Mr Phormula Interview

Today we talk with North Wales Rapper, Beatboxer, Producer and Tutor: Mr Phormula.

W: Hey man, hows things? You keeping busy during all this madness? MP: I’m very well thanks, staying as positive as possible in this crazy world! Big positives – loads of creative time to make new music and develop new ideas! W: To start off, where are you from and how long have you been making music? MP: Originally from Anglesey N.Wales – Llannerch Y Medd and then Amlwch, moved to Porthmadog when I was 18 to be in a band, fortunately that’s how my career began. Started dabbling with music / djing when I was about 12, got instantly obsessed / was in a tight circle of friends who all had the same interests, through these experiences I learnt about production / equipment / rap / beatbox etc.. W: Your 1/3 of the group 'Bardd', could you tell us a bit about it and how you guys formed? MP: Bardd is the latest project that I’m pushing and focusing on, it consists of myself on beatbox / livelooping and rap duties alongside Martin Daws on spoken word / rap/ Kalimba and Henry Horell is the multi instrumentalist live looping wizard that’s makes the trio! We aim to ““bringing all that we are together into one beautiful groove: our different instruments, our different languages, our different musical styles, it's all in there working out the differences together.” It’s a real mash up of instrumentation / live looping and vocal goodness, I love it!! W: Awesome man, good stuff!! When did you write your first lyrics? MP: Wow……… erm…….. must have been about 12?? In a school book I think….. W: Nice. You work as tutor now in schools and have even developed a beatbox GSCE. What do you find most rewarding about working with kids to make music? MP: What I enjoy about school work is that it’s not only rewarding but also the opportunity to demonstrate to pupils that you can do anything in life is a valuable asset. I couldn’t imagine not following a passion in life, it’s so important – we’re not here for that long. Go out and get it! I try my best to always get this message across, and if I only see one pupil react positively to this then I know I’ve done my job! In school I was told that beatboxing wasn’t an instrument / artform etc so I didn’t take music in year 9 because of this….. one of my biggest personal achievements was to create the beatbox GCSE later in life, I thank that teacher that said I couldn’t do it – it helped / fuelled my passion! W: What were your first experiences of Hip Hop? MP: My cousin introduced me to 36 chambers when I was about 9, also heard 'rappers delight' / grandmaster flash 'the message' around about the same time. W: Wicked. Who is your favourite beatboxer? (or top 3 if you can't pick one) MP: Rahzel (First beatboxer / inspiration I ever saw) / Gene from the States (super musical beatboxer!) / Dlow – Uk based - super nice guy / mad talented and down to earth. W: Sick, I remember being amazed at Rahzel back in the day, I'll have to check the other two out! - You went to New York a few years back as part of the Dylan Thomas Live tour, what was that experience like and has Dylan been on influence on you before/after? MP: What an insane tour that was! Too many stories to put in here, rest assured had an amazing trip! Mart from Bardd was part of the project too, we had a lot of fun. Dylan Thomas was more of an influence as that project began, definitely opened up a new world of literature for me, we also visited the legendary “White Horse” pub where allegedly DT had 18 shots which presumably led to his coma…… We had a proper session in there!!! Nowhere near 18 shots and everyone survived though! Almost missed the flight home day after though…. oops. W: Hahaha nice, sounds like an awesome trip! How would you say North and South Wales differ? MP: In regards to hip-hop – Loads more down South, the North has definitely seen a huge influx of new hip-hop in recent years though! – larynx / 8star music / OD / Phoreplayz just to name a few. In regards to the country – More mountains up here / accent…… I feel at home everywhere in Wales tbh, continuously travelling up and down. Not at present though obviously. W: Yeah man, lots of good stuff happening at the moment in Wales!! What Welsh Hip Hop artists are you feeling at the moment? MP: Bro, so many now! You guys have been around time, new stuff is crazy! Space Apes / 8 star / Larynx / CrazetheJack / Luke RV / Local / Skamma………mate – struggle to think of anyone who isn’t dope in Wales at the minute?!?!?! Crazy. W: What's your favourite venue you've played in / your favourite show you have played? (two answers if you want) MP: Favorite show….. hhmmmm….. did an awesome gig in Venice once in Bienele festival, it was on a harbour with the sea water just coming through the planks below us / lights shining off the water etc, was a banging set that one! With Diwygiad / Llwybr Llaethog. Another, Sessiwn fawr headlining with Genod Droog in 2009 or so, absolutely insane show! We had a fake lounge on stage etc…. madness! W: Sounds wicked man!! Your a big fan of Griselda Records as am I, do you have a favourite album out of that camp? MP: Ah mate – seriously doing this to me?!?! One?!?!?! …….ok…… Tanatalk 3. Hands down, Benny is one of the freshest lyricists of our time. Easy. W: Niiice, that is a very good album! Who would be your dream collaboration? MP: Benny probably…dunno though…. Jay? Em?..... cmon bro…….That’s a tough question W: Is a tough one haha! As well as emceeing, beatboxing and the rest, you produce your own music - what equipment do you use and would you say you have a method or you just go with the flow? MP: I do indeed. I’ma producer first really, that’s one of my biggest passions. Studio has recently had a refurb – Luckily JUST in time for this isolation malarkey!! In regards to gear, briefly –

Bunch of nice synths – Novation Bass Station / AN1X / Microbrute / Volca Series

Tl Audio Ebony A2 preamp

Focusrite ISA One preamp

Neumann Tlm 103 condenser mic

01V digital desk

Various crazy outboard gear – Oto biscuit bit reduction unti / waldorf filter

I can go on but don’t want to turn this into a gear porn interview haha W: What's your favourite musical genre outside of Hip Hop? MP: D’N’B / anything that has an interesting rhythm and old obscure music i.e swedich psych / Norwegian jazz……. Anything super under the radar…. Have quite a broad taste to be honest, think that’s an important trait to have. W: Sweet, yeah definitely man, especially as a producer. What was the last book you read? MP: Stephen King – The institute – Sick book!! Currently on Louis Theroux bio – Got to get Theroux this! So far is a great read. W: Nice, Louis Theroux bio sounds good! You were in a group called Genod Droog, can you tell us anything about that? MP: Ai, bunch of us making music / living together / partying / gigging performing, was an incredible time that! A lot of it is a blur. 5 of us, performing bilingually as a live band with samplers / live drums / guitar bass/ rappers etc - we almost got somewhere with that band too, we were getting pushed a lot to the mainstream, but somehow things collapsed as a unit as it easily does with bands. Makes me think sometimes how many bands we will never hear that could be the next beatles…. Mad thought that W: Yeah man, industry is mad sometimes, sounds like a good period though! Do you have a favourite sport? MP: Working out – is that a sport?! Contains sports I guess, pretty much up 6am every day and do a workout either cardio based or weights before breakfast, then I’m ready to smash any challenge! Defo helps towards a positive mindset. Don’t really follow football etc… W: Nice man, yeah deffo think exercise is key to a positive mindset! You used to collaborate with The Headcase Ladz quite a bit (including your album with Lews Tewns) - what was it like to be performing on TV etc...? MP: Aye, great time that was too! Known those lads for a long time from the first band I was ever in, “Pep Le Pew” we’d travel down south and hang with all the south hiphop heads, was an awesome time. Doing Tv stuff is cool, but unfortunately, it often requires sitting around for hours on end etc…… cool to get exposure though, always fun.. W: Yeah I feel ya on that one, dope nonetheless, big up the Wonky Wax crew!! What's your favourite Wu Tang album? MP: 36 Chambers innit. W: Classic. You made your album 'Llais / Voice' purely with your own voice and production, sample free, how long did that take you and did you find it an interesting project to make compared to others? MP: Proper challenge this one. Reason why I wanted to do it was - I had a bunch of solo releases out but with no beatboxing on them, so people heard my music on the radio etc as proper songs but seeing me live I’d only beatbox / Liveloop, so I sort of felt like a bit of a cheat. So I decided, right if I make a whole album with only my voice but build every song like I do live it means I can re-create those actual tracks live, so that’s what I did. Best part of two years in the making that, enjoyed it but it was massively challenging. Looking back I should of released it with a label etc, putting so much effort into the actual creation of it meant I had little fuel left to promo it on my own. That’s the problem with being independent sometimes. But there we go, live and learn – that’s a very valuable asset to have. Example - when we release Bardd’s next EP, it will be via a label no doubt, and that’s the result of releasing / learning from Llais – all good. W: That's really cool man, props! You were featured on an international song with 14 emcee's from different countries, including KRS-One, how did that come about? MP: Crazy that….. Came about from Mayor from Associated Minds – Bigup Mayor!! He was contacted by a manager in Korea asking for a Welsh Language lyricist to collab on an international song, so naturally he thought of me! Crazy!! Back then though Krs wasn’t part of it. That whole process was about three years!!! Took forever to pull together, loads of issues with clearance / media / recordings / royalties…. List goes on – must have been crazy for the organisers in Korea to communicate all that – much props to them. Just before it dropped the managers told us there was a surprise – dropped the Krs news, and I basically had a poo……. Being featured on a track with Krs?!?!?!? You Mad?!?!?! Chuffed beyond belief. W: I bet bro. Crazy stuff! What are you top 3 films of all time? MP: Shawshank Redemption / Fight Club / Twin Town W: Good choices! Your a two time Welsh Beatbox Champion, having never been to a beatbox championship, can you tell me a little about the setup and what it's like competing for the top spot? MP: It’s a great social event / awesome meeting up with heads etc, love it. However, it can be a challenge on the evening, not just down to nerves, but – you put in so much effort / practice to prepare for X amount of rounds at 3 minutes each that if the sound on the night isn’t quite right in the PA and it knocks you off then all that prep is out the window……. Especially if it happens in the first round. Been there, not great. So I don’t really compete anymore, my hearts pulling me more towards producing / performing etc and dropping into battles to link up with everyone but not actually compete, find that much more rewarding. Had a great time competing mind, great when you win etc, not always about that though innit. W: Yeah sound issues are the devil! Haha. Wicked bro, sounds like a good time. Where can people find your music? MP:

Spotify – Mr Phormula

Itunes / Amazon / Google play etc – Mr Phormula

Bandcamp – Mr Phormula

Youtube / Instagram / Twitter - @mrphormula W: Sweet!! Last question.... - Is it okay to put pineapple on pizza? MP: 100% Love that bro W: Thanks for your time, parch!! :) MP: Parch brawd!! Thanks for the invite, great interview!! Parch Wingers!! _________________________ Mr Phormula Online >> Website - BandCamp - YouTube - Facebook - Soundcloud - Twitter - Bardd - Mr Phormula 'Escape Bars' Live Jam - Cwestiynau - Music Video - Minority - Music Video - 'HIPHOPISHIPHOP" (International Track w/ 14 emcee's) Mr Phormula - Beatbox World Championship - UK Beatbox Championship -

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