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Beat Box: Producer pH Talks Production, Originality, And Sampling

March 8, 2013
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The name pH may sound a lot like something you learned in Science class at some stage, but on the contrary this dude is schooling folks in a different way. Not only is he a Producer but his mixing skills are top shelf too. Linking his name to Khuli Chana and Reason, amongst so many others, CHEKA Digital found out what makes the man they call pH tick.

CHEKA Digital: A lot of bangers have come off the Raw X Studios, whats the special ingredient that separates pH from any other producer?

I avoid boxing myself, and naturally let the music take control. I’m more of a tool… at times I think something else, spiritual, has a hand in my music… Hard to explain but there is no formula.

Mixing and mastering is important in the overall quality of a song. What tips can you share with up and coming producers on the matter?

If you going to get someone else to mix your music, make sure they understand your genre of music. Mixing is still a very creative part of the process and if it’s done wrong you can loose the feel of the song – which is very important not to.  Mastering is a very technical part; you need to understand frequencies, waves and sound as a whole. Get professionals to do it.

You have released two mixtapes, namely pH Project Vol 1 and Superman Mixtape. In between the two tapes what have been the lessons learnt in terms of production and fine-tuning your technique?

Stay original, there is nothing wrong with sampling… If it’s done creatively, And know that there is always more to learn … It never stops. STAY ORIGINAL.

A lot of your production consists of posse cuts i.e “F.U.1.2” do you plan on the different styles of the emcees that are going to be on the track?

I don’t plan on it but that’s the idea of a posse track, everybody must bring something different the next rapper won’t or can’t. That makes the best posse track

SA production game is growing by leaps and bounds, there is a variety in the industry. What do you believe can be done to create awareness of the producers in the country?

Nothing, the music must speak for itself. We as producers must take our craft seriously in and out the studio … The rest will happen naturally.

“Wataday”. You sampled a 40BPM song from Glen Lewis’ Midtempo for Khuli Chana. How did that come about?

I just wanted to do something different. I am a serious old-school Kwaito head. I understand the music as much as I understand hip-hop. Khuli as well, so I knew he’d go crazy over it.

On sampling in SA, the direction it’s taking with remaking old Kwaito classics, it is received with comments of “bridging the gap” and “ran out of ideas” at the same time. How do we put our heritage in line with today’s culture without being called recyclers in hip-hop?

Just be original…you can’t go wrong with that. The music will always speak the truth. You must understand that most of the old-school Kwaito was also sampled music…but it was done in a way that the music is Original even if the sounds weren’t.

Raw X is getting recognition, what does the 2013 pipeline of credits look like?

New artists, more vocalists than rappers. Hopefully I’ll get to release another Project myself.

One word that comes to mind when you hear: J Dilla



Compiled And Written By: Siphiwe Zwane (@SDotJR_)

Download – pH Superman Mixtape

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