Firstly, briefly introduce yourself: What’s your name? Where are you from? How would you describe your production style?
My name’s Talos, I’m from London. I’d describe my production style as lo-fi, soulful Hip Hop, with a healthy dose of dusty nostalgia.
What would you say are the most popular beats you’ve created?
I’ve produced a lot of tracks for Coops, and I’d say my most well known beats would be from his 2014 mixtape, Lost Soul. ‘So Cold’ went down well, [and] so did the beat I produced for his SBTV Warm Up Session, but you gotta ask the people that question, really!
What is your favourite song that you’ve worked on and why?
The whole process of making Lost Soul with Coops was really enjoyable as it was my first proper album that I’d worked on. But my most recent stuff tends to be my favourite.
Do you think that production software becoming more accessible is a positive or negative thing for music? Why?
Music production software becoming more accessible is definitely a good thing; it gives more people the chance to start making music that wouldn’t have been able to. Being able to create shit in the seclusion of your bedroom is such a sick thing, its not limited to those with big studios and big budgets anymore. It’s still so confined though, it’s easy in the West for us to access all this stuff but imagine how many undiscovered musical geniuses there are in other parts of the world.
Who influences you as a producer?
As far as Hip Hop producers that influence me, it’s most of the “golden age” hall-of-famers, like Pete Rock, Dilla, Madlib, RZA etc. I love 70’s soul as well though, and artists like Roy Ayers, Curtis Mayfield and Sun Ra are a big, big influence. I feel like their compositions were so timeless, and a large part of that is because they are based on genuine, unchanging human emotions, not just what’s poppin’ at the time.
What inspires you to create instrumentals?
Making instrumentals is very therapeutic to me. The freedom of being able to make beats out of samples is so rewarding, to take something that’s old and to warp and rework it into something that no one has heard before is sick. My music is quite cinematic and I like to incorporate sound effects from every day life. We tend to take sounds we hear everyday for granted, but to someone on the other side of the world those sounds are brand new. So, I like to capture what’s around me and build that into my beats.
How did you begin making music? Was it a particular influence or circumstance?
Like 99% of UK producers, I started out making Grime beats on Fruity Loops. I guess growing up and being exposed to different sounds affected my ears, and I was drawn to a more soulful sound. J Dilla definitely opened up the Hip Hop doors to me as far as producers that could hold their own.
Were you ever involved in any other musical projects besides the ones you are doing now?
I got to grade 2 on acoustic guitar when I was young, but I don’t think that counts as a musical project, lol. If there were another producer I’d like to work together with on a project with, it would be DJ Alik, a sick Hip Hop producer from Italy. I feel like him and me have complimentary styles.
What, for you, is the perfect beat?
For me, the perfect beat has a tight groove, with knocking drums and a funky bass line. And it has to have that ascending-through-the-clouds soulfulness that a lot of Dilla and Madlib beats have.
Can you tell us about any projects coming in 2016?
Yes! I’m rounding up my first proper solo EP, which should touch the web next month. It’s gonna be reminiscent of 90’s boom-bap, but with a distinct London-ness to it, with features from Coops, Poppy Ajudha and Jerome Thomas. All the tracks are done, I’m a bit of a perfectionist so just sorting out the finishing touches at the moment, as well as two wavy visuals. Check out my Soundcloud in the meantime, as I’m currently uploading a new beat every single week.
Photo by Ross Henbest