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OUTTHERE - conducted by Hugo Lunny  


May 2005

When you think of OUTTHERE, you shouldn't think of odd (as his name implies) or avant guarde; you should think of determination and artistry. Like few other artists, OUTTHERE does everything. From marketing his product, to designing the packaging, to actually creating what he's promoting - he does it all. It's because of this that he truly can be defined as an artist. He oversees all affiliated with his "name."

Heading his own record label Kat Klaw, OUTTHERE has put out several releases of his own and is set to release a new project with artists above his instrumentals called "Beat To Death" volume 4. Guests include Hussein Fatal (Outlawz), Rock (Heltah Skeltah), Grafh, Treach and more. Definitely pay attention.

MVRemix: It seems obvious, but is there any particular reason you adopted the moniker OUTTHERE and why is it always written capitalized?

OUTTHERE: Well the short version is there are two reasons. One is the fact that I dig many things that lean towards the strange or sci-fi like. The second and most important reason is because when I'm in my zone or even when I'm just brainstorming, people have told me I shut everything out and I don't hear people speaking directly to me. I write it in caps as a branding thing. You can also see people rippin' off my NJR Logo for their blackplanet, soundclick pages, and other stuff. I mean the Jersey folks are doin that.

MVRemix: Tell me a little about your history, I know you've been active in the New Jersey scene for over a decade...

OUTTHERE: I've been active since '98, and at various times when I was younger. I started off as a deejay doing house parties and school dances, and playing at some bars and small clubs. I got into producing in '88, when I found myself wanting to remix songs I was spinnin', and then a former partner of mine wanted to make some songs and asked me to put some beats together. I worked with him for a while and continued deejaying, while at the same time, submitting music to labels and providing instrumentals for local dudes doing talent shows.

I used to have a crew of artist, but that group fell apart for one reason or another, which left me with a void I had to fill as an artist so I could get my music heard. I made my first album in 2001 and from then until late 2003 I had a total of 4 albums, a 12 inch, 2 beat cds, and a couple music videos. I always considered my self in training so I only pushed so hard to get close to a major label situation. I also wasn't comfortable with being a rapper who speaks out of character about things I don't like or don't do. Not to mention I didn't have the kinda of talent a major label would want so I just made albums to suit me, and allow me to understand the process. By the end of 2003 I had decided I need to be shoppin beats, because I wasn't driven enough to become the rapper I needed to be, but I always had a passion for making the music. There was a period of adjustment, tryin' to learn to give people what they want while at the same doing it my way, and during that time shopping beats didn't go very well. I got close to so many opportunities, but what happened was I had no major rep for doing beats, so even though I would get great feedback on my music, nobody wanted to chance anything on me, and since I wasn't interested in being under someone, I just shot myself in the foot, and I been trynin' to come out of that ever since. As of lately, things are looking much better, and I'll explain shortly.

MVRemix: How did you learn how to produce?

OUTTHERE: Being a deejay basically set it off, and that helped me understand structure, and energy. I just applied what I knew for mixing at parties to making beats. I used to do the 2 tape deck thing, but eventually I got a sampler in '96-'97 I learned to make music on the PC, using a soundblaster 32 AWE, and a midi program called music sculptor. Eventually I started using cakewalk and soundforge, and pretty much stuck with those up to now. I'm workin' with a MOTIF ES to make beats, but I still use cakewalk and soundforge to record, mix, and edit.

MVRemix: What motivates you to be as determined as you are, and how did you educate yourself in everything from graphic design through marketing?

OUTTHERE: The biggest motivation I have is knowing I'm talented. The second is loving what I do. I mean I'm a computer tech by trade, but I haven't worked as a tech for a company since 2000, which was the last time I got laid off. This is when I decided, I'm not gonna be depending on the old way of thinking that getting a good job will be secure, and make me happy. I made a point of learning as much as I could about all things related to being an artist, which included the creation and packaging of a product, the promotion of it in websites, shirts, commercials, flyers, etc. I reached out to college and/or indie stations to play my music, and the thing that put me over the top with them was that my presentation came off way more polished then the majority of music that came there way. It looked official therefore it was taken seriously. This is at a time when everybody was running around with a marker written cd-r, and some fake business card that read "CEO" of "bullshit entertainment" or somethin' like that. The bottom line is I'm less likely to get jerked if I understand the process in and out. Of course I'm still and forever learning. Oh and I pay my bills utilizing all my skills.

MVRemix: Who has made the most impact upon your life?

OUTTHERE: Honestly the biggest impact has come from my kids (all five). They make me examine my life constantly to keep me on my toes and focused. I want them to have a good life that I can say, I made happen for them. Knowing I can tell them down the road that you have to fight for your dream cause nobody else will, and if you don't quit, you can have what you want or at least if you don't make it, you wont regret the time you spent trying.

MVRemix: Tell me about the Beat To Death series and in particular, this fourth volume.

OUTTHERE: Beat To Death is basically an instrumental project, that I put out now and then, when I just wanna get some beats around. Until volume 4, I hadn't done it in a while cause I was shopping beats, but I decided I had to do somethin' different for 2005, so I can secure my 2006 will be profitable, and more productive than the previous years.

Beat To Death vol. 4 is a mixtape and DVD. Double disc. The cd will contain 10 songs, and 10 instrumentals. This logic came from wanting to show people what I can do with artists, and then give them some beats they can use for they're own purposes after they get inspired by the songs on the project. It's produced entirely by me, and I'm editing the DVD as well. This will help people understand the range of my abilites, maybe inspire somebody to do their thing.

Along with my camp of artists, I have a few guest features which include: Rockness Monster of Heltah Skeltah, who is hosting and appearing on a few songs, Treach of Naughty by Nature, Drift (former 106 and Park champ, with that music vid "don't call me, I'm a call you" on BET), B-Real of Cypress Hill, and Hussein Fatal of the Outlawz. There may be a few more additions to the features too.

The DVD is a behind the scenes look with freestyles, in the booth footage, of artists featured, as well as clips of me at beat battles, and some production 101 on the motif ES.

MVRemix: Why did you choose to make a DVD and what are your thoughts on the new wave of Hip Hop DVD's that seem to be flooding the market like mixtapes?

OUTTHERE: From my first album to last I always tried to do somethin' different with my projects, and if you have any of those albums you'll notice the enhanced cd features, which added somethin' different to them, then what everybody else had which was standard cd's with a few rough songs on it. This double disc is CD for riding around with, and DVD for getting to know more about what you were listening to. It's also because as a double disc, I can get a fair price above a regular mixtape price, which is killin the profit margin now. I mean I used to respectable get 10 bucks, and now they got cd's down to 3. I gotta have a damn good reason to ask for standard retail, so the DVD puts me over the top.

DVD's coming out like they are, was inevitable, and there are good ones floatin' around, but its pretty much the same thing as the average mixtape, and technology has given a lot of access to people, and just like when it got easy to burn cd-r's this DVD thing got people tryin' to cash in. I'm not hating, I'm just not gonna do a DVD to just do it 'cause it's the current market. the DVD serves a purpose and reaches people in a way they really comfortable with, and my mission is to extend the reach of my name, so there it is, I have to do it.

MVRemix: What do you think is the biggest misconception mainstream audiences have about Hip Hop production?

OUTTHERE: From a fans point of view, that a sound like say Kanye's, originated with Kanye, no disrespect, cause I love his work, but the audience now is a lot of times not old enough to have seen where it came from and credit gets misplaced.

From the wannabe producer stand point, the biggest misconception is that making good music is easy. I mean it is if you copy cat a popular style, but even then that special touch is not there because you need to really know what Kanye or Just Blaze, or Tim do once the foundation is laid out. Foundation is usually as far as most of these kids get, and they think their winnin'.

MVRemix: What about OUTTHERE the solo artist, what's going on with your vocal contribution to your music?

OUTTHERE: For now, it's hibernated, although I might add an old song of mines to this project.

MVRemix: Which is your favourite track or album of yours thus far and why?

OUTTHERE: As of now, my favorite track on B2D Vol. 4 so far is called "Reloaded" by one of my artists, "O.D." it's a very dramatic street song, and to me, OD's delivery blends into the track lovely, and the energy of the track is crazy.

As far as other projects, "Travalin" is probably my favorite 'cause it's still relevant to me now, although I made it 4 years ago.

MVRemix: Which movie impacted you the most?

OUTTHERE: In the musical sense, "Ray" has impacted me the most because of fact that not only did Ray conquer the music business, but he did it blind, which makes me think a lot about how much I can get done if I try.

In a stranger sense, I think "Coming To America" has a big impact on me because of how it make me relive my childhood whenever I see it. Theres so much in the setting, and in the way it was written that is real as hell even though it a comedy.

MVRemix: Have fun with this one, a la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"

OUTTHERE: I believe I would have to smack Bill O'Reilly. No explanation required if you seen his show.

MVRemix: Aside from the "Beat To Death" project, have you been working on any other projects?

OUTTHERE: A few of my artist have projects going on, and now, I'm working on Drift's album, as well providing beats for Rockness and Treach's solo projects. Some of my work is down south, and I'm going to be do more of that too.

MVRemix: Any last words to your fans or potential fans that are going to be reading this?

OUTTHERE: If anybody is deserving of praise it's me. Every bit of musical success I have gotten has been from fighting for it, and proving I'm somebody to be looked at. It's not an arrogant attitude, it's the understanding of the value that all of my years of struggling with this, have put on it for me. When you visit my website, and see the range of music I make, and when this project comes out, you'll see it's accurate to make that kind of statement. Thanks y'all

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"From the wannabe producer stand point, the biggest misconception is that making good music is easy. I mean it is if you copy cat a popular style, but even then that special touch is not there because..."