Interview with Billy The Kid, Artist & Music Producer
Listen to BTK’s sounds here:
Introduction: What is your name and where are you from?
BtK: I go by the name of Billy The Kid, and I’m from the great city of Chicago.
Q: How long have you been into creating music?
BtK: I messed around with it off and on from about 2006 to 2008, stopped for awhile, took it back up in 2012 and really started to get down with it in late 2013.
Q: How would you describe your musical style?
BtK: I mostly make dirty, dusty hip hop. It’s mainly in the form of what you would call traditional early/mid 90’s sounding hip hop, meaning lots of samples are used to create the sonic layout of a beat.
Q: What got you interested in wanting to create music this way?
BtK: I’ve always been in tune with the hip hop culture ever since I was young. That’s all that was played on my block in the hood. The sound of the music just sounded so right to me. As I grew older, I got curious into how the beats were made and how someone could take some weird part of an old song, and flip it into something new. I slowly taught myself how to do it by listening to a lot of hip hop and the music it sampled from.
Q: What are your influences that inspire you to create? – I’ve always felt drawn to 1970’s & 80’s culture for some reason that I can’t explain. So I’ve watched a lot of films created during that time, and the music composed for the scores have a certain sound that fits how I hear the world. Lots of weird synths and guitar pedal effects were being used heavily in music during the 70’s & 80’s too giving it a slightly weird psychedelic feel which is another thing I like a lot.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about sampling other people’s’ music?
BtK: Sampling always gets a bad rep, because people think it’s cheating to take part of a song someone else already made. Hip hop began wit sampling, taking the main groove or break of a song and looping it so that the groove keeps going. I do agree sampling can be lazy if you were to just directly take a chunk of a well known song and loop it without adding or changing the original sample at all. Sampling is the essence of hip hop to me though, and finding crazy samples in songs most people have never heard is part of the fun of it.
Q: What techniques do you use to create your beats?
BtK: Currently, I have a terrible old computer that is the equivalent of a stone tablet and chisel so I can’t run any real digital audio programs off it besides basic music editing software. It takes a lot longer to make music this way haha. I’ve also used Pro Tools when I had access to it.
Q: What is your stance on using hardware vs. software when it comes to making music?
BtK: I personally like to use hardware if it’s available because I can get a more natural groove creating drum patterns or chopping samples than I can if I’m just using a mouse to click on a screen. Computers do make it a lot easier to create music since everything you need is all in one set up, but i would prefer hardware if i had the means to get it.
Q: Where do you see yourself going with your music?
BtK: I’m trying to find people that are good that actually want to rap over my beats, it’s hard hahaha. A lot of people aren’t too into the type of beats that I make on a rap standpoint, or the people just don’t have the right sound for my beats. Besides that, getting a more up to date computer is crucial. Overall, I just want to be able to get more experimental with my sound.
Does your family support your passion?
BTK: Music is embedded in my family so it was inescapable since birth. Used to play piano and whatnot when i was younger, quit that after 3 years cause it kept getting in the way of other hobbies I wanted to pursue like skating and painting.
Q: Tell us about your sound:
BTK: There’s not just one main artist that influences my ish, more like general sound moods with certain instrumentation from past time periods (late 70’s to mid 80’s). But some people I been listening to a lot lately though are Geneva Jacuzzi, Gina X Performance, マクロスMACROSS 82-99, Madlib and damn near anything The Alchemist has done.
Music inspires a lot of my otha art, the more psych rock the better. Listenin’ to that ish late at night is a trip!
Q: Anybody you would like to give thanks to?
BtK: Yeah yeah, shout out to all the peoples that actually listen to my ish and don’t just play the first 10 seconds of it and say “This is dope!” Thanks yous all. I would like to collaborate with artists to drop bars on my current beats!
Here is the song that BTK produced for me for my website: “Pussy Fatale” (c)Billy The Kid
Contact BTK @: email@example.com, http://billythekid28.bandcamp.com