since this is the first of many forthcoming 5 Question mini-interviews, lemme explain WHY. recently i released a mix specifically for (and titled after) this blog, and put the call out to indie/underground/unsigned/bedroom artists to send me their links so i can choose a single track and eventually have enough to make a mix. and afterwards my intent was to spotlight as many of the contributing artists as possible via 5 Question interview. so to kick off what is sure to be an enlightening series of wordy pieces: the story of Pete Marriott.
1. what’s your name, where are you from & how did you get involved with music?
i’m Pete Marriott one half of Breukelen Marriott which consists of myself and Mr. Man (Da’ Bush Babees). we have single dropping this Summer and working on an album i think is dropping next year.
i’m a veteran Record Producer and Radio Mix Show DJ originally from East Flatbush, NY. i currently reside in Seattle where i operate my studio, The Tool Shed, which is a hybrid studio where i use both analog and digital technologies to create, record, produce, mix and remix records for myself and artists i collaborate with.
my hit single “The Champ Is Here” went to number one on the charts last Summer and since then quite a bit of production and remix work came my way and i’m in my studio readying several singles i produced and remixed that are dropping on various labels this Summer.
i originally started out as a DJ at the age of 8 years old, but i accomplished two life changing achievements in my life when i was only 15 years old. the first was, i produced my very first single, the underground hip hop classic “Let’s Make Some Noise” b/w “This Is The B-Side”.
this led to my DJing for New York’s WNWK which was the very first radio station to play hip hop music anywhere in the world which back then made me NYC’s youngest on-air mix show DJ in the 1980’s and i currently DJ for Nyce-FM and Open Season Radio so i’m no stranger to this hip hop music scene.
i don’t have a publicist who writes my answers for me, so what you’re reading are my real thoughts with my real words.
2. how did your particular track in the mix come about/is there a story behind its creation?
“The Kidnapping” is actually a song that i recorded with Romance in 1988 when he was 15 years old and i just turned 18. i recorded him in my then production partner Marley’s basement to 4-track cassette using a Sure SM-57 mic that Romance had to hold in his hand while our entire crew which consisted of my old group Da’ Goodfellaz, Benz of the Drednotz, and Lord Supreme had to shut the hell up and be quiet in between takes. there was 8 dudes in the basement the day we recorded this song and you’ll hear those voices on the single.
i did the beats and Romance wrote and performed all the rhymes and we did an album worth of songs which we shopped and there was a bidding war for him which eventually turned into a major label deal that went nowhere fast. Romance got shelved. he was and still is one of the nicest MC’s to ever come out of Brooklyn that sadly the general public never had a chance to hear on a record until now.
how you came to hear the song as you know it, is two years ago my Grandmother passed away and while my Uncle was cleaning out her house he found the shoeboxes of cassettes i left with her for safekeeping. she had them hidden in a closet with my name marked on them. i moved from New York years ago and totally forgot i left the cassette masters with her and my Uncle was going to disregard them as rubbish and dump them, but he said he had a very strong feeling to call me first and when he did and told me what he found, it was a genuine “oh shit!” moment for me and i had UPS pick them up and shipped to me from Brooklyn to Seattle.
it was a good thing too, because i now have a box set worth of these 4-track and 8-track cassette masters from the 80’s and 90’s that hip hop purists are going to lose their minds over when we release these joints one after another.
what you’re actually hearing in your mix is a very rough unmixed transfer from the 4-track cassette master to FL Studio that i cleaned up a little and slapped a little echo on it. the official complete single is dropping on iTunes and Amazon July 3rd, 2012. i really can’t wait for you to hear it, i did a really great job making it into a real record!
there’s a video we did for Image-Line who are the developers of FL Studio where i demonstrate the transfer and production process of the single and you’ll see that soon enough as we get closer to the release date. we also have a music video for “The Kidnapping” in the works too and it’s gonna be dope as fuck!
i’m really excited about this single and the support we’re getting for it so far. this is a great precursor single to my new album. it’s a part of real hip hop history and people are finally going to know who Romance, Benz and Lord Supreme are. these guys are my Brothers and i love them all and they all deserve their proper places in hip hop history because they are all great MCs.
i’m really happy about this project seeing the light of day.
3. who or what inspires you to create? and how do you STAY inspired?
i hope i don’t sound clichéd, but i actually love and live real hip hop music and real hip hop culture.
i make records because i have a genuine love and passion for the music and if you’re just as passionate as i am about the music then you can talk to me on a very real level about Freddie Vs. Miles or why you prefer the Alesis 3036 over the DBX 266a or debate me in a Bleeker Bob’s Vs. Bop Street discussion and we’ll build with each other for like forever.
hip hop music is something i grew up doing my entire life from the 1970’s living in Brooklyn with my Grandmother and visiting my Dad in the Bronx. i know first hand what it is and was fortunate enough to get in both the record and radio industries at a young age.
when guys like Q-Tip, O’mas Keith, Jake One, Nottz, Gensu Dean and Ski Beats shout me out on Facebook and tell me they think my records are dope, that keeps me going. it lets me know that people who i actually respect as producers, also respect me. so it helps me appreciate the 3, 800+ people who sought me out on Facebook and liked me because they heard a record i produced or remixed even more, that’s what keeps me going.
4. your opinion on copyright and the sharing of music? (specifically tunes made by unsigned, under-the-radar and bedroom artists that are then shared by fans?).
it’s kinda weird for me to say this, but i kinda despise what internet culture has done to music culture. i don’t hate the internet, but the culture in regards to music i find kinda distasteful.
did it give musicians like myself a lane to make a name for ourselves through our music? yes, but it also encouraged a very naive audience to have a very false sense of entitlement. music fans now expect you to give them your music for free so in my mind as an indie artist i have to kinda, sorta oblige their borg-like collective groupthink mentality, but as you realize by now i’m being strategic about it today.
look what i’ve done, i gave you an unmixed snippet of a song i knew we were making into a single, but i did not give you the fully produced and arranged, completed, mixed and mastered single. although what i gave you was an exclusive that no other DJ or blogger has, which truthfully in my opinion is something that only a true music geek with good tastes can appreciate, it’s still not the real single.
it’s not the commercialized ready for radio version that is worth a music video budget or promotion campaign that the label is putting their energy and money behind, it’s just a unpolished unmixed snippet that is effective enough to pique people’s interest. so when the actual record drops, people who may have glossed over it will pay immediate attention to when they hear the real single of the song and see the music video and there will be a prolonged effect because of the familiarity of it.
in the old days we didn’t have to play that kinda head game with the music audience, but today you have to, because their attention spans are incredibly low thanks to Twitter, Instagram and other mind-reducing social platforms, so now you have to spoon feed these kids so they will be willing to absorb the heavy doses when the actual record drops.
the buzz on a indie single is no longer than four days after it drops. and indie album’s even shorter, so how do you get people to pay longer attention to good music today? the same way we pushed “The Champ Is Here” to #1.
i made a dope record that my fellow mix show DJs can get behind 100%, but we dropped a few breadcrumbs on the way via the internet by giving the fans what they felt entitled to, a free incomplete version of that record so when they heard the radio ready retail version on their favorite mix shows, they fell in love with it and requested it and it climbed to the top position on several charts.
this is what it takes today, and by my sharing this information with you, i’m not opening a can of worms, but i certainly find it disturbing because it says a great deal about the audience and that should scare every indie artist to death. because even the smart fans who are aware of how fucked up music culture is right now is locked into this ultra sad state of affairs and can’t escape from it.
this is what internet culture has done to us all and until fans buy our music again it’s going to get worse.
5. the best place to listen/download/buy your tunes? and any final words you’d like to say to the Internets?
i personally enjoy Spotify for streaming music i’m familiar with, if i really want to discover music i jump in the car and drive to a record store with my Numark PT-01 portable turntable and listen to a band or an artist i never heard of before or always wanted to check out.
on the other hand i financially support a lot of indie artists who use Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Topspin and Vibedeck. and quite a few artists can personally tell you themselves that i’m a big contributor to their Kickstarter campaigns. if it’s good music and i believe in you as an artist, producer or whatever, i will do what i can to help your campaign as well as put my money where my Facebook updates is.
i own legit copies of Gensu Dean’s “Lo-Fi Fingahz” CD, LP and two 7” singles as well as the legal download and i went hard for him on my Facebook Fan Page and on my radio show. i post pics of these purchases because i want to encourage people to support good music again and some people write me and tell me that they too purchased that album after seeing me go hard for him. they had no idea who he was but they knew who i was so i got them interested because i was passionate enough to get them to check for him.
if your music is that dope, i will go hard for you. i also went hard for Robert Glasper and i’m about to do the same for Darryl Reeves who is just a incredible musician! i’m telling you right now to go buy everything these guys are selling because their music is too awesome not to collect their works.
the unsigned artists on your mix should be going extra hard for each other right now. they should be reaching out to each other seeking to collaborate with each other in any form or fashion. i hear so much potential that i’m going to reach out to a few people when i have some free time. that’s my word!
and of course, check out an extended snippet of Pete‘s single “The Kidnapping” as part of CONFESSIONS OF A CURLY MIND Vol. 1. u can grab either the .zip or .rar files (as separated n tracked) or cop the single-file mix via Soundcloud below 🙂