next up in our series of #REALHIPHOP interviews, we chat to Carys Matic, who ends up closing out Pete‘s LP with a poignant spoken word piece that sums up the overall themes of the album, and leaves us with a tingling sensation once the final bits of vinyl scratches complete the journey. take a squizz.
VEE: before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?
CARYS: My name’s Carys Jones, AKA Carys Matic, and I’m a poet/musician originally from the UK. I’ve been involved with music my entire life. I had piano lessons as a kid and started singing in church (my father’s a retired pastor) and in the school choir. I also played trumpet, but the one instrument I stuck at was the drums. I started writing poetry at a young age, and began to combine poetry and music as I got older.
VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?
CARYS: Pete and I first got in contact through the Beat Inn group on Facebook. He asked me to record a spoken word outro for his new album and I jumped at the chance. This is my first time working with Pete, but I hope to collaborate with him again in the future.
VEE: what is your writing process like & how involved do you get with the producer when coming up with topics or themes?
CARYS: I’m a bit of a scatterbrain by nature, I don’t really have one specific formula that works for me every time. In terms of collaborating with producers, it varies. Sometimes a producer will reach out to me, often they’ll already have a concept in mind as was the case with Pete, other times they’ll give me free reign. When working on my album ‘The Spaces in the Silence‘, I collaborated with a number of producers and musicians. Some of them I reached out to myself, others contacted me, and others remixed acapella pieces I’d previously recorded.
I heard an instrumental I really liked by a producer named Prophet 9 and wrote a verse to it. I emailed him & sent him a video message of me rhyming over it and asked if he approved. He said he loved it, so I finished the track and recorded it. If he hadn’t liked what I did with his track, I wouldn’t have used it. I’m a big advocate of collaboration, but I’m not a fan of the ‘mixtape’ culture where often someone will hear a beat they like and record over it without permission.
VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?
CARYS: Lately there’s been quite a bit of talk concerning what qualifies as ‘real hip hop’, and what doesn’t, the controversy surrounding Macklemore‘s success at The Grammys being a prime example.
For me, ‘real hip hop’ is about respecting the art form, creating for the love of it, being loyal to yourself and not compromising your motives for the sake of success.
VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?
CARYS: That’s a tough one, because there hasn’t really been anything I’ve heard lately that’s slapped me upside the head and made me think “woah… what just happened?”. That said, I was impressed with Homeboy Sandman‘s ‘White Sands‘. Paul White‘s production really compliments Boy Sand‘s style, and his lyrics are on point as always. I also enjoyed Ty‘s ‘Kick, Snare, and an Idea’ project.
VEE: last but not least, where can people go to check out your music or to get at you for shows or features?
CARYS: Via my website carysmaticjones.com. I recently took a hiatus from Facebook and I’m considering deactivating my account permanently, but for now I can be found at facebook.com/carysmaticjones. I’m also on Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/carysmatic, and Twitter: @carysmaticjones. My album ‘The Spaces in the Silence‘ is available for download from carysmatic.bandcamp.com.