This interview here is comin deep out the archives.
A while back I interviewed Ron Trent through my homegirl/cameragirl Eve. Admittedly, I’m not the most versed on House music and the scene, even though I was familiar with his name. How deep his roots run in music though, was way deeper than one could really imagine.
During this time Ron had just come from the New Music Seminar. This was during the point where there was a clear shift in the music sales and how music was being purchased. Spotify hadn’t come out yet and YouTube wasn’t quite the place to listen to full albums. It was clear from Ron’s perspective that there were going to be some necessary changes inside and out in order for the music industry to really flourish. But that conversation will be in part 2….
To explain the pic above…
At some point I Ced, Quelle, and I were talking about the new wave of reality shows and such. As we were talking, Basketball Wives LA was on. Apparently one of the “wives” had been taking some stripping classes or something, and gave the other girl a lap dance. And of course, we all stopped to watch it. Cause it was awesome. I Ced straight pulled up a seat. I had to take a picture of that moment, so that I can always remember this male bonding session between artists with some good ol mid day girl on girl action on VH1.
And in true carefree and fun fashion, Quelle hits us with his contacts, the “story” behind his name, and I Ced comes in on the assist for the words of wisdom and advice for other artists.
In this final installment, we talk about the state of mainstream music and how, in reality, the joke is on us.
If any of you are fans of Little Brother, Phonte’s original group, you know that around 2005 their video for “Lovin It” was not accepted to be aired on BET because it was deemed “too intelligent” for BET’s audience. The immediate backlash caused a denial from BET (even though they still didn’t air it), but it made people fully aware that now the gatekeepers were seeming to dumb down their material ON PURPOSE. I suppose things were reconciled later once Phonte was included on the Hip Hop Award’s cipher, but not much seems to have changed overall. Groups like Little Brother who don’t fit the mold of what’s “hot” right now hardly seem to get any mainstream support.
- In: BET, Foreign Exchange, Hillcityfoto, Hip Hop, Interviews, Little Brother, Nicolay, Phonte, producers, R&B, Soul •
- 2 comments •
- by Merc80
We continue with part 2 of the 3 part interview with Phonte and Nicolay. In this part we talk more about their creative process.
It’s interesting to see people who say “Thank you” when being told their style is unique and different. It’s actually probably one of the best compliments you can give any artist. Every artist’s goal is to create something that adds to the pot of greatness to blend in with the history, but stand out enough to be noticed. The recognizable aspects of the artist (“branding” so to speak) is what makes the listener already know when the product is hot. “Oh this is a Premiere beat…this sounds like a Timbaland beat”. And when the recognizable voice comes over it, it creates just the right unison. Phonte’s voice and flow are like no others I can think of.
Part 2: The Process
– Nicolay on his production style and sound
– Phonte on writing & “The Jay-Z Method”
- In: Foreign Exchange, Hillcityfoto, Hip Hop, Interviews, Jay-Z, Little Brother, Nicolay, Phonte, Prince, producers, R&B, Soul, Writing •
- 1 Comment » •
- by Merc80
It was around summer of 2004, I was visiting a friend from college. I was about to start grad school at UCLA and he was going to law school at UCLA, and we were talking about being roommates. Before I left, he asked,
“Yo, you heard that Foreign Exchange? It’s the new album from Phonte of Little Brother and this cat Nicolay from the Netherlands.”
He played me a few tracks and burned it for me to play on the way home. As soon as I put that CD in my player and heard that amazing intro, I was zoned out. The music was everything I’ve always wanted to hear. It was melodic, but still funky, and hard hitting. It had different changes. It was that next level I was looking for. And I always knew Phonte could sing from little things he did on The Listening album, but now he was doing full songs as a singer. I wore that CD out that summer.
- In: Foreign Exchange, Hillcityfoto, Hip Hop, Interviews, Little Brother, Michael Jackson, Nicolay, Phonte, Prince, producers, Public Enemy, R&B, Soul, Stevie Wonder •
- 6 comments •
- by Merc80