Self-made lowkey lo-fi daydreamer and crate digger.. today’s Q&A we catch up with Latvian beatmaker PRGMAT following the release of his latest Beat-tape “Life Choices” which you can peep on the soundcloud link provided below..
Q. MRCPROMO: Peace PRGMAT where exactly are you from?
A. PRGMAT: Waddup, I come from Riga capital of the small Eastern European country Latvia.
Q. MRCPROMO: How did you get started?
A. PRGMAT: As I can remember.. I was digging for Lord Beatjitzu ultra rare tapes, which was quite a pain in the ass at the time and I was like hey wouldn’t it be nice to make my own stuff to listen too, because I know I would like it. Paradoxically, in the end I never listen to my own stuff after it’s released. Beat-making has been like a little dream since I figured how to make hip hop music from watching rare RZA studio session videos..
Q. MRCPROMO: How long have you been making beats?
A. PRGMAT: A little less than one year..
Q. MRCPROMO: What is your studio set-up like? Your favorite piece of gear?
A. PRGMAT: I’m still looking for the most appropriate set-up for my needs, but right now it is Ableton Live 9 Suite + Akai MPD226 + Roland SP404 and of course my beloved Pioneer PL-520 turntable from 1976. I use tons of vinyl, lofi, tape simulation type, plugs and OG 404 effects that perfectly fit my style. Classic boombap hiphop beats in a lo-fi manner, fulfilled with jazz, soul, funk, even disco samples, this is how I would describe my joints. For me personally, it’s a pain using the SP404 as a standalone, so all the arrangement, sequencing etc. I do in Ableton. All due respect to those guys who are still producing with just hardware, but for me it’s easier to make chops on a computer.. no doubt, Akai pads are the most pleasant thing I have touched.
Q. MRCPROMO: What influences you?
A. PRGMAT: My main influences are the charming feelings I get from listening to hiphop, soul, funk and jazz. Music is able to do great things with people and their minds. Of course I can not forget Dilla’s (rip) chopping style, Nujabes (rip) vibes and emotional sound and Premo drum tracks and breaks. It’s all about the feelings and vibes..
Q. MRCPROMO: How is the hip-hop scene in Riga? Where are the dope spots at in your area?
A. PRGMAT: I rather not talk about local hiphop scene, I feel it’s not at it’s highest point right now. I think it was at it’s peak about 9 years ago when PKI dominated the scene (special shoutout to Skutelis, Eliots and Ansis). Kontraflovs (K3F) are really active right now, Ansis and Edavardi dropped their solos some time ago… I can’t say that the scene lacks quality, it’s just simply different then how it was back in the day.
Q. MRCPROMO: What projects are you working on now?
A. PRGMAT: Right now I’m working on a collab project with a German beatmaker from Cologne called MSNTHRP. We are on the same wave and decided to make a full length beat-tape together which will be released on cassette as proof of our support for the reborn tape culture. Also I’m in the process of recording a new project with a few local Latvian emcees. I have big plans in the future, I will keep you updated.
Q. MRCPROMO: Any shows coming up, how can promoters or other artists get in contact with you?
A. PRGMAT: Hit me up on Facebook, I have my artist page or send me a letter, I will give you the address.
Q. MRCPROMO: Where do you see yourself in the next year or so?
A. PRGMAT: The Eurovision Song Contest.. here I come, better recognize. But seriously.. I’ll just keep up doin’ my own thing. My aim is put out more physical releases so if one day you don’t have access to the internet, you still will be able to listen my to joints..
Q. MRCPROMO: Last words or shouts?
A. PRGMAT: I want to give a huge thanks to my mom, dad, grandma, both sisters and brother for always being there for me. Also much love to Evija, a really special person, she showed my SENTIMENT LP beat-tape to her grandma that’s super cool. Special shoutout goes to my Parubeniusi crew, especially DELENS SON OF DA HEKTORS aka MANAGER OF PRITONS and QUEEN OF THE TRAP LAURIKIANNA. Also one love goes to my MILUMI SQUAD – paldies par #skaidywieny. Huge thanks and props to Reminessence Records and Vinyl-Digital. Thank-you everyone who listens to my music, I appreciate all your support, like fo’ real more music to come, peace. Stay blessed!
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EDITOR: Tony Fiacco