His portfolio is mad, his beats are crazy and his ear for music is extraordinary
My top five favourite producers (both dead or alive) goes a little something like this:
1. J Dilla
2. 9th Wonder
Four and five, well let’s just say they are still unaccounted for. I’ve been listening to Tuamie for years now. So long that I can’t quite remember when exactly it was, that I stumbled across this musical goldmine. What I do remember is being completely blown away, completely drawn to the beat. To think that someone had grasped altering some of the most mundane sounds, so effortlessly was crazy to me.
Quite frankly, I’d never felt such a gravitation towards anyone’s music, since I first stumbled across J Dilla many years ago. Tuamie has such a unique sound, the more I listened, the more I became acquainted with this sound. I could probably recognise one of his beats, even if it was blaring from a car’s sound system about a mile away. That ability has somewhat become second nature to me. His sound has grown on me. Once again my notions of what is acceptable within the constraints of a song have altered. My musical perspective – reshaped and redefined. I truly believe I stumbled across a goldmine, an extraordinary set of sounds by cool humble dude with an incredible ear for music.
Let’s talk about his discography shall we. Holy Ghost Spirituals v.01 will surely take you to church, whilst Blue Black Purple Ethiopian Girl causes you to experience a whirlwind of emotions and Please Be Quiet has that head nod sh*t that will make you break your neck. With such a wide variety of music, real rap lovers may never have to utter the words “I need some new music again”.
It is because of Tuamie that I then started listening to the likes of Koncept Jack$on and Fly Anakin. I really delved into what the entire Mutant Academy family had to offer, a rich combination of raw underground sounds and synths. Till this day I wonder why they still remain heavily underrated. While I’m at it, lemme give a quick shout out to godsconnect for putting on some of the best underground music. Tuamie’s work has been admired by respected musicians such as Pete Rock, Freddie Gibbs, J Dilla, Mndsgn and Illmind to name a few.
Is his quest for musical domination finally drawing near?
Talking with Tuamie…
When did you first realise that you have such an ear for music and how long have you been creating new sounds?
I’ve been making beats for eleven years now. I realised that I had an ear for music when I was given a Yamaha DD-20 drum machine. I must have been eight or ten years old at the time.
So, who is Tuamie? Tell the readers a bit about yourself! Where are you located? Where did you grow up?
I’m currently located in Richmond Va, I grew up between Georgia and the DMV.
For those who don’t know the DMV stands for ‘DC, Maryland and Virginia’. You define what you create as ‘strategized loops’. Why do you prefer looping the sounds you make as opposed to longer music samples?
My preference of looping comes from studying the legendary DJ Premier, from nothing he manages to create something every time. DJ Premier’s style is the foundation of my style. I also find creating a repetitive loop that doesn’t bore the listener or artist to be a challenge.
Word! DJ Premier is definitely up there with some of the greatest producers of all-time and has a catalogue of unforgettable sounds. Just how long does it take for you to complete each ‘strategized loop’?
Usually when I’m in work mode it takes about 20-25 minutes, a lot of the time goes into finding the right drums and the drum pattern that best fits the music. I take a day off to listen to samples and create samples to help make the process quicker.
Wow, 20-25 minutes! Now that’s beast mode. You draw influences from some of my favourite musical legends J Dilla, Dj Premier and Madlib. You’ve also stated that you are influenced by Organized Noise, Kankick and Jay Denes, who I’m less familiar with. Can you share where you’ve drawn upon these influences in your music?
Yes! From DJ Premier I learnt how to listen to music, how to develop an ear for samples and how to work with little or nothing. From J Dilla I learnt a lot about mixing, how important it is and how to listen for loops. I learnt to be open with experimenting from Madlib.
I’d like to point out to the readers that you really made a song about chicken called ‘Chicken’. You managed to merge a hip-hop beat with the sound of a chicken clucking and in a comical, absurd and slightly random kinda way it fitted. You’ve done the same with water drops and so forth. Does the influence of DJ Premier have anything to do with this? What has inspired such a spontaneous and unique body of work?
DJ Premier is the inspiration for beats like that. He samples ‘bloops’ and ‘bleeps’, then translates it into music. I tried to do the same with clucking sounds and so forth.
It’s great to finally found out where that level of spontaneity comes from. Despite having such a vast collection of loops and sounds you seem to keep a bit of a low profile. Why is that?
Well, up until recently my low profile was the effect of me being so focused to create a name for myself – a healthy body of work. I didn’t think that me being out in the world was important. Having progressed over the years, I’ve now come to balance both worlds.
I can definitely relate to that, some days you’ve got to take time out to work on your creative development. Finding that balance between developing and being social isn’t always easy. Puerto Rican Land Rover featuring Fly Anakin and Koncept Jack$on is one of the craziest beats I have ever heard. It gets better every time I listen to it. You’ve collaborated with these musicians before, can we expect a longer joint collaboration in the future?
Thank you. Yes, our full length album Panama Plus is out now! We are currently working on new music.
Can’t wait to see what you guys have in store for us! What prompts you to start working on a new beat? Can you describe what your creative process is like?
Usually what prompts me is being inspired. The process of working on a beat is coming up with an idea to fit whatever mood I’m in once I start working. After I get the idea down, I find the drum sounds that I feel work best. Then I experiment with drum patterns. After I’m satisfied with what I’ve created, I export the beat and start the process over.
Sounds cool, seems challenging but it’s definitely something I’d like to give a go! Despite having such a vast collection of work, I can somehow still tell when a loop has been touched by you. What do you think makes your sounds identifiable to listeners? How do you think you stand out amongst the crowd of producers out there?
I would say my detailed attention to mixing, how I EQ the sounds I use and that my beat’s usually aren’t longer than one or two bars. Sample or sound choices as well and that I like to keep my sound simple, yet still very effective.
I can definitely see all those components in your music. As I’m from the UK, I’ve got to ask if you have dipped your toes into the UK music scene yet? Are there any artists that have stood out to you?
I’m not to up to date at the moment on the current state of UK music scene, but I am open to all recommendations though. I do however draw a lot of inspiration from a few artists such as Goldie, LTJ Bukem, Alex Reece, Roni Size…etc.
We never really know what you’re up to, which makes your musical journey that more exciting to watch. What can we expect from you in the future?
I started a series called Emergency Raps, which is a series of ep’s solely produced by me. It has a different artist for each volume. The first volume is features Mutant Academy member Big Kahuna Og and was released 22nd December 2017. It is available to listen to on all streaming platforms. The first four volumes of the series feature Mutant Academy artists – Big Kahuna Og, Henny L.O., Koncept Jack$on and Fly Anakin. More placements and shows will be announced in due time. The world can definitely expect a Mutant Academy Worldwide Takeover.
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