Interview with Trobiz
by Troy Neilson
Halifax emcee/producer Trobiz is about to take the rap world by storm. With influence and advice from his musically talented parents, Trobiz has already graced MuchMusic with his video for the funky 'Neva Satisfied.' Handling everything himself makes for a long day, but he's still been able to shoot another video for 'Do What You Do,' expected to hit MuchMusic shortly. Be sure to check out 'Do What You Do' on the compilation album soon to be released by the Toronto deejay crew, Ill Kidz. He's also done production on recently released albums by Universal Soul and J-Bru. You can check him out online at www.trobiz.com.
Troy: First off, congrats on the 'Neva Satisfied' video that aired last winter.
Trobiz: Thank you very much man.
Troy: It's a nice video. What was it like working with Jim Morrison (of 48Media Inc)?
Trobiz: Oh, I like Jim because he allowed me to have a little bit of creative input into the whole project. When guys have certain jobs, sometimes it's hard for them to break down their structured walls. Sometimes they feel that this person has to work on a particular part, and another person has to work on another part, but we broke down all those walls and got creative with it.
Troy: Even though the video is called 'Neva Satisfied', were you satisfied with the video?
Trobiz: Nah... nah... I'm never satisfied man. I'm never satisfied - I'm a grouchy guy. (laughing) Nah, you know what? I really was satisfied with the video.
Troy: Especially there's one shot with the pool, where it's close in on you and then it zooms out through the lights. I love that shot.
Trobiz: Yeah man. That stuff there was right from the jump. When I first walked into the club and saw the pool tables there, I'd seen something similar to that. Jim gets down here, he sees it and he jumped on it right away. That's why I like working with him. I can't wait to work with him again, actually.
Troy: So, 'Neva Satisfied'. The video has been out for awhile. When can we expect the album?
Trobiz: Yeah, I'm working towards an album. Right now I pretty much have all my songs done, all my beats are all produced and I'm just touching up a few tracks. So, basically right now I'm just trying to find the right channels to get it out to the people.
Troy: Have you worked on getting distribution yet?
Trobiz: I've worked on it, but I have to admit that I have no management. I'm out there by myself, I perform all the tracks, and write all the music. After I'm done my regular 9 to 5, I've had a hard time finding different distribution companies because there's only so much I can do myself.
Troy: Yeah, you have to sleep sometimes too. Do you have a title in mind?
Trobiz: I was gonna call it 'Smoke Screens', but I wanna call my album 'As One.' I like that name. I don't know why, but it just sits so well with me. I have different styles of music on it. Samples of different styles like funk, soul, and classical music. I figure if you combine it all and put it together...
Troy: Speaking of samples. You sample stuff from your parents, right?
Troy: With some people feeling that sampling is wrong and such, how do your parents feel?
Trobiz: To work with them? Yeah, they have no problems because it's ours. It's not a case where I'm sampling them and it's mine. I'm sampling them and it's ours. That's the difference when you work with family.
Troy: Do you think the family connection makes the music more special?
Trobiz: Yeah. It does become special because the chemistry's a little different than working with someone that you don't know. For example, with J-Bru and his brother, when they work it on stage, they have a chemistry. No one's trying to score 40 points. Everybody knows their position and when you work with family sometimes the positioning is easier than when you work with strangers. Because family is working towards one common goal.
Troy: Getting back to the album, is it going to be all produced by you?
Trobiz: All produced by me. I'm gonna have co-production with my father on one track, and hopefully two if he has time.
Troy: He was into jazz...
Trobiz: Yeah, he gets into jazz. He does a lot of classic soul and he's traveled all over the United States ever since he was a kid.
Troy: What’s he going to add to that track production-wise?
Trobiz: He's gonna add experience. He's gonna add a lot of the basics and fundamentals. A lot of us, we lose some of our fundamentals when we make our music nowadays. A lot of the older musicians can instill the fundamentals to make a track way better than it is now. It's experience. I wish that I could just sit down and do weeks of work with them, but they're also living in their career. So I have to work with them when I can and the rest of the stuff I have to do when I can.
Troy: Now, I understand you have another video coming out?
Trobiz: Yeah, it's called 'Do What You Do' and features Kyra. She's from Halifax. She sings the hook and wrote part of the song with me. It's going on the Ill Kidz compilation.
Troy: Who are the Ill Kidz?
Trobiz: The Ill Kidz are a deejay group outta Toronto who are aspiring to become one of the best DJ groups in Toronto, so I'm supporting them. I think that they'll do well once they get their compilation out. The compilation has people from Vancouver, Nova Scotia, Montreal, and they're trying to get a whole Canada-wide thing going. The video for it is already done, and so it's all ready to go.
Troy: So basically there's been a lot of big things happening for you in the last year.
Trobiz: Yeah. It's a big thing because they saw it on a disc with no name on it. They basically found me.
(At this point we were accosted by Spesh-Ill-K, Classified and their crew).
Troy: To finish this up, is there anything else you'd like to add? Website? Email?
Trobiz: Hit me up at www.trobiz.com and you'll find what you need to find there. You'll get to see some clips, see who I am, and see what I do.
Troy: And watch for ‘As One’?
Trobiz: Watch for 'As One'. Hopefully I don't change the name of the album. And that's it man.
Troy: Cool. Thanks man.
Trobiz: Thank you.
For more information on Trobiz, check out www.trobiz.com.
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