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PopCulturez Q&A Fridays: Pete Marriott – Hip-Hop from Outside the Music-Industry Mind-Set

Pete 03 2592x1728PopCulturez.Com: Welcome to PopCulturez, can you start by introducing yourself?


I’m Professor Pete Marriott, and I’m a DJ, Record Producer, Composer, Sound Designer, & Mix Engineer.


I currently live in Seattle, but I’m originally from Brooklyn and I’m very much hoping to become a resident of British Columbia as I’m deeply in love with both Vancouver and Whistler.



PopCulturez.Com: Who or what inspired you to get into both music production and hip-hop music in general?


People like my Uncle Luddy Marriott (a well known Jamaican studio drummer), Lord Garth, DJ Dae One, Cut’em up Ray, Professor Paul, and Howie Tee.


Contrary to popular belief, hip-hop did not start in The Bronx, it was birthed in Brooklyn by Brooklyn DJs, so me being a creative soul that was born where it all began, it was inevitable for the music to become my destiny.



PopCulturez.Com: You have worked on some big records, with some well-known names, and yet it seems producers often get over-looked by the mainstream media in favor of vocalists and rappers. Why do you think this is?


 Who are you gonna pay attention to, the thoughtful quiet humble guy in the background giving you the music, or the loudmouth in front on stage holding the microphone?


I’m a DJ. When I’m on stage, I command the crowd with my hands to give the MC their utmost attention. As a record producer, I serve the best interests of the artist by turning a song into a record that will hold people’s attention, which thankfully I can do on a consistent level in an age where people’s attention span is getting shorter due to over-saturation of lackluster filler material presented as hits.


I’m not sexy or a freak show of any type. I’m just a regular dude that just happens to produce records in the studio by day and spin them at night on stage and sometimes radio. Mrs. Marriott is a not a famous R&B singer, super model, reality television star or movie actress, she’s an accountant. There’s nothing glamorous or crazy about my life and I love that!


I’m truly free and I make a living doing what I love, which is a never-ending exploration of my creativity. When I go to a record shop to hunt for vinyl no one else knows who I am other than the store clerk, who I always end up becoming good friends with due to our common love for the music.


I learned that I don’t need to be famous to be successful, and I’m grateful for my obscurity because of the freedom that comes with it.


 Pete 02 2592x1728

PopCulturez.Com: You have moved from your New York roots over to Seattle – why did you decide to make the move, and what did the change of location teach you for your music career, if anything?


When I made the decision to leave New York it was during a time when the music community in the 5 Boroughs not only had lost it’s musical mind, but it lost it’s soul. New York used to be the leaders of hip-hop music, because New York was both lyrically and musically more advanced than everywhere else, but then came the ultra-dreadful shiny suit era, which took New York a hundred steps backwards. It was completely boring to those us that think and feel on a cognitive level, and the blandness of that scene was overwhelmingly uninspiring for me as a person that needs to be within a progressively creative environment. 


I produced my first record at the age of 15 years old during the 80’s and, back in those days, it was a rarity for a label to allow someone that young such responsibility, but there was a certain synergy happening in New York at that time that made it possible for me to achieve this accomplishment. That wasn’t the case during the shiny suit era.


The people I was doing business with in the industry wanted me to bring them sub-par rubbish that sounded like the horrible records that was getting airplay on the radio, and I wanted to create art. So I moved my money, packed my bags, and jumped on a couple of planes to Hawaii and then from Honolulu I moved to Northern California, where I met Mrs. Marriott, and we moved to Seattle, which reminds me a lot of how New York used to be.


But now, with newer acts like Astro The Astronomical Kid, Joey Bada$$, Nitty Scott MC,  and World’s Fair, I see New York is returning to a creative state, but does that mean I’m willing to move back there? I don’t think so.


I’m moving towards the future with my plans for joining Canada’s music community. Moving back to New York would just be a step backwards for me.   



PopCulturez.Com: You have set up your own studio in Seattle – can you tell us more?


It’s called the Tool Shed and it’s a hybrid set-up where I employ both analog hardware and digital software to achieve the sounds I create here in Seattle. I have an analog console that I’m pretty much ready to retire, because I finally fell into a comfort zone with mixing in the box.


I’m still using my collection of vintage samplers to shape certain characteristics of my sounds and sample sources, but everything else is pretty much within the software environment and, thanks to products by IK Multimedia and Image-Line, my musical life is a lot of fun and exciting. I love doing what I do in my own space, I’m pretty much my own boss. How many people in music can say that, and actually mean it? 


I’m not signed to anyone, so no one owns me. When you sign to a label, you’re basically placing yourself in bondage to that corporation or business entity. That pretty much makes you a slave on a cottonfield shucking and jiving it up for massa.


I’m not a sadist, so I’m not going allow anyone to whip me, no amount of money is worth that kind of punishment. So, I built my own situation where I can be free to make any kind of record I want to make. If I want to do a rock, or country, or jazz record can no one stop me. I’m completely free to do what I want. There is no “Mother May I” here.



PopCulturez.Com: OK, so musically-speaking, what are you working on right now, can you tell us about that – what can we expect and who are you working with, etc?


 I’d honestly rather not say. I’ve come to a point where I’ll wait until a release date for these EP projects are set in stone before announcing them. Life has a tendency to throw curve-balls in my direction sometimes, and then again I also can get in my own way by being such a perfectionist. If I don’t feel right about a record I won’t release it until I know in my heart and soul it’s a great record.


If people really want to keep up with me and what new music I got coming they can subscribe to my Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/DJPeteMarriott and follow my Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/djpetemarriott but I’m not gonna promote something that’s not ready to be released yet.



PopCulturez.Com:  With so much competition around these days, what do you think it takes to stand out from the crowd?


Just be yourself and don’t bite no-one else. My records stand out because I sound like me, not him or her, he or she, but me – Pete Marriott – and no one else, but Pete Marriott.


We now live in an age where everything on the radio is based on a formula, and that is extremely repetitive and boring. When radio opens the door to variety and creativity in music again then things will improve there, but the broadcast industry is only concerned with metrics, so we all will have to suffer for now until someone makes a ripple in the pond and commits to making more ripples until a tidal wave is put in motion.



PopCulturez.Com:  What would you like your legacy in music to be?


I want people to listen to my music and feel in their hearts that I was really about the music. I want them know that I was in this for real, and not for the sake of becoming famous or to be seen. It’s very important to me that I don’t get lumped in with all these celebrities and non-creative types pretending to be artists.


These people posing as music artists are absolute frauds to me, but I’m also grateful to these charlatans. Because of them, I have the freedom to make my records as I see fit, without having the added pressure to do these silly numbers of units. The culture is so incredibly sad that I despise the very notion of going to the traditional black barber shop I grew up in, because all everyone in there wants to talk about is how many units did such and such sell vs. so-and-so.


What happened to the actual music discussion? How come no-one is talking about the lyrical content, the music production, the artwork and the emotion behind the album anymore?


All anyone cares about now is how many units are moving, YouTube views, Soundcloud, Twitter and Instragram followers, and Facebook likes and artist has. I don’t want to be included in such aimless conversations of banality.


I want it where 50 to 100 years from now people can listen to my records and say, “Pete Marriott was the real thing.”  



PopCulturez.Com: If there was just one message or lesson that you could leave for future generations, what would it be?


My message for the future is to legalize Marijuana and criminalize ignorance and hatred globally.



PopCulturez.Com: Finally, where can people catch you, either in-person or online?


If I’m doing a show in your town, you will more than likely find me at wherever they sell vinyl records, especially 45’s right now.


Online I’m mostly on at Instagram: http://instagram.com/petemarriott and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IAmPeteMarriott or http://www.facebook.com/IAmProfessorPeteMarriott and sometimes Twitter: http://twitter.com/PeteMarriott



PopCulturez.Com: Thanks for your time, but before we go, is there anything more that you would like to add?


Yes I do, thank you.


Not to brag, but I’m seriously a dope DJ who actually knows and spins good music, and I put on a great performance, so tell your favorite local party promoters and clubs to book me, so I can perform for you and we can all jam and have a good time together. 😉 

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