The smoke has cleared from the Australasian Beatmaker Invitational revealing 10A as our new king of boom-clap. The New Zealand born, Melbourne residing beatmaker has been behind the boards for a minute now. In the mid 00’s he was sending ripples through NZ’s music scene in a big way, making beats for King Kapisi Dominant Species album and then landing another five beats on Scribe’s Rhymebook. However a loss in the family pulled 10A into a hiatus that wound down his output. Since then he’s come back like a sliced Hydra head, dropping his acclaimed oNESH0T album, taking out New Zealand’s Super Brawl beat battle and dropping tracks like ‘Listen To Me‘. We shot 10A some questions for insight into just how he does it.
You said that winning Super Brawl afforded you opportunities in the form of collaborations, what opportunities do you think will come from winning the Australasian Beatmaker Invitational?
The nice thing about winning the Australasian beat battle is that I can put that title to my name when I meet artists for the first time, or get introduced to any people in the music industry that I want to work with. This title shows people that I’m not joking, I’m for real, I take my music seriously and my music speaks for itself.
At current a lot of people have the notion of producers as strictly self-taught, bedroom musicians while you studied at Mainz in Auckland, what can you say of the benefits of a formal musical education?
I started making music at the age of 7. I was self taught for 18 years but it was until my father passed away that I wanted to take my music further so moved to Auckland New Zealand. Studying at Mainz was great. It confirmed everything I had taught myself was on the right path but it added that extra sprinkling to what was missing in my mixing techniques. Initially some of what Mainz taught me I didn’t care to know but years later I’m starting to use that knowledge more. One thing through my experience that I believe is you can study music anywhere but you can’t study pure heart and feel. Real creativity and feel comes from within. My music is directly from the heart and driven by my experiences and raw emotion.
You and Samuel Smith shared the stage for the finals of the Australasian Beatmaker Invitational but you also share something else – what can you tell us about SUDOS?
SUDOS… think of us as an Operating system. Our first release was Instal disk. The 2nd release (Bobby Bitch remix) was a Jailbreak and our software update is coming soon… Check us out on soundcloud.
Which video game soundtrack would you advise up-and-comers to take notes from? Why?
Take notes from any game music and fx released before 2003. Why? Because it is more authentic. These days game music sucks! Feels like I’m listenening to the top 40 on radio.
While you’ve cited more soulful and analogue artists like Stevie Wonder and D’angelo as your favourites, I get a definite low end and industrial feel from your instrumentals. How do artists like these inform your sound?
I think being open minded to anything and everything musically has helped to shape my sound more creatively. I never fit in a box and have always appreciated and been inspired by originators. You will always know if its a 10A beat. I carry my signature sounds and feel on every song I produce.
Who is a vocalist or rapper that you’d love to have on a track of yours right now? Which of your current tracks do you think they’d suit?
Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Busta Rhymes, Pharoahe Monch and many more. They would suit any of my tracks.
What sounds have been in rotation on your beat pad lately?
Hudson Mohawke, Timbo and Pharrell (always) Vestige, Invention, Iamnobody, Aywy, Trian Kayhatu, Evil Needle, Losco, Louis Futon, Raf Riley.
Have you been getting into making sample sounds yourself?
Always have and always will create my own samples using my Ensoniq ASR-10 and Ableton.
What is something you’ve been trying to do differently as a beat maker in the last 12 months?
I’ve tried to get out and meet more people. Out of the bedroom studio and into the real world because sometimes being so creative takes time and I can be in a room making music for days and forget that I need to get out and refresh my brain for the creativity to flow. I guess DJing helps me get out more as well because I have to!
Around 2007 you were making music with New Zealand biggest names in hip hop, after a personal hiatus you came back and kept that momentum going with an album and a beat comp win. Now you have another win at a major Beat comp on your rap sheet, what’s coming up in the future?
Winning these 3 beat battles in a row has been dope! Artists and A&R’s take me more seriously now. I just recently had one of my songs released on the Soulection / Stussy Collab EP and as for whats coming up…. A release with a label in L.A and SUDOS (Samuel Truth & 10A) will be updating very soon.