Behind the Beats: This Is Tomorrow
First and foremost, who is This is Tomorrow?
My name is Mike and I am a blogger, dj, beatmaker, drum beater and all around music lover from Luxembourg.
When did you start dj'ing and what inspired you to become a dj?
I've been buying records for about 20 years but I only started dj'ing in 2005 because a friend of mine asked me to dj at his bar. Most dj's in Luxembourg play electro-techno so it was and still is hard to find my place playing soul, funk and hip hop. That's why I play in other countries a lot.
When did you get introduced to the art of beatmaking?
I always banged the table when I was a kid, so when I got the chance to play drums I jumped on the occasion. That was 22 years ago. I fell in love with hip hop in the early 90's and was very interested in the production techniques. I bought my Akai MPC 2000 XL in 2001 and started experimenting with sounds.
Did you find it difficult or easy to make the transition from dj'ing to beatmaking?
I love music, music is my life, so playing music for other people is what I want to do. I don't really care if I play drums, make beats or dj. It's all about the music.
When you make a beat do you have a specific artist in mind or a specific emotion?
I always start with a nice sample, so I think the choice of the sample reflects my mood of the day. I never think of a specific emcee when I make beats though...
You also play drums in a hip hop band called de läb. Has your production benefited from you playing the drums?
I guess so. I never had problems creating a beat on the mpc, because I hear it in my head.
What weapons do you use to make beats and do you have a creative process for making beats?
I'm a purist when it comes to making beats. Just my MPC, a few records and Pro Tools for recording. That's it... I think the biggest problem with beatmakers is that they want to sound like someone else. First it was Dj Premier, then Pete Rock, then Madlib, then J Dilla and now Flying Lotus.
What motivates you as a beatmaker?
I just love the fact that you can make a song from scratch in a few hours or sometimes minutes in your room at home with one machine and no big studio. I like to play with samples and I try to use other people's music to create something new and different.
Your favorite beat is produced by...
It's impossible to choose one beat, so here are two: Gang Starr "Above the Clouds" and Pete Rock "Pete's Jazz."
Instrumentals have the ability to stand alone based on emotion, creativity and personal preference. Do you believe that instrumental hiphop is gravitating towards eliminating emcees?
I don't think so, because the word is the most powerful weapon in the world. As long as there are emcees out there with a message.
What emcees would you like to work with in the future?
Anyone who has something to say really. But right now I think Elzhi is one of the best out there…
How can the masses get in contact with you?
firstname.lastname@example.org or This Is Tomorrow Blogspot
Any Final Thoughts?
Thanks for having me! keep supporting music and artists by buying music!