Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I Catch Up With SNK !
Easy bruv ! Yeah I've just been sorting out my new CD and juggling uni work at the same time (Laughs).
We're getting stuck into 2010 now, but just summarise what 2009 was like for you ? Anything that particularly stood-out for you ?
Well 2009 was good for me, I released an instrumental EP and a 14 track vocal mix-cd for free. I also hooked up with OG's and worked with them on quite a few tunes, which in turn got my name out more and gave me more recognition in the scene. So yeah it was a good year. Also Slaughter released his mix-cd "365" which was done at my studio and were mostly my beats, same with Kozzie's "Straight Off The Book", and many others. So yeah was a productive year.
So back with this year then, your CD "Midi Master EP" is out soon, what sort of formats will that be available in ? Is it an all instrumental affair or will there be vocals too ?
Yeah Midi Master EP is a 10 track instrumental CD which will be out on the 9th of March. It's my first proper release and I done it all independently so I took things as they came and learnt a lot along the way. It will be in UK RecordShop and I'm yet to ring up the other record stores but it will be in all the usual ones. I'm also going to sell it on my bigcartel store. Digitally it will be available from iTunes, Amazon, emusic and a couple of others. Just google it !
I think the track that really boosted your profile was the OG's vocal of "Writers Block", "Passin Thru", would you agree ?
Yeah definitely. A lot of people will only take notice of you once you've worked with a known artist, so that definitely put my name out their.
You also had beats on a few solo mix tapes including Little Dee's and P Money's, who else can we expect to hear on your beats soon ?
Well I have beats already taken for P's next CD and I will be on Blacks' next CD's. I should also be on Wariko's next one and Desperado's. I'm a bit lazy when it comes to hollerin' at artists you know, but this year I'm putting together a vocal CD so there will be a nice list of artists on the track list !
Effectively you would say that 2009 has been your best year musically then, but how long have you been producing ?
Best year for exposure, collab's and work rate but I wouldn't say it's necessarily my best year musically. It's the year I got a lot more recognition though and I would say near the end of the year I developed my own "sound" more...errm..I think I've been producing for about 4 years now..
You mentioned your new CD was released independently, to what level of difficulty was this, what was the process like ?
A lot of phone calls and going to the record shops yourself, but it's not that difficult at all. I'll be getting a distributor for my next CD though !
When did you realize that you could actually produce, that it was something worth pursuing ?
Well I started out on fruity loops when I was about 16. My mates used to mess about on it but I only took notice of it when I was home bored one day. I installed it and made my first two beats and I was hooked from there. It was hard at first turning an 8 bar loop into a proper beat as I didn't understand structures and transitions etc. I never had any one I could learn from back then as I didn't know any producers so I had to learn from listening to current beats and clocking the different structures my self.
You started off on FruityLoops, do you still use that now ? What sort of other plug-ins and technology are you familiar with ?
I haven't used fruity loops for YEARS. I used fruity for like a year then I went on to Cubase and used that for over a year, then finally switched to logic when I got a mac, so I've been using logic ever since. Yeah I have a bag of different plug ins, but I'm going to get some more soon. I also have an MPC1000 and I had an MPC 2000XL which someone lent me, I use them for Rap/Hip Hop beats mostly.
I would say my sound is a mash up of Grime/Dubstep/Ambient/Electronic/Metal. I play electric and classical guitar and I've started incorporating it with my beats, so a lot of my new beats have electric guitar somewhere in them. Even the beats on my EP, the ones people have heard before, I've added like bridges and alternate "16's" using the guitar exclusively for the CD. So you need to cop that ! (Laughing). I'm not gonna say my sound is unique as everyone is influenced by something, but I'm just influenced by different things so my sound comes out a bit different to most. I rarely listen to other producers so i think that gives me a fresh look on things as well.
What sort of different things ? The environment around you ? Do you try and make a beat to fit around a particular MC's style ?
I listen to a lot of different genres, the past two days I've been listening to a lot of Nas, Nat King Cole, Nujabes and The Platters. (Laughs)A bit of a mix but I go through different phases of music all the time. Also when I make music the beat reflects my mood, I cant make a hype beat if I'm down but if I'm pissed off i will make a some evil sounding beats.
Yeah, sometimes I'll make a beat with an artist in mind, but most of the time I'll just make what I want and what feels right at the time, otherwise the beat will sound too forced...
You've worked with quite a few MC's now, so which MC would you love to see on a beat of yours ?
Yeah having a studio means I work with a lot of people, but having someone like D Double E on a beat would be a touch, I reckon he would suit my beats as well.
What's on the new CD that we're familiar with already (excluding Writers Block of course) ?
There's the instrumentals to the tunes "P Money - Nah Breddah" which is called Forty Thieves, and "Blacks & P Money - Not A Boy" which is called "It's Me". The OG's 8 bar tune was on my beat "Wavy" and the same beat was used for my 8 bar tune "Wavy 8's". Also people may also have heard the instrumentals on freestyle videos such as the "Young N Hungry TV" vids filmed by D-Boi.
As you said you dabble in all sorts of Genre's. Is it refreshing then, to see so many new people embracing combinations of music, for example the Grime/Dubstep hybrids ?
To be honest I didn't know people have only started to embrace the mixture of the two, I just think more people do it now. But where Dubstep has similar attributes to Grime it probably isn't always a conscious decision for producers, it isn't for me. Also lots of people like the old school grime beats, but times change with any Genre, and I feel the overall Grime sound is maturing and sounding more professional.
Another hot debate, more between producers and DJ's, is the current situation with Vinyl's Vs CD's Vs Digital downloads. Which works better, from your point of view ?
Digital will take over soon I reckon. It's so easy to release stuff on and the cost is minimal compared to getting CD's and Vinyl's pressed up. Also for the digital music buyers, they don't need to pay postage costs and they receive the music straight away so there's a lot of up sides to it.
Vinyl is dying because CDJ's and mixing on a laptop is so much easier as you can just burn off a CD or turn your laptop on and your good to go with any tune you want, but I really want to put something out on vinyl so I might work on something this year before it's too late. CD's should still last a while, a lot of people prefer having a physical copy than a mp3 file anyway. But yeah I think CD's and digital work better these days but I wish I was around when vinyl was at its prime.
So what's next for SNK after this CD ? A CD of artists vocals ? Or something else..
Yh spot on, I'm working on a vocal CD next, which will be available sometime this year, I'm aiming the release date at around Halloween, but I can't say for sure yet. Ill also be working on a digital release for the Rap heads as well, and of course a couple of free downloads here and there.
Thanks for talking to us, is there anything more you would like to say ? Any shout's ?
Yeah..go cop my CD "Midi Master EP" now! haha. Shout out to Mischief, Slaughtz, Truefull...Big up the DJ's: Geo, Spooky, Total etc, I see them spinning my beats on a regs. All my supporters and people I work with, big up yourself.
You can catch SNK on Twitter @SNKbeats, MAKE SURE you buy Midi Master from UK Recordshop or iTunes now. Other outlets include Uptown Records, Amazon and major digital download sites.