As Pact Prolific gears up to drop a new album we managed to grab him for ten minutes to do this exclusive interview.
You rap and produce, the same as your partner Hot Rox and together you make up Lost Alliance. So when did you meet Rox and how did Lost Alliance come about?
I met Rox almost 10 years ago. We met at college, we we’re on the same music course together. We obviously both had a common interest in music and had similar tastes in Hip Hop. We were both rapping and producing before we met and after working on a few tracks together we starting working as a duo. We were still performing as Hot Rox and Pact Prolific then though. It wasn’t until we put out our first EP that we assumed the alias Lost Alliance.
You’ve done a few projects, a mixtape with UK Runnings and a self-produced album, but out of all of the Lost Alliance tracks which would you credit as the three most popular tracks you’ve released?
I would have to say “Spotlight” and “In My Mind” from our “Second Coming” project. “Spotlight” is one of those tracks that just goes down well each time we perform. “In my mind” is a reflective track and our boy Sipher killed the hook which I think may have attracted those casual fans of hip hop who prefer to hear something more than just bars.
I would also have to say “Stalemate” off of “Life Cycle”. It was the first track we dropped off that project and it’s another track that is always well received when we perform at shows.
Okay let’s talk about the response to Lost Alliance. What has the general response been like to you music?
In general the response has been good. Fans of that classic Hip Hop sound have always been very positive about our music. The reception we get at gigs is always a good one and people have said that our projects like Life Cycle have been very listenable. What we’ve noticed is that fans and other MCs alike have always been very complimentary about the beats that we select, which is always a good feeling.
So let’s talk about the new album, why did you decide to do a solo album?
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do ever since I started rapping and producing. But after meeting Rox naturally the Lost Alliance stuff took precedence. I think the timing to do a solo just seemed right. 2013 and 2014 were difficult years for me at times and I had a lot of things going on in my personal life, so in turn I had a lot to write about. My solo album was something I could focus on and use as a vehicle to vent certain frustrations and document personal triumphs.
Was the process in writing a solo album very different to writing group tracks?
Yes definitely. The biggest difference is that you don’t have any restrictions on what you want to write about. In a group you have to be conscious of whether the other person is inspired by the concept or the beat in order to write something suitable. You have a lot more creative control when doing a solo album. On the flip side though, you’re responsible for the majority of the writing which increases your workload. At times it can be difficult to write multiple verses for the same track when you’re used to another person picking up the second or third verse for example.
Tell me about the guests and the production, who is involved and what do you think they brought to the table?
As with all our previous projects, production has been handled completely in-house. We’re not against working with other producers or anything, it’s just that when there’s two of you producing so often, there’s always something inspirational at your fingertips. Plus I’ve found that handling production duties yourselves really does help to create a cohesive sound from start to finish.
As far as other artists are concerned, the album features Alex-iS, Sipher and my brother Tom Watson. Hot Rox has also got two verses on there, but that goes without saying. I don’t think I could put material out, solo or not, that didn’t feature Rox. Tom and Sipher are singers that both provided hooks for tracks on the project. They’re completely different singers but both artists provided something that I’m not able to do, and to me that’s one of the main reasons why someone should feature on a project. The same goes for Alex-iS. I find Alex to be such an animated and refreshing artist, and he really bought his own style to the tape.
What would you say are the stand out tracks and do you plan to do any music videos?
To me the stand out tracks are “A Closer Look” and “Go Back”. The former captures exactly how I was feeling for the most part of the writing process, and “Go Back” is me reminiscing of when I first got in to music and how I feel about things now.
I plan to do videos for a lot of tracks on the album. The visuals for the lead track are completed and will be dropping any day now. As far as the rest are concerned, I’m in talks with my video guy planning various other videos and what we can achieve visually.
What would you say are the main messages you tried to share in creating this long player?
Like I said previously, the album is a summary of things I experienced in the last couple of years. It also touches on my childhood and what I was like growing up and discovering music. I’m generally a very inward person, I try not to give too much away. Throughout my life family and friends have referred to me as a closed book, so this album is my way of opening up and giving people an insight into who Pact Prolific is, hence the title A Closer Look.
What about live shows, who have you shared stages with, and do you have any forthcoming shows planned?
To date with shared stages with the likes of Rodney P, Blak Twang, Mystro, Moorish Delta 7, Genesis Elijah and Novar. All of which were enjoyable but also a good learning experience for us. We’re both real big fans of performing live as it’s a way of seeing firsthand how people react to the music you’ve worked so hard creating. It’s very rewarding to see fans enjoying your music for what it is. Upcoming shows include a date in June performing alongside Rox as Lost Alliance and hopefully a gig in August performing the new material off my solo album.
So what’s next for you and Lost Alliance, any other projects in the pipeline?
We have another Lost Alliance project that we’re currently working on, which will hopefully be dropping later this year, and Rox is in the process of gathering material for his solo release. At some point we’d also like to work with Charlie Bwoi H, as there’s been talks of a follow up to the well received “Business Amongst Men” which we released a couple years ago. But most importantly we’d just like to continue putting out music that we’re happy with, and that we’d enjoy if we were fans of Lost Alliance.
Pact Prolific (Lost Alliance) – A Closer Look Promotional Freestyle #2
Pact Prolific (Lost Alliance) – A Closer Look Promotional Freestyle Video
Questions by Alex Dunlow