Hey What’s up Soletron! I told you in a post earlier this week that we’d have an exclusive interview with Amerigo Gazaway for you – here it is. If you aren’t familiar with him, he’s a Nashville born Producer behind the Fela Soul and Bizarre Tribe projects that set the internet and Hip Hop fans on fire. Both projects became viral hits. Not many people are capable of recreating classic Hip Hop and not getting their heads cut off. He did the impossible then did it twice.
Recently his Bizarre Tribe project has been getting the most attention, due to the fact it’s not available anymore. The project was a mash up of A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcyde, two iconic Hip Hop groups. The project was the perfect blend of recreated classic ATCQ beats and Pharcyde lyrics. It seemed like the two were meant to be put together. However, according to Sony Records, it wasn’t meant to me. Sony Records sent a cease and desist order to Gummy Soul Records, ordering them to take down the album. Although Gazaway recreated every beat himself, without sampling any of Tribe, Sony still claimed it was copyright infringement. Although the project has been circulated already, it’s still sad to see it be taken away. But that’s not stopping Gazaway from bring dope music to the people. Check out this exclusive interview we did with the producer about the Bizarre Project and his future plans:
Soletron: Hey thanks for taking the time out to talk to us
Gazaway: it’s all good
Soletron: I just wanted to talk you about the Bizzare Project. How did it get started? What was your inspiration for it?
Gazaway: Bizarre Tribe, it kind of all started with that bonita keeps passing me by. I use to DJ back in the day. I use to take bonita applebaum and blend those two together. I never really thought about doing a mash up with it. But then last june on record store day, delicious vinyl dropped this big box set of pharcyde singles. It was all ‘45s and they came with the acapellas. So it was about 6 or 7 pharcyde acapellas. Soon as I got wind of that, I started experimenting with different pharcyde stuff – seeing what worked and what didn’t. Then I remembered that bonita keeps passing me by blend that I use to do. Then I start experimenting with other Tribe beats. Then everything just kind of fell into place.
Soletron: So you remade every beat yourself right? You didn’t use tribe instrumentals.
Gazaway: When I was experimenting with the project at first, I would take a tribe instrumental and put a pharcyde acapella on top just to see how it sounded. That’s where running came about. I took the electric relaxation beat from Tribe and was playing it the same time as the runnin’ acapella. I used the Tribe beats to figure out what worked in the beginning. Once I figured out what worked, I scraped the beat all together and found the original samples they used. So I pretty much recreated all the beats on the project. It’s still good to use the tribe beats as a reference.
Soletron: After you found the original sample, did you find it hard to kind of recreate it, put your own spin on it without it sounding too much like Q-tip?
Gazaway: Yeah, it’s tricky man. It’s a fine line. All that stuff is so classic, it’s sacred. People who that stuff so dear – I do as well. Trying to reinterpret it and put my own spin on it while still maintaining the original quality is definitely a tricky task. But I just had fun with it. It’s something that I always wanted to do. Just because I’m such a fan of Q-tip and A Tribe Called Quest, I always wanted to explore what they were doing, how they flipped their samples – it was just a fun learning experience for me as a producer.
Soletron: Would you say you’re more of a tribe fan or a pharcyde fan?
Gazaway: That’s tough, I think the idea of the project was to make the comparison. Pharcyde was kind of the west coast tribe. They’re kind of equal in their own right. Pharcyde is the west coast how Tribe is to the east coast. Biding them together kind of made sense.
Soletron: what would you say is your favorite tribe song?
Gazaway: my favorite tribe song, that’s really tough. Find A Way is an all time classic. There’s so many. I’m a huge Dilla fan too so I definitely tend to gravitate towards the Tribe-Dilla stuff and the Pharcyde-Dilla stuff just because I’m a huge fan. Probably Find A Way.
Soletron: Did you expect to get this much attention from to the project?
Gazaway: Yes and No. I had my fears or doubt about people being open to it. Like I said, that stuff is classic and sacred to a lot of people. I knew certain people would be skeptical. But the way it all came together and the way the project sounded, I was confident in the music itself. So I knew if I could at least get people to hit play, they would dig it. Its just the matter of getting them to come step towards you and press play. But I was definitely confident in the music. So that’s why I wanted to put it out.
Soletron: How does it feel now not being able to have that project available for people anymore?
Gazaway: honestly, I think I had a good run with it. It went above and beyond my expectations, as far as the project goes. It’s really just more inspiration for me to keep moving forwards. I’m definitely not discouraged. I’m definitely not going to stop doing this as a result. This is what I do and this is the foundation of Hip Hop. – sampling records. I’m going to continue to push those boundaries and the envelope as far as I can go. I think the fact that it’s gone is only drawing more attention to that. It’s going to live on in it’s own right: the vinyl bootleg, it’s circulating out there, torrent sites, pirate bay. People are going to share it and hear it regardless of whether its on my website or not. So I’m not too worried about it. I think it had a good run.
Soletron: What do you have planned for the future?
Gazaway: We’re working on another 90s project that’s going to drop mid-september. I can’t tell you what it is yet. But it’s another tribute to some 90s Hip Hop classics. It’s a little broader in terms of theme. I’m working on some other instrumental projects. We got some good music coming the rest of this year.
Soletron: Well we definitely can’t wait to hear it. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us today.
Gazaway: No problem, thank you.
It may be too late for you to check out Bizarre Tribe, but Gazaway has a ton of other stuff coming soon. Keep an eye for him. Check out his website here.
Image Source: Amerigo Gazaway