Post Tagged with: "hoodlouse"

Kareem Kateb

Hoodlouse: Kareem Kateb

How many Hip-Hop artists do you know from Austria? If you know more than 5 then please get in contact with us, because we need educating!

Thankfully, when we found out that Kareem Kateb is from Vienna, we were gently reminded and suitably refreshed, acknowledging that Hip-Hop isn’t exclusive to the U.S and U.K, as some Hip-Hop blogs and informants may have you believe!

It’s no secret that we’re huge D’Angelo fans here. So when we opened the first of Kareem’s YouTube videos and the unmistakable bass line from “Devils Pie” hit, we were ready to be disappointed. However, we’re pleased to report that Kareem Kateb (aka Mirakle), got one stage further than Canibus and delivered a respectable, enjoyable few verses over this beat.

The rest of his “The First Wonder” mixtape and “Weekly Wonder” videos have followed a similar format. Popular beats from producers such as Exile, Bangladesh and Alchemist have all been explored and experimented on by Kateb, leaving the youthful sound of someone casually sharpening his style without inhibitions.

We’re always pleased to support any developing artist who puts in that extra effort to make engaging YouTube/online content, and more importantly, who approaches us with a down to earth attitude. Kareem did just that, so check the interview below to see what your new Central European friend has to say about life, times and Hip-Hop via Austria.

Interview with Kareem Kateb / A.K.A Mirakle

WTBD: Can you tell us about how you got into Hip-Hop as a listener and then as an artist?

KK: I think the first Hip-Hop song I heard which got me interested in the genre was “I Cant Deny It”, and that was like my favorite song back in the days, even though I heard stuff like Halftime afterwards which didn’t affect me in the same way because it was a little too complex for me back then. I only started writing rhymes seriously around 2007 because I was just interested to see how many words in one line I could get to rhyme haha… so I was trying hard to get like four or five syllables to rhyme and by time you got to the 3rd line it wasn’t even making any sense.

WTBD: Are there many Hip-Hop artists out in Austria? What’s the attitude towards Hip-Hop out there? Excuse our ignorance but tell us a little about what we’re missing!

KK: It’s not a big scene at all in my opinion. The last Austrian rapper that I heard of who got signed was “Money Boy” (Sony) so… there’s not much I have to add to that really. It’s a little out-dated, but there are artists I know of who are working hard to make original sounding music which is actually dope, one example is Left Boy.

WTBD: You were in the U.K for 3 years right? Where did you live and what do you remember/miss most (if anything!)?

KK: That’s right, I lived in Portsmouth and went to University there. What I miss most… apart from living independently, i’d have to say Greggs and this Chinese restaurant called Golden Bowl haha. The UK is a great place for music though.

WTBD: Your voice is a little unusual, in a positive way; you can hear the mix of European and American Hip-Hop influence. Do you find that the music you’ve listened to has shaped your vocal style consciously or just naturally?

KK: That’s a funny question, it’s actually something i’ve wondered myself. It could be that I attended an international school and grew up surrounded by all kinds of accents, but it’s just as likely that the amount of Hip-Hop and Rap I listen to has shaped my accent.

WTBD: You released your first mixtape “The First Wonder” back in February. How long was that project in the making? What did you learn from the experience?

KK: The First Wonder was super rushed to be honest, but I think for the amount of time and work I put into it, it’s a great mixtape. It’s hard to say how long it took because there’s tracks that I made long ago that I put on it, and tracks that I did the night before I released it and put on it, haha. So i’d have to say overall it can’t have taken more than three weeks to complete.

WTBD: You’re currently working on the follow up, which I believe is titled “The Second Wonder”, what will you do differently when putting together this project?

KK: Yep, it’s going to be called The Second Wonder, and the difference is that I’m not going to rush it, and i’m going to try and put more tracks on there than were on The First Wonder. I’m not really one for choruses, but i’m not foolish enough to think that I can make a whole mixtape with none of them, so I need to try and get better at writing them and putting them in songs.

People Everywhere by Mirakle

WTBD: Do you find your location makes it harder to collaborate and generally gain exposure? Are you finding you’re using social media heavily as a networking tool?

KK: I feel like there’s a lot more rappers per capita in the U.S or the U.K compared to Austria, so that makes it harder to find people to actually record with and just chill and discuss music with. In the grand scheme though its not a barrier at all, i’ve done tracks with people in LA, Virginia, New Jersey, Seattle, so it’s not as if i’m struggling to get collabs done. I’ll admit that I wouldn’t mind having more ‘rapper-friends’ in Vienna though, just to exchange ideas with and work on stuff with.

WTBD: Tell us about an average day in your life, when do you find the time to work on your music? What kind of equipment are you using?

KK: I think my life on a day-to-day basis is pretty similar to any other 22 year old – I go out a lot, I work part-time, I play football every now and then, and I make music. To record I use an Audio Technica microphone and some kind of standard audio interface haha, and yeah, I record into Ableton Live.

WTBD: Your “Weekly Wonder” episodes on YouTube have gained a lot of positive responses. Is this something you’ll be continuing? Do you enjoy making the videos and putting the visual content out there?

KK: For sure. I feel like putting out a video with a track is the most logical thing to do with tracks that you really want people to hear, plus I enjoy making them and being involved in the whole process. I actually wanted to make a whole edited video for my track 24 Hours, just because of the issues I discuss and points I make, so that people pay more attention. At the end of the day, with a video you’re addressing two senses instead of just one, so yeah, it makes sense!

WTBD: What albums and artists have you been listening to lately? Do you find you listen to more or less music from other artists when you’re in the process of making your own?

KK: I’ve been listening to a lot of wild stuff. I like to pick random artists that I hear a lot about and watch a few of their videos and try to pick apart the reasons for why people like certain rappers, because unfortunately there’s a lot more to it than just the music. I’ve been listening to a lot of J. Cole. Wax is a great rapper and overall musician, i’d recommend anyone to watch all of his videos on YouTube and get all of that man’s music. I’d say those two are probably the best out right now. I listened to Tyga’s version of B.M.F a few weeks ago and that shit is still stuck in my head which is crazy. Big Sean just dropped his single “I Do It” which is also stuck in my head. Earl Sweatshirt’s album also gets a lot of play and Brandun DeShay’s second mixtape Volume Two! For The Show is dope too. I really vary a lot between styles, as far as Hip-Hop goes.

Free Food (Case Nine Remix) by Mirakle

WTBD: Finally, what’s your ultimate aim with your music? Are you setting yourself targets or goals you want to reach or just putting the music out there and seeing what happens?

KK: My aim is to be able to make a living out of the music I make, Regardless whether that’s $2,000 a month or 1 Million. The main thing for me is that I won’t have to change the music I make or anything. I don’t think its wrong to try and make money out of the art, its just that I think its a viable career choice!

To connect with Kareem Kateb, hit:

twitter.com/kareemkatebyoutube.com/kuririm

Hoodlouse: The Boy Illinois Interview

Say hello to the next notable college dropout from Chicago. We forget who the other is…?

We know what you’re thinking… you’ve heard the ‘college dropout turned rap star’ story a thousand times huh?! Maybe so, but The Boy Illinois is proving he’s everything but that tired Hip-Hop cliché.

The struggle between academic life and the creative mind is something that we all know too well, particularly within Hip-Hop.

Should an artist stay in education, using the stability of a degree as something to ‘fall back’ on? Or should they go all out and commit to that ‘grind’ mentality of striving to get whatever they want?

The Boy Illinois chose the latter. A decision that takes considered mix of courage and confidence. For that we applaud him.

Initially what caught our attention, and ultimately impressed us most about ‘Illi‘ was the quality and effort put into his online content. As a marketing company, we can only tell any aspiring/up and coming rapper to follow his lead. Producing quality videos, updates and trailers (as you’ll see in this feature) can make or break whether someone is willing to lend time to your work. Fans are impatient, but they’re out there waiting.

We caught up with Illi upon the release of his third mixtape, ‘Inhale Pt 3: After School Program‘. Listen back through from Pt 1 of this mixtape series and you’ll catch the sound of a boy chasing his dreams through to a man speaking through experience.  We went from listeners to fans as we were able to hear the development in The Boy Illinois’ delivery and content over the last three years. A shout out must also go to ‘Baron Boys‘ whose production style never fails to compliment Illi‘s style.

The Boy Illinois is proof that the University route isn’t for everybody. Sometimes we teach ourselves the best lessons we can learn.

INTERVIEW WITH THE BOY ILLINOIS

WTBD: So what were you studying at University before you dropped out? Did you learn anything academically that’s served you well in your music career so far?

TBI: At first, my major was Political Science, but then that became boring really quick. Then, I switched my major to Sociology, and after that I majored in common sense. Academically, I don’t think I learned a thing while in college.

WTBD: What did you do in the first few weeks after deciding to leave University? Was it straight into the music?

TBI: I was still working at the time. I worked with disabled students who attended the University. That in itself taught me more about life, which was probably the biggest thing I really accredit college for. I was doing music still as well, just more than ever since I didn’t go to class.

WTBD: What’s been the hardest aspect of leaving education and going out to work for yourself?

TBI: No more refund cheques.

WTBD: What did your family and close friends make of the decision and how do they feel about it now?

TBI: My mother didn’t like it at all, but my father was behind me and is still behind me 100%. My homies was with me 100% as well. Girls around me at the time always told me that I should just finish school and do the music thing at a later date. You only have one chance to cease the moment and live your dream, and you can always go back to school.

WTBD: Some notable Hip-Hop artists have hailed from Chicago. Who have been your influences musically?

TBI: Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West. They say what they want, when they want, for the most part.

[audio:http://whenthebeatdrops.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/03-Breakfast-of-Champions-Prod.-Baron-Boys.mp3]

WTBD: From the outside, it appears that with the recent third and final instalment of your ‘Inhale’ mixtape series, you’ve really come into your own and seem to have built yourself a platform. There’s clear progression through the mixtapes to this point. I’d say you’ve self graduated.  Do you feel comfortable as the artist you are now and the direction you’re heading in?

TBI: First and foremost, thank you for taking an in-depth look at the music that I create and put out.  As an artist, the fact that people listen to and appreciate your music is profit in itself. I think I’ve gained a lot of self confidence realizing that people like my music and want to hear more of it. So I’m very comfortable at the moment. I think I’ve found my niche and I’m going to continue to do what I’ve been doing until it gets old. OH, and that inhale series, we have one more to go!

WTBD: From a marketing point of view, I’ve been particularly impressed by your YouTube videos/content. It’s something that’s either overlooked or unprofessionally handled by a lot of up and coming artists. Even back around the time of your first mixtape you were releasing videos to accompany your music. Do you enjoy making music videos? You obviously see the importance…

TBI: It’s always a plus to give a visual with your content. You can then control the picture you paint when they actually see the video, and put them in that same realm you were in when you were creating the record.

WTBD: You also seem to put a lot of energy into your live performances, and recently performed at SXSW. How was that?

TBI: I love performing, and the energy I provide just goes hand and hand with the song. If it’s high energy, I’m going to give high energy. If it’s smooth, I perform that way.

WTBD: What’s the strangest thing that’s happened so far at any of your live shows? Tell us a little about your live shows, are you hooking up with promoters from different states? Is this the first time you’ve been travelling around in your life?

TBI: Haha, I don’t know about anything strange. Nothing is really strange to me, I mean in a sense everything is strange if you haven’t seen it yet. I have been linking up with some good people outside of the state of Illinois for music and shows, so that’s always a positive. I have a lot more travelling to do in the future, and hopefully I can make it to the U.K. soon.

WTBD: You’ve worked with a host of other artists and producers, as well as remaining involved with your long time group F.A. Who’s continued to be supportive of you and helped your career so far?

TBI: Always, if one makes it we all make it. Family Affair, shout out and much love to my brothers Rel and Tre-Style.

WTBD: So, what’s next? What do you consider the most important thing to be doing at this point?

TBI: As far as the inhale series, we still have Pt.4 this summer, right along with the group project ‘The Pilot’ right before. After that tape I’m going to get started on my first album. I want to at least make and create an album before mankind destroys the earth.

For more information and to download mixtapes from The Boy Illinois, visit theboyillinois.com

Abiola Otusanya Graffiti Image

Hoodlouse: Abiola ‘Musiq Man’ Otusanya Interview

Nigeria, kick off your sandals, grab yourself some of that stuff you call ‘mineral’ and take a few minutes out of your day to listen to your boy abroad, Abiola ‘Musiq Man’ Otusanya. You can’t be late for this one!

Based in Brighton, Nigerian born producer/singer Mr Otusanya is the first U.K based artist to be included in one of our Hoodlouse features. So if you’re based in the U.K and are thinking about sending music this way, the standard has now been set.

Abiola’s versatility and enthusiasm for a variety of genres is what caught our attention first and foremost. You only have to check the tracks within this feature to see that  his work covers area of Hip-Hop, Reggae and RnB but still managing to retain that level of soulfulness. Nothing feels over-produced or forced. The creative freedom in his music is arguably what makes it so listenable.

We’re also proud to support any artist who keeps things fresh by experimenting with new sounds and crossing genres (and nationalities!) in a constructive way. Just check the following track ‘Life‘ to hear exactly what we’re referring to.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/7546073″ params=”show_comments=false&auto_play=false&color=330000″ width=”100%” height=”81″ ]

The last lines of Nigeria’s national anthem read, ‘To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.’ Well, Abiola is bringing the peace, so do him some justice and check the interview below!

INTERVIEW

WTBD: What’s your first musical memory? Who in Nigeria did you grow up listening to?

AO: My first musical memory was me actually seeing a keyboard for the first time and playing about with it. While growing up I listened to Fela Kuti, Billy Ocean, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Sade, King Sunny Ade, Orlando Owoh and gospel music.

WTBD: Was it during your time in Nigeria that you decided that being involved in music is what you wanted to do? Or did that come later in your life?

AO: Growing up as a kid in Nigeria I was very inspired to do a lot of things. Music was one of them, but I wasn’t too keen on it at that time because I had to study other things as well in school. I was the main keyboardist for my church and I think that helped me a lot developing my skills mentally and physically. I wanted to be an engineer as well, so I juggled between both, but music as always been a big part of me and in 2006 I decided I wanted to spend more time making music because of my love for it.

WTBD: England and Nigeria are worlds apart socially and economically. What was the hardest thing that you had to adapt to when moving to England?

AO: I was fairly young when I moved to England so adapting to things weren’t that hard for me, but I struggled coping with the weather lol!

WTBD: What was the first instrument you learned to play? Did teach yourself or have a mentor or someone you looked up to, to drive you on?

AO: The first instrument I picked up was an African drum, and then I moved to a Drum Kit and then started learning the keyboard with the help of my cousin (Emmanuel Odu) who was a contemporary gospel keyboardist at that time for his church. I later developed my skills on the keyboard with the help of another teacher (Jide Olushina) who was the choir master and an organist of an Anglican church. In 2002 I started learning how to read music scores and play classical music with the help of a choir master and a pianist of a catholic church (Adrian Boynton) and now I’ve picked up more instruments like the bass and the Saxophone (teaching myself. I also sang in the choirs of most of the churches I attended while growing up, which helped to develop my singing.

Abiola Otusanya

WTBD: At what point did you get into producing and start concentrating on that aspect of music?

AO: In 2006 I decided producing music would definitely be what I would enjoy doing because I knew I had the love and passion for it, plus I play instruments, so I researched various music making programmes and taught myself how to use these programs . I started off using Reason but I realised that it was limited due to the fact that you can’t sequence audio files (didn’t allow me to record live instruments) so I later got introduced to Pro-Tools by a very good friend named Wesu Wallace and that’s when it all kicked off. My creative thoughts and process developed drastically and I could make music the way I wanted.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/6469198″ params=”show_comments=false&auto_play=false&color=330000″ width=”100%” height=”81″ ]

WTBD: A lot of producers start out by replicating the work of their favourite producers before going on to develop their own style. Did this happen the same way with you? Whose productions really inspired you?

AO: To be honest I tried not to replicate other peoples work at first but I did listen to the way they produce in terms of sounds and quality of the music because this is a very important aspect of music production, which not so many upcoming producers think about. In my teenage years, I listened to a lot of Hip-Hop/Jazz//Soul/RnB and Gospel. I studied well known producers/composers like Dr Dre, Scott Storch, J Dilla, Babyface, DarkChild, Teddy Riley, D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Amp Fiddler, Kirk Franklin, R.Kelly, Robert Glasper and then later covered some of the artists I like just to show appreciation for their music and to illustrate my own interpretation of their work. I always like to create something unique, since the ideas come from my mind and soul, I treat it with delicacy and they always say there’s nothing new under the sun it’s the way you do it that matters.

WTBD: We can tell you like your samples, what’s your favourite use of a sample in a song?

AO: Yeah sampling is beautiful when done properly, sometimes I think people don’t really understand the art that well because there is a big difference between sampling a song and nicking a loop and just putting drums over it. One of my favourite samples in a song would have to be Erick Sermon’s ‘Just Like Music’ where he used Marvin Gaye’s vocals ‘ooohhh looordy’, that’s genius, but I have loads of favourites.

WTBD: You’ve worked with a variety of singers and rappers from around the world. Who have you been most impressed by so far?

AO: I am quite impressed with all the artists I’ve worked with so far because they all have different concepts and ideas to add to my creations and that’s what I tend to look for in an artist.  There are two tracks I’ve done, which I’ve been very impressed with the vocal clarity and strength. One is ‘Another Late Night’ (Sophie Paul) and the second is ‘We Coming Around’ (Carolyn Mcgoldrick) the latter will be released with the compilation I’m currently working on.Abiola Otusanya Keys

WTBD: What’s the best and worst thing about using the Internet to make connections with other artists? What has surprised you most? It’s a competitive industry…

AO: The Internet has made it so easy for musicians to network and communicate, but at the same time it’s not the same has seeing each other face to face which is what I prefer. I don’t see myself competing with anyone I’m just expressing myself and just like every other form of expression.

WTBD: Can you tell us a little about what project you’re currently working on and when we’re likely to see a release?

AO: I’m working on various musical projects and using my musical talent to help other musicians around me. I play keyboards for a London Pop/Soul singer named Grace Obika. I’m working on a rap album with a duo from Poland who go by the name INV. I’m also working on my own compilation featuring artists both local and abroad. I’m working with DJ Mickey Simms a Drummer/DJ /Producer mainly on the 2 steps/Garage/House/Funky grooves and also helping to produce some artists in the pop scene. My own compilation is scheduled to be released just after summer and the INV project is scheduled to be released in summer .

WTBD: What’s your long term goal? Are you happy working freely as an independent producer or are you ideally working towards getting signed?

AO: My main aim is to get well established, get more recognition for my work, have my own professional recording studio with more gears and instruments. I’m not really bothered about getting signed because I think the music industry tends to put a cap on what you can create and that I think I’d have problems with that because I need my freedom of creativity. I would only sign a record deal if they agree to let me do my thing.

WTBD: If there was one artist you wish you could produce a song for, who would it be?

AO: I’d definitely want to produce something for Mos Def because of the way he views music and his lyrical content, definitely my kind of guy.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/9383599″ params=”show_comments=false&auto_play=false&color=330000″ width=”100%” height=”81″ ]

WTBD: What’s your opinion on current RnB? A lot of RnB artists have moved towards a more dance music sound of late…

AO: I honestly think RnB is dead and the name is just used as a marketing strategy nowadays to fool the masses because what they call RnB now has no elements of RnB in it at all. Sometimes the singing can be  shocking. One artist I really respect and that has kept a lot of musicality and soul is Maxwell.

WTBD: Finally, always a hard one to answer, but what do you think separates you from the millions of other ‘bedroom producers’ who are trying to make their mark?

AO: Well as a musician I have my own views about music and I always try to express that in my style of production. I started off experimenting with different sounds and now I’ve found my own sounds and style of making music which makes me stand out. People can hear my music and know it’s me and see where the influence is from. I tend to see myself as an artist and not just a producer because of various musical skills I posses and I think that gives me an advantage over a lot so called bedroom producers.

For more information on Abiola ‘Musiq Man’ Otusanya, visit his Facebook page facebook.com/abs.musiq or follow on Twitter twitter.com/musiqman_

Abiola Otusanya Graffiti Image

Hoodlouse: Abiola 'Musiq Man' Otusanya Interview

Nigeria, kick off your sandals, grab yourself some of that stuff you call ‘mineral’ and take a few minutes out of your day to listen to your boy abroad, Abiola ‘Musiq Man’ Otusanya. You can’t be late for this one!

Based in Brighton, Nigerian born producer/singer Mr Otusanya is the first U.K based artist to be included in one of our Hoodlouse features. So if you’re based in the U.K and are thinking about sending music this way, the standard has now been set.

Abiola’s versatility and enthusiasm for a variety of genres is what caught our attention first and foremost. You only have to check the tracks within this feature to see that  his work covers area of Hip-Hop, Reggae and RnB but still managing to retain that level of soulfulness. Nothing feels over-produced or forced. The creative freedom in his music is arguably what makes it so listenable.

We’re also proud to support any artist who keeps things fresh by experimenting with new sounds and crossing genres (and nationalities!) in a constructive way. Just check the following track ‘Life‘ to hear exactly what we’re referring to.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/7546073″ params=”show_comments=false&auto_play=false&color=330000″ width=”100%” height=”81″ ]

The last lines of Nigeria’s national anthem read, ‘To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.’ Well, Abiola is bringing the peace, so do him some justice and check the interview below!

INTERVIEW

WTBD: What’s your first musical memory? Who in Nigeria did you grow up listening to?

AO: My first musical memory was me actually seeing a keyboard for the first time and playing about with it. While growing up I listened to Fela Kuti, Billy Ocean, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Sade, King Sunny Ade, Orlando Owoh and gospel music.

WTBD: Was it during your time in Nigeria that you decided that being involved in music is what you wanted to do? Or did that come later in your life?

AO: Growing up as a kid in Nigeria I was very inspired to do a lot of things. Music was one of them, but I wasn’t too keen on it at that time because I had to study other things as well in school. I was the main keyboardist for my church and I think that helped me a lot developing my skills mentally and physically. I wanted to be an engineer as well, so I juggled between both, but music as always been a big part of me and in 2006 I decided I wanted to spend more time making music because of my love for it.

WTBD: England and Nigeria are worlds apart socially and economically. What was the hardest thing that you had to adapt to when moving to England?

AO: I was fairly young when I moved to England so adapting to things weren’t that hard for me, but I struggled coping with the weather lol!

WTBD: What was the first instrument you learned to play? Did teach yourself or have a mentor or someone you looked up to, to drive you on?

AO: The first instrument I picked up was an African drum, and then I moved to a Drum Kit and then started learning the keyboard with the help of my cousin (Emmanuel Odu) who was a contemporary gospel keyboardist at that time for his church. I later developed my skills on the keyboard with the help of another teacher (Jide Olushina) who was the choir master and an organist of an Anglican church. In 2002 I started learning how to read music scores and play classical music with the help of a choir master and a pianist of a catholic church (Adrian Boynton) and now I’ve picked up more instruments like the bass and the Saxophone (teaching myself. I also sang in the choirs of most of the churches I attended while growing up, which helped to develop my singing.

Abiola Otusanya

WTBD: At what point did you get into producing and start concentrating on that aspect of music?

AO: In 2006 I decided producing music would definitely be what I would enjoy doing because I knew I had the love and passion for it, plus I play instruments, so I researched various music making programmes and taught myself how to use these programs . I started off using Reason but I realised that it was limited due to the fact that you can’t sequence audio files (didn’t allow me to record live instruments) so I later got introduced to Pro-Tools by a very good friend named Wesu Wallace and that’s when it all kicked off. My creative thoughts and process developed drastically and I could make music the way I wanted.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/6469198″ params=”show_comments=false&auto_play=false&color=330000″ width=”100%” height=”81″ ]

WTBD: A lot of producers start out by replicating the work of their favourite producers before going on to develop their own style. Did this happen the same way with you? Whose productions really inspired you?

AO: To be honest I tried not to replicate other peoples work at first but I did listen to the way they produce in terms of sounds and quality of the music because this is a very important aspect of music production, which not so many upcoming producers think about. In my teenage years, I listened to a lot of Hip-Hop/Jazz//Soul/RnB and Gospel. I studied well known producers/composers like Dr Dre, Scott Storch, J Dilla, Babyface, DarkChild, Teddy Riley, D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Amp Fiddler, Kirk Franklin, R.Kelly, Robert Glasper and then later covered some of the artists I like just to show appreciation for their music and to illustrate my own interpretation of their work. I always like to create something unique, since the ideas come from my mind and soul, I treat it with delicacy and they always say there’s nothing new under the sun it’s the way you do it that matters.

WTBD: We can tell you like your samples, what’s your favourite use of a sample in a song?

AO: Yeah sampling is beautiful when done properly, sometimes I think people don’t really understand the art that well because there is a big difference between sampling a song and nicking a loop and just putting drums over it. One of my favourite samples in a song would have to be Erick Sermon’s ‘Just Like Music’ where he used Marvin Gaye’s vocals ‘ooohhh looordy’, that’s genius, but I have loads of favourites.

WTBD: You’ve worked with a variety of singers and rappers from around the world. Who have you been most impressed by so far?

AO: I am quite impressed with all the artists I’ve worked with so far because they all have different concepts and ideas to add to my creations and that’s what I tend to look for in an artist.  There are two tracks I’ve done, which I’ve been very impressed with the vocal clarity and strength. One is ‘Another Late Night’ (Sophie Paul) and the second is ‘We Coming Around’ (Carolyn Mcgoldrick) the latter will be released with the compilation I’m currently working on.Abiola Otusanya Keys

WTBD: What’s the best and worst thing about using the Internet to make connections with other artists? What has surprised you most? It’s a competitive industry…

AO: The Internet has made it so easy for musicians to network and communicate, but at the same time it’s not the same has seeing each other face to face which is what I prefer. I don’t see myself competing with anyone I’m just expressing myself and just like every other form of expression.

WTBD: Can you tell us a little about what project you’re currently working on and when we’re likely to see a release?

AO: I’m working on various musical projects and using my musical talent to help other musicians around me. I play keyboards for a London Pop/Soul singer named Grace Obika. I’m working on a rap album with a duo from Poland who go by the name INV. I’m also working on my own compilation featuring artists both local and abroad. I’m working with DJ Mickey Simms a Drummer/DJ /Producer mainly on the 2 steps/Garage/House/Funky grooves and also helping to produce some artists in the pop scene. My own compilation is scheduled to be released just after summer and the INV project is scheduled to be released in summer .

WTBD: What’s your long term goal? Are you happy working freely as an independent producer or are you ideally working towards getting signed?

AO: My main aim is to get well established, get more recognition for my work, have my own professional recording studio with more gears and instruments. I’m not really bothered about getting signed because I think the music industry tends to put a cap on what you can create and that I think I’d have problems with that because I need my freedom of creativity. I would only sign a record deal if they agree to let me do my thing.

WTBD: If there was one artist you wish you could produce a song for, who would it be?

AO: I’d definitely want to produce something for Mos Def because of the way he views music and his lyrical content, definitely my kind of guy.

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WTBD: What’s your opinion on current RnB? A lot of RnB artists have moved towards a more dance music sound of late…

AO: I honestly think RnB is dead and the name is just used as a marketing strategy nowadays to fool the masses because what they call RnB now has no elements of RnB in it at all. Sometimes the singing can be  shocking. One artist I really respect and that has kept a lot of musicality and soul is Maxwell.

WTBD: Finally, always a hard one to answer, but what do you think separates you from the millions of other ‘bedroom producers’ who are trying to make their mark?

AO: Well as a musician I have my own views about music and I always try to express that in my style of production. I started off experimenting with different sounds and now I’ve found my own sounds and style of making music which makes me stand out. People can hear my music and know it’s me and see where the influence is from. I tend to see myself as an artist and not just a producer because of various musical skills I posses and I think that gives me an advantage over a lot so called bedroom producers.

For more information on Abiola ‘Musiq Man’ Otusanya, visit his Facebook page facebook.com/abs.musiq or follow on Twitter twitter.com/musiqman_

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