June 07, 2009
Badass of the mic in the Toronto hip hop music scene, Phatt Al is one of the few pioneers of his craft that can hit you with metal and jazz and have you screaming for more. I had the chance to chat with Mr. Versatility on how he has worked with everyone from the infamous Raggadeath to The Quartertones. Here is Phatt Al.
My name is PHATT al Stands for: People Havin’ A Terrific Time always. I’m an MC from the T-dot and I rep God Made ME Funky, King Latifah, Hip Hop, and My Selph.
Who are some of your musical influences in Canada and beyond?
Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna are what I aspire to. Michael’s innate talent, Prince’s charisma and Madonna’s business savvy. Throw in some KRS One and that’s a good combination!
What have you been doing since your last CD dropped?
Getting back into my acoustic jazz freestyle.
You are also in a group called God Made ME Funky. What’s the story on that project? What other projects are you apart of?
I’ve been working with my boy White Lightening (from my King Laitifah project) on the new God Made ME Funky album. We have a production team called Beat Mergers. Between us we’ve worked on tracks for Akon, Kardinal Offishall, Len, Estelle, etc… The new GMMF album (out July 14, 2009) also features production from Keith Harris (Black Eyed Peas, Estelle), and the first single “On The Line (Lay It)” features Jully Black. I’ve also been working with a new R&B artist named Dana Jean Phoenix. Her EP drops later this year and it’s gonna be koo-koo banoodles!
Your style of hip hop incorporates a lot of influences from rock to pop to r&b…..what’s your secret?
An open mind. Living in LA and New York I learned that being from Canada and having a very open mind due to the multicultural variety we’ve grown up in musically. I used to think this was a disadvantage, but it’s totally worked in my favour.
Are you working on a follow-up CD to Transistor?
I’ve been writing for the next album. My new EP comes out early 2010.
What does "Hip hop Music" mean to you? What do you think of urban music in Canada? Is it growing? Is the industry finally supporting the genre?
Hip Hop means the freedom. There really are no limitations to the music or the culture. Urban music in Canada has the ability to really be big, but that’s only if we stop getting caught up in trying to recreate America in Canada. The “industry” does not support us, but the people do. Everywhere I’ve been – from Victoria, BC to Antigonish, NS – Urban music is BIG! So screw the “industry” (it’s on it’s way out anyway) we can do this for ourselves.
If you could work on a track with any Canadian or International artist, who would it be and why?
Stevie Wonder, because he is a genius who can write a hit in his sleep. Thrust, because he’s always shown support for young artists on the come up – and he’s been on some of the biggest urban tracks form Canada.
You have toured all across Canada, is there a province or city that shows more support for homegrown talent than others and why do you think so?
Most cities/ towns outside of Toronto seem to really support their own (get it together Tdot!). But Fredericton, NB – man the east coast of Canada is like “party everyday!” They know how to get down and the people are cool as fuck!!
For more information on Phatt Al, check him out at www.myspace.com/phattal.