Graffiti Gonzo: Infidel Interview #5

February 17, 2016

 

Hey man, thanks for doing this interview with us. Just wanna start with you giving a little information about yourself. Where you from, how old are you, and how long you been making music for?

 

I was born in Middleton NS (Canada) but grew up as a young child in Geilenkirchen Germany before ultimately moving to Cole Harbour NS and living out my youth their. I am probably 20 years old by lifestyle and mentality most days but 35 in the physical being and have been making music since i was 15 years old with my brother in arms thagodzombie at Deep 9 Recording studios.

 

Rap music is the name of the game for you. What led you to the path of hip-hop, and who would you say are your major influences? Would you say it's the sound of the music itself that inspired you to persue that path, or would you say it is the lifestyle and community associated? Or would you say it's a bit of both?

 

I’m such a music head that i have too many influences (especially in hip hop) to list but i will say that Sean Price (of Heltah Skeltah) took the game to another level for me in style and context and that the day that Biggie died my phone was off the hook with people apologizing for my loss when in fact i've never met him in my life. People know me for hip hop because I was rockin it before it really took off, before people thought it was a fad, i was their rockin’ Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, BDP, Slick Rick & Tone Loc when people listened to Motley Crew and Poison.

 

As for the path, it chose me, their is both a sound and community associated with it. When I started you couldn’t just get up and rap, you had to have Stature and Presence in your community, you had to have a Rep, or dudes would slap you or shut you down, not like today where anybody thinks they can throw together a few words and think they're hot. Today's era wouldn't have survived when I started, I might have started recording at 15 but i was battling/ playing the dozens and freestyling before it was the thing to do, I wrote poetry a lot too because i moved around alot as a kid and Dr. Seuss was a genius to me as a kid, nobody was telling stories geographically, worldwide before that.

 

Depicted Below: Graffiti Gonzo - "Streets of the Dead" (Official Music Video) ...Interview Continues After...

 

 

You are skilled lyricists, and you're the beats you choose perfectly match your flow. Is there any particular process you get into when writing your lyrics?

 

I don't have a particular process, I write generally 5 minutes before I spit it in the studio, it wasn't always like that though. After years of writing and trying to match it to any beat I learned how to be able to match my words flow-wise to the beat. i've spit "Streets Of The Dead'' to over 100 beats before i recorded that, but ultimately each song is different and has a different process. For example I did a song for the homie B. Nelson called "Spared", I went to his house, he told me what he was going for and what he wanted for his new project, I freestyled a verse off of the top and then went to go pick up my kid. Shout out to B. Nelson

 

What would you say are your favorite themes and topics to write about? What draws you to those themes?

 

Theme wise I am my own enigma, I don't generally do them consciously, I pretty much have an opening line in my head, put the pen to the paper and let all thoughts and emotions run through me like a portal. To me if it is you then you will become it, the problem with today is nobody reaches for what their talented at or what they are more interested in. Today kids just see stars and try to shoot for what makes the most money as opposed to what makes them happy.

As for the sound I portray, it is particular and all me, at the end of the day i want me to sound like me. I do my own thing and don't follow trends/fads because that shit is corny. Music nowadays is like Chasing The Dragon, these dudes see something pop and get a taste of it and they try to mimic it to get the same feel and effect to help himself but as we know that rarely ever works, so why be that way?.

 

 

When you choose beats do you have certain criteria or sounds you prefer, or do you just go with whatever catches your ear? Are there any producers that you have close working relationships with? Or do you work with a wide variety of different individuals? Do you predominantly work with people locally, or do you have a wide variety of people you work with locally and internationally?


As for my production its in house and international, a lot of that credit goes to my #1 General and Brother In Arms thagodzombie, we have known each other so long that we probably know what the other is thinking and it's because of that, that he can build the perfect sound because it's so familiar it's like knowing yourself, we know each other so well that we know how to push each other's buttons which leads to a lot of online debates on my Facebook page lol.

 

thagodzombie is my main producer & partner at 412 Oceans Ave. but i also have a lot of love for everyone else that I have worked with or are affiliated with the 412 Oceans Ave. Brand. Methodmatics of South Africa is also by far one of the most slept on dudes that i've ever known that has also incorporated production on my projects & Whatevski (of Sargeant & Comrade) is a mad man in the studio and with his production, I record almost everything at his White Russian Production Studio (Calgary). The Dirty Sample also hit me up some a custom built dream (my track "Spooky") which was a blessing considering I always wanted to use the sample he used for me. The finishing touches are the most important though and nobody got an ear like Sampson (of Skinny Blimps), he can mix that shit like nobody else and has been down from day 1. I've done stuff with other djs and producers but these are my dudes, my go to guys but I got to give a shout out to Dj Slam! and Bless 1ne (of Wu-World Radio) they always got my back and check on me or let me know what's up, I appreciate dudes like that.

 

How do you enjoy where you live? Is their a vibrant music community for you to indulge? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?

I live in Calgary AB and the music community has some kats worth mentioning like Apeface/The Dirty Sample & Halfcut but i'm more influenced by a more East Coast Vibe considering I mostly grew up in the Halifax/Dartmouth area. but i never base my local communities acts because to me that cliche to follow suit in sound so i kind of fit perfect here due to what differentiates me from the rest.

 

How has the live atmosphere impacted the way that you approach music? Did you find that after hearing yourself perform for the first couple, and feeling the energy from yourself and the audience, that it changed something about the way you think about, or approach, writing music?


I am a DJ by trade so feeding off of the vibe of the crowd has always been imbedded in me, performing as a MC and how that affects me is not based on my writing or should i say I don't base my writing off of my live performances. To a lot of people it does, they write based on how to perform it but i like to create an audio atmosphere with a song and visually when i'm performing it in the moment. when I write it's right before I record it so I can convey the emotion vocally in that moment and capture it like a Polaroid. Performing is taking that message and trying to re-inact it live which is more of something that you have to be comfortable in your own skin for.

 

If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be? Is there any particular reason why, and/or is there any places in that location you'd like to sight-see on the way?


Coachella.... just because it would be a different type of notch in my belt metaphorically speaking.

 

 

Do you have any other family or close friends who are involved in some creative outlets? If so, have you ever, or ever thought about, collaborating with them? Has collaboration been a part of your musical career? If so, who have you collaborated with that you enjoyed the most? Has there been anyone that's been difficult to collaborate with, or laid to failed attempts?

 

I love to collaborate and have been blessed with some amazing offers, but i keep it close to home friend wise. Mykill Darcshyne/Yardi Black/Digi Hendrix is my dude, we are a team in our own but collaboratively we have both shit the bed on getting together or following through on certain things, especially me, I was supposed to do an video for him which I did and my homie helping me sent it to the wrong address, deleted the video footage and I havent had a chance to redo it yet because I aint got the room in my equipment. Man i got to do some spring cleaning and make room now (Sorry Mykill Brother).

 

One of my Fav collabs would either be (Dj Slam! Feat. Graffiti Gonzo, Mic Lanny & Macrophonic MC "The Boss") because it was something I put together for Slams project for the beat he gave me which had a crazy Boney M sample i wanted to freak badly. The other collab would be (Graffiti Gonzo feat. Whatevski & Apeface "Spooky") because a great song came from raw emotions over a Dusty Springfield sample i've always wanted to use, I just happened to be the day that I found out my father was terminally ill with cancer and i called Whatevski to meet up and clear my head and somehow in the mix of everything the 3 of us created my own Halloween-ish type of track.

 

 

 

If you could work with any artist, musician, or creative producer of some kind, dead or alive, who would it be? What gravitates you towards this person?

 

There's a lot of people I would love to work with Preemo, Sean Price (RIP), Copywrite, Das EFX, EPMD, Masta Ace, Ill Bill, Tha Alkoholiks, The Outsidaz, Step Brothers, Demigodz, Common, Wise Intelligent, etc. The one nobody expects is J-Zone, he is his own entity, his own label, producer, MC, etc. he produced my favorite beat of all time (Akinyele "In The Zone") and he teaches music for a living, what more could you ask for.

 

If you could only have one record for the rest for the rest of all time, what record would it be, and why?

 

That's a hard one because the music lover in me would say Bobby Womack "The Soul Years" but the Mc in me says Poor Righteous Teachers "New World Order" because u can never go wrong with Bobby but for hip hop albums PRT "New World Order" is the classic of classics.

 

Do you have any guilty pleasures when it comes to music?

 

I don't have any guilty pleasures when it comes to music, I just like certain stuff as a music head and others as a DJ but i don't have anything outlandish as a guilty pleasure.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for joining us here on The Infidel Netwerk, we hope to hear more from you in the future. Any parting words?

Thanks for everything and I hope this is exactly what you were looking for, anybody can hit the following up at anytime....

on

Twitter: graffiti_gonzo

Email: graffitigonzo@gmail.com

Facebook Graffiti Gonzo

Instagram: GRAFFITI_GONZO

 

You can find Graffiti Gonzo on his official Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/graffiti-gonzo

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