01 Nov 2006 // An interview by Shade
The “rap” game is a very busy genre, with many players coming and going.
What do you think is vital in the ongoing success of any band/artist?
I think the key to longevity is to stay true to your fans and genre, keep making music of the highest standard and always come with something innovative and new.
In your bio, you mention many awesome artists that you listened to growing up, who would be your biggest influences both locally and internationally?
There’s three kinda, groups of artists that have had the biggest influence on how I make music. The early 90’s artists that I listened to as a little kid like Boyz II Men, TLC, Color Me Badd, the new jack swing artists, R. Kelly, that sound is what shaped my basic musical interest. Then in the later 90’s, I became mainly interested in MCing, so I was listening to the greats like Biggie, Pac, Jay-Z, Eminem, Andre from Outkast, Nas. They were the main influence on how I write my music. Then the NZ artists like Kaps, UPR, Dam Native and Che gave me an early sense that kiwis can be good at this, and later on P-Money & Scribe, Nesian Mystic, Dawn Raid and Frontline.
What attracts you to their specific albums/tracks?
The albums and songs that I am most drawn to basically have an x-factor or “it”. There’s a lot of ingredients that go into making music that I think is classic, but the main one is that special something that is hard to put a simple definition on. I guess that’s why its special!!
Who would you like to work with on future projects and productions? Have you anyone from overseas in mind?
There is still a lot of New Zealanders I want to work with. Im looking to do stuff with some people out of the Hip-Hop & R&B realm in the near future. The overseas list is massive man, producer wise it’d be Kanye West, Just Blaze, Timbaland and the Neptunes.
Taking into consideration what you have achieved so far, what is the next step for PNC?
Pushing my debut album Rookie Card to its potential. Im proud of the record, and Im not going to look ahead too far, until I’m satisfied with its success.
Who would you most like to open for live?
Jay-Z. Tyree got me on that one! Haha. Someone like Elton John would be ridiculous.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from “making it!”, and what would be the best piece of advice that you could give any budding MC’s or rappers?
I don’t feel I’ve “made it” yet. I think you’ve have got to keep pushing yourself and your work until you reach that level of satisfaction, and I’m not there yet. My advice would be to make sure that making music is your true passion, cause you need to be reeeeeeally dedicated. Work ridiculously hard. If you work hard something positive is going to come of it, I guarantee! Don’t be afraid to show people your work. P-Money first contacted me off hearing a demo I’d made with a little $5 computer mic. It sounded terrible but he could hear the raw potential. Ignore the hate, and listen to the criticism. Its hard to differenciate sometimes, but you learn.
What is your favourite track on Rookie Card and why?
It would have to be “Stress Relief”. It was an honour working with Che Fu. Money’s beat is awesome, and my friend Percieve, who’s an up-and-comer , did his thing on it. I think it’s an epic song, talking about how we in New Zealand deal with stress. Che’s chorus and ad libbing took it to a whole other dimension.
Do you think coming from ‘small’ town New Zealand has helped or hindered you in you musical achievements?
I think it helped. Coming from Palmy and Fielding keeps me grounded.
What do you think you'd be doing if being a rapper hadn't worked out?
Before I did music I worked at KFC and Video Ezy. I studied graphic design for a bit, and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t my passion. If I wasn’t rapping, I’d be doing something to do with music.
If you could change one thing about the way things have gone (career wise), what would it be?
I think regretting things is part of life, so I wouldn’t change a thing. I try to interpret mistakes as learning curves, so who’s to say if those mistakes didn’t happen whether I’d be where I am today.
All the best and I look forward to seeing you kick it live
Nathan @ muzic.net.nz