Interview with Black Foot Phoenix
Written by Ashleigh Azariah
Blackfoot Phoenix are a difficult collective to describe or put in a box. Made up of DJs, Producers and Poets, they’re basically a group of talented creative’s, bouncing off of one-another’s outlandish imaginations to create amazing beats, sets and poetry. They’ve received support from the likes of Tim Westwood, Work It and Tim & Barry, plus playing at events such as Love Box, Adidas StreetFest and Box Park Shoreditch Jubilee Jam.
We got them together in an attempt to break down who they are and what they do, so here we go.
Rivah Kray: We’re made up of DJs; myself, Skinny Macho, Truce Susan and Yoni. Producers; Snare Surgeon and King Royale. As well as a poet; James Massiah.
Truce Susan: We’re kind of a group of young ex-alcoholics, ex-criminals and ex-Othello look-a-likes and a few others who have switched over to music in an attempt to make something of ourselves with dreams of fulfilling dreams. Haha, nah we’re just young and creative feeling our way through whatever will allow the attention, like ‘feel-ups’ in secondary school. Take ideas as they come.
Skinny Macho: Suzie has already hit the nail on the head with what BFP is.
Could you talk a little more about your movement and projects that you are primarily focused on at the moment?
Rivah Kray: We’re all striving to be the best we can be both individually and as a group. We’re working with Leisure at the moment, can’t say too much right now. Snare Surgeon and King Royale will be working on a beat tape together and James Massiah will be continuing his poetry nights and expanding them further.
Do you feel like what you are doing is important and in what way beneficial to your sector?
Truce Susan: It’s beneficial to our happiness & happy people are beneficial to our sector. Happiness is inspiring and inspiration is what allows us to move forward positively. That felt like a cheesy tumblr quote, but yeah.
Describe your music as if we were deaf
Rivah Kray: Skinny dancing haha that’s our music visually. He’s in his own world doing whatever the hell he feels like doing! Imagine someone break-dancing to a slow jam, that’s our music!
Are you down with the whole twitter or tumblr hoopla? How is this an important outlet for you and others?
Rivah Kray: We’re down with both to be honest; we’ve shifted our attention more towards our tumblr. As much as people tend to enjoy reading about your activities, they much prefer seeing them, whether it is through videos or photos. It holds great importance simply because it’s a really fun and easy way of getting to know us.
Describe to us the kind of person a fan of yours would be?
Truce Susan: Someone that stays up all night skinning-out in their chair and around their room to the point where they’d feel shabby if anyone popped in and witnessed them unleashing all things dancehall to all genres. But then you have the people who just want to sit and analyse the sounds with their ears, we’re cool with that.
So what is the motivation behind your whole movement
Skinny Macho: Urgh, why are these questions so formal. Let’s skip this question. Why don’t you ask me what shower gel I use in the shower or why I think Noah stole two of every animal and let the rest die; just so he can have his own private orgy on a yacht in secret. Now that’s gangster. But if you insist on knowing, it was just sheer boredom of seeing the same thing over and over everywhere you turn. We’ll be motivated to make our own porn movie one day… just throwing it out there.
Name a few people you would like to work with
Skinny Macho: Well for me personally I have a long list – which ranges from the awesome Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (yes he’s a real artist CHECK HIM OUT) to Björk to A$VP Nast, to Breakbot, Africa Hitech, LCDMF, Redinho, Dizzee Rascal and the producers of his first album, the bloody Black Keys, James Blake, Calvin Harris, Macy Gray; such a beautiful hoarse voice, and the guy who sang the Arthur theme song (children’s tv show, yes I’m 5 years old get over it). All over the shop mate, we have no boundaries when it comes to music. If I could bring back anyone from the dead and work on music with them; it would be Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Bob Marley and Bearnie Mac just for jokes… Oh and Jesus so he can freak out a couple of Christians whilst doing the Micheal Jackson thriller dance, haha the amount of laughter I’ll die from will not be healthy, but it’s alright I’ll have Jesus to bring me back to life.
Who are some of the people that you have been interacting with this year that played a major role in your work?
Skinny Macho: Oh that’s a hard one, don’t want to miss anyone out. Wagamamas, Tim & Barry, Platform WD, Nasty FM, Work It girls, Your Army. Ah oh yes Morleys (chicken shop). We interact with that shit weekly.
Rivah Kray: Loren Platt and Sara El Dabi (Work It) have played major roles from the very start. We’ve been very lucky to have them in our lives.
What is your favorite place to create music?
Snare Surgeon: Any studio with fat monitors, my bedroom, in the shower.
What have you learnt from another artist lately, or who have you been influenced by?
Snare Surgeon: Can’t just name one artist, there are loads. Learning production tips from some wicked producers on the beat this series on Tim and Barry TV including Spooky and Toddla T. Djing wise, Mele and Oneman’s exciting and varied tune selection, plus blending and hopping between genres perfectly is inspiring. Oh and Youngsta’s (Rinse FM) ability to create seamless mixing. There are so many artists that influence us in different ways whether it be production or approach to music. We could bore you all day about this and that, but at the end of the day most people influence each other even if they don’t know it.
How is the Internet changing your craft?
Snare Surgeon: Huge ability for downloading samples for productions, YouTube videos for tutorials on software and the Internet for making music so readily available and easy to listen to therefore exposing people to a wide variety of music to draw influence from. It’s a huge base for musical promotion and getting your tunes heard, websites such as Tumblr and Twitter also help to self promote. It does also mean that sometimes tunes can be leaked though, meaning less money for the artist and it is slowly getting rid of vinyl, something we are completely against.
Could you talk about any long-term goals you have in mind?
Rivah Kray: Ranges from playing at a big festival overseas to Truce’s elephant dream! There’s nothing else I can say without sounding cliché or just plain cheesy!