I’ve been looking to create something sonically different from anything anyone has heard before. A lot of people that are into the music I create say it’s already very different from anything they’ve heard but I wanted to take it a step further. I call this style Folk-Hop. I don’t discriminate when it comes to the genres I listen to.. if it sounds good it sounds good, end of story. I appreciate and like to implement a wide variety of instruments when I compose and this new sound was a way to do that without the music becoming convoluted or strange. For example, in Wicked Ways I use country kit drums, live rock drums, violin, mandolin, VST synths, a Moog Voyager, live hammer claw banjo, acoustic bass, synth bass and so on.
The genres inception really grew from where I’m from. The cities routes historically in trade and farming.. a strong western vibe no Doubt. There was a very strong indie rap scene in my high school years which got me into producing, songwriting and rhyming.
This style was a way to represent my roots in as many ways as I could.
Ha… ok, based on the sound alone I reckon it would work well with a cinema genre mash up. If the Coen Brothers made a test tube baby with Wes Anderson and that child directed a Kung Fu Western.. yeah..that’s it.
Seventy percent of the time I start a composition with either drums or a bass line. The other thirty I start with the melody. This one started with the drums, the mood they give the track really carry the song in my opinion. After that I did used a East/West guitar VST for the main guitar strum. I then filled in the cracks with the other instruments and glued it together with the live banjo. Lastly I added the synth instruments to give the track a modern/alternative feel. They sit back in the mix and are hard to hear at times but I feel they fill out the track well.
At times when my mind is clear, early in the morning, driving to work a lot of the time a concept accompanied by vocals drop into my head out of nowhere.. I’ll feel a hook out on the spot and use diction to get it down. This time I started with the beat and the concept and hook came right then, just over the drums. I wrote the hook down then and continued producing the beat once it was down. Then I finished the bones of the beat. After I write and recorded the body I added the live drums, banjo, and synths to fill it out.
When I started producing Hip-Hop it was all sampled based. My first machine was a Emu-SP 1200 which was leant to me by my friend Marc from the pop group Len. After that I used an Akai 2000 then settled with a 2000XL which I used for many years. The last 10 years have been mostly sample free. I generally use East/West VST’s for my acoustic instruments and Spectrasonics VST’s for my synth sounds. Trillion takes the cake for acoustic bass and I also have a descent arsenal of Analogue synths plus modular and semi modular synths as well.
I’ve been using Logic as my DAW for the last decade. Don’t think there will be a switch from that. I mentioned above my go to VST’s. I also enjoy Arturia and some Native Instruments sound. Moog synths always start my creative process easily but I also have synths from DSI, Arturia, Ekekron and a bunch if eurorack modules but I’m still in early learning stage on the modular scene..
Yeah I produce, write, record, sing, rap and mix my tracks. Advice I would give would be to forget about what’s popular and really focus on what YOU think sounds good. After all music is a reflection of your spirit, personality and experience. It’s specific to you and that’s what you should try to share through your artistic endeavours.
I don’t roll with a crystal ball so I can’t say where music is going but I do think that a lot of artists are starting to move in a good direction. It’s exciting to see what next year will hold for us.
I’m going to continue to challenge myself as a artist in the hopes of creating original and compelling tracks. I have a lot of interesting new tunes in the works, a lot of which takes me away from rapping completely. One thing is for sure, 2019 is going to be a good year.
My goal is this. Get enough momentum as an artist that I can make music as a full time job. Then by the grace of God make enough money that I can give back to the planet through conversation efforts. My father is an environmental lawyer and the mission to make this world a better place than when we showed up is instilled in me. I’d also like to help some animals along the way. Maybe humans too. ✌🏻XVI.