Interview Slow Motion Soundz

02/05/2010 | Interview by JB | Version française

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A: The choice of sampling Robert Miles in Jackie Chain's 'Rollin'' is a good example of that strategy, because I grew up on that song because that's what made me discover your music. Was the song big in Alabama back then?

CP: Really… Honestly… We don't even listen to rap music outside of the studio [laughs]. So we're pretty much open. And besides the sample being a dope sample - I think we heard it on TV or something from a movie - we do music to get people to listen to the message. In a lot of our songs, there's an important message that needs to be conveyed. The beat has that extra element to get you to listen to the message. I said that to say this: we are trying to get away from making local music. It's interesting that you said that it's one of your favourite samples because in order to get the world to listen to us, we have to make music that y'all can relate to also. We speak from a Huntsville point of view but we try to convey the message in a world format.

C: I was born before MTV started playing hip-hop or even play videos, period. When video first came to America in the early 80's, the music that we saw on TV was European music. There was no NWA at the time. It was either hard rock or european music like Annie Lenox, Boy Georges, The Beatles… At home, we would hear our parents play the Bobby Womacks, Teddy Pendergrass, Earth Wind & Fire… but when it came to TV, that was straight European music.

Mali Boi : I remember, my favourite video was Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' [Codie G laughs], Billy Idol, Naked Eyes, R.E.M.… This is the stuffs that sat with me through the years. I was like "Man, those melodies are crazy". They make you feel a certain way, like Alizée give me the funny feeling inside. That song 'Broken wing', those type of songs? Pffff… They still do it. I guess that's why they're timeless. That's the music that we try to present.

A: You have a strong bond with people in the UK . Can we expect international collaborations with local artists in France, England, Germany or Russia in the near future? Are stuffs already in the making?

C : We are open to making good music with whomever. We just recorded a track using a Hudson Mohawke piece. CP really wants to work with Lady Leshurr out of the UK. We had the single 'My Aura' remixed by Punani SS out of Norway. So yes we are down for working with artist from across the water. I think that's where the new sound is waiting to be found. Mixing and fusing cultural sounds in the same likeness as fusing different genres has done for music.

CP : Really, I love the sound that came from, what's those guys that's with Dipset, SAS. Just the accents over the tracks. It was a perfect marriage. And now that I think about it, there used to be a rapper in France , I think his name was Solaar. The music was great. I just love the idea of taking sound and putting it in other areas.

A : So far, who have been the key people who have helped Slow Motion Soundz reach foreign countries?

C : It was through a host of writers that we were able to connect to the overseas markets. People like Rob, Dave, and Superix over at Southern Hospitality. They worked for Hip Hop Connection before it shut down shop and featured Huntsville in the last six issues. Lee Henderson in Vancouver wrote a very in-depth piece on Huntsville Hip Hop a few years ago that I think pulled some eyes and ears in our direction. I also have to give credit to Fairtilizer.com. When we took "Starshipz and Rocketz" I saw a green light to drop and leak as much music as I needed to, by using the true purpose of his site. None of it was done on purpose though. It just seemed to come out of now where. Now we can say you have helped us due to the interview we are conducting right now. I also have to give credit to viral growth of the Block Beattaz produced 'Woodgrain' and 'Rollin''. The production is what catapaulted in influx for foreign listeners.

A : It seems like you get more love from the international audience than from the southern audience. How do you explain that?

C: I don't think it is the actual audience. People in the south love our music. They know it is as good as it gets in certain aspects of today's music climate. I think the part of the south that doesn't support is the media outlets. It's very hard to break an artist to the masses when the disc jockeys and the writers are being told what to play or write instead of breaking music and taking chances. With that being said, I think plays to what we see for ourselves. The music has traveled from East Coast, West Coast, South, and the Mid-West. So musically the US has seen the best of the best or what they deem to be the best. With it feeling like it's our turn to make some noise the only place we feel the story can take us is Global. In the same breath we have to get love from the south because the production we have is all over the south. I think that's one thing people don't focus on. We are not just a rap group. We have production also. So either way it goes we are going to be heard.

CP: Our strategy is just different. People are products of repetition and they just do the same things over and over again. That's one thing we've said : OK, everybody go right, then we go left. It's just a great opportunity for us to make money if we take the path less travelled. Our model is: work smarter, not harder.

A: How do a label boss like you operate in the download era of rap?

C : When we first dropped our first album – actually the second, but it was the first with a barcode – it was 2000. I've been on the Internet for years. Message boards and all. All the people that say "The Internet this, the Internet that", we've been doing this! If it wasn't for the Internet, we wouldn't even be here. Master P had a lot of people down here in the South, slanging CD's out of their trunk. Everybody down here was slanging CD's out their trunk in the cornerstores. We came in the game differently, with Southbysouthwest.com, southwestconnection.com, downsouth.com, I forgot dude's name from the Tennesee… Those were the first sites and it just started tripling over. That was the beginning of social networking right there. As Myspace came into play, we was already on board. We had a website in 2000. Internet has been the way. The success people has seen from us isn't overnight success. We got people that's like "Yo, I've been listening to your music since '03". It's nothing new to us.

A: Did you ever consider releasing the Huntsville International Project as a retail album?

C: No. It wouldn't make sense cause the project came out of nowhere [laughs]. It wasn't planned. Everything we do has a purpose. Us giving it away for free, the purpose was to help some of these blogs while they help us. People like J Dirrt from Baller's Eve has created videos for us. If we had sold it, I don't think a lot of stuffs would have happened. I don't think you would have called us because you probably wouldn't have heard of the record. Now we got another fan, we got another interview so when we do come back and drop a record for sales – which we plan on doing this year – we will have more people out there to support us.

A: So the blogs have replaced the trunks?

C: Exactly. And they replaced the magazines. These people are writing and I respect every blogger, whether they write good about us or bad about us. That's your opinion, keep writing! If these guys are the new writers, in the next ten years they gonna be the new editors. Whatever medium form out there, they gonna be at the forefront. As they grow, we grow. Our career is pretty much cool – and I'm not saying we using these people.

CP: … They tell us when the shit is wack [laughs]. The honesty factor is extremely important. The thing that I like about writing as opposed to visual and things of that nature, it's because it takes a certain level of thought to actually critic. I always read in between the lines, and try to put myself in the shoes of other consumers. What did I get out of this article? You can tell a whole lot about a person. Our standpoint is this: we gave it away to build the trust of our consumer, all the people that have been support us. We have to let them know we're not falling off. We gonna continue to work. Money has been secondary to an extent from day one. We do this 'cause we love it. We find a way to make some money doing it but we do this 'cause we love it and we think we're getting better. We just put it out there so see if we can compete on a global scale and see if we can get some of those show dollars. If people like your music, they'll find a way to get your there to perform for them. That's the next step : the performance. That UK tour was so big for us because, number one, it's our first tour. The significance is : OK, people of our own backyard are gonna be second to Europe. With that being said, we need to make sure that our performance is up to part. That needs to reflect our music and our mindstate.

C: We haven't even drop the CD in Huntsville . We didn't press no records up, none of that. We've already been booked for more shows that we ever been booked in our life.

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