18 December 2011
Behind the Beats: Crz Beatz
First and foremost, how long have you been making beats?
I been making beats around 4 years, but it all started earlier with a copy of the software Ejay 4, which was introduced to me by a friend of mine. That was the first time I ever made a beat – if we can call it a beat. But the software started to bore me. Then I discovered Fl studio, but when I used it for first time it was too complicated for me, so I kind of quit making beats. Back then I didn’t have an Internet connection so I didn’t know how to learn the software. I was like 13 or 14 years old and I didn’t have someone who could teach me how to use it.
While I didn’t make beats I just keep listening to music. I recorded songs from TV and radio on blank cassettes – so I can always listen only to songs what I like.
Then after some years I saw a video on YouTube where one guy was making a beat on Fl studio, to me it was like - wow he made that on FL, I need to learn that software. So I started to learn it by myself, but I didn’t know how to sample and funny thing is that - back then, when I started to make beats, I even didn’t know what sampling was. I thought that all those beats, what I liked, was composed and those pitched voices were recorded over a beat. So I started to make beats by playing my own melodies, which of course sounded terrible, because I didn’t know how to play notes and chord progressions.
After a while of making my own beats I still didn’t understand how other beat makers get those beats sound like that – with groove or with sampled voices. Then, one day I came across one old song, when I heard it, I know that I heard it also somewhere else, but couldn’t remember where. One day I was watching TV and a Top 10 Hip-Hop video was played. It was an Eminem song with a sample that I heard before. First I didn’t understand how the hell they did that, did they steal a song? Then I discovered that that was sampling and that opened to me another world – I spent nights listening to my favorite song samples to understand how the sample was made to an exact beat – what pieces beat maker took and how he layered them. To me it seemed very, very interesting - to be able to take something that already exists and make something new from it and with a hip-hop sound. And yea after that, it was a go to me and I started to make my own beats.
After a while playing with Fl studio I switched to Reason 4 – now I am using Reason 5 with midi controllers as my only beat making instrument.
Where do you reside?
I reside in Riga, that’s capital city of Latvia. Old Riga has very beautiful architecture and this city to me is very big inspiration source.
Describe the hip-hop scene in your country.
It’s small, but very powerful, especially beat making scene. The population of Latvia is small and Hip Hop here is supported by a small group of people, who do their own thing to develop a hip hop culture here. For example they organize freestyle battles and beat battles. Hip-hop in Latvia isn’t supported by the large part of society, because our country’s society is old and full with stereotypes - they think that Hip Hop is for kids.
The positive thing is that in this year there were a lot of good projects dropping in the Hip Hop scene. And I also believe that we have some very good, talented artists and beat makers, who are working very hard and they are developing their own groove and sound.
Recently your production was spotted on Astonish latest project, The Astonishingly ODD Project. How did you link up with Astonish?
I linked up with Astonish on MySpace – it was some time ago, I was searching for some good mcs to collab with and came across his music, sent him a message he liked my beats and we kept in touch all the time. Some time later he sent me a message that he had a new project in mind and I sent him some of my beats, he picked the best ones that he liked and recorded over them.
What tracks did you produce on The Astonishingly ODD Project?
I produced “All I need,” “Hire” and “Full Room.”
Describe the advantages and disadvantages of being an international beatmaker.
Only disadvantage I see is the big competition between beat makers, because right now everyone who has a computer can make beats – really good beats. And that’s what currently is happening – there is ton off very good beat makers and it’s very hard to get the right artists to hear your beats.
Advantages – to make beats is the biggest advantage. Beat making to me is a hobby in which I spend a lot of my time, because I like to put my feelings, some kind of message, which probably only I will understand, in a file which I can listen any time I want.
I also like process of making beat – I always turn off my phone, turn on some old albums and just relax and listen to good music until I catch something to chop up. That’s a beautiful feeling - my mind is kind of turned off and there is just me and the music.
What are some of your interests outside of hip-hop?
Friends, PR, communication, sport and my personal life. I also spend a lot of time trying to discover new ways to keep myself motivated all the time, so I can learn something new and improve myself.
What is your favorite type of cuisine (food)?
I try to eat as clean as possible - one of my favorite meal is grilled chicken breast, but the meal that I like the best is pasta with a lot of cheese.
How can the masses get in contact with you?
My music can be found on my SoundCloud page
I am also on Facebook and Twitter
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you working on anything special right now?
I working on some new stuff with Astonish and after The Astonishingly ODD Project dropped I have received some collab opportunities – will see how things will turn out. I also want to put out my own beat tape, but don’t know when that will happen.
Any final words?
Thanks everyone who is around me and keeping in touch with me. And to others – believe in yourself and keep doing what you do, because one day hard work will pay off.