Friday, March 27, 2009

R&N 3/27/09 - MF Interview with DJ Pete Marriott

DJ Pete Marriott and Generation Next Radio

How's everybody doing today, I had the opportunity to talk to a very respected DJ, producer, and current host of the brand new Generation Next radio program. In the interview we discussed his beginnings in the music industry, the problems facing commercial radio, and the new and fresh approach he plans on bringing to the airwaves. He's giving out a lot of knowledge so take notes. Enjoy!

How did you get your start in the music business?

That’s a very long story that I don’t think anyone would have the patience to read so let me truncate it as best as I could. Basically I worked very hard scrubbing boats during the days and DJing one to two parties a week for an entire summer to build my own home studio, made a very strong 4 song demo cassette with my then MC, Choice Love and we shopped the demo through our managers went through a six month bidding war between Select, Profile, Def Jam, Next Plateau, Sleeping Bag/Fresh and signed a 3 album deal with Warlock/Idlers because the other labels wanted to sign us for 7 albums which was the standard deal back then. After the paperwork went through we had to go into the studio to redo the songs along with new material. I was 15 years old when I produced that record. I often wish we took the Def Jam deal but we didn’t know any better back then but I don’t regret it, you live and you learn.

As a radio personality, what do you bring to the airwaves that set you apart?

Aside from experience, I bring integrity and a true passion for the music. You’re not going to hear me spin a record that I would never play on my free time. I’m addicted to great music so you won’t worry about me torturing your ears with wack artists making horrible records. It’s not in my nature, I haven’t listened to commercial radio in ten years. The internet helps me filter out all the abuse most people are subjected to in their daily lives. Thank goodness for Comcast I’d be lost without them.

What is your opinion on the current state of commercial radio, and what would you like to see improved about it?

I think there is lots of room for improvement especially now that internet radio is becoming standard broadcast medium for people like myself. I think the programmers at the terrestrial and satellite stations are so out of touch with what music that people really want hear on the radio, that they need to hire urban specialists like myself to consult them in their music direction.

If given the opportunity I can take a dying station in a sizable market and bring it up to at least a top 5 ranking. I know how the radio industry works, but I also know what people want to hear. I’m a DJ with a Producer’s ear and I’m greatly in touch with the internet, branding and the energy that fuels it all.

The problem is the radio industry is so scared of losing sponsors right now, that they will overlook my ideas as untested or risky, but when it appears like the structure of this country is about to fall apart, I think taking a risk now more than ever is the safer thing to do. The people who program these stations forgot the most important thing about music on the radio is the music. I really can’t get too deep into it right now because your readers heads might cave in if I broke it all down but the conglomerates that own these major station need people like myself who are in tuned with everyday listeners to program these stations.

Tell us more about Generation Next.

Generation Next is going to be an innovative return to form of what a radio mix show is supposed to be. Innovative in the artists we’re spotlighting and a return to solid mixing of the music. I think radio got away from that because people got hooked on exclusives, but then the quality of the music declined when the DJs started compromising their audiences and in some cases themselves for the sake of getting put on.

We’re bucking that trend by staying true to ourselves. Like I said before, I’m not spinning music on my that I wouldn’t listen to at home or in the car or while I’m doing my laundry. Right now I’m listening to a great artist my dude D. Money who works for MySpace put me on to named Muhsinah and I’m going to let her know myself that I’m going to play her records on Generation Next.

This is the kind of passion and excitement I have for great music and I believe everyone should be aware of these artists because it would be irresponsible for me not to spread the love. So I guess Generation Next is a mix show for music lovers by music lovers. Not just someone doing it to be famous or for a lofty check.

How involved are you with creating and managing the playlists on your show?

I have number one rule and that is; Any artist, producer, manager, label or publishing company that attempts to bribe me with cash, gifts or sexual favors will get banned from my playlist for life. My two rule is no Programmer, music director or radio consultant is allowed to interfere with my playlist. My third rule is anyone, signed or unsigned can submit music to me. Just send your clean versions 320kbps MP3s to along with your bio, press photos, links to your sites and tour dates and I will listen and decide if I’m going to play it based on if I actually like it. I basically play what I want to hear on the radio.

What’s the difference between being a DJ and a radio personality?

A radio personality is a person that speaks on the mic and talk to the people a DJ is who gets on the turntables, mixes and scratches the music. I do both, so I guess I’m a DJ with a personality.

Do you prefer producing or DJing and how is the creative process different?

I became a record producer because I was a DJ first. When you’re a DJ in rap group or band you’re not only responsible for mixing the music or performing the scratches, you’re also in charge of lifting the mood through the music and how it sound. A producer does something similar when then they get in the studio except it gets more technical so to me they go hand in hand. I can’t imagine not doing either of the two in my life.

What’s the most useful tool in The Toolshed?

Right now I would say my creativity. If I can’t be creative every time I’m composing a beat or designing a synth patch, or creating a new sound by manipulating my samples, synths and microphone positions then my music would be the typical and boring stuff on the radio and I wouldn’t learn anything new.

But if you want to talk physical gear that you can relate to immediately then it would be my Numark DJ gear which is comprised of my pair of Numark CDX turntables, my Numark M3 mixer and my Numark Virtual Vinyl because when I produce my music I always have the DJ in mind first and foremost. I can quickly test my new compositions by beat juggling them, cut and scratch various parts of the song or individual instruments or vocals. But make no mistake it all comes down to having skills and the creativity to utilize them effectively.

Every producer uses samples, how do you approach sampling to bring your own fresh spin to a classic? How do you determine what part of a song you want to sample?

Wow I guess I’m going to end giving up my secret sampling weapons by answering this question. I use a few tools like Photosounder and Meleodyne to isolate and span my samples so I can get a full range of instruments and noise to compose my own original music but with that old school sampled flavor. It’s a tedious process but it’s very much worth the time and effort.

I’m also chopping and stacking drum breaks from various breakbeats and making them the backbone of my music this allows me to give my songs a true soulful hip hop sound. So many cats are relying on just sampling loops and chopping them to impress other beatmakers but I’m not beatmaker, I’m a skillful DJ, Musician, Sound Designer, Composer and a Producer. I can direct a recording session from beginning to end because I know what I want and how to achieve the sound I’m looking to create and how to work with an artist or a band in the studio. So it’s not about sampling to me it’s about making the song sound good.

What else can we expect from you and Generation Next Radio in ’09?

I would have to say a very strong return of great hip hop music and a solid infusion of other urban music genres such as Soultronica, Neo Soul, Afropunk, NuJazz, NuFunk, NuSoul, Dub, Electro, R&B, Neo Soul, 2-Step, House, Drum & Bass, Dancehall and lots of fresh sounds by the best new artists that everybody should know about. You’re just going to have to listen to the show to understand where we’re taking it.



1 comment:

RAM said...

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