Thursday, July 16, 2009
The Black Kurt Cobain Does Hip Hop
"Smells Like Teen Spirit was my first favorite song by any artist of all genres," says hip-hop artist Stix in response to his claim that he is the black Kurt Cobain. "He was a huge influence for the youth as far as music is concerned. He had a interesting following, and that's where our similarities are."
While he sounds more like Jay Z than Kurt Cobain the musician born and raised in Watts is hoping to influence another generation of youth with his own musical stylings. Stix has made it a point to reach out to today's youth and has played small tours of inner-city schools, keeping it real and letting them know that anybody can be anybody if they work at it.
In case you get the idea that Stix is only playing school gymnasiums, he has cut his chops with six years of roadwork from coast-to-coast and around the world. These gigs include playing his favorite venue - the Staples Center and "performing on stage with Doug E. Fresh at the Aruba Jazz Festival." Playing to a crowd of more than 60,000 on a beach was an experience that Stix describes as, "Insane!"
But that was then, this is now and I'm Fly is the first single off his upcoming Late for Soundcheck CD that drops on August 18. "I kept the featured musicians limited because I wanted the listener to focus on me," says Stix with regards to the recording process for Soundcheck. "So really, the only big name featured on my album is Tyrese."
Stix has recorded often at Backhouze Studios in Watts."Backhouze has the best sound I've ever recorded in out of the hundreds of studios I have been too. Then I did a little recording at Headquarter Studios in Hollywood.
"It was a long period," he says with regards to finding the groove that he was looking for on Late for Soundcheck. "It took me a couple of years to finally get the sound and direction together because music evolves and changes so much."
Those years show that Stix is in the game. As the game and the music evolve he has collaborated with many other musicians including Bobby Valentino and DJ Break 'Em Off. This impresario lends his skills not only as a singer, rapper and songwriter but those that were honed in the studio to many different acts. Lately, he's, "been doing a lot of writing for myself and ton of other artist in multiple genres. I'm doing some stuff for a pop/rock artist named FEE, and a couple
of other rock and R&B acts."
His diverse nature in helping other bands from all over the musical spectrum discover their sound extends beyond his own tastes in music. A taste that can best be described as eclectic - Nirvana notwithstanding. When not listening to his own music Stix says that, "I am listening to Paramore's Riot, Mr. Hudson, Imogen Heap, and Coldplay." Maybe they don't sound all that eclectic when you consider that his dream concert venue is to perform at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Just when you think that you have him figured for a smooth R&B guy Stix will come back at you with another side project like Life9.