Well I grew up with a mom who cooked dinner 4 or 5 nights a week, so i definitely got my love/fascination for cooking very young. But my mom also used to complain about me making noises with my mouth and tapping all the time as i composed little rhythms in my head, so this may end up being a chicken or the egg type of question. But in all seriousness, I started fooling around with beatmaking in 10th grade (1994) on my parent's computer using the DOS program Fasttracker (an early sampler/sequencer software).
How did you get involved with Project Blowed?
I moved to LA for college in '97... I was really into drum-n-bass at the time and was DJing and hanging out at Daddy Kev and DJ Hive's club Konkrete Jungle at Spaceland. PEACE, Myka 9, Busdriver, and a few others used to frequent the club and that was my original introduction to their music. My roomate back then used to slang herb, and Kev and some of the MCs used to come by our apartment and that led to PEACE hearing some of my beats and wanting to rap on them. We started working on Megabite and through that i met Ab, Acey, Fat Jack, the Global Phlowtations guys, Hip Hop Klan, and everyone else. I think at that point me and Kev were the only ones with computer recording setups, so everyone wanted to record at our places and that led to a lot of connections and collaborations.
Your style is real funky/hip hop, a lot different than some of the other production I have heard from other Project Blowed affiliated producers. What are some of your hip hop musical influences?
Actually I think my style is constantly evolving. I've never stuck in one place for too long. Alot of my most well known stuff is funky/jazzy but I have also done projects with more electronic sounds. I try to give each project a theme and sound and explore that world thoroughly. But as far as my influences go.... I grew up on the east coast and was definitely fed a steady diet of DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Jeru, Wu-tang, etc...but I would say my sound is just as informed by non-hiphop acts as well. "Downward Spiral" by Nine Inch Nails, "I Care Because You Do" by Aphex Twin, "Dissection" by Decoder and Tech Itch... these three albums were all major musical influences to me.
Yeah, but producing has always come first for me. Back in the late 90s early 2000s i used to spin drum-n-bass under the name DJ Syndakit. Then I kinda evolved into a hip hop DJ doing tour support for Abstract Rude through the mid 2000s. These days i do occasional gigs with whatever rappers i might be working with at the time, or just play my own music whenever i have solo gigs.
So you play live sets? What equipment do you use when playing live?
Well I'm kind of in a transition period on that one... For years I've used serato to DJ all my own tunes, but i recently got abelton and a launchpad to try and do some live "beat sets". I've already done a few where i was really just playing whole tracks with FX and whatnot, but ultimately a lot of cats out there are already doing that, and it's kinda lame. I made a promise to myself a month ago not to book any more "beat set" gigs until i work out a more dynamic show that will hopefully set my shit apart from the rest of the pack a little. But ultimately although playing live and touring is fun (and I've done my fair share of both) I'm really a behind the scenes guy at heart. I'd rather be in the comfort of my studio making new music than out and about at a club...
I feel you on all parts. I also want to play live sets but have some sort of skill shown.
So what would you say are the key ingredients to making a dope beat according to Kenny?
Wow thats a pretty broad question... In general I am always drawn to vibe over technical skill. I love artists that create an ambiance with their music...where it feels like they created a whole separate universe just for that beat. Madlib and Flylo come to mind as great examples of this. I'm also a big believer that a great song transcends the presentation, so if you cant play a version of the beat on a real instrument with no beat, then its probably not a complete song. I guess what I'm saying is of course I appreciate sick drum programming and good mixing techinique, etc... but ultimately the song/idea is king and all those technical aspects should be to serve the music not the other way around.
So whats next for Kenny Segal?
This should be a pretty big year. I just had a few tracks on NoCanDo's Zero Hour EP, and we are currently wrapping up 3 more for his album coming out on Alpha Pup this summer. I also got a track or two on Abstract Rude's next album. And most importantly me and Self Jupiter are wrapping up an 8 song EP, called "the Kleenrz", that's coming out on Hellfyre Club Records late summer/early fall. We got a couple of amazing animated music videos we are working on for that project...expect to see the first single drop in June I think.
And besides all that I got random tracks coming out with Sahtyre, Open Mike Eagle, Jnatural, Parallel Crew, and I'm sure a few more that I'm forgetting right now... like i said.. a big year!
I will be sure to keep a look out for those. Thank you for your time and please shoot me links to those videos and projects!!!
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