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Steg G (Hip-Hop DJ / Producer)
Steg G started his early hip-hop career working with local rap acts such as BAAD Company and Sons of the Devil as their DJ and producer. His first official single, 'But Were Different' was released on Devil Discs and was with a four piece group called Powermove (Steg G, Shoey, Freestyle Master Jimmy P). Helena Rea caught up with Steg G as his new album Vulgar Eloquence was released...
Helena Rea: How did you get into the music producing business?
Steg G: Kind Of by accident. I started off being a DJ, I got into mixing and scratching - just doing my thing on the turntables. Then I quickly realized that if I got into the studio production type stuff, I could do more, get more out of it - more bang for the buck so to speak and make music myself, rather than playing other peoples music. Yeah, it been a natural progression into DJ'ing to production and now these days I'm still DJ`ing and producing so there's still a strong link there
HR: You're a man of many talents, from producing, doing live performances, DJ sets and radio broadcasts. Which do you prefer and which do you least like doing?
SG: It's a good question actually, I love live performances. When I'm on the stage I feel that it's the best place to showcase the music. You can see peoples reactions there and then instantly you know if your shits good or bad; beautiful or ugly in a second when you are doing a live show. But I like all aspects. I like DJ`ing, doing my thing on the radio.
If I had to pick my least favourite, and its a small least favourite, then I would say presenting on the radio, because I can't really see peoples reactions to what I'm doing and playing and if they are feeling it or not.
HR: What keeps your drive and passion going?
SG: Well music to me is a bit like an itch, you just need to scratch it. I don't really know what I would be doing if I wasn't making music - the thoughts quite scary actually. I would probably be in jail or doing something really silly or have 35 kids or something... so I make music.
HR: Your new album, Vulgar Eloquence, is out now and I see it features some top US hip-hop artists currently on the scene. Is it hard getting them on board with the UK hip-hop scene?
SG: Yeah it is hard getting people on board, a lot of American artists don't take hip-hop from this country very seriously, they think it's they're thing, an American thing. But, when you take good beats and good music and hit them with that. I would say it changes their attitudes pretty quick.
That's how we get some of the big name American artists to work with us on the record; the respected the quality and ethics.
HR: What are your thought on UK hip-hop not been taken seriously in America?
SG: The people from the States think that just because they invented it, they should run with it, and that we should just stay out of that lane and get on with making British music. Although when hip-hop came to the UK there was elements of it that we added to or changed, so a lot of UK rap has got a British sound to it. And these days you've got grime music, Dubstep music that has strong links to hip-hop, but with a more UK flavour.
HR: What are the every day struggles you face being in this industry in Scotland rather than London?
SG: Stereotypes, man we face that shit every day. There are a lot of ignorant people out there. They say shit about me as an artist being Scottish. People think I should be wearing tartan and eating haggis and chasing chickens... or whatever it is they think Scottish people do. They also think that because I'm white that I shouldn't be into hip-hop music, which is total racism. So there's a few stereotypes we deal with day to day up here being a white Scottish hip-hop artist. Plus, I must add that most of the ignorant shit we get comes from white Scottish people.
HR: Apart from music, where do your passions lie?
SG: Well I like women, I hate football [laughs]. I'm not really keen on football, the only guy in Glasgow probably. I don't know, it's a hard one for me to answer. I don`t know what else I'm passionate about, apart from family, you would need to ask someone how knows me to answer that.
HR: If a film were to be made about your life, who would play you and why?
SG: Mr Bean, or James T Kirk [laughs]. That's all I can think of right now.
HR: What was the last CD you bought?
SG: The last CD I bought was actually a double vinyl gate-fold number from a local artist called Hudson Mohawke. I bought it about two weeks ago. It's called Butter. My man just dropped an incredible record, I was not just buying it because it was a local record, as I always like to support local artists, I bought it because it is a great album. Big shout to Hudson Mohawke for that, go and check it out... Butter.
HR: Do you think the Internet (and digital music) is a hindrance or a blessing for artists today? For example piracy is more widespread with peer-to-peer file sharing but on the positive side you can reach more people and it’s easier to keep in touch with your fan base via the Internet with sites like MySpace and Facebook.
SG: Yeah, that's right. I think being a small independent label the Internet has helped us to get the music out there, across borders, across countries and continents. It actually creates more of a level playing field between small independent labels and the bigger Sony's and the other labels like that. The Internet has helped local artists get their music to a wider audience, but then the Internet is a also a bit saturated with music, there's tons of it everywhere right now and how do you find the good stuff from all the rubbish that's on it, that's a bit of a problem. So there are two sides to that story.
HR: What can fans expect from you in the future?
SG: More progression, I always challenge myself to come with something better than the last. But, apart from music, I might do a naked walk across the world. I might fly a plane. Who knows?
Vulgar Eloquence is available from Powercut Productions from 05 November 2009.
Click here to download Vulgar Eloquence for £6.99.