A week has passed since the release of my last review, and I’ve had a chance to listen to some more music. The first thing I noticed is that I have become much better at choosing songs for podcasts, but it still wasn’t enough to keep this series going. This time around, I’m taking a deep dive into the world of mp3juice music (also known as digital hip-hop), and this review is all about DJ/producer Killa Tay and his debut album, The Dope Show.
Killa Tay’s music is very different from the traditional hip-hop I grew up with. His beats are full of soulful vocals and subtle instrumentation, and he incorporates elements of jazz and R&B into his tracks. He also uses a lot of samples, which can be heard in many of his songs, such as “My Life” and “Can You Hear Me.”
I was surprised by how emotional this album is, especially considering how upbeat most of these songs sound. It’s hard not to feel something when you hear the lyrics on songs like “You Don’t Know,” “Can’t Wait” and “The Realest Thing.”
If you want to get a taste of what Killa Tay does, check out his single, “Can’t Wait.” It came out back in July, and it’s already been featured on a handful of podcasts. If that sounds interesting to you, download it here.
When it comes to Killa Tay, there isn’t a whole lot of information available online. All I know is that he lives in New York City and he has a record label called, “Dope Boyz Entertainment.” That’s really all I need to know. In fact, I haven’t even heard any interviews or anything like that – just the one song mentioned above. And that’s part of why I think music reviews should be a little bit more personal than they usually are.
This is the first time I’ve ever done an interview for a podcast, so I felt like it needed to be special. I sat down with Killa Tay to talk about his inspiration behind his new album, his musical influences and how his fans respond to him. We also talked about his future plans, including recording a second mixtape and starting a clothing line, which will be called, “Dope Boyz Clothing.”
I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Thanks for listening!
How do you describe your style of music?
It’s a mixture of a lot of different things. Some people would call it soul or jazz or hip-hop. It’s kind of everything. I like to take whatever genre I’m working in and put my own spin on it. I don’t want to make the same song over and over again. But I try to stay true to myself, too.
What’s the story behind making your first mixtape?
For me, it’s more of a hobby because I never thought that I’d end up being able to do it professionally or anything like that. I was always doing stuff outside of school, whether it was playing basketball, football or baseball. I used to love to play sports, and I wanted to do something that kept me active and healthy. So I started producing music because it gave me something to do during the summertime.
When I moved to New York, I got a job at a clothing store where I worked during the day and then went straight to my apartment in Brooklyn at night. I was just chilling, listening to music on my computer and editing videos. I was doing both kinds of projects, but I didn’t really see myself doing either one until I saw someone else who was doing what I wanted to do.
That person was named Eazy-E, and he was the founder of NWA. At the time, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do, so I decided to start writing songs and recording them.
Did you always want to produce music?
Not originally. When I started producing, I didn’t really know if I could make it big, but I knew that I loved doing it. I liked creating my own music, and it felt good to see other people reacting to it. I’ve always been a creative person. My mom told me that I drew pictures before I could walk, and I did everything from painting to poetry.
I guess it started off as a hobby. Now I’m getting bigger and bigger as far as exposure, and I’m getting a lot of feedback from the fans. I think it’s cool.
Your music is pretty unique, but it still has a soul quality to it. What’s your process like when you’re putting together a song?
When I write a song, I’ll sit down somewhere quiet and just let the words flow. A lot of times, I’ll wake up early in the morning and just sit on my couch. I’ll turn on the radio and find a song that inspires me. Then I’ll start rapping along to it and start writing down ideas. Sometimes I feel like I can only come up with certain concepts after I listen to something like that. Other times, I might just have a song idea in mind and try to write it down without knowing exactly what it’s going to sound like.
I try to work fast because I don’t want the beat to change too often. I want to give the listener a sample of what’s coming next, so I try to put a couple of songs together first. After we finish recording the songs, I go back and edit them all together. I might add another verse or change a word here and there.
Do you have any favorite producers or musicians you look up to?
There are a lot of people that inspire me, but I’d say Common is probably the biggest influence on me right now. He’s one of my favorites. He’s not necessarily my favorite vocalist, but he makes great music, and I like that he keeps it real.
Who or what influenced the style of music you make?
I’d say everything. I’ve listened to a lot of different genres of music throughout my life. Everything from the Beatles to Michael Jackson to the Beastie Boys to Eminem. I’ve tried to mix it all together and create something that I like.
What’s your proudest moment so far?
One of the most proud moments was when I released my first mixtape. People were telling me that they liked it, and I was happy.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully I’ll be able to continue to develop, grow as a producer and maybe even open up a clothing line. I’d like to move out of New York and live somewhere else.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Don’t stop. Just keep pushing forward. There’s no point in stopping until you reach your goals. If I hadn’t stopped, none of this would have happened. You just have to believe in yourself and try to make it happen.