March 11th, 2004


A very promising young producer talks equipment, the time behind an average track, future intentions and who he’d like to have drop vocals on his sounds.

This morning I enjoyed my marmite on toast to the sounds of an independent producer by the name of Vex. Twenty minutes earlier the postman had slipped the eight track instrumental CD ‘The Urban State; UK Hip-hop Street Beats’ through my door. I was impressed. If I were a budding young rapper in need of some sounds to lace, I would have just found out whom to holler at. The majority of the tracks use strings and atmospheric sounds to create the sense of a tired city, full of monotony and little self-esteem. Highlights in this set include ‘Glorify’ which carries a beautiful piano and bass loop, ‘Streets Of Avengence’ which uses emotive violins and a head nodding drum clap and ‘Classic Twist’ which as the final track is reminiscent of music you’d hear as the end credits of a film roll down, a significant conclusion to a beneficial journey.

Is this the first production project you’ve created?

Yeah it is my first ‘production only’ project I’ve created so far. I’ve made beat CD’s in the past but only for personal use, like just to check how they sound. I have been producing for just under a year now, and i felt it was time to start fresh on some brand new beats and get them out there to try and get some recognition for my work.

How long did you spend on this eight track CD?

I spent around a month and a bit on this CD. Though i didn’t just work on one beat until it was finished then start again. I created a skeleton of each beat, basically just a looped sample and drums, then built around that, then finally mixed them all down over a week or two.

Are you working from a home studio or professional job?

I’m working pretty much all on my PC. I have some powerful software, such as FL Studio and Cubase, and something for sample editing. It would be tight to work in a studio but I’m only 16 and don’t usually get taken seriously when I walk in a studio and start talking about hip hop.

What’s the main pieces of hardware you’re using?

My main piece of hardware I’m using is a MIDI controller which I use together with software, and also some old decks which I sample with. I also got a little effects console which is useful. Hardware isn’t too important to me right now, as I have everything I need to let me create, but I’m looking to invest in some soon to improve the quality of my beats and give me a more hands on feeling.

In an ideal world, you’d have who do the vocals on the tracks?

Dam, that’s a hard one. There’s too many to name that I’d love to work with, but right now it would be Klashnekoff. His flow and rhyme style is breath taking at times and I could do so much with it. Others would be Rodney P, Lewis Parker and the Birmingham CVR team.

What’s next for you? Shopping for a deal?

Nah not right now, it would be a blessing ya know what I mean, but right now I’m just going to stay focused on pushing out good material and improving with each move I make. It’s early days but I’m going to start producing specifically for emcees and maybe get into something independent in the near future.