Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Artist Interview: Emperor Bohe

Yesterday I highlighted the work of 20 year old Toronto producer Emperor Bohe here. I've known about his work for a while but he's still getting his feet wet in the game. I decided to try to get to know the beatsmith a little better since I do enjoy his music so much. I hit him up and we discussed what makes Emperor Bohe the expert musician he is today.

Me: I've been listening to your music for a long while. When I first heard about you, you were in a group called the Rhythm Voyagers Crew. What happened to that?

Bohe: To be honest, there really isn't an exact answer to that unfortunately. There may have been some creative issues, and there may have been some management issues. The RVC has never officially disbanded though, our work as a group just started to slow down... I guess. We've all remained on good terms with each other. On my album The Fantastic, a good amount of RVC members are on that. And of course, I also dropped an album with BE.water. Maybe we will start working together as a group again someday...we'll see. It's kind of like the Native Tongues....they had their down times.

MeYour album Elevator Music is a collaboration with RVC member PCO and is by far my favorite from you. Do you and PCO keep in touch at all?

Bohe: Of course. I've always considered PCO as a great friend of mine. We haven't really collaborated with each other musically for a while since the release of Elevator Music aside from a few random tracks, but we've always kept in touch since then. He's actually working on a solo album right now with a few different producers. I don't know if you've heard his first album, Dreamchaser, but it's kind of like that. I've already given him a few beats for that, so be on the look out.

Me: Who were your favorite artists growing up?

Bohe: To be honest, I didn't realize how much I loved music until I was like 13 or 14 years old. My dad has a great taste in music. I didn't really appreciate it until I got older. A broad range of music from classic soul to Doggystyle by Snoop Dogg haha. But growing up, I was definitely inspired by the Wu-Tang Clan the most. Especially the RZA, he is hands down the most influential producer to my style.

Me: Has growing up in Canada influenced your music at all?

Bohe: I'd guess so. Toronto is a very multicultural city so it is without a doubt that I've absorbed bits and pieces from all of the different musical backgrounds that are prominent in this city. But mainly, I'd say my style is mostly influenced by that gritty east coast style hip hop.

Me: From your style to your ability, how would you say your music has evolved from your first album Elevator Music in 2007 to your latest album Free Health Care, a collaboration with Broken Pen, in 2011?

Bohe: Oh man, so much as changed haha. When I was making Elevator Music, I used Sony Acid Pro exclusively for making beats. Nowadays, I use Ableton Live, an Akai Pro MPD26, and a M-Audio Oxyven V2 midi keyboard. I've always tried to make every album sound fresh, if someone listens to all of the albums that I had a major producing role in, they would notice that they all have a different sound from each other. A lot of people love the sound that I had on Cassette Tapes with BE.water, which was a throwback to the boom bap era of rap. So I'm going to try to make some more music in that vein. I'm a big fan of the sound I achieved on Free Health Care though, I learned a lot while making that album. Broken Pen is a producer as well, and I've learned a lot of techniques from him.

Me: I always thought your sampling in Elevator Music was top notch. It's incredible that you had such an amazing ear for samples at 16 years old.

Bohe: Thank you, I appreciate it. Once again, that ear for samples was trained while I was growing up listening to my Dad's vast library of music. He has actually given me all of his vinyls recently, so going through all of those records for samples has been amazing.

Me: What's the timetable for a new project? Are you working on anything right now?

Bohe: I'm working on another "solo" album right now. It's going to be in the same vein as my album The Fantastic, which means various other rappers over my beats. It's going to be called Focal Point, and I'm gonna drop it when it's done. I'm gonna take my sweet ass time with this project haha. I can't talk much about the rappers that are going to be on the album as the recording process hasn't been finalized yet. You'll probably recognize most of the artists that will be on the album. One artist that I can confirm for the album right now is Craig G from the legendary Juice Crew. I can't wait to release that track!

Me: How did you get him on board?

Bohe: Twitter, believe it or not. I showed him a few of my beats and he agreed to spit over one of them.

Me: That's pretty sick. I discovered your music a long time ago on a hip-hop forum that we both frequent. You were promoting it. On that same forum, like 7 years ago, you made a daily series of topics about the best song from an album from that day that reached up to 200 days. You don't know this, but that topic helped shape my underground hip-hop taste. For that, I say thank you.

Bohe: You're welcome. Oh man, that was so long ago. I barely remember anything about that haha. I vaguely remember participating in those topics. I would say the community helped shaped your hip hop taste more so than myself.

Me: Well, still haha. One last question. If someone were to ask you "Who the hell is Emperor Bohe and why should I listen to him?", what would your response be?

Bohe: I would show them that I make dope beats, with the tracks to prove it and I don't mean to sound cocky haha, but it is what it is. Either they feel my music or they don't. If they don't, then it's their loss. Man, that sounded cocky as fuck, didn't it? Hahahahaha. My bad. Despite all of that, I would say I'm humble as hell.

Me: You make some amazing beats bro so even if it was cocky, it's justified haha. Good luck with everything you do with your music in the future and know that everything you drop has a home at Oh.Globe!

Bohe: No doubt! I appreciate the interview. I wish you guys all of the best. Don't forget to listen to Focal Point when it drops!

Emperor Bohe's Bandcamp:

Emperor Bohe's Tumblr:

Emperor Bohe's Soundcloud:

Follow Emperor Bohe on Twitter: @EmperorBohe


Wiz said...

Great interview, I'll definitely give the homie a listen!

Emperor Bohe said...


much appreciated!

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