The beatboxer/rapper talks about how it all began, what he hopes to happen next, his current and fantastic EP and the hindrance of being of an independent nature.
First off, can you give readers a little history lesson about how it all began with Miniature Hero's. Has the crew gone their separate ways or more to come?
Baboon & Lay Z are both from the North West, and I'm from the North East. Those two had already met, and I was just starting my first solo rhyme residency at a club. I was rhyming one night when the promoter told me a dope MC had turned up wanting to get on the mic, that guy was Lay Z. We immediately sparked, and went on from there to form Miniature Heroes, first recording a 25 freestyle demo of rhyme/beatbox/DJ which was really well received. We got loadsa gigs around country from that, supporting Mud Fam in Hull, one in Liverpool, Huddersfield, Bradford, Cambridge, loads in Leeds, and even some in London. We only did one studio track, "Heroes4Hire" in September '02. Our reputation was definitely gained through the shows, and people still talk about the original demo even now. Baboon still fills in when my DJ 'Fly-J' isn't around, and I still cypher with Lay Z, though I don't think there will ever be any more material.
Do you prefer being in an outfit with other folk or enjoy having 100% control with solo work?
I much prefer being solo. When I have an idea for a track that I really want to write, then I have to write it. Its hard having to try and compromise that idea with somebody else, because then the track ends up sounding different to how you first imagined. The more people in your crew, the more you have to compromise. Nobody ever agrees!
Established as both a rapper and beatboxer, can you favour one more than the other, what would it be and why?
I'm seen as a beatboxer by some people, and as a rhymer by others which is quite unique I guess. I love, and will always do both, but I don't think beatboxing could ever come close to the depth and feeling you can create with words. There's nothing more fulfilling than writing a track you love.. and you won't hear (m)any good beatbox albums!
The press release has you down to be a bit of a jack of all trades. Any breaking and graff here and there?
I used to graff loads before I started rhyming, but I couldn't have been that good cos I got caught! I like to dance, but I can't break.
Which rappers and beatboxers do you draw the most inspiration from to make your own work?
I take my inspiration from people with that old-school mindset who like to stay fresh, like Edan & The Beastie Boys. I love The P-Brothers beats, and I really rate MF DOOM. Asides from that I am inspired by multi-talented individuals. People who both produce and rhyme, or sing and play instruments together.
How long has the 'About Time' EP been in the makin and what's coming up after its release?
'About Time' has been a while in coming (hence the title!) but that's only cos its my first proper release. I waited and waited, and changed the track listing several times until I was happy that I had something unique and different for my debut. In the immediate future there are gonna be
I really enjoyed the idea behind 1066. Many more concept type tracks up your sleeve I need to hear?
To a certain extent I wanna make all my tracks about something, no matter how big or small. Some will be serious, some will be ridiculous, but I don't have any crazy concepts right now if that's what you mean! I'm sure they'll come to me in time though.
What label are you on? I'm guessing it's a pretty independent affair? How much of a hindrance do you think the hard work of doing promo etc yourself has on the time you get to be creative and record?
Well yeah, I'm doing it all myself at the moment. Its not easy though, you gotta learn about plenty of stuff and it takes longer than you think to sort everything out. That's another reason why my first proper solo release has been a while coming. Its definitely a hindrance for me right now, though I'd recommend that everyone does it at least once as it helps you get clued up on exactly how things work.
Who's the top dogg when it comes to the UK scene and who'd you like to collaborate with, on the mic and boards?
I dunno what the definition of top dog is, but personally I favour Aspects over most UK acts. I like the angles they take with their tracks, and their wavelength. As far as collabs go, I'd just like to get laced with beats from the best producers out there in the UK.
Are there any gigs planned that people should know about?
Um, we got one in Scarborough 2nd July 04, but asides from that check out www.arromatic.com for dates.
Any disses, shout outs, demands or rambles?
Big up to my DJ/Producer Fly-J, my stage partner Digga, The Fat Controllers and Mark@SPLINTERPRODUCTS. Check out arromatic.com