Kelz and Trz talk about the Bristol music scene, their past and future releases, live shows, production and what artists they rate at the moment.
First up, can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Kelz: Representing Bristol, originally from the crew 3PM and rap alongside Smith and Mighty sound system.
Trz: Producer/mc representing Souljah Clique, CLG productions, Psycho-Ward & … Da Label!
How did you guys meet and when was Souljah Clique formed?
Kelz: We first met in Bristol, just started politic-ing about music and then started recording the same week.
Could you tell us about the records you've released so far?
Trz: So far we've made two releases with the first Baggamics mix CD and the first album 'Unsigned Heroes' which featured tracks with Rodney P, Oshin (57th Dynasty), Kners, CLG, Sirplus and more. I also helped make a release with CLG, his solo EP 'Streets, Demons and Fears.
Do you have a particular favourite out of that collection?
Kelz: The album 'unsigned heroes' and the track Stand Tall off that album.
How much has the strong music scene in Bristol benefited you?
Trz: To be honest, I feel like the Bristol music scene has done nothing but plague me so far. I mean, it's a great place to make music but there's no industry support for hip hop and promoters wont give you a show unless you come with a supporting act from London. So no benefits other than the artists init.
Kelz: Promoters always give us props for the material but we get more love outta town.
Which Bristol heads do you rate the most, in or outside of hiphop?
Kelz: Smith and Mighty, Sirplus and Da Label.
Trz: Im feeling a lot of unknown producers and mc's at the moment.
How long has the forthcoming album Baggamics 2 been in the making?
Trz: I started compiling beats and ideas together in January 2004. That summer was spent recording the artists and by the end of the year I had a ruff idea of what tracks I was going to use. But I didn't start compiling and mixing the album until about March 2005, so it took about a year and a half! But trust me, it was worth the wait and you'll be able to hear the time spent on it.
Can you tell us a little about the tracks on there and any guests?
Kelz: The album is mostly a compilation comprising of independent artists from around the whole UK. Nearly all the tracks on there are either original remixes or produced by The Souljah Clique and affiliated artists. Manage, CLG, K.Ners, Jedi Mics, 10Shott & Late, Klashnekoff, Da Label and Oshin 57th Dynasty are just some of the artists featured over the 35 tracks on this album.
Is the release coming out on a label? If so how did you get signed?
Kelz: Souljah Clique are realists. Unsigned Heroes was dedicated to any artists doing it independently, weather it be music or film. So its coming out on the Souljah Clique label…us.
What's your creative process? Lyrics then beat or beat then lyrics?
Kelz: Just inspirations. It depends on that particular moment when it comes.
What are some of the artists and producers which have influenced you?
Kelz: 12 Stone productions, Demons Boys, London Posse, Kners, mix and blend.
Trz: I'm influenced by artists like BB king, Johnny Mathis, Debussy, Eric Sermon, the list goes on! I don't think I'm influenced by one genre of music either, I think when you're making music ,inspiration comes from all over.
Talk us through the main pieces of studio equipment you tend to use.
Trz: I like to keep the studio equipment to a minimum, so I got a G4 Mac which I use Logic Audio on. Then I master everything using a Mackie 14 channel mixing desk.
Who do you rate at the moment both in and outside of the UK scene?
Trz: I still rate Scorzayzee as one of the best UK emcees even though he quit rapping like last year, but outside UK? Probably NTM or I Am.
Kelz: French rap groups (the politics that gives French music more airplay). In UK hip hop, Da Label.
Can you think of the hottest album you've bought in the last year?
Kelz: Ijahman Levi – Are We A Warrior?
Trz: The best album I bought lately came out around 2000 or suttin but it didn't get too much attention and I slept on it, Eric Sermon – Music. Sick, 5 mics!
Are you guys gonna be touring around the UK to support the new stuff?
Trz: Yeh we've just been working on some new tour dates and setting up shows for The Look At Ya Now 2005 Tour! So far we've booked London, Leeds, Bristol, France, Germany and many more. For bookings & information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you do much gigging and what can be expected from your live show?
Kelz: Spectacular Vibes!
Trz: A show that always includes sick special guests associated with Souljah Clique.
How do you rate the internet as a tool to inform the small UK scene?
Trz: The internet is heavy. I'm not sure how much it is informing the UK scene. That's probably best done on road, but it's a good way of letting Europe and the rest of the world know whats popping.
Have you got any shout out's or final plugs you'd like to make?
Kels: Big up to Klashnekoff, Kners, Xtremists, Titan Sounds, Rodney P, Million Dan (tore up Bath) and Oshin 57th Dynasty. And everyone that knows us.
Trz: Shout to everyone that knows me. Please help me to plug my enemies!