Thursday, 30 September 2010

Exclusive From EP

To hear an exclusive taken from my forthcoming EP visit this site:

Its hosted on a 'UK aint no joke' mixtape

Hosted By Suus

Monday, 13 September 2010

Beat Thief Interview

Thank you for taking your time out to do this exclusive interview.
What’s your name and where are you from?

- Beat Thief. South London

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

- working with a wide variety of artists from the UK, US, Canada and Africa, given its only eighteen months since I made my first ever track. I feel I'm constantly progressing and am musically most proud of my last completed track, called "Gallery of Dreams" feat Sarina Leah and Mohammed Yahya, which I co-produced with a songwriter named Sam Steele, out before Christmas hopefully. Overall though its early days and I know my best is yet to come.

Who is the most impressive person you have worked with either mc wise or production?

- Its a cliche but every artist has a different way of working so it seems unfair to single someone out, but that said I found LS and Illvibe, the Canadian artists I work with, had a really professional approach, whilst I recently completed a track with Kinetik of Grand Central, who did like 5 perfect takes of his verse in 10 minutes - his delivery was completely flawless, sick verse as well !

What would you be if it wasn’t for music?

- well I worked in the city for a long time before quitting to give 100% to the music, but I don't make a living off it yet. I love learning and passing on what I pick up so teaching would be a great alternate career.

Where do you want to be in five years?

- a respected producer within the global hip-hop scene; with my camp, DowntownSoul, more established in both the UK and overseas. I am fortunate to work with artists like Poetic Pilgrimage and Mohammed Yahya who are already regularly touring and making a living off music so they act as an inspiration in that sense.

What do you have coming out?

- September's been pretty busy - DowntownSoul released my second full-length project with Manny Moscow online, entitled "The Fusion", which has a soul-jazz kinda feel, with loads of great UK guests including Big Cakes, Iron Braydz, and Supar Novar. And directors Global Faction also dropped my first video, for a track called "Expressions" with Mohammed Yahya, featuring Samyia, which has been getting some great feedback already.

I have quite a few collabo albums close to completion with: Mark Anthony ("Grown Man Music"), Ethneezy ("Hear my Words"), Adriano ("Jig Bond"), Sam Steele ("Thief & Steele"), Richard Roe, Jay Diamond, and Mohammed Yahya. My solo debut is a fake soundtrack called "Tales from the City OST" featuring Poetic Pilgrimage, Genesis Elijah and Logic amongst others but its been pushed back by the collabos. Sorry I forgot I also have a collabo with the Canadian guys, LS and Illvibe, which we've done three tracks for but I think thats not out till early 2011.

What is your opinion on the UK music scene?

- well I'm not sure the UK music scene isn't just a microcosm of the global music scene, in that there are (fewer and fewer) "mainstream" artists, who get 90% of the exposure, with everyone else just struggling to keep their heads above water. I don't see it as a bad thing because it means everyone can get their music out there, and it also forces indie artists to develop marketing and business skills, which in the long-run makes us more self-reliant, which can only be a good thing. In hip-hop in particular, I think there's too much competition and bad blood and not enough collaboration - I've definitely noticed a tendency for some underground artists to put down other (more successful) acts rather than following their lead - "they're sh*t, why's their video on MTV?" just isn't a very constructive approach imo yet a lot of people still seem to have that. So I definitely think the UK hip-hop scene could be a lot more united.

Would you ever consider compromising your sound in order to make money for example? Maybe even working for a big record label helping to produce ‘pop’ tunes? Please discuss….

- I'm open minded about this and the more artists I work with the more my style changes. Nowadays I tend to try and fit the artist's sound more so that naturally affects my composition. I'd even say I've produced a couple of songs already which border on pop (albeit with rapped verses) so I don't have anything against it per se, as long as I can stay faithful to my style and sound. What I do encounter a lot, and don't like, is someone saying to me "make me a beat like [insert current hot track here]" I just find there's zero creativity in setting out to absolutely replicate another song, so it becomes boring, and you get no sense of achievement from it. But I definitely believe I can produce tracks with commercial appeal so I guess its a question of finding the middle ground.

If you could pick anyone to get on a beat of yours who would it be?

- if it was anyone, one of... Cormega, AZ, OC, John Robinson, Tragedy. UK-wise I'd like to work with Mr Ti2bs or M9.

What type of music do you mostly listen to?

- what's called fusion I guess - so soul, jazz, funk, rock, orchestral or where they all meet, mostly stuff between 69 and 76, so people like David Axelrod, Leon Ware, Leroy Hutson, 24 Carat Black, Eddie Hazel - there are so many undiscovered groups and albums from those days I find it fascinating. Hip-hop not so much funnily enough, because my search for samples has become all-consuming !

What are your thoughts on other rappers jumping on your beats without permission for things such as mixtapes or You Tube videos?

- well as a producer its a compliment as long as you get credit. Its not really been an issue yet for me to be honest because I have only a few instrumentals in the public domain.

Have you ever rapped or considered rapping particularly over your own beats?

- after seeing so many emcees record you definitely get thoughts like that sometimes, and you pick up a lot of techniques as well, so people are always asking me when I'm gonna do a Pete Rock or Dilla ! To be honest, I wrote a few rhymes and actually recorded a verse once but it don't feel right yet. That said I could see myself making a spoken word/rapped/sung affair like Quasimoto or Dudley Perkins one day though lol !

Do you prefer to produce tunes with samples or do you prefer to not use any?

- that's changed. I definitely used to prefer using samples all day, because otherwise its hard to get that gritty hip-hop feel when everything's played in. But working with Sam Steele, who plays violin and piano, has made me want to use my keys and include instruments a lot more, so nowadays I probably tend to try and balance both. I think perfect hip-hop tracks meld samples and playing in, so thats what I try to aim for. Some artists also request sample-free tracks so then its outta your hands.

What was the last track or album you bought?

- "Sunstorm" by Zo - he's a neo-soul producer from Chicago who's worked with Phonte and Foreign Exchange, and his stuff is a mix of modern neo-soul and proper retro funk soul - highly recommended. Another guy I rave about is Shafiq Husayn - just check out "Cheeba" featuring Bilal - heavy !!

How do you go about starting a tune?

- if I'm working on my own I almost always start by looking for a sample, which can take hours - I might have ideas of sounds in my head so I'll look for relevant artists based on that - I tend to go through phases, so recently a lot of afro-cuban/latin jazz, like Joe Bataan, Cal Tjader, stuff like that. Once I got something I like I'll play around with it, start chopping it up, then normally decide its not gonna work and go back to square one ! Once I got the chops arranged right I'll add drums and then look for further sound layers from the original sample or play some in. If I'm working with a musician though, I normally do the drums first, so they have a cue to go off and can create the melody, then I'll add layers and arrange the track around that.

Okay before you go please tell us how we can get your music and how people can get in touch with you.

- check me on facebook –
- all my releases at the bandcamp page –
- or email me at

Trackz - Why This Have To Be

New video from Trackz. Decent homemade video for a nice tune. Something deep and meaningfull. have a listen:

Friday, 3 September 2010

New Skepta + Girl From Eastenders

The girl who played Amira in Eastenders left to persue a music career. Apparently she got dropped form the label already but re-signed to another label.

Anyway Skepta has teamed up with her on this new track. I like the tune and i think Skepta is doing a good thing. He seems to be bringing pop to a grime track rather than bring grime to a pop track. Listen to the beat. its definatly grime but the fact he brought the popular well knwon face of 'Amira' and the hook makes it commercially viable. Big up Skepta for keeping his integrity with the music.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Stylah Is An Animal

Go listen to that for the proof. He goes in on 'Fire In The Booth' and goes in a big way.