Tuesday, September 10, 2013


1. Salute fam, thanks for blessing me with the interview im very honored to be able to interview on of my influences and hometown influences. Now i have known of u since o6 via facebbook, soundcloud etc. for the readers feel free to introduce yourself, who you are? where your from? and what your you do?

I am Cream of Beats aka Roxstar. I’m from Bedfordshire England, but reside and work in Detroit Michigan.  I am an electronic producer, which means I can compose music in my bedroom without a band or acoustic instruments if that makes any sense! haha
2. Where did your name come from its dope either way but always wondered about that?
Cream of Beats is actually the studio name.  My name is really Roxstar, but nobody calls me that.  Sometimes you can’t give yourself a name, the people do. I really like it when the ladies call me Cream...it just doesn’t sound right coming from a dude.
How long have you been producing not trying show age etc but what year did you start producing?
I started really late.  I was 26 when I began in 2000 with an ASR-X.  It sucked a$$ really bad...sequencer would jump all over them place and it just couldn't handle parameter changes while the beat was playing. In 2002, I got an MPC2000XL and my life changed. 
4. What was the moment or event that made you say to yourself this is what i want to do and pursue as a career?
I need some real loot to call it a career, but I will call it a lifestyle! I was watching 1994 DMC Turntablist video with Mista Sinista, and he flipped Guru to say saying,”All you wack niggaz lick my balls!” It was about 2am and I was on the floor rolling in laughter.  Amazed by what I watched, I knew I had to have a part in creating music, so I bought some Technics 1200’s and a Gemini Mixer the very next day! Paid $512.00 for each turntable and $99 for the mixer, get home, set it all up, and didn't have a needle!
5. How did you go about learning to produce are you self taught or did you have people to teach you etc if so who were they?
Self taught. I learned by thinking I was the best, going to the club, hear Houseshoes play some new Dilla beats, and getting humbled really quick! I learned from the best by simply listening and dissecting. Dj Q-Bert taught me how to scratch, Dilla, Madlib, SquarePusher and Agustus Pablo and taught me how to make beats..that's one heckava team!
6. Who are some of your influences people that have inspired you along the way?
First and foremost, Dj Prime Minister, Granmah, Hazel, Jewbei, Raj Mahal, Denmark Vessey, 14KT, Dibiase, Lancescape because they have their own sound and not afraid to give people their true self. 
 7. i saw your mini doc on vimeo and you referred to yourself as the record roach lol when you go digging do you have a certain sound or genre set in mind before hand? and what is your digging process like do you listen before you buy? are you mostly vinyl and what are your thou thoughts on e-digging vs vinyl digging great debate?
Jason Topp put that video together, got to shout him out!  In Detroit, we got the good s#it! Our dollar bin records are like cooked crack to the rest of the world! The process is really simple though, I go off the cover.  Look dope, buy it.  I’ll pick up a stack, then try to cut it down to $20.00..what can I eliminate! I don’t care about the condition.  If I can get a scratched $75 record for $1.00 I’m buying it! I know some guys want the cleanest, original copy, etc...fu¢k that! I buy records to create music.  I've owned approx 15,000 records, and I bet I never listened *entirely* to 15 of them!
8. Now you currently reside in Detroit my home town, how long have you lived there and what does detroit mean to you as a resident and musician?
I’ve lived in Detroit since 2001, but I moved to the Detroit area in 1987.  I actually lived in Toronto  for about 6 months before moving to the USA. I have love for Detroit because it cheap to live here.  You can buy a house with a pocket change and don't have to drive a Lamborghini to fit it,  but when it comes to the music this city does absolutely nothing for me. I’d love to say some ish like, “I see the poverty in the streets and get emotional,” but I don’t.  Dudes shooting guns at night, blasting music at 3am, or the crackheads beggin' for change at every gas station doesn’t inspire me to make beats; it inspires me to want better!  If I lived in an Igloo in Iceland, my beats would sound the exact same!   
9. Now im a producer as well but i was wondering what your lab set up consists of currently and has how has it changed over the years since you started don't reveal any secret weapons lol?
MPC2500 + Mackbook. The secret weapon is imagination....and using it!  I don't rely on a new piece of equipment that has a brand new function. I find ways to make the MPC do just about everything I need.  Itunes holds all my sampling music and I record into Audacity. No plugins, no Protools, no keyboards.  If I need keys, I find the sounds in music, chop and 16 level.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve owned a bunch of gear, but I don’t use any of it now. I like tools that I can get 210% efficiency out of. I focus on one or two items and push the hell out of them! I can make my MPC sound like an SP-1200 or an MPC3000 without any external samplers to process the sound. I was making flangers, Echo's and reverb on my 2000XL without any FX card.  The computer does what the MPC absolutely can’t do...like surf for porn! You ever look at hoes twerking on an MPC screen? Not possible, and it wouldn't be cool! haha!
10. What is the local scene like in Detroit I moved to the Grand Rapids area back in '99 But from your perspective what is it like the scene? here doesnt affect me much just that as far as artists who understand our sound its hard so if it aint trappin it aint popping?
I honestly have no clue.  I don’t go out.  Last gig I went to was back in 09. Detroit was always really clique'ish and I never fit in with any of them. I tried to connect, but people here was on some dumb shit.  Like they see you, walk by you, but act like they didn't see you kinda ish, and the politickin' was super crazy....like getting "approval" to put music out.  Sure, anyone can put out a cd, but if you wanted it played and hyped, there were channels you had to go through. Anyone that was around in the 90's knows what I'm talking about.  It was a society, but it wasn't a secret.  
11. Does the current scene affect your creative process such how and when you create also what you create?
My mood  and personality effects the music, but I almost always like to make beats at night and alone.  Anything past 10pm works great and I often don’t stop till I see sunlight. I have a job, so I can’t do this everyday, and some weekends I just don’t want to stay up all night.  The last few years I was self employed but the recession took its toll on me creatively.  I just wasn’t feeling the idea of making beats when I needed to figure out a legal way to earn an income.
12. What is your take on the scope of the industry as far as the divide between fans and artist, producers etc, how do you feel as a musician and producer? Do you think there is a balance or is it a little lopsided?
There is no respect for real artistry anymore. Its kinda understandable since we now live in a world with mediocrity is a standard.  “Fans” are going to shows just so they can steal chains and post the bragging videos online. The artists have no more skills than the average fan, and the fan can become an artist by simply downloading some music software. Nothing is hard to attain! Everyone is capable and it shouldn’t be so easy.  If you can’t sing, you shouldn’t sing.  If you can’t dance, you shouldn’t dance, but not anymore!  Can’t sing, Autotune!  No autotune, download it! Don’t know how to download, post a question in a forum! Can’t dance, create a new dance! Call it the Stanky Leg! For any situation there is a simple workaround. Nothing requires skill, investing money or time. 
13. What is your creative process like in general as a fan I always like to know the process of creation from artist and producers?
I totally zone out and honestly, I don’t remember what I do.  When the beat is made, I often ask myself how I got to that point! I don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t inject! haha! I always start off with sampling drums.  The MPC give you nothing but a blank canvass when you turn it on and I like that. I almost always chop loops, but I never use the same drums twice, and I will make 20+ sequences before I settle on one. Then I find the sounds that I need.  It takes a LOOOOONG time.  There is no soul in a 10 minute beat!  It might take me 10 minutes just to find a Kick drum! 
14. What are your current projects and where can the fans and readers find them?
Since people don’t really buy music anymore, I don’t plan to invest any money or effort into something that won’t yield some profits.  If anyone wants a project from me, figure out how to rip/loop the music off Soundcloud. Make your own custom Cream beat-tape for free! :)
15. Now the last release I remember that I have on my Ipod was The Bedroom Collection and non stop heat i be like black milk in dilla breaks holding my head saying this brother here lol, but I read the description of how it came about and that was crazy what happened, can you give an insight on how you put it together and what inspired you to make it ?What the creative process was like for this project? BTW I need another tape lol asap for the ipod classic!
*I think* an ex girlfriend stole my ish.  No forced entry, the alarm was disabled and coincidentally, I broke up with her that morning..I arrived home that night and all my shit was gone.  I’m talking all my studio, but the rest of the house was good. 2000XL, external HD, Zip-Disks, synths, computer.  She got me good! I took off work, ordered another computer and bought my MPC2500 brand new. Doug Coombe (Detroit Free Press) wanted to do an interview and needed some music but I don’t have anything to give him so I started scrounging! Hitting up people that I gave beat cd’s, ripping the music off the Myspace page. In the middle of putting the cd together, I get a call from a neighbor of a rental house I owned saying it got broke into.  I’m looking like WHAT THE MUTHA FUCK?!?! The Devil was trying to get in my head, but I didn’t let him.  I put down the phone thinking, ”ain’t s#!t I can do about it now!” and kept aligning the tacks on the cd! HAHAHA!! I swear, I wanted to kill that b!tch, but I didn’t want “Foot Long Frank” knee deep in my azz because of a drum machine...Nahmean! 
In all honesty, I don’t know if she really stole my gear.  I had been around some weirdo crack’ish rapper dude(s) that I later found out had some substance issues....you would have no idea just by looking at them!  I got my eye wide open on everyone so my attitude now is fu¢k people! Keep them all out your comfort zone (home.) Tell everyone your depressed, broke and your life sucks; they’ll leave you alone. 
16. What are some of your future projects and which ones are you looking forward to most?
Theory Hazit is suppose to be doing something with a bunch of joints I gave him, but I don’t know what really going on with it. If I put out anything, I think it will be on some super personal type ish.  I’ll press up 100 records and give them to friends and put a few in stores. Thats how music was put out 50 years ago and reason why some 45’s cost $3000 or more. 
17. Do you have any advice for aspiring producers that you have learned and would like to share?
Don’t take this music so seriously. Have a plan B & C because I know a LOT of 40+ year olds whose only goal was to get signed, and they have nothing!  You don’t want 10-20 years to roll by and they only skill you acquired is downloading Plug-ins off Pirate Bay, or a lengthy discography that no one gives a ish about!  
18. How can people stay connected with you and any updates on projects etc?
www.Soundcloud.com/cream-of-beats or Facebook. I don’t do all that tweetin’ ish. 
19. Do you have any shout outs or people you would like to thank feel free to do so here?
My brothers, Swing-Lo, Lancescape, D-Melodious, Die-Rek/Christine and Shallow Al!

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