Hi how you doing? Introduce yourself to the readers of TalkingAllThatRap.com. I’m good man, sun is shining at the moment so that always helps! I’m Dead Ott, MC and producer from Oxford, one half of Styxmen with my mate Prophit, the other half I haven’t worked out yet!
So tell us about your latest release and where people can get it. Its called ‘Dead To The World’, a six track EP which you can download for free from http://www.deadott.bandcamp.com or if you’re feeling generous you can chuck in some pennies. Whatever you do, make sure you give it a listen! Its fully produced by myself, recorded mixed and mastered by Chemo at Kilamanjaro Studios and features guest appearances from Prophit and Little Girl.
This is a tough question, and I know some people like to remain humble, but if you had to give a reason why you think people should check your music, what would you say? Because its the best thing you’ve never heard! Nah, only joking. Its something different, I’d say we’ve got our own style and sound, so if you’re a hip hop fan and you wanna check something a bit different, come check it. There’s no club tunes on there, no gangster shit, just straight up honest hip hop from the sticks!
Out of all the songs you have released or been involved with, which song would you say was the popular? What is your number one track? ‘Bad Scratch’ which is a Styxmen tune. I love that tune, it worked out so well. Its all about the perils of not strapping up before you fuck, the lyrics are jokes, the beat is kicking, and we got a nice little Eddie Murphy sample at the end which worked out perfectly. I produced the beat on that one too so was pretty happy with how it came out. Thats gonna be on the new Styxmen EP. Another tune I love which is also gonna be on the new Styxmen is ‘Kachina Doll’ which also features Mogul from Deez Ceedz. The beat is produced by White Key, and is an absolute banger!!
In the whole process involved in making music which do you think is the most exciting? I love rapping, love getting a new beat and freestyling to it, getting ideas for lyrics and themes, just working off the energy of the beat. Whenever I hear an ill hip hop beat I aint heard before, I always wanna get the instrumental so I can rap to it. Its all about rapping for me!
When your recording what is the vibe like in your studio, do you have mood that helps you create? Recording can sometimes be a stressful process, but we find a way to relax ourselves! Me and Prophit used to live together and we had a sweet studio set up, but the house got sold which was long. We got so much shit done in that house, it was a real creative time. But on this one I recorded with Chemo at his studio in London, which was a great experience and is a massive part of why this record sounds so tight.
How do you like your production, do you prefer original played beats or more sampled based production? I think its good to have a mixture, you don’t wanna get stuck in one style of production. The beats I make are usually original played, whereas the beats I get off producers are more sample based. I love that style, and at the end of the day thats the original hip hop sound. But you gotta do something with the sample, not just loop the same four bars for the whole tune. Its no good having a sick sample if you don’t put your own stamp on it.
What producers do you work with and are there any producers you’d like to work with? The producer I’ve worked with and enjoy working with the most is my man Prophit. I’ve always loved his beats and he has always been the main producer for us, I’ve only really stepped my game up in the last couple of years. He’s definitely got his own style, mainly coz he doesn’t really listen to hip hop anymore, so he just develops his own sound. We’ve started working with a producer from Northampton called White Key, who’s got bare sick beats! And on my next EP I’m working with some of my favourite producers, already got a couple of beats from Runone and Chemo so I can’t wait to hear how that sounds. And one of my mates who’s getting into producing is getting noice so I’m encouraging him to get more involved. The one producer I would love to work with is Easy Mo Bee, I love his sound and he’s responsible for some of the best hip hop tunes of all time. Thats what I’m aiming for!
The Hip-Hop scene is really spilt between the mainstream and underground, do you think this makes it harder to get noticed by so many different types of rap fans? To be honest, I’m not interested in the mainstream. The hip hop that I love, the true hip hop, unfortunately doesn’t get the shine it deserves. But the underground in the UK is thriving, we don’t need mainstream recognition coz people are making things happen off their own backs. Stuff like Boom Bap Festival, and Dirty Dike’s UK album release tour, thats massive! So fuck the mainstream, we got all we need right here.
A lot of artists have some sort of free download project. Do you think doing these kind of releases helps or hinders sales on iTunes? I’m a great believer in free downloads, most of my stuff has come out that way so far. Its a great way of giving something back to fans, and also gives you the opportunity to be more creative. We’ve made a tune from start to finish in a day, then put it out for free that evening. It also makes me work harder on the music I’m putting out for sale, which I think brings the quality up. There is a danger though that you can saturate the market with too many free releases, and people can get tired of you before you’ve even dropped a proper release.
Image seems everything these days, so lets talk about your artwork. Do you come up with concept or does your designer do it? Tell us more about who done the cover to your latest release. For this one, I did all the artwork. Its a picture I took in the village I grew up with, its a tiny village that no-one has probably heard about, so I wanted to give it some shine. In the past I’ve always got my mate 3Dom aka Mike 22 to do it. He’s a sick graffiti artist and he’s created some amazing pieces for us in the past. Hopefully I’ll be getting him to do the next one. I aways want to get my friends involved with my projects and make the most of their talents. I’ve got some real creative people around me so its stupid not to feed into that.
Even though You Tube is on-line TV Station, it seems to also be the place where most people go to listen to music. Do you think putting songs up with an artwork image or photo is detrimental to your full music videos? Not really, I think people distinguish between the two, and if you got proper videos with visuals they are always gonna get more views. I’ve never really put my tunes up in that way, I’m in the middle of doing a proper video for ‘Vapours’ from the new EP. The problem with a lot of UK hip hop videos in the past is that they’ve been poorly thought out and poorly funded. I’ve seen far too many ‘hood’ videos in my time. UK hip hop videos have picked up a lot in the last year though, some slick ideas are being put down. But if you have a CD that you want to sell, the less places people can listen to it for free online the better I guess.
Do you have anything on You Tube or you own Channel? Got a couple of freestyle vids, and got the new ‘Vapours’ video dropping soon…
Have you ever done anything for any DVD or on-line TV channels? Any freestyles or interviews on-line to check out that are recent? Not at the moment but thats something we are working on…
Okay before you go is there anybody you’d like to thank or anybody you’d like to shout out? Thanks to everyone who helped out with this project, Prophit, Little Girl, Chemo and all my friends for supporting me. Big up the Witney boys! Shout out to all the true hip hop heads and anyone who is making that real hip hop music!
Thanks for your time, give us all the relevant website details to check out!
Dead Ott Bandcamp – http://www.deadott.bandcamp.com Dead Ott Blog – http://www.styxmen.blogspot.co.uk Dead Ott Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/deadott Styxmen Bandcamp – http://www.styxmen.bandcamp.com Styxmen Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/theStyxmen Styxmen Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/styxmen Styxmen Reverbnation – http://www.reverbnation.com/styxmen Like it, share it, tweet it, subscribe, all of that business! There’s loads of free tunes all over the place so go get em all!
Questions by Alex Dunlow