- Posted on Mar 10th 2011 4:00PM by Robert Ham
Gino DePinto, AOL
These days, Blaqstarr is taking center stage with the release of 'The Divine EP,' a short collection of spacey funk and R&B tracks that sound like the sonic cousin of Funkadelic and Erykah Badu. Spinner caught up with Blaqstarr after a long night in the studio to talk about his upcoming appearances at SXSW, working with M.I.A. and his unique hairstyle.
You've been spending time in the studio this week. How has it been going?
Pretty good. Great in fact. I've been working on a little bit of everything. There's a new mixtape coming out in April and an album coming out in summertime.
When you chose the name Blaqstarr, was that in tribute to the Mos Def and Talib Kweli group Black Star, or were you using it before they came along?
I was using it before I even heard of that group. Funny thing is, about a year later after I'd picked the name, BET had come out with a tour called the "Black Star Power Tour." At first, I was, like, "Wow they took my name!" But I thought I should just stick to what was universally sent to me. God's plan is always a bigger plan.
Your bio says that Baltimore DJs can make more money selling mixtapes at home than if they had a single on the radio. Is that true?
It's possible to generate income from your music in Baltimore with our own sound, with the Baltimore club music sound. That's what I used to do when I was younger, make mixtapes for the folks at home. That passion grew and turned into a stronger situation where now I'm making bangin' mixtapes for the whole international plateau.
Do you think we're going to be hearing more from Baltimore DJs and producers?
The time is now. I've set forth execute this mission, the divine mission, which is part of my plan, my movement.
You moved to L.A. not too long ago. Are you still there?
I'm really a little bit everywhere. I'm stationed in many different places to absorb different information for my project.
But you still consider Baltimore to be your home base?
Yes, yes. Automatic.
You've been making music since you were 16. Has your approach to producing changed over the years?
It has evolved into more cosmic type of thing, to a point where I stopped making songs. I'm making experiences. 'The Divine EP' was the introduction to the difference in the sound to making it an experience, not just a song.
Most people know you from your work with M.I.A. What was it like working with her?
It was great. The vibrations were magnetic. Universally correct. She was definitely part of the equation.
Do you have plans to work with her in the future?
You also got to work with both Mos Def and Talib Kweli. How was that?
It was dope. Everything was smooth. The love power was there.
Are you more interested in being a producer behind the scenes or being in the spotlight?
Definitely more interested in my name being out there and generating the universal flow all over the world.
You're playing SXSW this year. What can we expect from your live performances?
You can expect one of the best, one of the greatest performances of a new evolved sound. Words can't even express it. I'm having a hard time trying to put it in words. The songs don't have words, just operational tones and melodies. One sentence can mean a million things.
Are you still rocking a mohawk these days?
I wouldn't call it a mohawk, I'd call it more of a fade-type hawk. You can quote me on this: I'm gonna call it the Blaqstarr Fade Hawq. Instead of the "k" at the end of hawk, it's gonna be a "q."
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