Interview by Christopher Buckley
Nodfactor: Lets get a little bit into your background, how did you start producing?
M-Phazes: I was always interested in making music, since I first heard it I would bang on the side of the couch with chop sticks like I was playing the drums. Eventually I got my own drum kit and played for about 6 years, in the meantime I got into hip hop, early stuff by PE, De La Soul, RUN DMC and some others. Basically I figured out how to loop breaks with a tape deck, and would record myself through some shitty headphones, swap the blank tape over and do overdubs. I was tape looping up until I got my first PC and just took it from there.
Nodfactor: Australia isn’t known for their hip hop whats the scene like down under?
Phazes: It’s good now, its grown a lot in the past couple of years to the point of mainstream acceptance and radio play, so that’s a great thing. Artist are selling a lot of records now, as opposed to 10 years ago when you’d be lucky to sell a couple of thousand.
Nodfactor: You won the Second Annual Sha Money One Stop Shop Conference in 2008. What effect has that experience had on your career thus far?
Phazes: It’s been great, made a couple of major placements and got my name out there with the big producers I look up to. I went back to this years one stop shop and Sha really looked out for me. If I hadn’t had won the battle the year before I probably wouldn’t have made the connects I have.
Nodfactor: You’ve worked with a variety or artists from Amerie to Joell Ortiz and you also did an album with Emilio Rojas. Can you give us some details on how the albums’ conception came about and what the process was like?
Phazes: Emilio and I have been friends for a while, we had always done music together and one day I think we discussed it but it sort of took a back seat for a few months. Then we finally decided to do the album and it sounds great now! We are in the process of finding a good home for it so hopefully we will have a release out around August.
Nodfactor: How would you describe M-Phazes sound?
Phazes: I guess it’s really musical hip hop, soulful, I know that sounds cliche’ but that’s what it is, it’s soulful musical hip-hop with a twist of 90’s grit to it.
Nodfactor: Being your on the other side of the world what conflicts do you face when it comes to obtaining placements and getting music done with artists, besides not being able to be there with them of course?
Phazes: It’s frustrating dealing with people strictly over e-mail’s, but I have an agent out in the states who holds me down so it’s not a big problem. I guess it’s missing all the shows and meetings and things like that where I could connect with people.
Nodfactor: Are there any other producers or artists from Australia we should check for?
Phazes: Yeah there’s a heap, check out Trials, Plutonic Lab, Jase from Beathedz, there’s a heap more I can’t think of them all right now though.
Nodfactor: If there were any artists you could work with current or past can you tell us who and why?
Phazes: De La Soul, I grew up on De La, and I think they are one of the most consistent acts throughout their career, topics, substance and delivery they are always on point. I would love to work with Ghostface too, just to say I did a track with Ghost would be ill! Also Lauryn Hill, I listen to her album and think I could fit nicely in there.
Nodfactor: What do you have slated for the upcoming months of 09?
Phazes: Got a few track’s on Pharoahe Monch’s next release called “Let my People Go”, new M.O.P album I have the title track on, Amerie’s album I think is out in August, as well as my own project with all Aussie artists.
Nodfactor: Do people really say “throw another shrimp on the bar-b”?
Phazes: well no, “shrimp” is an American term, we call them prawns, and we try to stray away from any stereotypical catch phrase you yanks happen to make up for us haha.
Nodfactor: Who was the bigger Crocodile Hunter in Australia, Paul Hogan or Steve Irwin?
Phazes: Oh definitely Steve, dude was a nut case.
Nodfactor: I know cricket is the national sport but what about kangaroo boxing, I hear that’s the equivalent to dog fighting in the states?
Phazes: That never happens out here.
Nodfactor: Ever go on a “walk about” in the bush?
Phazes: Yeah I walk through bushes sometimes, if there’s a beach to get to!
Nodfactor: You guys call light bulbs globes in Australia, so what do you call a globe?
Phazes: A globe
Nodfactor: Any last words for our readers?
Phazes: Yeah, come to Australia and do some research haha.