
What do you like to do besides making music?
I like to do visual artwork (digital illustration, painting, etc.), I also dance a lot (freestyle, bboying, popping, etc.). In fact, in time, I would like to be known
just as much for the artistry and dancing as I am for the music. I also like to observe things, study different environments. I spend a great deal of time thinking…wrapped up in thought.
I also really dig those late evening and night drives…excellent for maxin’ and relaxin’.
What’s your dream car for those drives?
Any ride where the windows and air conditioning works, runs smooth, and has a good sound system. =)
Perhaps something smooth and classy, but not over the top…like a BMW.
well, there you have it, check him out on http://www.tryezz.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tryezz his artwork
(that’s a teaser from his latest release from last month) you can DL it on his bandcamp http://handbook.bandcamp.com/
Thanks for your time, so you are from the uk?
heyy, yeah i am. i’m from york, in yorkshire :)
Handbook, how did you decide on that name?
I came up with the name Handbook on the spot, after previously being “known” as Part Time Wolf. I saw the name was already taken and needed a new one fast. I guess I must have seen a Handbook laying around and gone with it. Seems to have stuck pretty well!
What was your first musical inspiration?
My first musical inspiration was an odd mix. I have always been into music, and can vaguely remember being an infant and listening to techno and classic rock (my Dad has a very eclectic taste in music, all quality though :D). These were my first insights into music, and have stayed with me a long time.
What made you decide to make beats?
I decided to start making beats when I started getting into J Dilla and Free The Robots. I heard their music, and knew it was made by one person. That gave me the inspiration to start making music, and making beats. Once I saw how it could be done, I knew that I could do it.
What equipment have you used, and do you have a preference on equipment that you use?
I used to program my beats using the MPC 1000. A greater piece of kit to get started on. This year I moved onto the Maschine. It’s incredible. Stepped up my game no end, its astonishingly intuitive. Besides from that, I use a MicroKorg, Ableton and my laptop (HP G56, for computer heads).
Have you done any collaborations?
Who would you like to work with? Over the years, I’ve worked on a number of collaborations with: Stephen Farris, Yahn Looke Picard, Languid, ManOnWire and RADICALEDWARD. Then I have worked with rappers such as: Cor Stidak, Slim Pickin’s, J.Hurt, Jetpack Jones, Broke/ and more. I’ve been lucky to work with so many talented individuals. As for people I’d wanna work with in the future, probably Teebs, Mecca:83, B.Lewis and rappers such as Stainless Steele, Actual Proof, Action Bronson. That would kick some serious ass.
What other things do you like besides music?
Not a whole lot really, I spend most of life making beats when I’m not making music or listening to it. I do enjoy my food an awful lot, and enjoy my job too (I work as a teaching assistant in a secondary school in York). I like to party, on occasion :D
What’s your favorite food?
PIZZA. I don’t know what it is about bread, cheese and tomato sauce, but damn it gets me. Every time. I got into a spell of having about three a week, but then I got chunky, so I cut down to one a week. It isn’t enough. I tried replacing it with quiche, and no offence to quiche, but it don’t compare.
Do you play video games?
Nah, I have not got the time :D
How often do you experiment with your beats?
Every day. Like, this weekend, I’ve cooked up a few beats, then made a house track, a garage/2step track and all sorts. Always experimenting in the “beatlab”
I constantly see a new upload on soundcloud, have you always kept that consistency?
Yeah I seem to have done. I try to upload once every three days, that’s my quota, unless something totally vibin’ is made, then I have to share. I’m childish like that. I can’t keep my beats a secret. I’m that kid who wants his drawing of an owl put up on the fridge, even though sometimes the owl actually looks like a beaver. I love to share my music.
Are you working on a new album with those tracks?
Some of them yeah. I use soundcloud to give away freebies, tracks that don’t seem to fit in any projects. Then I also upload singles from upcoming albums as some solid promo. I have two releases in the works, and some of the tracks on the soundcloud are going to feature on those releases.
well there you have it, check him out on here on tumblr, http://foundbeats.tumblr.com/
and around the web
Source: SoundCloud / Handbook
Nefarious! HeadNods Interview
I first heard of his work in “For The Night Time” DL it on bandcamp, music.thesouldojo.com/album/for-the-night-time
then i checked out thesouldojo.com
a few months later, here we are. Be sure to check out the beats he has for sale http://www.beats.thesouldojo.com/nefarious/
Nefarious! Where are you from and how were you influenced to start making beats?
I’m from the Bay Area and I actually started making beats out of necessity. When I was in high school I had a few homies and we made a rap group. We needed original beats because we didn’t want to do the soundclick thing all the time, so I decided I would start making beats and produce for the crew. Eventually, we realized we sucked… but I kept on making beats because I honestly loved it more than I did rapping. I quit rapping and started really getting into Dilla, 9th Wonder, Pete, Premo, etc. I haven’t stopped since then.
What equipment have you used?
As far as making beats goes, I have some basic KRK-RP5 monitors. The old boxy ones. I record into an MBOX 2 when I do my recording at home. I mainly use my Akai MPD32 to chop samples and do drums and my Keyrig 49 for instruments and keys and stuff. All of that and Reason 6.
What equipment do you want to use in the future?
In the future I’d like to have a few racks of dynamic and time-based processors. I’ve been looking at a few smaller consoles but it’s hard to afford right now since I’m a full time college student.
How did you start the soul dojo?
The Soul Dojo started out as the name for an album I was working on at first. I built a blog for it on Wordpress and bought the domain and everything to hype up this project I was working on. I picked out a few upcoming rappers I wanted to work with and sent them some beats and it pretty much just fell through. That, or I wasn’t really feeling the tracks. I didn’t want to rely on rappers anymore to get my own name out, so I started putting out beat tapes and posting other beat tapes on The Soul Dojo blog. A few years pass and here we are.
How do you get inspired?
The inspiration kind of comes and goes on its own. I get inspired to create when I’m around other talented musicians and artists and by going to shows and stuff like that. As far as the inspiration behind the actual music goes, I’m inspired by things that are going on in my life. Memories and experiences and relationships and things of that nature.
What has been your best collaboration so far and who would you like to collaborate with?
My best collaborations would have to be my work with SLik d or Amor Jones. And EPonym, too. I’m friends with them personally and as artists so I’ve always felt like our tracks were a little more personal than if I were to just send a random emcee a beat. In the future I’d like to work with more upcoming LA artists and musicians. As of lately I’ve been really into music that is recorded live so look out for a little of that in my next releases.
What do you like to do for fun besides making music?
I’m just an average 20 year old. I party with friends a lot. Indulge myself in various substances… I have a lot of fun with the way I’m living. However, I do have the most fun when I’m working creatively with other artists. It’s still always nice to take a break from it and just, for lack of better words, fuck shit up.
Are you currently working on anything?
Right now I’m working on my next project that will be released sometime next year. I’m also in charge of mixing Jansport J’s next instrumental album so I’ve been busy with that too. Soon I hope to drop a few EPs with the rappers I’ve been working with so look out for that too.