Smokey Joe… Interview

Smokey Joe & The Kid are back with their first LP Nasty Tricks out now on iTunes for a Digipack copy!

It’s been two years since they hit the scene with their unique fusion of hiphop- swing with bass music. They have a variety of amazing guests on this project that I’m very happy to see like Puppetmastaz, Youthstar and more, and some Montréal artists like Waaahli, Lou Piensa (Nomadic Massive) and Random Recipe. This is the true hip-hop swing, fans will not be disappointed!

Let’s have some words with my  swing brothers from Bordeaux…

Interview by: Don Mescal Date: 2013-04-07

How are things since the last time we met in Montréal last summer for Piknik Electronik ?

Since last summer, we’ve been producing our debut album “Nasty Tricks”, recording voices, mixes, cutting, scratching, do, redo, undo… listening mixes until we die, etc. Producing music is quite much harder than robbing a bank! We also played several gigs.
We really like this city even in winter. Summer or winter, it’s always WARM—the people and the city ! My best moment was when we played at Piknic Electronique Festival in front of 4000 ravers.

What drove you in to Hip Hop and Swing ?

The Kid: I opened the door of my first music class 20 years ago… And since, I studied guitar and drums. And then, 10 years ago, I bought 2 turntables, cause it looked fun! And I also started to make some electronic music… With a Playstation… We got to this current project because of our musical inspirations. I’ve been listening a lot of kind of music, for heavy metal to video games soundtrack. And at the time we created Smokey Joe & The Kid, we really wanted to work more on the jazz/hip-hop direction. Because, we dig the idea of the mix old/new, /electronic/Instrument, etc… And this is two different times, but so many similar elements…

Smokey Joe: I grew up with Jazz. My parents played piano and drums in jazz bands. I began with the sax when I was a child for 7 years. Then, I played Bass in a reggae band. I discovered electronic music through a nice label that you must know…. Amon Tobin, Bonobo, Kid Koala (He’s speaking of Ninja Tune Records).

Who were your heroes ?

Smokey: Commandant Cousteau. Babar.
The Kid: Danny Elfman !! And Amon Tobin. (And Batman too !)

Could you give us a review of 2012?

Tuff year! More than 20 000 kms covered by planes, boats, crazy drivers. A lot of gigs, festivals in several countries. Istanbul, Berlin, New York, London, Montreal, San José. Such great moments all around the world.

Could you tell us more about your first LP?

It’s the result of two years of work and collaborations with people we met on the road. We are very proud to annonce that artists such as Puppetmastaz, Lateef or R.wan are part of the project.

You have a lot of guests in your album. How did you make all these connections ? Did you meet them in person, or did you just send them your tracks?

We met Random Recipe and Nomadic Massive when we first came in Montreal. For Puppetmastaz, it was on a big french festival, But because we knew we were playing with them, we’ve sent them a track before the festival. Youthstar is a friend of us since a long time, and we really like Sugaray and Lateef so we contacted them on the internet and recorded them at the studio, using the time they were spending in France for their own tour.

Could you tell us something about each guest?

Puppetmastaz: The most dangerous team ever. Be carefull of their energy.
R-Wan: He is mad! A freakin’ Gangsta, he is the Shakespeare of the Molière Language.
Waaahli and Lou Piensa (Nomadic Massive): Insanely dope! We always look after new tracks of the crew.
Erica Guaca & Youthstar: Hot couple! Great artists and friends.
Random Recipe: A lovely & warm Jazz voice for Frannie, and a flow that should make the Beasty Boys crazy for Fab. Their live show is awesome too.
Lateef the Truthspeaker: He is really versatile, he can switch his voice from an MC flow into a really Soul / Rn’B voice. A damn good singer. We know and listen to him since so many years…
Sugaray: A real crooner, you can’t imagine how his voice is powerful. He’s a real blues man.

Who are your inspirations? Who would you love to work with one day?

Smokey: We’ll be glad to work again with the same collabs but also Snoop Dog, Mike Skinner, Busta Rhymes, Roots Manuva, Rizzle Kicks… ODB, 2 Pac ;), Ceza could also do a nice job….
The Kid: doing a track with Kid Koala and John Williams would be bad-ass!!(And Bruce Wayne rapping on it…)

What is your agenda for 2013? Touring?

We will release “Nasty Tricks” on Banzai Lab in April, then we’ll begin our “Nasty Tour” at this period.

How will your new live show work?

We met Miss Chemar 6 month ago, she is a V-J artist and also a Dj. She plays with audio and videos on live acts since 10 years. We begun to work together on this new concept, trying to bring some images to our music. We can’t tell you exactly how it goes, cause there’s a lot of surprises on it, but we can tell that the three us had some crazy times doing it; tons of work, lot’s of fun and laugh. It is hard to do, it´s like making a movie, and we are more than proud of what we did together.

Can we North Americans expect to see you on this side of the Atlantic Ocean sometime soon?

Smokey Joe: Definitely! We’ve been lucky that our music spread like a cigar smokes there, so it’s just a matter of time before we come again.
The Kid: We have already been there, and we’ll come back for sure. American people are very receptive to our music. Because most of hip hop and jazz culture come from you guys, so it’s always a pleasure to play in front of you, and give you back what we made with your stuff!

Do you have one specific memory of your artistic career you would want to share with us?

Smokey: To meet Jamel Debbouze in his club was really funny.
The Kid: My best memory, and it will probably stay my best one forever, was me playing with DJ Krush in Bordeaux, France. He let me scratch with him for 5 minutes at the end of his show, in front of his audience. Crazy moment…
Here a preview of their album:

Smokey Joe & The Kid Socials

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