AN EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONIC EXPLORATION INTO POSSIBILITIES
Pre-order the album now by clicking HERE
We sat down with Hip Hop legend and founder of Rok-a-Blok productions Ski Beatz.
North Carolina born, NYC clad producer, Ski Beatz first cut his teeth in the production industry working with the likes of Dame Dash and Jay- Z on Reasonable Doubt and several other albums.
Continuing the stream of audio finesse, he worked with cats such as Camp Lo, Mos Def, Jay Electronica, Jean Grae, Nature, Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown, Ras Kass and Proof and many more.
Get Ski’s download on his latest album drop with the interview
Would you classify the record as Hip Hop?
Switched On Bap definitely has strong hip hop undertones that lay the foundation but I wouldn’t call it a hip hop record (even though I know it may get labelled that way due to my previous work). I feel like it’s more of an experimental electronic exploration into possibilities.
How did your approach to an instrumental album differ from collaborating with an MC?
When working with an artist you have to take their creative ideas into consideration when building the track, so a lot of my initial ideas may not make it to the final production due to song structure and other limits placed on the arrangement. Making instrumental music allows me 100 percent creative expression.
For this project, you decided to work with modular gear. How did that effect the way you write music?
Modular gear has totally change my approach to writing music and it came at a perfect time in my career. I was at the point where I wasn’t really feeling the music that I was making, the process seemed stale and uninspiring. Modular changed all that the instant I inserted my first patch cable. The possibilities are limitless it’s like bottomless pit of untapped ideas! I’m so hooked ...!
You have a really psychedelic feel to some of your beats. What influences led you on that direction? Do you listen to much techno/house?
I listen to a lot of the older electronic musicians like Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream just to name a few. I like to see where it all started from - “The Foundation”. I believe that knowing the fundamentals of whatever endeavor you pursue is key.
You were present and active at the beginning of Hip Hop. Now that the genre's mainstream, what do you think about the newer sounds coming out in the industry? What's the cultural significance of Hip Hop today?
I honestly feel like some of the newer stuff I hear lacks originality. There’s like this one formula that a lot artist is using in hip hop today that I think will affect the legacy of the genre in a whole. We need more artist to think outside the box.
What's your advice to someone trying to make it in the industry today?
Be yourself don’t be afraid to tell your story - originality will always shine through.
What new artists should we be looking out for?
I have no idea, I’m still listening to the older cats
What 5 tracks are on rotation in your life right now?
I haven’t made them yet.
Favorite piece of kit in the studio?
Obviously my Eurorack and my Mpc X
Favorite pair of sneakers?
Air Huaraches!! Super comfortable
Favorite city to perform in?
What's the next project we can expect?
Working on “Switched On Bap” 2 as we speak! I only scratched the surface with this first installment!
Any new collaborations coming out?
Just finished “Pilot Talk 4” with Curren$y, not sure of the release date but it’s done and ready to go.
Ski Beatz album “Switched On Bap” will be available for pre order HERE, and will drop on Sound cloud, Tidal, Apple Music and Spotify here on 6th July 2018.
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