[dropcap size=small]M[/dropcap]-Phazes has been making noise on a global scale for some time now, to the point nobody really bats an eyelid when he links with one of the biggest underground emcees of the past 15 years- the undeniable Sean P – to create an EP. That in itself speaks volumes for the skills of the Melbourne producer who looks set for even bigger and better things on the back of placing a beat on the sure to be grammy recognised Eminem MMLP2. Fresh of a national stadium gig tour and with five minutes between beat making we chatted to Phazes about his release with P and taking things out on a global scale.
So you’ve recently completed this EP with Sean P, how did the release come about? I read an interview with P where he called it “some internet shit” which is obviously how more and more artists work together in 2014, but how does an initial hook up like that come about?
It was initiated through a friend of mine who lives in Brooklyn; Matt Diamond, who runs Coalmine Records. He used to shop beats for me in the US, but we are good friends from way back, he suggested the collab album and I was down.
When you go into a collaboration like that, where it’s an emcee we have all listened to for 10+ years do you go in with a pre-conceived sound? Do you make beats as you’re working? Or is it you sending him a vast array and he picks what he wants to go with?
I just sent him a catalogue of beats, and he picked the ones he liked. I know that doesn’t sound like a true collab, but I was so busy with other projects at the time I didn’t have time to make anything from scratch. Luckily I had a heap of beats in the stash that hadn’t been used.
How do you feel about the EP? Where does it sit within your obviously deep catalogue with regards to quality and personal satisfaction? Is it something you are looking to expand on into long player format?
I am happy with how the project turned out, Sean is sick! I’ve been a fan for a while so it was great to have a project with him. I don’t see it turning into a bigger project, but you never know.
What is your favourite track on the release? And one for the gear heads, what are you using to make beats these days and does it differ from artist to artist?
Bag of shit is my favourite, that shit is funny. I use cubase for beats; it doesn’t really differ from the different artists that I work with. I guess that my older beats were more sample based, which I’m doing a lot less of these days.
I remember hearing some of your first beats that stood out to me on a Supastition release years back now, so you’ve always been working with foreign artists, talk us through how you first got a foot in the door and how the process has evolved to how you worked on this EP?
It was all through the Internet. I lived in a pretty secluded town in Australia that had little to no music scene, so to get my music out I had to throw it up on the net. Eventually I got pretty good at it and rappers from the US started noticing. I took a short break from working with US artists to focus on my Australian album, but lately I’ve been back on the hustle over in the states.
It would be remiss of me to not ask about the beat on Em’s release, how has the feedback been from having your track on one of the globe’s biggest releases for the past year? Have you cleared out space for the platinum plaques and grammy? How does a producer from Australia end up on one of the worlds biggest releases? Are you looking at parlaying this success into a more permanent US move and bigger things over there?
That’s all thanks to my friend Symbolic1, who is a producer I work with. He has produced a bunch of big songs and is now one of the “go to” hip hop producers out there. I sent him the initial idea and he made the beat around it. I am focusing heavily on work with S1 and hopefully more US placements, and yes, the plan is to relocate eventually, though I am in no rush for that as I love Melbourne!
You also played the Rapture tour around the country how did you find that? I saw some pretty handy rides being part of the package, as well as obviously playing party jams to tens of thousands, was it as much fun as it looked like to us?
It was so much fun, and such an amazing experience – getting to meet all of these artists and managers; people I look up to and want to work with eventually. The DJ part was fun too, I tried to cater the music to the artist who was on after my set, so before Bronson I played lots of NY stuff, before Kendrick, lots of classic west coast, stuff like that. I didn’t want the tour to end!
Finally what does the future hold? Who you working with? What’s cooking? What can we expect to hear from you in the next year?
Right now I’m focusing on working with artists outside of hip hop. I have just been in the studio with Daniel Johns from Silverchair; I helped out Luke Steele with some drum programming – not sure if that will see the light of day, but just being able to work with these artists is amazing! I’m chipping away at my second album slowly, plus lots of work with S1.