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Entries in Brooklyn (2)

Tuesday
Oct042011

Storytelling with Skyzoo

Skyzoo

Starting his career at the early age of nine, Skyzoo is a rapper from Brooklyn New York. An artist that prides himself in the art of storytelling, Skyzoo reveals his relationship with Jay Dee, an exclusive date of his upcoming album ‘A Dream Deferred,’ and how he plans to keep his musical integrity by making records that will stand the test of time. Margaret Tra writes.

 

Jay Dee was a significant influence on you and your music, what was it like working with him? And how does it make you feel that his music lives on?

I never got to work with Dilla. There's a misconception that I worked with Dilla, but I never did. I met him back in 2004, and we switched numbers and kept in touch, built somewhat of a business friendship and talked about working together. The last thing he said to me on the phone was that he wanted to make me a 20 beat zip folder for me to pick through. He said "I don’t wanna send you the same beats that I send to Common or Badu or someone else, I wanna send you your own personal batch of beats to pick from". We talked about doing a bunch of work, and then he got really sick and I never spoke to him again. I never got to get that beat folder from him due to him being sick, but I'm appreciative of the fact that we even got to build on the phone. He was a legend and still is, and it’s good to see his music continue to rock years later.

What new projects are you working on now?

Well I just released my newest mixtape "The Great Debater", which has been big on the internet all summer, so I'm promoting that as well as my "Penny Freestyle Series" project, which was a collection of freestyles I released every week over the month of August. I'm pushing those heavy, and then I'm going to start my next full length album “A Dream Deferred" in a few weeks. I should be done with and ready to release it by mid 2012.

You once stated you are about making money but with dope records. What did you mean by this?

With that statement, I meant that the music business is a "business", so we're all here to be successful and make money, but my goal is to do so with great music. I don’t feel like artists should have to lessen the quality of their music in order to be financially successful. I'm here to make as much money as possible, but with musical integrity and making records that to me will stand the test of time.

Can you notice the difference in Hip-Hop to back then in comparison to now?

Nowadays artists are exposed to so many outlets as far as getting their music out, building their own fan bases, becoming a business within themselves, and utilising sponsorship opportunities. There's so much to get involved with, and so many ways to reach people that weren't possible before. Musically, the genre has grown, just like any other genre, be it R&B, Rock, Jazz, etc. Music changes with the times and sometimes dictates it. I like how the music has changed. You definitely have your pros and cons with that, but I'm all for the music growing. 

A possible Australian tour?

I'd love to do an Australian tour. I've never been, but I know the people out there are ready. Hopefully we can get that going soon.

We interviewed Bootie Brown from Pharcyde and he said Hip Hop has turned into pop, what are your thoughts on that? 

I agree with that when you remember that the word "pop" is short for "popularity". Hip-Hop is the most popular genre in the world. Our culture is the dominant culture in everyday life: television, video games, retail, tourism, everything is loosely based around Hip-Hop. I personally think it’s a great thing.

Who are your favourite MCs at the moment?

At the moment, I'm listening to Torae, Sean Price, Wale/MMG, Skarr Akbar, and King Mez. And I'm always listening to my usual list of Jay-Z, Kanye, Lupe, and Pusha T.

How does it feel to know your music receives love in Australia?

Thanks to all of the people who've supported over the years, got familiar with the music, and have become one with what I do. My music reflects me but represents you, so thanks for allowing me to do so. 

Sunday
Jul242011

The rise of MeLo-X

 

Melo-X

MeLo-X’s first jam session began at the age of seven, when he emptied out his toy boxes and turned them over to become drums.  A musical genius in his own right, he’s been described as an emcee, DJ, experimental music producer with his music and creativity on par with his brother Jesse Boykins III. Stemming from Brooklyn, New York, MeLo-X chats about his creative processes when producing, why Maxwell thanked him for his mix and how coming to Australia with Kid Sister was the turning point in his career. Margaret Tra writes.

 

 

You received love for coming to Australia with Kid Sister, what was that like?

It was an amazing feeling.  We toured around Australia for about two weeks as part of the Cream Fields Festival.  I knew I had a following in Australia, but being there truly opened my eyes.  I got a lot of side gigs from friends and promoters who just wanted me to be there to party.  In all actuality, that trip is what made me take my career as a solo artist, and creative 100 per cent full throttle since last year.  It influenced the creation of Mustafa the GODKING: Rise of the Merch and More Merch.

How does it feel to know your music has touched souls here? Possible Australian tour?

It feels good, powerful and humbling.  Just knowing that through the internet my music has touched people, and has reached there iPods while they are at work or just chilling is amazing.  As soon as the big promoters out there start paying attention, I will be touring Australia of course.

You've been described as emcee, DJ, experimental multi-genre music producer, laptop musician, audio engineer and photographer, which one is your favourite?  And what came first?

Being a writer came first.  I started writing poetry at a very young age, and that gradually brought me to being a MC.  I would have to say writing and MCing is my favourite, based on the fact that I can tell my story through my words.

What is your creative process when writing or producing?

It’s very free flowing.  There is no exact process.  Life inspires me, so it can be a song or certain colours that trigger me to create.  In that moment what ever happens, happens.  I either see words or feel sounds and music, and then I start to create. 

Seems you and Jesse Boykins III are joined at the hip these days, what's it like to work with him?

That’s my brother.  We always bring a certain level of creativity to everything we do, so whether it’s video concepts, photos, or songs, we always set a certain high bar for our work.  But with that said, what we do come to us so easy so working with him is a breeze.  We can be in the same room creating, or in different parts of the world sending audio files back and forth and what ever comes out is always amazing. We have about two to three EP’s we are crafting together.

Who influences you?

My friends and family influences me.  I want to make them proud of me.  I want them to be able to look on TV and say I know that person, he is family and he is real and he did it his way.  There are only a few of us out there.  They influence me the most.

When did you know you were a musical genius?

At the age of 7 when I emptied out my toy boxes and turned them over to be my drums, then I grabbed my small piano and my small toy recorder.  I proceeded to record my first jam session.

How did it feel to have Maxwell rave about your mix? 

It was an amazing feeling because I put the project out for free with no direct link to him.  So he must’ve got word about it, or just seen his name buzzing with mine and checked it out.  He hit me up personally to tell me how much he dug the project.  Then a few months later, he had Sony Records purchase my remix to be used on tour out of something that was done free

Still looking for an intern?

I’m always looking but then I end up doing all the work I would have the intern do.  So I’d say within a year I will really need an Intern for sure.  We might have a casting call for my intern.  We shall see.

What stimulates your soul?

Love and Life.  I love living life.  I love finding Love. I love life’s ups and downs.