Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Intervew With MC Producer Sean Toure

Nate OG Interviews Sean Toure.

1. Tell the readers a little bit about you’re self where you’re from who you are as a person?

Sean-Toure’: My name is Sean-Toure’ and I’m a Producer/Emcee. I got my start as an artist performing and opening shows for legendary artist such as KRS-ONE, ATCQ, INI and Pete Rock, The Fugees, The Roots, and many others. I’m from Baltimore, Maryland and I grew up on the Westside of Charm City. I’m a blue-collar kind of a dude with my Pop’s being from the rural south (Alabama). He was the son of a farmer and my mother grew up in a working class family in the Cherry Hill area of South West Baltimore, they both instilled a blue-collar sensibility into my life. I’m a hardworking dude that tries to stick to his roots and I try to incorporate that philosophy into my approach toward doing music.

2.i know that you’re a producer and artist that’s nice on the mic device, what inspired you to producer and mc?

Sean-Toure’: Thanks for the compliment fam.  I would have to say that Hip Hop and life have been my biggest inspirations. I grew up during the 80’s and Hip Hop was just a part of our lives. It wasn’t labeled as Hip Hop or anything; it was just a way of life. I didn’t even know it was called Hip Hop. I just knew that emceeing and DJ’ing we’re a part of our culture in our neighborhood and that was it. Baltimore had some great groups during the 80’s such as the We Rock Crew, Total Kaous, and The Nu Marks. Those were groups I loved to watch as a kid. They did local talent shows and block parties. I was a little kid then, so I would go watch the older crews perform with my older Brother and Sister. Those were some of the best days of my life! That’s what inspired me to get into it. I didn’t really choose it…it chose me.

3. How long have you been doing each of the two?

Sean-Toure’: I started out freestyling a little bit in Junior High and High school. I didn’t really become really serious about recording until the Summer I graduated from High School. Before I went to college I started linking up with my neighbor named Imahj and we started making little recordings and then we formed a group with another emcee and became a trio. I started out as an emcee and then around 1997 I started doing beats. I just kept doing both because I really had a passion for it. I never really chose one over the other. It was all about being creative for me so I never felt the need to pick one over the other.

 4. You're from the DMV area, that whole area is a hotbed of talent music to art to poetry what’s the scene like from your prospective as a listener and artists?

Sean-Toure’: It’s very interesting because strictly from an art standpoint we truly do have a lot of talent in this area. The DMV is interesting because Baltimore sometimes isn’t always associated with that “title”, but we’re still indirectly associated with it. Nonetheless, we have a lot of phenomenal artist in the area like Ms.Tris Beats, Muhsinah, Labtekwon, Comp, Los, Gods’illa, Kev Brown, Kariz Marcel, Oddisee, Kane Mayfield, Dirt Platoon, Wordsmith, Mzery, yU, Substantial, Skarr Akbar, Mark Evans, Eric Roberson and so many others that I can name that have really put our area on the map on a national or international level.  Shaka Pitts is doing a great job with the Emcee Battle circuit. We have a monthly event called Organic Soul Tuesdays Hosted by Poet Olu Butterfly and vocalist J. Soul. Dope DJ’s like Minus Nine, DJ Booman, DJ Lil Mic, DJ Ronnie Don, DJ Face, and DJ Harvey Dent.
The ill poets like 5th Element, Love the Poet, Rebecca Dupas, and Aquil Mizan.  We have the longest running Underground Hip Hop College Radio Show in the country with Morgan St. University’s Strictly Hip Hop. It’s a really fertile environment for creativity and we do an excellent job of mixing it all together showing each genre support at an annual event run by a Singer named Chin-yere called The Baltimore Music Scene Awards.  

 5.Does the scene affect the music you make as far as what you create and your creative process?

Sean-Toure’: I think it probably does in some ways. I guess you can’t help but to be influenced in some kind of a way by your environment and the people in it. Personally, I feel like I hit a glass ceiling many years ago so it became imperative for me to get out of the city to do more shows and promote my music in other places nationally or internationally. I’ve been doing shows in Baltimore since 1993. I earned my stripes. Leaving the city gave me a better understanding of what I had as an artist.  In 2003 and 2004 I did a few shows in Toronto, Canada and that changed the way I did music. That proved to me that I had to leave my city and perform other places. I think artists can sometimes get too comfortable being the big fish in the small pond. I never wanted to become too big for the pond so I swam out to other streams to discover different areas to “swim” in. One of the most humbling experiences you can have as an artist is leaving your hometown and performing in front of folk you don’t even know. It really gives you a clear and accurate assessment of the universal appeal of what you have. If you’re performing in your hometown all the time it almost becomes like performing at the family cookout. You see the same faces at the same places. I had to travel and it’s not only helped my performances, but it’s made my recordings better. I'm in no way knocking artist that stay in the city and do their thing, but for me I really wanted something different. 

 6. What is your process when you create your music both as a producer to an mc?
Sean-Toure’: For me, as a producer it’s really about just getting into the studio and playing a few chords on the piano or listing to records to sample and chop up. The chopping technique or sampling 2-3 bars off a record with my MPC 2000 and EPS-16plus are typically my production technique. If I hear something I like I sample it or play the melody out on my bass guitar or pianos. In terms of emceeing, I typically like to be inspired to write to a beat. I think you get the best songs when you write to a beat. On occasion I think pre-written verses work, but the best material in my opinion are the ones you get when you sit down and write a song based off the emotion you get from a beat.

 7.What kind of equipment do you use and your favorite pieces to use?

Sean-Toure’: I use a lot of different things. I don’t really have a favorite piece. I mainly use the MPC 2000, EPS 16 Plus, and the Roland 2080 sound module. I also incorporate instruments as well. I use the Fender Rhodes Piano Mark II, Wurlitzer Piano, and a Bass guitar as well. I have a pretty solid record collection. I use xylophones and all kinds of old instruments and shit I copped from thrift stores or garage sales. I try not to get attached to samplers or overly consumed with the new shit coming out or what any other cats are using. My philosophy is drum machines don’t make the beats…you do. Each producer might have their preference in terms of what gear they like to use most, but if you’re nice and you learn the terminology and functionalities of a piece of gear you can pretty much freak any machine you get your hands on.  I don’t care about the new MPC’s, Fruity Loops, Ableton, or any of that shit. My philosophy is master one instrument or drum machine or whatever it is you use and then move on to the next one. A lot of these cats cop new drum machines and all they’ve really invested in is a fancier way of making their beats sound shitty on an expensive piece of studio gear. That new drum machine isn’t going to make you better. Hard work and practice is what makes you get better, not the new “Millennium Falcon 10,000” Drum Machine….lol!

 8. Do you have any projects in the works and if so what projects are you looking forward to the most?

Sean-Toure’: Yes, I do. We have more singles dropping on cd and digitally this year along with brand new music videos. We’re also investing in the vinyl market. I’m pairing up with my music partner’s DJ Minus Nine and DJ Cam One for a project under the name 3 Story Building. I’m working on a new studio album called the Dreamer’s Passion featuring Hip Hop Legend Sadat X of Brand Nubian, DJ Roddy Rod from the Low Budget Crew, and many others.  I have 2 new distribution deals that will allow us to release new music from my label Rosachi Music Group. We have deals with Fat Beats NYC/LA and Foundation Media LLC. I’m working on the 2nd edition of The Sean-Toure’ Remix Project.  I’m also working on a collaborative album with a Baltimore Hip Hop Legend that I can’t name yet, but it’s going to take the DMV and the underground Hip Hop world by surprise once they hear it.  I also was fortunate to get a music placement on ESPN’s UNITE TV show and a College Hoops Documentary. Things are looking really great for Rosachi Music Group for 2013-2014.

 9. How can people keep in contact with you to support your movement as an artist and producer also to keep updated on future shows releases etc?

Sean-Toure’: Sure, I’m on twitter @seantoure , facebook, and instagram. To hear my music you can go tohttp://ughh.com/sean-toure-sound-channeler-the-invisible-man/RMG001CD/
 Or http://www.fatbeats.com/products/sean-toure-soundchanneler-the-invisibleman-cd you can also go to itunes and enter my name or just Google me. My remix album is available as a free download athttp://seantoure.bandcamp.com/album/the-sean-toure-remix-project

10. Do you have any advice for people just starting out as producers or mcs? maybe some dos and don't's you may have learned along the way?

Sean-Toure’: Yes, Never give up on your dreams. You’re going to run into problems and challenges in this industry. Keep thick skin and a kind heart. The game is whom you know, what you know, who knows you, and who likes you. Always stay respectful no matter how disrespectful people are to you. I would say study all of the music greats and not just Hip Hop. You should know the body of work of Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Isaac Hayes, Barry White and Maurice White. That’s a great place to start and study other genres. Don’t label music as white or black music. Good music is good music no matter where it comes from or who’s producing it. If it resonates with your soul and it feels good that means it’s dope and if it doesn’t…well, you know the rest. Don’t bite other folks sound, study and learn to play what they play, but don’t steal their style. Study a person and learn from them and develop your own style.
11. Do you have any shout outs or people you wanna show love to?

Sean-Toure': Shouts out to all of the people across the world out there that support real Hip Hop and music with soul, style, skill, and substance. Thanks for supporting my music.  I truly appreciate it. I hope to see you at a venue/show or record shop soon. Long live the Baltimore Music Scene, DMV, and real Hip Hop across the globe!
One love.

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