Behind the Beats: Deli Beats
First and foremost, who is Deli Beats?
I am a 26 year old hip hop producer and occasional MC.
Where do you reside?
I come from the lovely city of Liverpool - home of the Beatles!
How is the hip-hop scene in Liverpool?
Liverpool has never really been known as a strong place for hip hop although we have a strong musical heritage. I think that things are changing though and there are a few great artists out there that are making moves, especially with the found popularity of the Don't Flop battle scene. People such as O'Shea and Children of the Damned are some of my favorites.
How long have you been making beats?
I've been making beats for around 10 years now on and off, which is pretty crazy. It's only within the last couple of years that I started to take my craft more seriously. Had a few problems within the industry that damaged my confidence levels in dealing with people on a musical level, but I've learnt from my mistakes and feel more ready than ever to push my music out to the world now.
I have been a fan of your production for almost a decade. In what ways have you grown production wise?
Well over the time I've been producing, I've kept learning and feel more comfortable within trying different styles. Before I used to stick to making the soulful beats and laying down some boom bap, I've felt a lot more comfortable trying my hand at different approaches. I mean, my production is still very sample heavy and soul influenced, but nowadays you are likely to hear a different approach to the way I lay out my music than you would have a couple of years back.
I like the versatility of your production and the fact that your drums have gotten better over time. Who influenced you to start making beats?
Thanks man. I think going back that long ago the main people that probably influenced me into making beats were the likes of The Neptunes, Timbaland and Just Blaze. I used to rap before I made beats, just as a hobby, but I was always more interested in the beats, when me and my friend were searching for instrumentals to use. I guess studying these beats as I received them helped me learn a lot about music production. I kind of realized how much I wanted to do this when I heard Little Brothers The Listening back in 2003. Since then 9th Wonder has been a huge inspiration for me musically. My biggest influences now are Dilla, M-Phazes, Illmind, Jake One, Marco Polo, Oddisee, Kev Brown, Khrysis, S1, Boondoc, Kelakovski and Sivey to name a few.
Recently you released an album called L.o.S.M. Pt3 and the album is unique because you also rhyme on the album. What prompted you to start rhyming over your own beats?
Well as I said, I was rapping before I started making beats. I used to do that strictly as a hobby. When I was in college around 2006, me and my friend were getting a lot of studio time handed to us to do what we wanted with. We were both making beats at this time and were bouncing ideas back and forth to each other. One day he sent me a beat called "Grace" which I decided to write something to. I hadn't recorded anything in about 2 or 3 years at that point, but I think that was the moment that I realized I enjoyed rapping again. Ever since then I have my own studio set up, and occasionally record tracks for my own enjoyment and to get stuff off my chest. I always describe my songs as emo-rap! The L.o.S.M project was just a fun project I would put together every few months over other peoples beats, but as I was working on a part 3 I realized how much I wasn't feeling anyone's production too much at the time, and decided to produce the whole thing myself.
How long have you been rhyming?
Around 10 years, also on and off. We used to record songs on an old PC microphone hooked up to a program called Hip Hop Ejay, downloading instrumentals from industry producers like The Neptunes, Timbaland and The Alchemist. Stuff that is majorly cringe worthy when looking back. Going from there I recorded a lot of material at my friends house, once I started producing myself, and that progressed into studio time and creating my own personal studio space.
How does a beatmaker convey emotions with production?
I mean, whenever I make music I am always in a certain mind state and know exactly what I want to create, so I am automatically looking for that type of sample that fits my mood. If I'm feeling down I'll be looking for that sick piano loop or sad string section, feeling good and I'm looking for that sick soulful disco type uptempo sound. Whatever project I release or beat I work on, you can always tell what kind of mood I was in at the time that I made it.
Do you think it has something to do with sample choice?
Yeah of course. I mean personally, I sample a lot. It is pretty much the whole basis around my style of production, although I have made composed beats in the past. I never feel that my composed beats carry the same emotional punch as my sampled ones, and for me, it's all about the emotion conveyed in my songs.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I'm currently working on a project that I am calling Welcome to the Loneliest Place in the World which will be a joint project with my man Foreign Visions. We've worked on a lot of stuff in the past that is half way between hip hop and electro, which I am really excited about because it is a completely different look for me. Hip hop in the UK is quite different to the US and it kind of fits in more with that style. Aside from that I am going to spend a lot more time on my production this year and hopefully work with a lot more MC's and build up a bigger repertoire.
What are some of your interests outside of hip-hop?
I mean, music is my biggest love and I enjoy listening to all different kinds of music in my spare time. I also enjoy watching films and TV. At the moment I have been massively paying attention to the battle scene and spend a lot of my free time watching battles on Grindtime and Don't Flop.
How can the fans get in contact with you?
You can get in touch with me on Twitter, Facebook or on my Bandcamp page. I am always happy and thankful to hear critique off fans. Also, for beat enquiries you can drop an email to email@example.com.
Any final words?
Yeah my new project Life of a Struggling Musician Part 3 is up on my website, which contains 11 new songs, all the instrumentals and a digital booklet containing all of the lyrics. It's a "name your price" download, but you can download it for free if you wish. I appreciate anyone taking the time to listen to my music, so download it for free and spread the word. Thanks so much.