Hailing from Lower Hutt, Wellington, Aotearoa is choiceVaughan. Having finished up his début EP, due out September 1st, he checked his inbox one day to find Tom Scott of @Peace and Home Brew had sent him back one of his remix beats with the lyrics to ‘Eat People’ on top of it. The poetry in the lyrics make a rap fan want to go recycle something or rally those assholes hunting animals for ivory to fuck off and get a grip. Including Kiwi maestro Tyna Keelan as ‘glitter’ to the re-worked beat, which originally sampled Floetry’s It’s Getting Late, Eat People was born. The boys are going for theaudience.co.nz grant this month. If successful they’ll win $10,000 to make a music video. If we’re lucky and vote daily perhaps we’ll see Tom eat a person in it, but who knows what they’ll come with visually unless we vote. Whendidyoufallinlovewithhiphop catches up with creator Choice who explains he isn’t a go into the studio and come out with five beats guy. He’s a marinate on it and see how it feels in a few days guy. This fine-tooth-comb attention to detail doesn’t go astray in his production quality. ‘Eat People’ as a track melts over you. The layers of the track alone dance with each other — and then there’s Tom’s intellect and Tyna’s ‘glitter’. Listen for yourself and vote for Eat People HERE .
HH: Describe your process as a beat maker and creator of art.
C: It usually all starts with a sample. I’m lucky that I’ve got almost a terabyte worth of old soul, funk, jazz and R&B discographies just sitting there on my iTunes, so I don’t really have to go out and physically dig for records. I just trawl through until I find a break that gives me the sour-face, and try to make something nice with it. It’s gradual for me though. I’m not one of those guys that can lock themselves away and come out with like five beats in a day. Sometimes it clicks and I’ll finish it within a couple of hours. But most times I’m still going back and adding things like 1 or 2 weeks down the track. But yeah, I know what it should sound like. It’s just a matter of getting that out into audible form. I like to take my time.
HH: Who do you look up to music wise?
C: When I started really getting into beats, I was listening to a lot of Little Brother. So 9th Wonder really fathered my style. His stuff is so soulful, and that was the direction I knew I wanted to go in. Both Apollo Brown and Oddisee are definitely two producers I look up to in terms of the quality of their music and their work ethic, and I was lucky enough to meet them both and pick their brains. Ta-ku is nuts for how prolific and consistently dope he is. He makes me want to quit sometimes. Of course there’s Dilla. My favourite producer is 14KT though. His album The Golden Hour is incredible.
HH: Where are you from?
C: Lower Hutt, Wellington, Aotearoa/NZ
HH: What would inspire you to produce a beat?
C: Moods, man. It’s however I’m feeling. Usually it’s something that I’ve been listening to that makes me feel some type of way, then I’ll sit down and try to recreate that feeling that it gave me. Music’s powerful like that. There have been some songs that I’ve had on repeat for literally an entire day, and never got sick of them because of the mood it put me in. That’s the sort of music I try to create.
HH: If your music was to be represented in a holder full of paraphernalia, what items would be in there?
HH: How did ‘Eat People’ come to be?
C: Originally Eat People was a remix I had made to what’s in my opinion one of the best late night slow jams on planet earth – “Getting Late” by Floetry. That song is… man. There’s a reason its close to seven minutes long let’s just say that. Anyway, I had done my thing with it and sent it, along with the drafts of what’s going to be my album, to a bunch of people and forgot about it. I checked my email one day and there’s one in there from Tom, with a song attached. I opened it up and he’d rapped Eat People over the top of the remix I’d made. Like, rapped over top of the singing on the entire song. Which buzzed me out because I wouldn’t have thought anyone would want to use a song with lyrics already on it. But Tom’s verses were c-r-a-z-y, so I got to work re-arranging the entire song to fit his raps, to make it his own.
HH: What was the process like getting Tyna on the vocals and Tom writing lyrics?
C: I’m just blessed to have two of the most talented people I know on the same song, man. They made it easy. After I’d arranged the song to fit Toms verses, there was a bit of room for some glitter on top. I was back down in Welly to see family, and caught up with Tyna in the studio while I was there. Dude’s an amazing all round musician in his own right, it just made sense to let him jump on and do his thing. He recorded a bunch of guitar licks and vocals and sent them through, and I chopped them up and mixed them into the song and that was that.
HH: What can people look out for from you in the future?
C: I’m looking to drop an EP on September 1st as a thank you for everyone putting up with us spamming the shit out of them to vote for our song everyday. (..Which you can do here http://www.theaudience.co.nz/p/8vB/). The EP is the first in a collection of four projects that are all tied together. I realised that the type of music I was listening to at any given point was somehow influenced by the time of day it was… So I wanted to make a project that reflected all of that. I split it up into four parts – There’s The Reverie-mixes (a short collection of remixes to daydream to), An Evening With… (An LP for your evening wind-down), Late Night Delights (some slow tempo jams to play with your significant other) and finally, The Morning Funk (to get your ass out of bed and into a new day). So yeah. Keep an eye/ear out for them.
HH: When did you fall in love with hip hop?
C: Me and my mate used to pretend we were skaters back when we were like 12. We’d skate up and down my mate’s driveway and blast the P-Money Big Things CD my mate’s uncle got him for his birthday until we got told off because it had swears – haha. That was my first introduction to hip hop ever. I liked it so much I ended up stealing the CD off my boy. So peace to P-Money.