First and foremost what do the Elementz represent? I’ve seen a slogan ‘love is all there is’, what’s all that about? Are you guys hippies? (No disrespect).
L: Do hippies still exist in this millennium? Maybe I am, I recycle a lot, does that count? The Elementz just stands for the parts of music that are essential. Good strong elementz that fit together: Rhythm & Melody and a good story, we try to see how far we go conceptualising these elements. We represent change too I hope.
What or who gave you your first breaks in music?
Z: I started promoting my own night called Kung-Fusion back in 2000 with Phatste (Pre-Dealmaker) and Mc NME. I met LIATI at the second event and we started producing from there. The break came when Big Trev gave us a list of industry numbers and we started EU Entertainment.
How many releases have you had to date, and what has been the most successful / enjoyable?
L: We’ve done a few cuts but were just really accelerating now in 2008. Our first commercial release was with Scor Zay Zee on a compilation record on Dealmaker Records. We self released Elementz Universe Vol.1 & 2 and some guest tracks for people like, Big Cakes, Shameless and Lowkey. They’ve all been enjoyable for different reasons. We managed to get Skinnyman on Elementz Universe Vol.1, which was funny to put together cus we didn’t know shit about how to deal with artists and the industry outside of Nottingham! But I learned quick because we did it all ourselves, got a distribution deal, got national radio play, called all the magazines, PR, managers and artists and just winged it. Elementz Universe Vol 2 has been the most successful. We got record of the week at 1xtra, No.1 on the Itch FM Chart, supported Ghostface Killa on the back of it and sold a lot of records, but not enough though cus I still got a big ass mortgage the last time I checked!
I see you do a chart show on HHB Radio, how can people get there tracks to you and is there anything in particular you look out for in new acts.
Z: We just love fresh music but a lot of the UK stuff lacks that quality. We haven’t done one for a while because of this! Any hot tracks email us up at Info@theelementz.co.uk show us some hot shit. PLEASE!
L: Also, its not purist UK Hip Hop we play, we’ll represent anything that’s hot, Grime, Baltimore, RnB or whatever.
You have a studio in Nottingham, is it available for hire and if so how would people go about booking?
L: E-mail Info@theelementz.co.uk or message www.myspace.com/elementzuniverse. We’ve spent a year building it so its commercially sound, no dusty music goes out the door, were serious about the “sound” we want to achieve which is why we’ve got the analogue equipment as well as the latest digital, we grew up on music from the 70’s which had the sweetest sound we have, that’s the benchmark, its got to be warm but crisp like disco We will be available for hire very shortly, were formalising the business side now.
Your New CD is called Crushmode. What label is it coming out on and where can people expect to purchase it?
Z: The CD’s coming out on OYM Records and its going to be available in HMV and most independent stockist. We also have it coming out digitally on Itunes etc..
L: …and that’s via UK Street Sounds.
What does the title Crushmode actually stand for / mean?
L: Were at the end of The Elementz Universe series so were in Crushmode with it, its exploding and so were shifting the sound. Because it’s a compilation LP rather than an album it has tracks from Elementz Universe 1 & 2 like High Grade with Skinnyman and Coppers On My Case with Taskforce but its mainly unreleased new music. The new tracks indicate where The Elementz sound is going and we have this 80’s arcade game theme going through the record and the artwork so Crushmode is the game we playing, and it’s the last life before it dies and we flip the sound completely.
There’s two of you in the group what does each person bring to the table?
Z: Its mixed roles in this game. I sometimes take more of a musical role in the content of the tracks where Liati might build up the rhythm section and then go onto the mixing and arranging side. We both produced solo tracks on this record but the majority of it was a joint effort all of which went through The Elementz studio setup in the end.
L. Yep, I kinda engineer a lot and Zoutz is the musically trained one. He gives the tracks direction, and we both kinda build the story of the tracks together. Right now were working more conceptually rather than building a beat, giving it a rapper and the input ending there.
Who is the best artist you have worked with to date and why?
L: People are best in different area’s. Like Scorz was best at being efficient when recording. He laced 3 verses, hooks and ad libs in 1 take each, where as Wariko’s best at his persistence and dedication when recording. He’s so passionate about getting relaying it right that he’ll go at it till he gets dizzy and falls into the wall of the booth.
Your style doesn’t stick to the typical UK Hip Hop conventions, why is this? Do you even consider yourselves UK Hip Hop and if not what genre would you say you belong too?
Z: This record is Hip Hop. The next record’s going to be different though. I’m glad its not filed under UK Hip Hop still! We’ve captured a new wave of UK Grime MC’s and we reckon a lot of our old fans might be slating us for this, but we consider our sound to be universal (yet still developing).
L:I think its good to be free of genre as much as possible these days, you can get smothered by them, but I recognise you need an identity to sell records. Its so eclectic now and theres so much diverse music coming through that the genre of choice can be: not having one. I was talking to Charles from ZZonked the other day and he calls it “Bugged Out” music. I like that. UK Hip Hop hasn’t been cool for a long time man, we need to explore.
Have you got any solo projects in mind or will you continue to work together as a production outfit?
Z: I’ve got some accidental Dubstep I might have to unleash and still working with Shiva on his solo project.
L:Im doing some remixes kinda on the side to feel out where its going, so im gonna probably throw out a Mixtape with new idea’s and some of the more “Bugged Out” stuff on it. Im remixing Bootay by Bangers and Cash right now. I want to make girls get on the dancefloor so the boys will follow em, then maybe we try dancing again, can anyone remember how that works?
Who do you think is the more skilled producer out of you both? Have you ever tried battling each other to see who can come up with the sickest beat?
Z: We constantly influence each other in our own areas of expertise. We both make some of the sickest beats in the UK and I don’t feel too big headed saying that. Sometimes I’ll come in the studio and think “how am I gonna top this guy” it’s a constant battle!
Interview by ukrunnings.co.uk