Norwegian producer Tommy Tee interview by our very own DJ Independent! Continue reading for more!
How did you get the idea to do a triple EP project?
The idea came from me wanting to do a Oslo EP to spotlight some of the new and old MC’ s from my hometown. As I’ve been working alot with artists from New York and also Stockholm and Malmø (in Sweden) the idea expanded into doing EP’ s dedicated to those cities as well. The beauty of the music industry in 2009 is that you’ re not bound to do an album anymore and I wanted to explore another format. The intention was to do an exclusive for the digital market, but as the first video for the EP’ s got popular here in Norway we decided to do a limited edition CD as well. It’ s all basically all a warm-up for my next album “Studio-Time” coming later this year.
You worked with a lot American MC’s, and some of them are featured on this project, like Sadat X , Styles P and Saigon. When did you start collaborating with US artists?
I started travelling to New York in the early-mid 90′ s to mix at the legendary D&D Studios. As I started to spend more and more time over there I got in touch with a lot of new artists at the time (like Talib Kweli, Punch & Words, Matt Fingaz, FT, P-Dap, Mike Zoot etc) and the ball just started rolling from there. After I released a few 12 inches in the late 90′ s it became easier and easier to get in touch with more established artists as my name started to be known.
Tell us something about your solo album, slated for this year. It has a star studded guest list.
Yeah the album is gonna be crazy – and pretty different from the EP’ s and the old stuff I’ve released. On my own album I finally get a chance to display some of the other stuff I’m doing that sounds a little different – and too different for a lot of artists to pick for their own projects. I’m trying to break out of my traditional sound and create something that sounds new to me. This album is all about progressing musically.
You are also currently working on solo albums by Billy Danze of M.O.P. and Sean Price of Heltah Skeltah. When can we expect to hear that?
Possibly not too late this year. The Sean Price album “M.I.C. Tyson” should come out this summer/fall as well as the Billy Danze solo album. I’m also working with a bunch of other artists from both the States and Europe.
As an european producer, do you feel it’s hard to get noticed and appreciated in America?
Yes and no. To really break through in the US you need to be over there alot and meet people. There’ s a few thousand other producers out there that wants the same slot as me, so the fact that I have to many tings going on back home is always slowing me down as far as spending enough time over there. And I’m not the one to send all my beats to whoever through the net. I’m more a believer in working with particular artists to try and create something special for them. And I’m big on post-productions so that whole 2 tracking movement is really not for me.
You’re a true hip hop veteran, being in the game for more than 20 years. What keeps you going?
I discovered Hip-Hop at an age of 12, so I really don’ t know hot not to do it. I feel blessed to be relevant to the game 25 years later and I feel that I still haven’ t reached my peak production wize. I’m a late bloomer I guess.