So here's the third installment of Shop Talk. This time I went across the world to talk to Scott Xylo from the UK. He recently released this great video game styled Scott Piglrim EP which caught my ear. He's into retro gaming, synths, good music and anime. What else does it take to get featured on here? Take a listen and peep shop talk #3.
A.I. - "Ok, so who are you, where are you from and how long have you been making music?"
SX - "Whats good? I'm Scott Xylo, I'm from Leicester, UK (Its a small city in England) and I've been making music for 3 years now."
A.I. - "Is that three years recording or total playing time?"
SX - "That's 3 years of making beats, lol I haven't really rapped or sung in the past, I've just loved music."
A.I. - "What was it that got you into making beats?"
SX - "Really I wanted to do cartoon animation and become like Seth McFarland hahaha but I didn't have the grades to do it at school, so I did a course in music technology instead. I was inspired by those videos on YouTube of Kanye Making beats in the studio, so I thought I could do that hahaha."
A.I. - "I had no idea how beats were made when I started. I had guitars, bass and a drum machine and then I just got a computer to record. What was your first gear setup like and what are you using now.?"
SX - "I started with a laptop, headphones and FL studio but now I have same haha but with a pair of Newmark monitors and MIDI keyboard. I'm a very resourceful guy."
A.I.- "For some reason I thought you were an Ableton guy?"
SX - "Haha. That's weird because I've just started playing with Ableton and its really dope! I also I DJ with Ableton as well."
A.I. - "Yeah the live aspect of playing beats seems to be the biggest thing I see set FL Studio and Ableton apart."
SX - "Yeah like I've seen some dudes perform with FL and some videos but I love the Ableton layout and its easy to pick up."
A.I. - "Not from a business side but strictly from making quality beats. What's the best advice you could give someone who right now is just starting to get into making beats?"
SX - "Well the first thing I would say is to be true to yourself and make what you want make, because there has been so many times when dudes have told me to not sample and stop sampling and if I did that, I wouldn't be the person I'm at now. The next I would say is don't fall into trends that will make you sound like everyone else, just do your own thing and try be something different. Really the key thing is just be yourself."
A.I. - "You sampled up a whole bunch of video game music on this Scott Pilgrim record. Tells us about how that all came together."
SX - "Haha. To be honest I only sampled 2 games on that, Con_tra88!!! and Lv. 88 Pikachu everything else I just played in. The Idea all started from the Percee P & Madlib track 2 Brothers From The Gutter.
I'm a huge Madlib fan so when I heard he sampled Contra (which is one of my all time favorite games) I flipped out so I wanted do something in that 8 bit style, but all of the best video game samples were taken so I thought why don't I make my own samples and trick people thinking I sampled it from old NES games. So for 2 months I started to study old video game composers like David Wise, Hirokazu Tanaka, Yasunori Mitsuda and others. I took their chords style, what waves they use and how to keep that authentic NES sounds, but then after finished the EP it I felt like this 8bit hip-hop thing should be my style so I kept it. The one thing I love about making 8 bit music is since its only square waves and saw waves it limits what you can do, so that keeps my creativity active to what more you can do with those waves."
A.I. - "There is something about working within limitations that makes you push against those limits and are forced into being more creative than actually having access to limitless possibilities. That's actually sort of the whole life blood of hiphop really."
SX - "Yeah definitely, I have to say since I started making 8 bit hip hop a whole world has opened to me, and it is like when dudes in the 80's and the 90's just only use samples they broke those walls on how you can transform a sample."
A.I. - "What VSTs were you using when making the beats for the Scott Pilgrim EP?"
SX - "The VSTs I used on Scott Pilgrim were Chip 32, Tweakbench Peach, Tweakbench Toad, some soundfonts and I used my Gameboy Color haha I hacked it."
A.I. - "Name a couple 8-16bit favorite game soundtracks and couple you just like playing?"
SX - "I have loads but my favorites in no order are Streets of Rage 2, Metroid (the NES one), Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong Country 2 and Secret of Mana. I love playing the Street Fighter II soundtrack. The Adventure of Link, Pokémon Red, Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden (NES one) and Punch-Out. Oh and the Super Mario Bros soundtrack. Ha!"
A.I. - "Looking to the future. What new music projects are on the horizon? What gear are you interested in getting. Last but not least what games are you looking for."
SX - "I have a new EP which is dropping in June haha I've almost finished it and it's called 2003//HeERO Scott its going to be an EP about the things I did back in 2003 also its a dedication to the UK Toonami because sadly it got shutdown back in 2007 but I have VHS tape that I'm going to sample from and use in the beats. There will be 3 more EPs on the way after that one. I really want to get a Akai apc40 so I won't have to borrow my friends MPD when I'm performing and I want to a NES and SNES console so I wont have to use emulators and my Xbox controller. I'm looking to get a copy of Mega man 2, Earthbound, Contra and Pokemon Stadium."
A.I. - "I really appreciate your time in doing this with me. Look forward to new stuff your putting out and hopefully this turns a few heads your way cuz I'm really digging what your doing man."
SX - "Thank you for having me and i with the same in the future to you, I also want to shout-out PIR▲.MD RECORDS, Gin-Yu Clan, DivineAtoms, SENZU COLLECTIVE仙 and all my homies you know who you are."