More and more commonly we are seeing artists that are hungry for the fame, the integrity of making music is compromised for the slim chance of getting spins on radio, and then we have the exact opposite; meet Ovahand [Maim]. Ovahand has been making sample based Hip Hop and along with his crew Collective Productions the whole process is completed in house. From a background in boxing to a punk rockers for a brother, Ovahand isn’t searching for the fame, but the music is real.
Who are you, where did your hip hop name come from and where you from, and describe your music style?
My name is Chris. 31 years old. Born in Hornsby Sydney. The name Ovahand came from the boxing punch that is an overhand. Nothing smart about it haha. Before I started getting into making Hip Hop I was an amateur boxer for a few years, nothing heavy or anything. So when I moved from that to Hip Hop the name came with. Maim came from a mate who used to write the word. And it just sounded decent.
Music style: Well I produce sample based Boom Bap style beats (generally samples from soul music, movie scores and anything else I dig up @ record stores). I keep my drums nice and gritty (build my own drums from different samples and send them through some analog gear). Most of my music sits around the 80 to 90 BPM mark (fairly slow). My MCing usually sits more behind the beat. I guess adapting somewhere between the American and UK style of rapping. I like to keep my music cheese free, simple, gritty and analog.
You’re part of the Collective Crew, who’s down in the crew, tell us a little about it, what’s the vibe like etc?
Collective Productions artists is something like this: Rorks Drift, Shan One, TooRite (they make up Collective Crew). Adrian Incarnate & Ovahand [Maim] (we make up Dark Matter), Rorks Drift & Ovahand [Maim] (make up Boom Bap Fam). Xrsize. All these groups and artists are active individually and also as groups.
There are also a lot of other artists affiliated.
Collective Productions is about making good music. There is no mob mentality paper gangster type bullshit or wanna be tough guy crap. Rorks Drift is the founder, but I help with a lot of the management. Those boys came from Asylum 57 with Tycotic. Generally speaking we like to have beers when together and have fun with the music. In saying that, all the artists on the label spend countless hours writing and/or producing in their own time.
It’s all mainly fun. But we are serious about the music we bring out.
There are two other solid producers on the label. Rorks Drift (usually makes beats on MPC and sticks to the Boom Bap style). Adrian Incarnate (a producer who sticks to synth style beats & sometimes sampling with software). Both are very talented beat makers who have taught me a lot & I hope they have learnt from me also.
A lot of labels are missing good producers. Which is unfortunate. I believe you need key producers in your crew or as an artist to develop a particular sound. Instead of jacking some Snoop Dogg mp3 and rapping over that shit for a release.
You’re brother is also involved in the Punk music scene, is music something that has run in your family, through your parents for example? Do they wish their kids would get “real jobs”? Haha
Yeah, he just started a new punk band called Coward (steering more towards indie with their new stuff). He was in Nintendo Police & Headless Horsemen. I used to be involved in the punk scene and was in a couple of bands when I was a teenager (Spastic Van, King Kong).
Both my brother and I were brought up “well” and even though we gave our parents the typical angst bullshit when we were younger. We are both in our thirties now and work full time (all that good stuff).
None of my parents are musical at all.
You produce and rap, but it looks like you’re a producer first? Have you always rapped, what came first? Do you think you’ll always do both or focus more energy on one craft?
Originally when I started getting involved in Hip Hop I was a DJ. Learning how to mix and do cuts & scratches. Then my mate got me into MCing. Very shortly after that I started Producing.
I don’t scratch anymore (apart from a few cuts for hooks in my own work). Producing and MCing are my passions. And for me they go hand in hand. One rolls off the other. Definitely wouldn’t have the time or energy to try a third element on top of Producing & MCing.
What’s your studio set up look like at the moment? Gear, etc?
For producing I make my beats on Akai MPC 1000, Technics 1200. For recording rhymes I got a homemade booth, Rode mic, external preamp & external compressor. I work on Cubase 7.
Who’s a few artists you are feeling at the moment?
Aussie: Collective Productions (I really back the artists on the label), Pang Productions, Unkut, Lazy Grey, Broken Tooth, HG, P Smurf (The Story So Far, Smurf Village), Daily Meds (first EP especially), Causitc Yoda (makes awesome beats), The Silent Titan is another amazing producer.
International: Strong Arm Steady & Madlib “In Search Of Stoney Jackson”, Wu Tang, Mobb Deep, Ayatollah, Omega One, Task Force, Triple Darkness, The Alchemist, Marco Polo, True Master, Klaus Layer, Herbaliser, High Focus etc.
You’ve put out a few EP’s now, is there an album in the works or what’s coming up for you?
Yeah got three EP’s out. Just released the third “MaimsAmp EP” (I’m really happy with this one)
Dark Matter & Boom Bap Fam both have albums dropping VERY soon.
Collective Crew have got an album in the pipeline also.
I am also mastering all my beats that I release as instrumentals “The EP Instrumentals” is the first one dropping very soon.
Most of the product I put out is produced, recorded, mixed & mastered at home. I do everything from start to finish. And most of the stuff I bring out is for free download. I love making the music and I hope the reader enjoys it too. A lot of new material is about to drop so keep your eyes and ears glued to my facebook page and bandcamp site. This is just the beginning. Straight up.
Thanks for your time, anything further you want to add?
If your keen to hear my stuff LIKE my facebook page www.facebook.com/ovahandmaim I always have links to my music and label from this page. My music is for free download at www.ovahandmaim.bandcamp.com Like I said, there is a whole heap of new stuff which I’ve been working on for the past two years about to drop.
Thanks for the interview, Peace.
Check out Ovahand’s latest drop here;