A Blog that features the best Independent Artist and Underground artists across various genres even established veterans that are paying it forward by making there own companies to provide an outlet for these overlooked talented and diverse artist to get some exposure such as Chaundon from 9th wonders Hall of Justus and prior to 9th building his IWWMG and Jamla Academy. feel free to browse and leave feedback.
1. Whatupdoe Fam, thanks for blessing me with this interview. Now i know that you are dope beyond dope at what you do but for those who may not be familiar feel free to intrduce yourself, Who are you? What do you do? And where are you from?
No doubt bro. I appreciate that, and thanks for reaching out. Man, where can I start? I'm JB Swift. Dj/Producer born in Ann Arbor, MI raised in Inkster and Ypsilanti, MI
2. Jb Swift, thats a dope name does it hold any specific meaning and how did you come up with it? Not really too much to it.
My government initials and my nickname from high school. Back in 90/91 in Ypsi, everybody had a nickname pretty much lol.
3. What is your earliest recollection of music?
That's hard to say say really. Probably around 2-3 or so. My mom was always playing some kind of music. I'm a 70's baby, so I know it was all good music.
4. When did you fall in love with hip hop aka your brown sugar moment?
Man, I'd have to say in 84-85 when I went to the Freshfest concert in Detroit with my big cousin. I was like 10. I just remember that being the best thing that I had ever seen or heard. Run- DMC in their prime with Jam Master Jay. I was hooked after that.
5. Who are some of your influences and how have they influenced you?
I try not to pattern myself after anyone, so I really don't have a lot of influences. It's just the music for me and how I'm feeling when I'm making it.
6. What inspires you to create?
It's just in me I guess. But I could say my family though. They definitely inspire me the most.
7. What is the local scene like where you live?
Not as live as it used to be in the 90's, that's for sure. From what I see though, Detroit still has a few lanes open.
8.Does the local scene where you live affect how and what you create?
Not at all. All I do is work, spend time with the fam, make beats and sleep. I'm in the house a lot.
9.What are your thoughts on the analogue vs digital debate?
I understand both sides of the issue. Digital will always have it's place. But there is a certain pureness to the analog sound. It's hard to explain. All I've ever had was analog equipment.
10.What are you thoughts on crate digging vs e-digging?
I love them both. Sometimes, you don't have the time or resources to go out digging. It's only a couple of spots that I go to. But if I find song/sample a online that I'm looking for, I'm never mad.
11. Not to show age but when did you start producing?
I started producing seriously when I was 19. But I was making pause tape mixes in high school too, so maybe 14.
12.When was the moment you realized you had a talent with music that you wanted to pursue?
When I bought my first MPC in 98. It was a lot of money for me back then, so for me to spend it, I had to be serious about it.
13.How do define your signature sound?
That's a hard question. I just do what feel good to me and I hope that whoever hears it, feels how I meant it.
14.What sets ypur brand of music from everyone else?
Basically, I just try not to sound like anyone else.
Everyone has their own style. I'm just trying to do me.
15.Im a producer as well but what does your lab set up consist of and how has it changed over the years?
Not much really. Macbook Pro w Pro Tools,Mpc 2500 and 2000xl. 2 1200 Technics and a Roland VS-1680 mixer. I started with a Boss SP-202.
16. What is your creative process consist of?
I usually start slow when I make a beat. I try to listen to the entire song that I'm sampling before I start chopping. It depends on if I already have a drum pattern or not.
17.How do decide what tracks to send to which artist when submitfing tracks?
You have to look at tempo. If your beats fit an artist's usual flow tempo and style, send it.
18. If You could pick five artist or producers to collab with who would the be and why would you pick them?
Dilla(RIP) of course, Pete Rock, Kev Brown, Roc Marciano and Sean Price(RIP). Simply because I love all of their music.
19.What are some of your current projects and where can we find them?
I have three projects out. Reinvented is available to stream on Dat Piff. Reinvented 2 and my joint album" From MI to PA" with my man Rye-Bread, out of Pennsylvania are both on iTunes and Apple Music.
20.What are some of your future projects and which ones are you looking forward to most?
In December, we're dropping The Preservation with Rye-Bread and K7, Reinvented 3 in April, then From MI to PA 2.
21. Do you have any jewelz for people aspiring to pursue music as a career?
If you're gonna pursue music as a career, stay true to it. Practice your craft daily. Even when you don't feel like it. You'll be better as an artist.
22. Do you have any shout outs or special thanks?
Thanks to God, first and foremost.My wife and kids and family. I also gotta give a big shout of respect to the artists that I've worked with. My man Bub Bizzle, Rye-Bread and K7. My day ones, K. Forbes, K. Holmes and G. Hall. Diz and Smurf(Gualla Game), Mocab, Alphounce Wolfe, Kamoni Khem Cook, Nick Neech, Rill Ill aka Sonny Dulphi, C-Will, just to name a few. I'm sure I'm missing some folks. Shout out to you as well Nate OG.
23.Do you represent any companies or labels if so how long have you been afilliated with them?
Foley Ave/JB Swift Productions.
24.Anything that we didnt cover feel free to do so here?
1.Whatupdoe my brother, now we have been building for a short time and i am a
huge fan of your work. for those who may not be familiar with your work feel fre
to introduce yourself. Who are you? what do you do? and where are you from?
My name is Alpha Centori, i’m a producer and sound designer and i’m from
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2.Now Alpha Centori, that is a dope name what is the science behind it and how
did it come about?
In terms of cosmology, Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to the Solar
System. And it has 3 suns. In my music i always like to put that extra space, exotic,
strange touch to my beats. I like melodies with weird chord progressions. I also come
from Montreal, Canada which in terms of hip hop is a bit of an outsider. We never really
made it internationally and montreal is not really known to the public. So all that made
me think like i’m an outsider, i’m super underground. So in my mind, i see myself as
coming from another star system. Another place with absolutely obscure samples that
no one can imagine.
3.What inspired you to become a Producer/Sound Designer?
As a young kid i always was fascinated by the clicks and pops of vinyl sound.
And when i heard those clicks and pops in hip hop beats, i immediately was intrigued at
how the beats where made. I knew it had something to do with vinyl but didn’t know how
it worked. So from there it sparked my curiosity and i made my research and when i
found out they made those beats with samplers and turntables, that’s the moment i knew
i wanted to make beats.
4.How long have you been a producer/sound designer?
I had my first sampler at age 13 in 1987. It was a Casio SK1 that my grand
mother gave me as a gift. But i would say i started getting serious in 1998. Sound
designer i began in 2007 with my partner at the time we opened a sound library drum
company called Drumlabz which made 3 releases. You can cop them at
5.What is you earliest recollection of music in general?
When i was very young, almost a baby i remember slightly just flashes of my
father playing so sad the song by Gladys Knight and Misty Blue by Dorothy Moore
almost each night so i could fall asleep. They were my lullabies. That’s the farthest i can
6.When did you fall in love with hip hop aka your brown sugar moment?
My pops one day, came back home with a Aiwa Radio and 1 cassette. The
tape was a EP from Run DMC called Papa Crazy. And the song that spark it all was
Run’s House. But on that EP they only had the instrumental version. So i kept listening
to Run’s House with the funky drummer sample.....that was it ! I was born !
7. What is your stance on vinyl crate digging vs e-digging?
As long as the sample is dope, to me it don’t matter where it came from. I
know producers that sample movies soundtracks from old VHS tapes and TV dialogues,
best example is Wu-Tang. A few years ago i was only about vinyl. But i forced myself to
open my mind and i did a good thing.
8.What is your stance on analog equipment vs digital software for music
I will always be a fan of the analog warm textures, harmonic distortion and all
that. In my book it’s the best. But time made me realize i couldn’t wait to buy all the
analog gear i want because i would be 80 years old making my first album. The cost of
the equipment is too high. So i opted for digital. And technology evolved to a point were
digital can replicate analog very well. I also learned to take advantage of analog tape the
cheapest way by just record my drums on a standard cassette and sample them back to
have that tape compression and texture. But at the end of the day, i think the most
important is that you have the tools to express yourself.
9.Who are some of you influences from when you first started producing until
now and how have they influenced you?
I was influenced by a lot but i would say Marley Marl, DJ Premier, Public
Enemy, Diamond D, RZA influenced me the most. The way the Shocklee brothers
accorded much importance to details to me that was a major influence. The « wall of
noise » concept also was very decisive. And then came the crate diggin' aspect pushed
by Diamond D. And then RZA came with all that and added movie samples.....wow !!!
That was it !
10.I am a producer as well but what does your lab set up consists of without
giving out any sector 7 secrets?
I use to believe that a big arsenal would make me better. But with time i
realized that the contrary was much better for me. I use only Maschine Studio with the
Roland SP-404 SX, some samples and plug-ins and that’s it.
11. What is your creative process as a producer and sound designer?
I first listen to a lot of music. Open my maschine and i try to stop thinking and
just operate. Just do ! Anything even if wack for the moment but do, do , do..... and after
maybe a few minutes, sometimes hours, sometimes a day or two, when i feel music
touched my emotion that’s when i become good. I express those emotions. I Translate
them into beats. It’s like drawing. First you warm up by doing simple circles and lines.
Then all of a sudden a vision comes and there goes the creative flow.
12.What inspires you to create music and to sound design?
I let my emotions guide me a lot. I’m very inspired by new technologies and
the way internet let’s you express yourself. I also watch lots of YouTube videos for
inspiration. Movies, life events and lots of music listening. For sound design i basically
inspire myself from other producers and how their music sounds.
13.If you could be in the studio with any artist or producer to create an album who
would be your top 5 choices and why?
GZA, J Dilla, Madlib, Guru, Busta Rhymes
14.How do you define your signature sound as a producer and sound designer?
Melodic, underground, fly, bouncy.
15. What makes your brand stand out from everyone elses?
The sample choice i use. I try to chose strange obscure melodies. Stuff that
makes you go deep inside your mind. And the drum patterns bouciness.
16. Do You represent any companies or labels if so who are they and how long
have you been affiliated with them?
No, i’m totally independent.
17. What is the local music scene like where you live?
I live in the french canadian part of Canada. The province of Quebec. So
french dominates but there is a lot of american influence and lots of english people also.
If your a rapper it’s not easy to find your identity. Radio plays 90% french music. Hip hop
in Montreal is mostly french but there’s also an english more underground scene. I
dropped the mic long ago and opted for music only. The universal language.
18. Does the local scene affect how and what you create?
Oh yes indeed. Artist here have a choice to make....english or french or
both. Then you create. And i think it’s a bit sad that you have to make that choice. For
example me i use to rap in english. But then i changed to french to get more popular. But
then in french your only popular locally.....so i switched back to english. But french is my
native language so i didn’t master english well enough to compete with the united states
or the rest of the world. So i became confused in my identity. That confusion led me to
make a drastic choice. And that choice was being a producer instead of a mc. That was
the best choice i ever made for myself.
19. Do you have any jewels for aspiring producers and sound designers?
Never give up and study music in your own way.
20. What are some of your current projects and how can we find them?
I’m currently working on promoting my sound library website Boom Bap
Labs where you can reach at www.boombaplabs.com and i’m working on my third album
titled : The New Diagonal. Of course always digging in the crates. It’s a daily opeartion.
21. What are some of your future projects and which ones do you look forward
I would really like my sound library company to grow, and i have lots of
music that i want to make. So expect lots of more albums by Alpha Centori. My goal is to
make as much quality albums possible in the lifetime i have. Sampling has such infinite
possibilities. I want to do this for the rest of my life.
22. How can we stay connected with you?
You can find me on Facebook as Alpha Centori. This is were you’ll get the
most recent news about me and my projects. I’m also on Bandcamp, Soundcloud and
i’m working on opening a YouTube channel.
23,Do you have any special shout outs or special thank?
Special shout outs to my bro Pascal, my best friend Andréanne, Nate OG
Detroit Oglesby, my main man Cashius Rockett, Remy Cosmo, Miki Funk, David Poe,
Merc’em, Chad Nissen, Steve, Carl and Raycord, LMN8, Browny Beats and To Tozz.
24,Any final thoughts for the readers?
Do what you like and be passionate about it. Never give up ! Be willing to
make some sacrifices. Believe in yourself !
25.Anything we didnt cover that you would like to mention?
Thanks to Nate OG for this amazing opportunity and for listening to my
music. Thanks to everybody supporting me. God bless !