HipHopMacedonia.com Interview (Anno Domini)
1. We are positively surprised that we got an answer from a top-producer crew like AD. First of all, is it only the talent in producing or does it have more to do with the communication skills for someone to start growing toward success?
My pleasure! I think to succeed you need a healthy mix of musical talent and commercial acumen. By that I mean you need to have a business mind, be organized and work hard towards your goal. It’s not enough to make great music, you need to know how to market yourself and get your music heard.
2. We believe that everyone that is caught in the rap game today, must have heard or recorded on, at least, one Anno Domini beat. What is your personal definition of the AD Crew?
Wow well that would certainly be a great statistic! The Anno Domini Beats team is made up of myself, Anno Domini, and my co-producers 2Deep, Screwaholic, Scarebeatz, Tim Ross, Life And Death, Vherbal, One-Take and Klive Kraven. We also have many graphical artists, marketers, emcees and other talented guys in our extended circle.
3. You live in London: How is the Hip Hop scene in the UK, especially when they have one of the most renowned underground hip hop producers near them?
The UK in general has a really strong music scene. Hip Hop is somewhat of a niche but that’s a good thing, a lot of the music stays underground and artists don’t have to compromise their creativity. That’s why we have so many different urban styles here from grime to trip hop, dub step or dnb.
4. What were the first motives (skill, talent, love for the music) back in the day that guided you through creating this world’“famous music company? How has the style of the beats changed over the years?
I’ve been a Hip Hop fan since the late 80s’¦ so really when it was all starting and I was just a little kid. I grew up as a teenager in the 90s listening to a lot of East Coast Hip Hop like Wu-Tang Clan, Gang Starr, Mobb Deep and so on, and really the love for that style has stuck with me to this day. When I first started making music it was just for fun, trying to emulate the beats I loved from people like DJ Premier, RZA or Dr. Dre. I think to some extent you can still hear that influence in my beats today but I enjoy producing a wide variety of music.
5. ‘Anno Domini Beats’ consists of 6 members (2Deep, Screwaholic, Vherbal, Life and Death, Scarebeats) including you (Anno Domini) as CEO. Were some of the members personal friends of yours before? How can someone become a part of the AD Crew?
Yes I would say in most cases we started out as friends, talking online and exchanging music. It’s funny actually, when I first met my main partner 2Deep he was an emcee and buying beats from me. Only later he started making beats himself and now he’s recognized everywhere as a great producer and we’re sitting in the studio together. For the other producers we have certainly grown together as friends over the years. As we already have quite a sizeable team we are not actively looking to recruit anyone right now, but I always like to hear other producer’s work and take the time to listen and give feedback.
6. ‘AD Beats’ went from working with amateur rappers to having its name put right next to heads like Vinnie Paz, Tech N9ne, Kool G Rap, Killah Priest, Royce Da 5’9, Ra The Rugged Man, D12. Who reached for your beats first? Who was the hardest artist to work with? (If there are some)
Back in the days I would send a lot of unsolicited material to emcees and approach them directly via MySpace, E-mail or even a phone number if I could get it. Now we’re in the fortunate position where artists come to us, though we still try to actively pursue some of the bigger names and the corporate clients we’ve done more and more advertising work with recently. I’m not going to name names but I think in general music artists and emcees can be divas sometimes and very hard to work with haha.
7. In the last decade, Europe is known as the place where rap still keeps that RAW ingredient in its sound. Do you have favourite rap from a specific EU country that got you to rewind the track again and listen to the artist a few more times?
Sure, I grew up in Germany so I still try to keep in touch with some German Hip Hop. I also love the French Hip Hop style. But all across Europe every country has their own scene and there are some exciting movements.
8. Now the interesting part: let’s talk about your craft a little. How did you got in touch with your first equipment? Are you a self-taught producer?
Yes I started with a laptop and some downloaded programs from the Internet!
9. Sampling or composing?
Both. I do both, sometimes at the same time!
10. All this time I am mentioning you as a ‘producer’. What do you consider yourself the most: beatmaker or producer?
I would say entrepreneur haha. I make beats, but I also manage other producers, am a YouTube partner, help run music studios, work with corporate clients and other things. I wouldn’t want to pigeon-hole myself as a producer.
11. Plans for the future? Here’s a chance to officialy promote yourself to the Macedonian public.
The future is now! All the great things we have planned are already in motion, we will be launching our new music platform Anno Domini Nation this year and I just started up a new personal beat project at www.alcatrackz.com. Of course as always we will be having lots of contests, give-aways and new mixtapes and albums this year so if you want to stay up to date join our facebook page at www.facebook.com/annodominibeats
12. Have you ever chilled at home, listening to some Macedonian rap artists? If, no, you should probably do that! If yes, continue to the next question!
Actually yes, I’ve had some emcees from Macedonia send me their songs on our beats in the past. I’m hoping to receive many more in the future!
13. Any last words for the Urban Institute and the followers of hiphopmacedonia.com?
A big shout out to Macedonia, keep it Hip Hop!
Thanks, it’s been a pleasure!
Originally posted at: http://www.hiphopmacedonia.com/intervjua_en.php?id=18