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Showing posts from March, 2013

Alkota Interview: Business Class (Customised flash drives, creating an personal idea of success, 'beat leasing' and more)

Whilst empty 'musician as businessman' talk is stale, artists who can mix creative and commercial skill with integrity will always be welcome sources of inspiration.  These people are leading lights in a new musical landscape.  Alkota aka The Drum Broker is one such leading light.

His production credits include Kool G Rap, Planet Asia and REKS.  He has licensed music to companies including VH1, Redbull and the NBA.  He's a keen video director (Blaack: 'Love For You') and, in a stroke of genius devised a set of USB's which perfectly resemble iconic beatmaking hardware.

His site hiphopdrumsamples.com showcases top drawer sample packs from the beatmaking elite including Alkota himself, Illmind, Ski Beatz, Khrysis, M-Phazes and Mike Chav, along with priceless technical and business advice.

Although art and business have always been uneasy bedfellows, Alkota maintains integrity and a respect for himself and the culture he works within, showing that …

Lanzo Interview: Bringing Something Different to the Table

Regular readers know that I'm partial to Lanzo's trippy cocktail of jazzy samples, rugged drums, warm bass lines and quirky humour.  His 2012 debut EP 'Suspension of Consciousness' is a favourite of mine.

A major part of Chicago's beat scene, Lanzo works at a prodigious rate: knocking out solo tracks and collaborations with pals including Norman and his Young Ho Collective brethren. 

With his latest EP 'Burn Better Trunks' due April 20, The New Beat Maker caught up with the man himself to talk influences and the creative process

TNBM: When and how did you get into beatmaking? Who were your early influences?

Lanzo: I’ve been into hip hop since middle school.  I listened to a lot of Eminem, Mobb Deep, & J Dilla.  I started engineering for other people, then eventually one of my homies convinced me to jump on the mic.  From then on I balanced skating, Playstation & music.  The instrumentals started coming in 2007.  (Solomon Vaughn aka Boonie Mayfiel…

Van Hunt Interview: The Man Hunt (From the Archives)

I've been playing the hell out of Van Hunt's excellent 2004 debut recently.  So I thought I'd share with you a feature that I was lucky enough to do roughly a year after the album's release.  This was originally published as 'The Man Hunt' in DRUM Magazine in 2005.      


It’s Van Hunt’s birthday today.

Dressed in a white short sleeved shirt, glossy black pants, butterscotch gator shoes and mandatory headwear - this time a cream flat cap pulled down to one side mischievously - he’s in jovial mood, offering me sandwiches in his West London hotel room hours before his gig at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.  His buoyancy is apt, besides his birthday, the burgeoning superstar from Ohio has been described as ‘the new Prince’. 

With so much love being thrown his way, I’m eager to find out which UK cats he likes:“Franz Ferdinand – everyone’s naming them now, so it’s not cool to say! (laughter), Keane; they get slated in the press, which is unfortunate. Graham Coxon, too.” 

V…