What was your intr0 to beatz?
I think my first interest in making beats came around at age 14 after listening over and over to Mobb Deep’s The Infamous album. Also discovering DJ Premier and loving how jazz and other related genres were incorporated into the beats. My father had a great vinyl collection so I was discovering hip hop and the art of crate digging and sampling at the same time. But I didn’t get my hands on a drum machine/sampler until four years later so until then I was just listening and training my ears so if one day I would have money for a sampler, I would be ready.
Is there a significance or story behind the name?
It started as a graffiti tag, “Intro.” Then in my early turntablizm days, I entered my first DJ battle. I didn’t go by any name so when the host asked about my DJ name someone from the crowd shouted “DJ Intro!” so I just went by it. Then when iPods came along and I started seeing people playing music at bars with an iPod and calling themselves a DJ, I was like HELL NO and replaced “DJ” with “beatz.” Around that time I just got my first MPC so it all made sense.
How would you define or characterize your sound?
Man, I don’t know. I’m definitely influenced by the deep soundscape of the ’90s and golden era hip hop. When I make music I try to incorporate that into all my beats, using samples most of the times but adding some new era twist to it.
I try not to stick with one sound. I’m more into chasing vibes I’m feeling that day. Something I can relate to, what I’m influenced by…
What does your studio setup look like?
I have a couple of MPCs, Emu SP-1200, TR-8 and some other stuff. At the moment I’m babysitting a Fender Rhodes so I’ve been trying to incorporate it into as many tunes I can until I have to give it back. But to be honest, for the past 5 years my main thing has been Ableton Live. I used only an MPC 2000xl and a turntable for more than ten years so it’s really nice to have something like Ableton’s drum rack. To me it’s kinda like using the MPC, but on steroids.
Talk about your first record and your latest record.
The first album I ever worked on was with my Icelandic hip hop group, Forgotten Lores. For the most part it was just a two of us making the beats, me and my good friend Diddi Fel, but he’s the one who introduced me to the MPC. We were young and hungry only using MPCs and a turntable for sampling but we still took a long time putting it all together. Like everyone who has released albums before, when I listen to it today, the beats sounds like shit and there is so much I wish we would have done better. But that’s normal when you are the producer. Always judging you own work.
My latest release is Free Steve EP released on Tom Greco’s Rawsome Recordings label. I’m really happy with how it came out. Those tunes are at least one or two years old and I wasn’t even sure they would ever see the light of day. When I made these tunes I was trying to do something different from my previous releases. I guess I was trying to go more hard but deep at the same time without it sounding generic to my ear. Shout out to Tom and the Rawsome fam!
When I re-discovered house music I started to get the same feeling I had when I fell in love with hip hop: Something raw, something untamed that I felt I needed to know more about and be a part of.
More than a few producers rooted in hip hop have found their way into house music. What do you think is the attraction and why do you think they excel?
For me I was just fed up what was going on in the hip hop industry. Just the way the music itself and lifestyles around it were taking a turn, it wasn’t for me anymore. I’m not saying I don’t respect what people are doing in the rap game, but it just wasn’t for me anymore.
So when I re-discovered house music I started to get the same feeling I had when I fell in love with hip hop. Something raw, untamed that I felt I needed to know more about and be a part of. The underground side of it taught me that I could continue using the same techniques I used for hip hop – crate dig, chop samples, but also make people not only nod their heads harder but also dance their asses off.
So I think the reason why hip hop beat makers turning house are doing good is because they bring so much rawness into the scene with their sample knowledge and techniques. Like rap music, house can be so generic because many producers are using the same sounds and pre-sets, trying to make something that sounds just like the last top seller.
Any producers on your radar that ought to be on ours?
Byron The Aquarius for sure! He’s the perfect example how hip hop producers can do good for house music. Every tune is so soulful with that hip hop attitude rhythms!
My man Askell from Iceland. He’s getting back to making music but he’s been busy with school and some other stuff for the past 3-4 years. He also runs the label BORG LTD (with two other mates)which is probably the best thing that ever happened to the Icelandic underground house scene. They have releases with great artists like Frits Wentink and my man Alex Agore just to name a few. They are the ones who introduced my music to UK’s DJ Caspa who has been my biggest supporter for the last four years. So Askell, BORG LTD and DJ Caspa should be on people’s radars!
Jus Tadi. I can’t say much about him other than I just love his music! DJ Caspa introduced me to his tunes and I just love every tune! He has a new EP on Delve Deeper Recordings, Juicy EP featuring a remix by me. Check out his tune “Remember” – So good! Definitely keep him on your radar!
Sweely. Don’t know much about him but I love how his tunes knock your trainers off.
I could speak about so many artists like Lay-Far, Shur-I-Kan, Black Loops, Sebb Junior, Hugo LX, Felix Leifur, Moff & Tarkin, Viktor Birgiss and his label Lagaffe Tales but they all should be on people’s radar by now. If not, go check’em out like right NOW!
Do you have any dream collaborators on your wish list for the future? Labels you’d like to work with?
Man, so many artists that I like and would love to collaborate with. Me and Jus Tadi might do something in the next year and also me and Sebb Junior but nothing has been made yet so lets see how it goes.
I can mention a few labels that I’m into although I’m not sure I personally would necessarily fit into their catalog. Like City Fly, Dirt Crew, Heist, Toy Tonics and Lobster Theremin for example. You can obviously tell that the artists signed to these labels have been making hip hop before doing house music.
What’s coming up next for you?
This month I’m going back to Alex Agore’s label Closer To Truth with a second EP called Trees Breez EP. Then hopefully in October/November I have a vinyl release with a new label called Just Fine Records which is based in New York featuring a remix from Luvless. Big up to Giles at Just Fine!
Will try to attend ADE this year. Don’t have a slot yet but I just want to go and meet people and network. Please give me a shout if someone wants to book me!
Then in November I’ll be playing in Tokyo, something I thought never would happen. Other then that, just keep doing what I’ve been doing. Making music and having fun while at it!