K-Murdock is the producer for Panacea, he got in touch with me around two years ago, after i created a video for him for the track "Place On Earth" (below). Since then i've been lucky enough to have exchanged a few e-mails with him, and he's been very kind in granting me this interview.........
1. “Piano-rama” received great critical feedback from fans and music journalists alike, do you have any plans to release another solo-project?
Yes sir! I plan on having something new out every season, seasons change, and so will the projects! Whether it’s a solo compilation like "Piano-rama" or a side project or another Panacea album etc... There will always be something produced by me... this is my life's love, so while I’m blessed to have the ability to put the music out, I wanna roll with it you know!
2. Do you think hip-hop is as good today as it was in the old-school?
Yes and no. It’s bigger than it ever was and I’m glad its more accessible and accepted by the world, BUT it also has become so monetized and myopic in scope, on a mainstream level specifically that people's understanding of hip-hop may not be as broad as it once was when the radio used to play a wide array of styles and artists.
As big as it’s gotten, the rift between over and underground has become even wider, and that saddens me. I feel like it’s lost its creative roots a bit, and now it’s more about copying what’s hot as opposed to being unique and innovative like it once was. I just wish that old balance was restored!
3. At this years Grammy’s Flo Rida was nominated for best hip-hop album, do you find the industry looks to reward record sales and not talent?
I didn’t hear Flo Rida's album, but I also didn’t hear people raving about it either. I know people who listen to all styles of rap, underground, mainstream, etc... So that alone leads me to believe that it could be more about sales, hell to keep it real, if it were on talent and being fresh, I feel like WE could have been nominated if that was the sole prerequisite.
At the same time, Q-Tip was also nominated for best hip-hop album; I don’t recall him doing crazy numbers as far as sales go, so obviously, someone is listening who understands talent too.
4. Besides hip-hop, which other forms of music do you draw influence from when producing?
When creating my music, I tend to sample and listen to anything else that I can use, it doesn’t even have to be music per say, I tend to also incorporate sound effects and stuff too, just to add personality and character to my music.
I like to think that I create soundtracks to stories when I make music, it's like scoring short stories when working with Raw Poetic of Panacea, he has helped me open my mind and sound up by not limiting what I use in my works.
5. Panacea have an extensive back-catalogue of quality music, but if you could choose just one song to be your favourite, which would it be?
I think 2 songs come to mind.....
1 is "Birdfeather" off our first album which will always be special to us since it was the FIRST recorded Panacea song back in 2003! And the funny thing is, I gave Raw P. a beat CD and that beat was the last on there, the one I thought he would hate and he loved it the most, we recorded it, the rest is history...
The 2nd I would have to cite as being a fave is "Starlite" because of how crazy and daring it was, especially as a single off your first national release! Props to the guys at our old label, Glow-in-the-Dark for being blassy enough to put it out because it definitely let people know we are on "some different shit" with our music :)
6 Many people see you guys as jewels of the underground, but if you were to go mainstream, do you think this would take away from your art?
Not at all, we have had songs played on "top 40" radio and gain new fans off it, and it never once made us lose any older fans, they were just hyped that a bigger audience was finally recognizing what we were doing musically.
Besides, I have given up on trying to be "mainstream", I cater to our loyal listeners and they in turn spread the music and that’s who support us so why not just cater to them. At the same time, being progressive in nature, I try and do projects that branch out and in turn may attract a new population of fans, and that’s ok with me too because I never sell my artistic soul, just spread it out!
7. If you weren’t a hip-hop producer which path do you think you’d have taken in life?
I know Raw Poetic would be a teacher or published poet, myself... hmmm, I would be a writer of sorts, I was really into creative writing in college, that’s how I came up with "Panacea", but music and radio has always been my first love, so if not a writer, I would be strictly on radio playing other dope progressive hip-hop music like I do now on Subsoniq (www.proghiphop.com).
8. The internet can be seen as a blessing or a curse for music depending on your viewpoint, do you view internet piracy as a significant threat to your record sales?
Not really, people are going to get what they want using the internet, it’s hard to police everybody, lol. All I ask is that if you really like the music, try and support in some fashion, be it coming to live show or buying a tee shirt etc. so that we as artists can continue to make more music for you to enjoy, its a cycle, but unfortunately not everyone sees that, but I keep doing my part to keep it going!
9. If you could produce a track for any emcee dead or alive who would it be?
I would love to work with Q-Tip or De La Soul, or BOTH on one track, if that happens, i'm good. The other emcees I got on my wish list are: Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, Phonte of Little Brother and CYNE. But Tribe and De La are my ultimates without question! Fingers crossed...
10. And finally, a lot of fans have been waiting to come and see you guys perform in Europe; will this be the year it happens?
I hope to God it'll be this year, we get a great response from our music in Europe, from the Netherlands to the UK, I get asked this like every other week, so I tell them, be patient and hopefully someone or something will bring us over to rock, and trust me, we would make it memorable, BELIEVE IT!
K-Murdock we shall talk soon.........
Thanks for the dope questions Patrick, anything you ever need, I got you!
© hip-hop4thepeople.blogspot.com (interview by Paddy Lane)