Check out the new interview with Stealf for the Hip Hop Life And Times blog.
There are a few people in the UK scene who never really get the props they deserve. Me personally, I think Stealf is one of those people. A talented producer and now CEO of his own DeFacto Entertainment imprint, Stealf is repping real Hip-Hop both sides of the pond and has worked with some of Hip-Hop’s biggest names.
How you doing bro, first up I want to say big up on the last two EP’s by Mr. Flix (UK) and Jackitdown Brown (USA). There’s some tight production on those projects, tell us about how long it made to get these EP’s done?
Thanks, Both artists really bought their A Game on these EP’s so I had to step up too, and I’m really proud of both of them. It’s always good to work with Jackitdown too, he’s a real professional, he does exactly what he says and he delivers every time. In my opinion, he’s got one of the most distinctive flows I’ve heard for a while too. Flix was an unreleased artist, so Conceptualized Deceit was his debut project, and it was a real honour to be the producer he chose to over see the entire project. Both EP’s took about 3 months to get done, I think Flix got his done slightly quicker, but we did have to arrange the Kool G Rap collabo on Beats & Rhymes. Jackitdown didn’t sit there waiting though, he went and shot a video for I’m Real in the mean time lol
Did you find it interesting doing one with a UK act then one with an Us act? Were there any main differences between the two attitudes of the artists approach to music?
It was real interesting, mainly because I was expecting some differences, but there weren’t any really. They both worked hard, they both delivered when they said they would and they both have the same passion and focus. I think, regardless of where you’re from, when you have the passion to make music, and music you love, the grind is the same.
The Mr Flix EP also featured St. Laz, a true underground New York vet who has appeared on as many tracks as 2Pac! What was that experience like?
Laz is a real hard working guy, and he was more than ready to get involved. I had done a track previously with Laz and I knew his work ethic, and it was the same with this project. There were some delays, but that was down to communication issues, it didn’t hold up the EP though. Like you said, he’s appeared on as many tracks as Pac, so that alone tells you the guy aint messing about.
The Jackitdown Brown featured Kool G Rap. That must have been a nice feeling and ticked a box in the ‘must do before I die’ box!!! Lol. Tell us more about that fam.
That was epic for me. I’m a real big fan of the old school hip hop, so be offered the chance to have Kool G feature on a Stealf produced EP was a no brainer for me. Jackitdown arranged it, he dropped me a message one day asking if I wanted to produce a track for him featuring Kool G Rap, and I wasn’t about to turn that down. Originally it was meant for Beats & Rhymes Vol. 2, but we just wanted to add something special to vol.1.
So you dropped your singe which featured Nu jersey Devil, that’s a big tune bro, and then you dropped the video track with Clas-Sick. Will there be any other singles or videos dropping from the album?
Rain Bring Pain did really well for me and introduced a lot of people to Stealf and Killer MC with Clas-Sick helped the UK heads hear more of my work too. The album has stalled a bit, so there will be one more single released before the album go out, but I’m not saying which track yet though.
Now I know I’m one of the lucky guys who have actually heard the album and I got to say it’s a corker! What are the plans with it now release wise?
It’s still definitely coming. I’ce recently had a number of artists ask me to produce EP’s for them, so I held the album back and wanted to drop these EP’s to help get the name out there a bit more before the album drops. Beats & Rhymes Vol. 2 will be coming too, but the album is a sort of holding que until I think the time’s right to release it. It won’t change from the version you’ve heard, there’s no more work to be done on it either, it’s purely down to timing now.
For those that don’t know can you tell us the name of every vocalist on your album?
There’s not quite as many as your album Tricky (LOL!), but here goes…Manny Moscow, Late, Deeze, Konny Kon of Broke N English, Jadakiss, Sir Mic, Cyclonious, Wordsmith, Black Knight, Kontact, Suus, Jackitdown Brown, Ruste Juxx, Dap C, Phil Ashmore, Nu JerZey Devil, Parv, H.O.O.D. Fellaz, Joell Ortiz, Capital R, Clas-Sick, Carolyn Yates, 40 Glocc, Bo Roc & R H Bless…phew!
Haha! There’s still loads of ptalent there family! lol. So what else are you working on at the moment, production and with the label?
Production wise I’m working on Beats & Rhymes Vol. 2, I got another EP with a new artist that should go in to production early October, I’m also working on the new installment of my OST Instrumental series which will be called “Sweeny Tood – The Demon Beatmaker Of Fleet Street” and I’m getting a stack of beats ready for a trip to NY at the end of October. De Facto will be releasing an EP from Chicago rapper Solomon D’ Augustine called “The Artful Dodgers EP” which features 8 tracks as well as the 8 instrumentals too, and then I’m planning to get a mini-album put together with Clas-Sick. It’s all go.
The Hip-Hop scene seems saturated at the moment, but out of all the artists you’ve been checking out from the mainstream and the underground, who do you think is making the best music?
I can’t stop checking out Premiers stuff all the time, he’s timeless and he’s still making the hip hop I love. Wu Tang’s new album Legendary Weapons has been getting a lot of play too, they still make that realness. I gotta give it up for the indie guys too, cos people like Jackitdown, Deeze, Clas-Sick and Tabanacle are still delivering hip hop that is sadly missing from hip hop.
Okay before you go can you give us one production tip for any up and coming producers please?
The best piece of advice I could give would be to develop your own sound. Imitation is not flattering when it comes to production. You’re not gonna stand out or get heard if you’re making generic boom bap beats, or using the same Triton sounds that every producer uses. Finding your own sound involves every part of the recording process too, from the source material all the way through to the mastering, so there’s countless ways to find your own niche
Interview by Tricksta