Posts tagged ‘producer’

Lyrical sunshine: Synopse dropping FLavours

What did you think when Pete Rock said he was the dopest producer on the mic? Probably that it’s not that easy to do both things well in your very own, unique style. Fast forward nearly 20 years and imagine yourself in sunny Florida. It’s the home of rhyme and beat afficionado Synopse who hijacked underground radio as a member of the Paradox Unit, a collective of MCs, DJs / producers. The posse consists of TzariZM, Nemo aka IMAKEMADBEATS, J Freedome, Midaz The Beast, Rugged, Relz One, Intelx, Ponce, Phantom Shino, and Vis Major who formed Doxside Music. If you’re a fan of that gritty boom bap, it’s pure listening pleasure and the group also make pretty funny videos…

What’s up Synopse, can you introduce yourself? where are you from?

Yes, wha gwan. Shout out to Beat Bugalow for the interview. The name is Synopse, formally known as Synopsis, so you might find songs floating around of mine with that name also. I’m a Hiphop MC and Producer. I use the term MC loosely because I don’t really consider myself one, but for the sake of describing what I do on the mic I’ll use that term.  I know a lot of people who MC for real, and will eat other MCs food, but me? I just like to make music. I live in Orlando Florida, but I was born and raised in Toronto Canada. I’ve lived in both cities for the same amount of years, so they are both home to me.

What’s one of your first memories of listening to music the first time in your life?

When I think back to my earliest memories of listening to music a few genres come to mind. My parents are from Guyana so Soca, Calypso and Reggae were on heavy rotation in my house, but I’m also an 80s baby, so I remember listening to Michael Jackson and in fact recording myself singer Michael Jackson songs on tape haha. I also got my first record collection from an aunt when I was 5. It was an early rock n roll collection of songs from the 50s and 60s. And of course my older brother was a b-boy, so that’s how I was introduced to Hiphop. The music was really diverse.

The video for ‘More Fiya’ is pretty funny – where was it shot and who were the people who got bashed by your crew? Did anyone get harmed in the making of the video?

Thanks, our goal when we came up with the concept was to not take ourselves too serious and I’m glad it came out that way. We shot that in downtown Orlando.  It’s actually just one guy getting bashed in the entire video, his name is SoyIsReal, he’s one of the directors as well. Funny thing is, when we originally came up with the concept, our intent was not for it to be him because he was a director, but he was so perfect for it that it morphed into him playing all the parts as part of the satire. Soy actually got hurt 3 times while shooting haha. His hip when falling off the bike, the back of his head when getting pushed into the wall, and his back when getting pushed on the steps.

You make beats and are an MC as well – what do you think it takes to be skilled at both? do both skills enhance each other?

There has been discussions amongst me and my peoples about this very topic. I’m not sure if there is something specific that is required to be skilled at both, but I’ll admit, at least in my case, that making beats has taken away from my skills as an MC.  If I was just writing all the time I could focus a lot more on that skill. But since I make the beat, come up with the concept for the song, and then write the lyrics, I focus more on what the song will sound like, and not necessarily how dope the verse will be. But you better believe, I’ll never drop a wack verse.

The micro album ahead of your upcoming longplayer is called ‘More Fiya’ – because of the title, is it a nod to Rastafari and Jamaican culture? What can you say about the new album?

Although I was born in Toronto Canada, I’m from a Caribbean background, so More Fiya is definitely a nod to that part of my roots, not necessarily Rastafarism or Jamaica, since I’m not a Rasta or Jamaican.  I’m saying I’m bringing more fiya on any competition. X:144 and I came up with that concept together. As far as the album, I’m anxious to release it to see what the reaction will be.  I think there is a void in Hiphop for mature music. I’m a grown man, with grown man life issues. My thought process is not the same as a 16 year old, so I’m hoping to help fill that void with my album.

Tell us about Doxside Music – who’s involved, what’s it all about?

Doxside Music has existed for a number of years, but previously in a non- official form. The label is based on a crew that was started by several artists including IMAKEMADBEATS, TzariZM, Midaz the Beast amongst others. We decided to take destiny in our own hands and form the corporation to handle the releasing of our music, but not limited to our music.

How do you work when making a beat – do you go down the traditional route of chopping samples from vinyl and build your tracks from there? What’s your view on sampling mp3s? Do you work with live instruments?

I have about 2,000 records, so yes sampling vinyl has been a big part of my beat making history, but in recent years I’ve opened up to sampling mp3s. Some may say that’s blasphemy, but let’s face it, this is the digital age, and a dope sample is a dope sample. I haven’t done a lot of live instrument sampling, if I have It’s been me on the trumpet. But I would like to do more of that, surround myself with players. There’s really no substitute for a real instrument, which is why I continue to sample so heavily.

What are some of your most-played records when you’re listening to music in your own time back at home?

I hate to admit it, but I actually don’t listen to a lot of new music. A lot of times Midaz, TzariZM or IMAKEMADBEATS have to put me on to what’s going on. Like Roc Marciano. I remember him from the flip mode days, but if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t know how dope his album is. I listen to a lot of old music, it’s cliché but they just don’t make music like they use to. So 80’s and 90’s Hiphop. 60’s and 70’s funk, 50’s and 60’s rock and almost any era of reggae you’ll hear blasting out my house windows.

Do you have anyone MC or producer in mind who you’d like to collaborate with?

If I could pick one MC I’d like to work with right now, it would be Elzhi. When I hear him spit it’s like his brain works on a different level. As far as producers, unfortunately he passed. I would have loved to be on a Dilla track.

What’s the musical talent like in your city? Who’s got fire?

I wish people knew how much talent existed in Orlando FL. Because Orlando is home to Disney World and is deep in the south, the really talented people here go unnoticed until they leave and start making noise elsewhere. A few examples are Solillaquists of Sound, MADD ILLZ and the whole Grind Time movement, X:144 and of course Doxside artists like IMAKEMADBEATS, TzariZM and Midaz. My favorite group from Orlando right now is Grey Matter who have an album coming out later this year on Domination Recordings.

Any last words you want to get off your chest?

Once again I’d like to give a shout to Beat Bugalow for the interview. I have another video we are about to shoot later this month. Keep an ear out for my album ‘The Magic Box’ that will be on Doxside Music Group \ Domination Recordings. And peace to all my brothers at Doxside. IMAKEMADBEATS, Ponce De Beyond, J Freedome, TzariZM, Midaz the Beast, R.U.G.G.E.D, Butta Verses. And peace to the other Dox crew members, Relz Uno, Intelx, Phantom Shino and Aahmean Supreme.


June 11, 2010 at 20:31 Leave a comment

Sippin’ Phonic tonic – interview with Jon Phonics

If you’ve heard the first installment of Half Past Calm, you’ll be excited about this one. Jon Phonics has been around the block a few times since his full-length debut dropped in 2008, featuring tracks with some of the nicest UK MCs. This new album has some proper, off-the-beaten-track goodness on it as well – be sure. In the interview he talks about clocking in at the lab, playing live instruments and Guru’s death, among other things…
1. What can you tell us about yourself? What was the last thing you watched on TV?
Hey, I’m Jon Phonics, I’m 23 and I currently reside in South London. I haven’t watched anything recently, but I’m currently reading ‘Keep the Apidistra Flying’, and loving every second of it.

2. What’s your favourite spot in your city?

My fav spot to be at in London is the studio. Apart from that you might catch me in Sounds of the Universe or in the back of Plastic People smoking a zoot behind the speaker doing a 2 step.

3. Half Past Calm was a banger and got a lot of heads’ attention when it came out in 2008. What can people expect from the second one?

Thanks. The second Half Past Calm is really a continuation of the sound I came with on the first. It’s intended as an accompaniment for that late night journey home, headphone music that you can get lost in.

With these albums where I am working with various rappers I want to show the whole spectrum of what we have to offer to Hip Hop in the UK, whether that be punchline rap or creative road bars, I would say my sound has developed in a natural way. There are a few tracks on this record without samples, and I’m playing a lot more live instruments on this one, where as the first record was completely sample-based.

4. Do you see yourself as part of a new kind of hip hop movement in the UK? If so, why?

I guess so, I try not to think too much about stuff like that because I feel once you start to see things that way, you might slow up your work rate or begin to rest on your laurels. My ethic is just to keep my head down an work, and hopefully by the time I look up for a breather I might be somewhere with this shit.

The UK has a lot of dope artists right now though, some crazy producers (shouts to my Louis Den family) and all angles covered MC-wise. I think we’re in a place where people are beginning to realise their vision and everybody’s sound is falling into place, just how they want it. There are gonna be a lot of albums this year that will once again take the levels up – which, in my opinion, is definitely a positive thing.

5. What are your thoughts on Guru’s death?

Guru’s death is a true shame and the aftermath of it all, with that guy that made his records acting like that (I ain’t airing his name – but you know who I mean) just goes to show how friendships can be chewed up and spat out through the music business.

6.What are some of your favourite records? have you got any rare vinyl in your collection? Which ones?

Some of my favourite records are Marvin Gaye ‘Trouble Man’, Teena Marie’s ‘Starchild’, Cannonball Adderley and the Bossa Rio Sextet with Sergio Mendes is my SHIT.

7. Any other message you’d like to get out there? shouts?

Thanks to Beat Bungalow, big up Brixton Basement Press, YNRPapa Chemo, Louis Den and anyone supporting the album – stay tuned folks! Peace.


May 6, 2010 at 14:33 Leave a comment

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