PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF PJ KATZ
Make sure you check for 92 Renault Music when it drops on October 16th on Pig Food Records. Everyone who pre-orders the cassette will be entered into a contest to win a walkman, cassette player and a Panasonic Boombox!
For now, peep the feature...
(PJ) I reside in Albany,NY and have been creating music since the 90's . Started out Djing,making mixtapes and selling them to all the heads that would come to the HS dances. That turned into making original music using a Tascam Portastudio 4 track,a rented EPS and my dads old turntable.
PJ KATZ THROWBACK SET UP
Growing up, I was listening to everything from Steely Dan to the Headhunters to ATCQ. I started teaching myself how to play the guitar,bass,drums and eventually keyboard which has landed me live band gigs with artists like J-Live. I have met some great artists along the way and most of them are on 92 Renault Music.
(SC) Let's talk about your new album 92 Renault music. What's the theme behind the title?
(PJ) Well, the name of the album came out of a discussion I had with my friend Critical Beatz over many drinks. He told me that he was so committed to creating music when he was first starting making beats he sold his car , a Renault , in order to purchase a sampler. I thought about that and was like whoa! This dude would rather walk around town then not have the equipment to create his art. It was very inspiring to say the least and it also reminded me of how obsessed I have been with Hip Hop over the past 20 years ; since 1992. So, that's really how the name came about.
(SC) What made you decide to drop your newest album on cassette?
(PJ) Some of my favorite albums were created with interludes,skits and little beat snippets. Check any NWA,ATCQ,De La Soul record and you can listen to it from the beginning to the end ; the way it was supposed to be played. We are in an industry where the medium of consumption is digital-streaming and people get trigger happy when listening to songs. They tend to listen to 5-10 seconds of a track and really dont give it a chance. We thought the cassette was a very cool way to bring it back to an era that gave the listener the album experience in a format that is nostalgic.
PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF MITCH LAGROW FOR THE GROWTH
(PJ) About half of the artists that are on 92 Renault Music are artists I grew up with. Shyste and I have worked on numerous projects together since the mid 90's. JB actually had me produce his first 12" single back in the 90's. These were all people I grew up with doing music,shows,ect. I was introduced to Moses Rockwell through YC the Cynic via Twitter. Being that YC is such a dope MC I had to check this dude out. I heard his stuff and immediately reached out to him,sent him some tracks and it worked out great. Dood Computer from Pig Food Records reached out to Caucasian and we have a monster track together with "Judge & Jury". I was really amped to worked with Cidida. I knew of Cidida from him just crushing dudes on the BET Freestyle Fridays. I was even more impressed when I heard his project Ludwig Can You Hear Me produced by Eibol. People really need to check that out. When I told everyone that this was going to be released on cassette they were geeked. I mean , some questioned me on the idea but at PFR we take pride in being creative with all of our releases and thought this format made the most sense.
INSIDE PJ KATZ STUDIO
(PJ) I looked up to Diamond D, Pete Rock, Premier and admired that raw sound. If you want to get known as a producer you have to find your sonic signature, choose a lane and work with some dope MC's. Much of this "new" Hip Hop that is being produced today is created with no samples at all. Its mostly all synth,vocal stabs and synthetic drums. I just cant get into that shit and like to do what comes natural to me as a musician. I try to keep it sonically organic/raw while pushing the boundaries with my arrangements. For example, in Warbux with Pete Pluto&Dev B I created a break in the middle of the song that puts the listener in a smoked out room while playing video games...with the second verse playing in the background. I play keys and have both old analog synths and software that allow me to add some newer sounds that you may hear on some of the current music that people are falling for today. But really, I just want to sample and add some cool melodies over the top.
(SC) What's next for PJ Katz? How can people check for you?
(PJ) October 16th is the release date for this album and I'm focusing on getting the live band prepared to recreate all of the music live for the release party in Nov. Past that though, I'm very fortunate to be working with some incredible artists at a dope label ; Pig Food Records. We have some extremely unique products like 92 Renault coming down the pipeline that I produced. These may not be released on cassette but still in a different package that will gain interest from those looking for dope music in a format that's not found on the internet. I'm also working on an EP and Full Length album with well known artist Sev Statik which will be out later next year which I'm excited about. People can follow me on Twitter : @pjkatzmusic or go to www.pigfoodrecords.com. Im always looking to collab with talented people....email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for beats.