Sammy Scissors is flippin’ the script when it comes to Hip Hop in Australia. Born in the United States and moving to Australia at 11, Sammy represents the life that is true to him now. You only have to look at the DJ turned Producer turned MC’s discography to see he’s a Melbourne local, working with the likes of Mata & Must, Fluent Form, The Hellburnianz, and of course joining forces with the MC Maggot Mouf for Scissors’ first full length production effort, Running with Scissors in 2012.
Scissors has just released Till Death Arrives, a 21 track production LP with features from some of Melbourne’s most notorious, including Gutz, Mouf, Scott Skills, Selzy, Old Mate and more. Not only focussing on production, this record introduces listeners to Scissors own skills on the Mic, so OZHH caught up with the main man to find out how it all went down and what’s next.
How did you first get into Hip Hop?
Basically that’s all I used to listen to when I was younger. Me and my bro were always on the hunt for new Hip Hop, back then it was just stuff from the U.S. I was born in the 80’s so I grew up on that 90’s shit.
What made you start actually making music yourself?
Originally I started as a DJ just cutting up records. My brother bought turn tables when I was about 18 and he had a mad collection of vinyl. We’d always be chillin’ in his room and my sticky fingers just couldn’t leave them alone. Eventually got my own decks, and met Mata & Must shortly after that. I did some cuts on an album they were droppin’. It just grew from there. Started making my own beats to cut to, Then I bought an MPC 2000 and Logic Pro and really started to get busy with the beats. I became a gear junkie and just couldn’t stop. You can thank my brother Joshy for droppin’ the spark on this journey.
Give us a basic run down for the studio set up you’ve been working with.
I have always worked with Logic Pro, I run everything through that. I use Maschine and an MPC 5000. I have a Korg Synth Casio Keyboard, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Technics 1200’s and a Rane Mixer, and I use a NTK 1000 RODE Microphone.
You’ve got a range of MC’s on Till Death Arrives, your new album, how did you come to work with these particular artists?
Every one on the album are mates of mine, some of them I see on a regular basis, some a little less, but they are all fam and I got respect for every one of them.
What was the process involved with dishing out beats to the MCs?
I just went through my stash of beats, and found the ones I was feeling that suited the artists. Dropboxed a whole bunch and emailed everyone on the album. Another batch was to be sent a few weeks later if some hadn’t found anything they were feeling. A week later everyone had chosen a beat and not one artist chose the same one. They were all trippin’ that no one had taken the one they wanted already!
How long has Till Death Arrives been in the making? Was the sheer size of it a factor, or was there other things happening that meant this project took its time?
I took a good 6-8 months off from going hard on my music after my first daughter was born. This was just after the Running with Scissors album was released in mid 2012.
It took about 3 years. Recording that many different artist will always take time as everyone has their own shit going on, including myself. Tracks were recorded over the next 2 years, and shooting all the clips, artwork, cuts, mixing of the album took another year. I started writing my own tracks a lot at this time. Between all that my second daughter was born, we lost the house we were living in. Had some family troubles. And had no studio for about a year.
Your role has been of DJ in the early days and then primarily a producer, but this album sees you take on the mic, how did this come about and is it something we’ll see more of in the future?
Pretty much every couple of years I just get bored and want to learn or take on something new. It was a natural progression though, from DJing, to making beats, to writing bars, then to shooting clips. I started messing around with it when we recorded Running With Scissors, and I started taking it a bit more seriously the last few years.
How did you go about learning the video side of things and as a self sufficient artist will you now do more videos?
Yea.. many more clips to come. I’ve never done it before this project. The first clip I shot was the Oldmate Sea of Catastrophe then Retayners Mental Vacation etc etc. Instead of paying others to shoot for me, I just bought some gear and taught myself.
What’s next for Sammy Scissors?
I am working on my solo album at the moment, I have a mixtape I’m contemplating on releasing this year, and also been recording a mixtape for Oldmate. And many other features and work being done for other peoples ventures.
Anything else you want to mention?
Yea….. Shouts to all the artists on the Till Death Arrives Album – shouts to the TDA crew – AWK crew. – and the FAM
You can grab the album and merch over at the Gambit Fam Store and don’t forget to follow Sammy on Facebook and Instagram.
If you’re in Melbourne you can catch his launch this Saturday night (12th) at Grumpy’s (Collingwood) – Free Entry and some live raps!