|CAPITAL R from London, UK|
|Written by tricksta|
|Thursday, 25 November 2010 18:32|
When did you start making music and realise that you wanted to be a rapper?
Music wise, actually making it, I'd say it was around the time I started studying Music Technology at College, I already knew how to play the piano and keyboard, as I learnt my sound engineering and studio techniques, I progressed into producing instrumentals as well. This was throughout College & University.
For the rapping, I think the best answer to that would be to check out 'I Represent (For Hip-Hop)' on my EP, it's the closing track, it basically explains my affinity for music and Hip-Hop. In the first verse I talk about how I got into it, "picked up a CD, I took from my brother.. Cypress Hill, Temples of Boom was like no other.." - then the next two verses go on to explain about the art of rhyming and my love for Hip-Hop!
Was there a person or record that inspired you to pick up the pen and start writing songs and hit the studio?
I'd say when I first heard 'Cypress Hill - Temples of Boom' album, that's when I fell in love with Hip-Hop.. I also used to write poetry, I won a national competition and had this poem published in a book, it wasn't an amazing poem, I was only like 11/12 but I think from over the years of listening to Hip-Hop and being good with English (at school) and writing poetry here and there, I kind of just naturally progressed into writing raps and writing songs.
Where exactly are you from and what’s the Hip-Hop scene like there?
Originally, I'm from Nottingham, that's where I grew up. Around my college days it was great for Hip-Hop, we had loads of live Hip-Hop events such as DJ Premier, Rahzel, Jeru The Damaja & GZA... We also had some good UK Hip-Hop in the 'Out Da Ville' crew.. I still remember actually going to a party when I was about 16 and speaking to Scorzayzee, Trevor Rose & Lee Ramsey and they all said I had some nice rhymes.. but I never really took it too seriously until after University.
At Uni, I studied a degree in Music Technology. I moved to Leeds for 3 years to do that, the scene there was and still is ace.. there's regular artists who play at a few venues round there, mainly 'The Faversham', but in the first year it was exceptionally brilliant, we had DJ Premier, Klashnekoff, Kurtmasta Kurt, Taskforce, Jehst, Kool Keith, Big Shug and many more play in Leeds so it was excellent!
Around this time, I didn't really come back to Nottingham much, except a week or two over Christmas & Summer, the scene kind of died down a bit, and it's not as good as it was for live Hip Hop shows BUT talent wise it's still hot. We've got Tempa, the legend that is Scorzayzee, the vicious Cappo and many more up and coming artists, which I guess, you could class as myself.
After University I came back to Nottingham for a bit and discovered the scene was lacking for live events, but I moved to London soon after and managed to find myself a job at a recording studio, whilst also starting to promote Hip-Hop events online (via www.UKHipHopEvents.co.uk), that's been very helpful in helping me build with people in the industry! Obviously London is great for Hip-Hop, there's always something good event wise going on!
Let’s talk about your latest project. Where can people get it, who features on it and who dealt with the production?
It's an 8 track EP of pure quality Hip-Hop called 'The Enigma'. People can purchase it from a few places online (CD's coming very soon via my Bandcamp store), so you've got:-
iTunes - http://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/capital-r/id390628063
I've handled all the mixing and mastering, artwork etc.. aside from guest production and guest verses.. everything is original too.. the beats and rhymes! Production credits include myself (I produced 'Reminisce The Times'), Anno Domini Productions based in London, Rediculus from Chicago, ATG from New York, Matt H from Nottingham and C. Karnes from Philly.
Guest verses come from J.A.I., Genesis Elijah, Ytv, a few of the Techtonic Plates boys, Mr Flex, Samuel Sky and Twizted Rootz.
How are you getting your project out there? Do you have a distributor involved?
Everything is handled by me currently, from the music, mixdowns & mastering to the promotions and distribution! I like to keep it in-house and professional. It's available online and very soon the CD version will be available to buy direct from me via my website and Bandcamp site.
I'm talking to a few parties about my full-length album being distributed through an indie label, but I'll have to keep you posted on that one!
Is there a shop or website stocking and supporting your music?
I've set up everything myself, I'm talking to a few parties about stocking my CD (which will be out soon), but at the moment the places to get my music and EP from are Bandcamp: http://thecapitalr.bandcamp.com and iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/capital-r/id390628063
Getting Radio play is real gripe for a lot of Hip-Hop artists, but have you had any radio play? If so what DJ’s and stations are supporting you?
Yeah I've had a bit, more and more are discovering my music so they are playing it.. the ones off the top of my head are, The Bottomless Crates Radio Show NE1FM on 102.5FM up in the North-East, Beltdriven radio show in Brighton, Mr Murz on Clapham radio, 105FM Cambridge with the Rhyme pad radio show... and more, but can't remember them at the moment!
Do you think that radio is still as important as it was in the digital age?
Yes and no, digital radio and online radio still is an important tool in discovering new artists, but with YouTube now and an over-saturated mixtape scene, there's so much out there that's being released that you don't necessarily need to listen to radio to discover new artists. We have Bandcamp, Reverbnation, MySpace etc...
That being said, I think on the radio they are more selective of what they play, like a 'filter' system, so usually only the good stuff gets played (depending on the genre of the music too). So I still think it's important.
Do you think the internet helps or hinders independent artists?
It's a double -edged sword really.. it can hinder an artist when people are bootlegging, spreading and downloading your stuff for free.. but at the same time it can create stars and give everyone an equal platform. You can put things on download for free as everyone likes free stuff.. you can create CDs for print online professionally to sell, you can set up digital distribution and independently sell your product to everyone around the World, just like Major-label artists.
When it comes to making music what would you credit as your main motivation?
Also I just want to make a solid album (my full album 'The Nobody' dropping early 2011), and leave something that people can look back on and say I left a mark before it's too late, you never know what could happen tomorrow. whether it's a small or huge one, I still left something you know? As a lyric in the opening track on my album says, "Before Death takes, I wanna show my enemies/ I can't change Life but I can leave a Legacy/"
Let’s talk image and branding for a minute. Some artists spend lots of money on artwork and other acts aren’t that interested. How important is image, artwork and branding to you?
It's VERY, VERY important... I could do a whole interview on just on branding alone, but I wont. It doesn't matter whether you sell 10 million albums a year or 10 songs a year.. branding is sooo important, it's how people sub-consciously will remember you when they forget your name or song.
I won't say too much, but take this for example: Someone comes to a show, say Method Man, and you happen to get a chance to open up for him.. you are wearing a t-shirt with your 'name' or 'logo' on with a website link... now they are diggin' your set and music, but after your set, they have such a good time seeing Method Man after, getting drunk as hell and taking photos that they forget your name. But they managed to take a PHOTO or VIDEO of you, therefore the next day they can look you up online and match the logo to the photo you are in and thus you have a new fan who will support your movements!
I'm just lucky I also make my own artwork and logos for everything too.. But yeah it's as simple as that example above. Branding is a key thing, wear your stuff everywhere, get business cards with your contact information and logos on. Wear hoodies to the pub and music events you go to watch at, even go to the football matches wearing something branding your logo!
I think that any artist coming into the game these days needs a music video. I mean You Tube is one the most visited website in the world and its still a great way of promoting a track. Have you got any videos on there and have any of them actually got played on any TV Stations?
I agree it's very important.. I've been so busy with handling everything myself (time to get a manager?!) I keep on meaning to get round to this - for 'City Life', I want to shoot a video in the 3 cities I've lived in during my life so that's Leeds, London & Nottingham. I also want to get the guys on 'You Dont Own Me' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3JIJmr7tA0) to shoot a dark underground style video for that one!
It's definitely something I'm gonna get round to doing very soon. Every artist needs music videos and as much exposure as possible in this day and age.
What was the last album you brought and where do you buy your music? Is there a good record shop in your area or do you buy on-line?
The last 2 albums I bought were, 'Ruste Juxx & Endemic - Adamantine' and 'Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns'. I think Linkin Park are some proper talented guys.. it's important to support people as talented as they are.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 25 November 2010 18:41|