Beat Chemist is one of Cap City’s biggest Producer/DJ’s.With a unique style and different sound he is one of the top guys doing it big out of Ottawa when it comes to producing hits. The CapCityHipHop Media Team got an exclusive look and sit down with beat chemist to talk about whats going on in the music industry.
CCHH: How long have you been in Ottawa?
BC: I’ve been in Ottawa since ’92.
CCHH: How long have you been producing and mixing for?
BC: since ’95, ’96.
CCHH: How’d you find yourself into that?
BC: My dad got a drum set when I was a kid so I started playing drums, but it was always too loud. That’s when Cypress Hill came out, the Wu Tang Clan and shit. I was like, “wow, these beats are awesome, I wish my drums sounded like that.” You know? What I started doing is I started looping the end of tracks and making an instrumental, and I was like, “oh shit, I made the instrumentals, now I can rap over it?” That’s pretty much how I started. Then after a while I started understanding, “I found these samples, here are some nice drums, what if I put them like this? Oh, now I made my own beat.” That’s pretty much how I started.
CCHH: Who were the first local artists you started working with?
BC: I started Chill Mode and EVO back in the day, some people might know about it, but it’s kind of really old.We did our thing for a while it wasn’t something serious, because I was working in Montreal back at the time and I was only coming down on weekends and shit. But we started that and then it didn’t really go anywhere and half the dudes fell off, un-loyal. Me, I kept working and one day I just decided to open up a studio. The first people I started working with were SD the Scholar and Swisha T
CCHH: How about non-local artists?
BC: I’ve worked with the Victoria Duffield, The Name Is iSH, The Rikers, Warner Music Canada, CP records, The Johnstones, Bizarre from D-12, and Hussein fatal from Death Row. I’ve recorded Ghostface Killa, Killah Priests, and Sheek Louch. I’ve done shows with LMFAO, Dev, Steve Aoki, Mstrkrft, Girlicious, Wale, Down with Webster, The Stereos and I’m forgetting some for sure…
CCHH: Regarding your first projects with EVO, would you consider that your first project that you ever got off?
BC: Yeah exactly, that was the first project, the first album I completed.
CCHH: What was the album called?
BC: The arrival, like we arrived…
CCHH: What makes you stand out against other producers?
BC: I think it’s the fact that I use hardware versus software. A lot of people will be using Fruity Loops and Reason, which is fine; I used to use all those programs too. You gotta start somewhere. I find the quality difference between my sounds and other people’s sounds is the hardware. It does a big difference for me. I’m not saying I’m the best beat maker but I do believe that I have the edge because my sounds are fresh. I’ll go and spend 500 bucks on new samples, a bunch of different shit like that. I find it takes you to the next level.
CCHH: What programs do you recommend for beat making?
BC: Beat making? Any daw really, whether you’re using Acidpro, Pro Tools, Qbase, Cakewalk, and Studio One is a great one too. Those are all programs that are awesome. I mean most programs out there are great; you’ve just got to know how to use them. A lot of people are like, “oh, you’re not using Pro tools,” well, whatever. It’s pretty much the same shit, I’ve got all the same kind of extensions and it does exactly the same things.
CCHH: As far as equipment, what do you think is some of the top of the line stuff out there?
BC: Universal Audio is obviously some really top-notch stuff, really good. Me, I’m a big fan of Roland, Moog of course, Korg is ok, I’ve got a lot of Korg, but I don’t know if I dig it too much. What else? I’ve got my tech1200, fuck yeah!
CCHH: What do you think about the Ottawa scene right now?
BC: The Ottawa scene is poppin’ man, it’s coming along. People back when I was doing my EVO things, that was a time when people were real haters, you did you and that’s it. And when you saw another rapper they would kinda think, “meh, whatever I’m better than you,” type of thing, you know? But now I find that people are giving love. People started poppin’ and I think the younger generation realizes that there is talent, right here, you don’t need to go all the way out to the states to hear some good music, and it’s just the fact that you gotta look a little harder and that’s the problem in Ottawa. People aren’t advertising themselves, they’re not giving themselves out, they’re just keeping it for themselves in their basement, which sucks.
CCHH: How do you suggest people advertise themselves?
BC: Well with great websites like CapCityHipHop.Com, That’s exactly what Ottawa needs; just the rap scene in general in Canada needs that.
CCHH: Any artists in particular you’d like to work with sometime?
BC: Yeah of course, I’d always like to work with the biggest, you know.
CCHH: Any favourites that you think would be…
BC: Favourites … I don’t know, but I would say that I’d love to work with big DJ’s kind of like Wolfgang or David Guetta or something like that. With rappers like Ludacris, that’d be sick, that would be a lot of respect, that would be sick. I’ve done a lot of work already with some older names, but I’d love to do that.
CCHH: Where did you get “Beat Chemist” from?
BC: When I was starting my EVO thing, back in the day, I think it was in like 2001 or 2002, there was this guy who came over and he was like, “my god, you work on those beats like crazy, you’re like a chemist, like a beat chemist.” I was like, “that’s cool man, that should be my name.”
CCHH: You hosted and produced for Swisha T, for the switch up, how was that?
BC: It was awesome; there was a great mix tape. Swisha has a lot of skills and the beats he chose to spit on were awesome. The whole thing came out proper, people enjoyed it, I enjoyed it. I can’t wait for the next one as well. We’re working on his album right now too, so he’s going to be whipping up another mixtape, and then his album is going to be coming out.
CCHH: Any details you can give us about his album?
BC: It’s going to be hot as fuck, I mean hot as hell. It’s going to be tight.
CCHH: What current projects do you have going on right now?
BC: Right now I’m working closely with Warner Music Canada, and producing remixes for Victoria Duffield, you’ve heard her new singles, ‘Feel’ and ‘Shut up and Dance’. They’re on the radio; you guys have to check ‘em out. I did the official remix for them. I’m also working with The Name is iSh, he’s from Toronto. If you look it up, he’s got a song on the radio now called paradise. It’s awesome man, he’s got his own singing/rapping thing going on. And then I’ve got myself, The Beat Chemist, I’m coming out with my electro. It’s going to be some crazy shit. I’m also singing on it and featuring big names, the beats are just wild. I’m going to be dropping my website, probably in the next two weeks, and I’m going to release a track with that.
CCHH: Do you have names for any of that yet?
BC: The electro? It’s a secret.
CCHH: What else do you do?
BC: I DJ on Friday nights, I play a lot of my originals!! Add me on Facebook, ‘The Beat Chemist’ and keep up with the scene!
CCHH: Do you plan to keep working in Ottawa?
BC: Yeah of course, me I plan on working in Ottawa all the time. I’m not going to be the guy who’s like, “well fuck that, I’m moving to Toronto,” you know? Obviously I’m going to work in Toronto too, if I can work in L.A. I’ll go work in L.A. but I’m never going to be the guy who’s like, “peace.” Me, I find, I’m about the music at the end of the day, although it’s a business as well, you gotta eat. I find that a lot of people have to have more love towards the music and letting people carry out their messages properly. A lot of places you’ll go to, either the engineer won’t do too much to your track. You know he’ll just be like, “record and go home,” and that’s that. Me, I don’t do that, I’ll go all out.
CCHH: Where do you see yourself going in like 5 years or so?
BC: In 5 years I see myself doing big shows around the world, DJing, and doing beats for big artists.
CCHH: Is there anything you’d like to say to artists or producers out there in Ottawa?
BC: For artists I would say keep it up, even if you’re getting some hate sometimes don’t worry about it, hate is good. When people hate, it means it’s actually better than you think. A lot of the producers out there are doing very well. I mean keep that up. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
CCHH: So tell us about meeting Gene Simmons.
BC: Basically, went and met with Gene at his place in L.A. last February or March, and that went very well, he’s a cool dude. He’s a funny guy actually.
CCHH: You’re working with Warner Music still right?
BC: Yeah for sure, I had a couple meetings with Warner recently.
CCHH: So you’d describe them as pretty relaxed dudes even though they’re in such high positions of power within the music industry?
BC: Oh yeah! Super cool. He’ll write to you, he’ll be like, “hey what’s up bro?” It’s not like, “hello mr… nice speaking to you, thank you very much, sincerely…”
CCHH: Who else are you working with?
BC: Dabbs (Ent. Comp), KME (Label), Aspectz (Blockwise ENT) and Pro music studios. The guy from Pro Music Studios is Madd ill, Jeremy, so if you guys needs singing lessons, piano lessons, recording time, and videos as well, this guy does it all. Me and him are working on a project together. We’re working on an upcoming artist, Olivia, she’s pretty cool, 16-year-old, she’s really good, and she’s doing more of an alternative rock/pop. So we’re working on that right now.
CCHH: She’s out of Ottawa as well?
BC: Yeah, really nice person, her whole family is really cool as well. I think she’s got the heart for it, she’s got the pipes for it too, she can sing. I’m actually really impressed, kind of like some ummm… Carrie Underwood type thing. She’s got a cool flow to it. I’m starting to record bands too, although it’s going to be a lot more expensive. That’s one thing that I’ve been doing with me my bro and Jeremy. We’re working hard, we’re doing some big things right here.
CCHH: Where can people find your work?
BC: Hopefully by the time this comes out, my website will be up, so you guys can go to beatchemist.com. You’re going to find all my music, all my links there, my twitter, my tumblr, my beatport and my facebook. So you guys can check it all out there at beatchemist.com
CCHH:Any shout outs?
BC: Yo what’s good its The Beat Chemist, i wanna shout out CapCityHipHop.Com Ottawa’s #1 urban media site they doing it big for the city, yea.
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Interview By: Kane Van E & Nate G
Edited By: Jesse Kelly & R.G.