Entries in Blu (2)


Doing something right with Fuze the MC

With the music industry being harder than ever to break into for a hip hop artist, there is nothing like having the legendary Big Boi co-sign you to make you feel like you’ve done something right. Fuze the MC is straight out from Atlanta, and has dropped three album releases, ‘Tell Me Something Good,’ ‘Legend of a King’ and ‘One Black Man,’ with another one on the way. In his early days, Fuze recalls a chance meeting with XXL freshman rapper Blu, which resulted in Blu co-signing the MC, and later providing him with a beat that ended up on the project Tell Me Something Good. Now you can see Fuze opening for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Wale, J.Cole and Dom Kennedy.

Stimulate your soul chats to Fuze about the idea of selling his new album online as opposed to keeping it free, why it’s so important for him to reach out to his fans, and how he felt when Big Boi co-signed him. Margaret Tra writes.

You've had some pretty sweet words passed down to you from the legendary Big Boi, as well as being co-signed by him, as an MC how did that make you feel?

It made me feel great. Coming from Atlanta, there's only a handful of artist who can match the impact that a co-sign like that means for me. It was one of those moments in my career where I thought, "Alright I'm doing something right, now it's time to work even harder." 

It looks as though you have gone through some amazing hoops, meetings with a lot of music industry people, and working with very influential people, did that drive you to pursue your music career?

Not particularly. I mean my drive to pursue a music career is more so what made me want to jump through those hoops. I'm also just a really big fan of music. A lot of artists especially in hip-hop, loose the ability to appreciate other people's crafts because of egos or competition, I've always tried to maintain my ability to enjoy other work and other artists. They're the only reason I fell in love with it in the first place.

Tell us about Noble Black Society that you founded?

It's a family oriented entertainment collective with the purpose of redefining black standing on the mantra of "passion over money."

What can we expect from the new album? Any collaborations?

I really won't know the collaborations until the entire project is finished, but you can expect a little darker sound. A lot of the beats that have been speaking to me lately are darker, with a lot of minor chords. So at the moment that's how the sound is shaping out. 

What's next for you?

Just making more dope music and trying to connect to my fans at an even higher degree. I really want to make friends the best I can, with each one of my fans. I feel like because of the personal nature of my music, everyone who connects with my music can connect with me in some way or another. It let’s me know that something I went through is a shared experience with them, and I'm excited to peruse that relationship. 

You are thinking of selling your new album; tell us your thought process about this? And what is holding you back?

It's been something I've been thinking about for a while now. Before I didn't want to sell my music until I had work that I was really proud of to put out for free. Now I feel like I have three solid projects out right now, (Tell Me Something Good, Legend of a King, One Black Man) that my fans can access for free. So it might be time to see who's willing to support monetarily. I mainly want to do this so I can see which of my fans really support the hardest, so I can reward those individuals.

As an artist you seamlessly mix soul, hip hop and a taste of something
dope and new. How do you do this?

It mostly comes from my main producer ‘Just Plain Jones’ and the rest of my Noble Black Society family. I've started making beats more recently but in general most of the balanced sound you hear is produced by them, and I just talk about my life over it.

What Stimulates Your Soul?

Love, passion, and my fans. 

 For more on Fuze the MC, jump onto his website. 


Motel Eola’s affinity to making hip hop beats

19-year-old British old school hip hop producer Motel Eola is infecting the world with his vintage beats. Growing up the UK, Motel’s original dream was to become an MC, and not long after he quickly realised that making beats was where his heart really lies.  At a very young age Motel has successfully tapped into the original roots of hip hop, which is quite fascinating considering the brand of hip hop that is brought out today. We chat to Motel about his production process, why he’s getting so much love from abroad and not much at home, and about his latest EP’s that have been dropping in the lead up to his debut beat tape ‘Kids looking for gold.’ Margaret Tra writes.

How did you get started in producing?

To begin with I thought I wanted to MC, and as it was my introduction to the scene, I wanted to create an amazing project of hip hop as my first release. I quickly realised the key to doing this would be through original music, and even better if it was self produced. Somewhere around half way through my short MC life span, I started producing my own beats and sometime later the phone I used to write my lyrics on broke, leaving me stranded with nothing but a bunch of beats with no lyrics. After a while I started back on making beats, stuck to it, then realised I had more of an affinity to producing than rapping. I'm too much of a fan to rap myself, I'd much rather produce a beat for another artist to bless.

As a young person yourself, how did you get into the old school era hip hop artists'?

I've always been a fan of great hip hop. By this I mean in a lyrical, deep, relatable good music sense, that you could literally just live your life by. In respect to my production style sounding very classic with its use of samples and drum breaks. I still love contemporary music that is great, from XV’s ‘Go On Without Me’ to Fashawns ‘Boy Meets World’ album, to Voli ‘Inferno.’ Old school hip hop will undoubtedly always be incredible to me, but the same goes for great music of this generation.

Tell us about your latest EP. How do you find the music industry in London? Is there a good response to your music?

Weirdly enough most of my reception comes from abroad, which is understandable seeing how my style is very sample heavy. In the UK a lot of artists build their fan base regionally, then try break into American markets, so perhaps my backwards approach will bear greater fruits in the long run. However as long as my music receives love, I'm not concerned where it's from. My latest EPs are the "Go To School" series which are short beat tapes. All in build up to my debut beat tape "Kids Looking For Gold," which will be available possibly late November or mid December. I'm trying to put some more production out there before it drops.

Walk us through your production process. Do you use instruments or is it strictly vinyl?

For my production process it's actually completely digital, all made on my laptop. As of yet I have never sampled purely off the vinyl, CD a few times but never vinyl. My current budget depends on my downsized production process. I have a collection of my dad’s vinyl, which I am still saving to use. I search for my samples digitally whenever I’m at on my iPhone, or perhaps when travelling or when I have time to spend. I then list them down for later to get digitally. To begin with I lay down a simple drum loop, just so I can hear how the sample sounds over drums. I then start working through a stack of samples until one grabs me in the moment, I chop it up and play it over the drums. Once I have a couple sample chop patterns that I'm satisfied with to use for say the introduction, the verse and hook I then sample drums into the beat. I feel sampled drums sound more realistic and hip hop in comparison to program drums in my opinion. After that I may add additional instrumentation to the mix and just generally play around with the beat. I listen to the beat the morning after, and if it still sounds crazy then I keep it.

Who influences you?

So many great producers from all over play a part on my influence. From 9th Wonder & Oddisee, to the whole Dreamville crew, through to the Australian M-Phazes. Now even fellow producers I've met online I've had to add to this list. Recently I've been catching up on my Exile. Exile's Production on Fashawn's "Boy Meets World" is amazing for any sample lover. In all, I'm influenced by any producer who can sample skilfully.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

I feel very late for saying this but Blu. Recently I've become fascinated by his music and I think he's lyrically on another level even with his older music. One day I hope I'll be in a position to make that collaboration possible. His work with Exile always sounds very vintage, although at the same time people aren't ready for it just yet. Maybe one day.

What stimulates your soul?

Musically, I get stimulated whenever I hear a deep track that just reminds me of how great music can be. J Cole's 'Can I Live,' BJ the Chicago Kid featuring Kendrick Lamar's 'His Pain, XV - Go On Without Me & DMX's 'Slippin' are just a few tracks that will always bring back that deep feeling of when a track actually touches your soul. But above all my family, I'm the oldest out of my siblings and I take that very seriously. I love them to pieces. More times I have fun annoying them, like coming home late on a weekday playing music from my phone, with my youngest brother grumbling at me to get off his bunk bed that he has school tomorrow. Or just fooling around together in general, but for me it's all part of the fun and love that'll keep me forever young.