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Interview: Skitz Beatz

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In his first piece for Riddim.ca, Montreal’s Roi Masters speaks with up and coming 16 year-old East London producer Skitz Beatz.   Skitz lays out his influences, studio set up and plans for the future.  Check inside for a Q&A and exclusive preview tracks featuring Fader, Fumin and Strika.

Roi: Where does Skitz Beatz hail from? Tell us a bit about your ends, your day-to-day and your crew.

Skitz: Well I’m from East London, which is basically the Mecca of Grime music, it all started here.

Roi: How did you first become interested in making music and when did you begin? Have you had formal music training like some producers have, or did you go straight into computer and drum machine production?

Skitz: Basically, I used to be one of the millions of mc’s in the world but I decided that that would not benefit me so I decided to begin producing, in the early days I was taught by Lewi White, Jammer & Bigga-Man so I guess I was blessed from there because a lot of youngsters would like to have been taught by the arguably one of the best production units around. In relation to musical talent, I have really taught myself, but I am beginning to learn all the theory behind music, but its not always about that knowing music, its what you think sounds good.

Skitz:To be honest I listened to basically every type of music in my childhood, there was always music getting played, so I cannot say that theres a particular type of music I particulary listened to, and in terms of stuff that I listen to now, I can only say I feel a handful of producers, they are Dexplicit, Chunky Bizzle, Mizz Beats, Angry (big up n comer), and obviously Jammer (when he can be bothered to make beats).

Roi: You use a lot of samples in your tunes which isn’t that common in grime. Production-wise do you come from a hip hop-type of mindset more than say UKG which generally has very little sampling in it?

Skitz: Basically, I like to dabble with samples, because I love all of that dipset stuff so I feel like it is bringing Harlem to London, if you get me (laughs) but I also play a lot of my garage stuff in myself, just incase people thought I could only chop n screw with remixes.

Roi: How would you describe your sound compared to what else is out there right now?

Skitz: Wow, that’s my sound, its angry but at the same time bumpy, I cannot put words to it.

Roi: Can you tell us a bit about your studio setup? What kind of gear/software are you using? We have heard that you use an mpc drum machine. How do you feel this affects your sound in comparison to most grime productions which are entirely computerised?

Skitz: Well the MPC helps a lot, because I do in fact make a few different genres of music, but the sound it gives is much more of a hip hop sound, which I prefer, but at the same time I include UKG elements to them.

Roi: What did you listen to in your early years and throughout your young life which shaped your style and taste in beats ? What do you listen to nowadays for personal enjoyment?

Roi: What artists, be they producers, emcees or anything else, would you most like to work with, within and outside of the grime scene?

Skitz: Boy, I think I work/worked with pretty much everyone in the scene apart from Nolay and Kano, so yeah, I’d like to do a collab with them.

Roi: Who are the producers and artists who have influenced you the most?

Skitz: In terms of UKG it has to be Chunky Bizzle and Angry but in the bigger picture, I like Alchemist, Timbaland, Heatmakerz and a lot of Neptunes new stuff.

Roi: Rwd magazine recently did an article on you, can you tell us a bit about that and how it came about?

Skitz: Yeah that was good because basically I sent my debut release ”ROAD WARFARE EP” to them to review and when they found out that I was 16 they were like, rah, this kid has talent, and they put me in the notorious ‘About To Blow’ section the next month.

Roi: What are the goals that you hope to achieve as a musician?

Skitz: All I can hope for is success and luck, because I need a lot of both to be happy with myself.

Roi: What do you think of Grime in general, and where do you think its going?

Skitz: Yeah the scene is expanding at an alarming rate, look at Lethal B, one minute he was on pirate radio and the next he is making videos with Twista, I believe that that wont be the last time UK and US artists combine.

Roi: Who have you done beats for so far, and what artists have you worked with for your upcomming album?

Skitz: Well the up coming Album is going to be huge, collaborations with the likes of, Roll Deep, J2K, Fire Camp, Neckle Camp, N Double A, Doctor, Swiss, Young Gunz, Crazy Titch & Bashy to name a few and co-production from the likes of Mizz Beats, Jammer, Lewi White, Chunky Bizzle and Angry.

Roi: What projects do you have in mind for the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Skitz: Look out for the album coming soon, and a whole heap of big remixes coming your way, also listen out for collabs I got coming out, I don’t need to name names but just look out, and in five years I hope to be doing what I’m doing now, but for a major label.

Interview by Roi Masters

Category: Interviews

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Riddim.ca was founded by DJ/writer paul autonomic (aka Mr. Bump) in February 2005 as a hub for North America's nascent grime and dubstep scenes. Since then we've helped promote events across the continent and made friends around the world. Mostly dormant now, we're host to one of the web's largest collections of writing on the late-Garage dis/continuum as well as a growing collection of rare audio and scans (coming eventually).