BattleCat BattleCat is a seasoned veteran in this hip-hop game. From his very first single going platinum to his follow-up array of hits ranging from Raphael Saadiq to Xzibit, BattleCat impacts the industry with his trademark sound. Check out what this true musician has to say about his signature production.
Interview by Rob Schwartz
WHO?MAG: How were you first introduced to the music industry? BattleCat: My first hit was this cat name Domino, so my first recording was known as being professional and certified platinum. I was introduced that way. It was with R.A.L. (Rush Associated Labels). That’s as far as being a producer.
WHO?MAG: What differentiates the BattleCat sound from other producers? BattleCat:My interpretation and my passion for music are driven by the living existence of human beings. Through poverty, through good times or bad times, it doesn’t matter. It’s all different walks of life that makes me produce the kind of music that I do and the energy that is driven behind my selection of choice of theory of music that differentiates me from other producers. First, I’m a hands-on musician before the rap game even came to the table. I am a percussionist and a drummer professionally. Bringing that in to the art form of dancing, poplocking, and DJing, it’s what kept all the elements of different instruments and producing. Theory of music is what helps shape and mold the sound of BattleCat. If you look though the different sounds of the history of the records I produced, there are different styles and interpretations of music.
WHO?MAG: What is your process for creating a track? BattleCat:Its spontaneous because over the years the process of learning how they are composed have change due to the technology that exists as the years go by. I started off analog. The process of analog is not the same. It takes me about an hour to do a track analog, but if I was doing it with hardware and equipment, it would only take me 15 minutes. If I was doing it with today’s technology, it may take me 30 minutes length because I am dealing with digital and virtual instruments. The only reason why there is the difference with the minutes is because of what I grew up on. I understand the importance that the theory of music has to be there when you are dealing with R&B or even rap. You deal with these people who don’t play these instruments, but know what they want. They heard enough where the music has to be there present, because if it is not there, then you are not getting the full creative time and moneys worth with a producer if he isn’t fully seasoned with the equipment.
WHO?MAG: If you were given only a budget of $5,000 to create a studio, what equipment would you buy? BattleCat:I would definitely get a G4 fully loaded with Windows and Protools. I would get all of the basic plug-ins, the EST virtual plug in, Reason, and a production facility to sample. A 414 mic is also important which is good for indoors and outdoors. You don’t even need to have a booth. You should also have Sony V900 headphones, USB keyboard to control the volume audio, some monitors, and amplifiers that you can adjust the frequency knobs in the back for acoustic for a nice realistic sound. Also, an M box and some firewire. Get more memory as well. With all this, you can do mobile recording. I like atmosphere. Sometimes I like to hop in my car and just drive and when someone is driving, I’m in the back getting a virtual atmosphere.
WHO?MAG: Over the past five years, do you feel the music industry has improved, is stagnate, or taken a turn for the worse? BattleCat:I think it’s a little bit of everything. It’s getting better, but how much of that is really getting appreciated. Look at “Freaky Tales” by Too Short. That style could have been about an other subject matter. I feel that the soul is not in it any more musically. It is, but a lot of people aren’t too hungry about reaching back and grabbing the diamonds in the rough. People that really understand music understand business, relationships, communications, and law & order. Everything needs to be taken more into consideration for the industry to be better. Once they see that this has a following, what are they going to do, tell you no? I’m a spiritual cat, and people need to appreciate each other and that’s not being expressed enough though the music so the image that is being portrayed throughout the industry isn’t fair. They aren’t opening their eyes and educating and tell everyone what is going on. Then they want to speak on that metaphorically. Just imagine if we had our own black labels and distribution and radio, we wouldn’t be having this problem. No one wants to be an entrepreneur in the game, they just want to get in and do their part and are selfish about their contribution. My philosophy is only my testimony. It’s just now based off how I feel, but what I have seen. It’s crazy. I hope it gets better.