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White Shadow of Norway Victory! Producer/DJ the White Shadow of Norway has once again succeeded in gathering an outrageous guestlist for his third producer's album. Even more importantly, the beats are claimed (by the man himself) to be his best to date. Not you're average promo talk, people! Cause as soon as we heard Sadat X, Craig G, Pacewon,... ride over the beats; we goddamn knew this was indeed a victory. Time for a talk with the-just-turned-40 Shadow.

Congratulations on your third album. It's coming out on oct 26th. How are you anticipating and preparing that release date?

Thanks fam, and good lookin' out once again for the dope artwork you did for it. The date is actually the earliest I could do after the album was finished cause it takes some time to get the albums up on the online stores, so Oct 26th. was the first date that made sense as it's a Monday, close to Halloween which goes well with the music, and artwork, and is by the way Infinito 2017's birthday. He's featured on two songs on the album. I've just started promo on a more personal level for starters hitting up friends, fans, and affiliates with teaser audio, and videos on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Youtube. I have an online street team of sorts who's lookin' out for me promoting the album through Email lists, and various websites. Big up Mark Deez, IDE, and Fiswa T for helping out. Next is advertising on websites, and reviews, interviews, etc.

Checking your three releases in a row: renegades, untouchable and now victory. Is there a storyline through those three words?

Yes. First we were a bunch of Renegades, who became Untouchable, and that lead to Victory. Simple but effective.

You stated this is by far your best work to date. Please explain why you feel that way about Victory? What evolutions did you go through?

First of all I started using a whole lot more software, and I've pretty much switched full time to software based production. I love the SP-1200, and the old way of making beats, but there's only so much you can do with it, and I worked on it for 15 years so I know it inside out, and it has it's limitations. I heard that to be able to keep up with, and hopefully stay a little ahead of competition, I had to update myself, so as far as the beats the arrangements are a lot more varied, and complex than my previous albums but it still has that raw underground feel to it. I still use the SP for the drums, bass, and some samples. The improvements also have to do with experience, and I keep workin' to get better at my craft, and the soundquality of this album is also way better than the previous. I've been doin' this for a minute but I keep learning which is a drive to continue as well, like always trying something new but within the universe of Hiphop as that's my genre. Most of the beats were made especially for this album too after I came up with the title so it all fits better as a concept than before.

The music, style, all the way down to the artwork fits with eachother which is especially important since there's so many different artists featured on it. I always try to make my albums sound like complete albums instead of a producer's compilation or mixtape. I feel I did better on that this time than the last albums. The featured artists did their thing real well also, and there's some legendary cats I grew up listening to on this abum along with some of the best new artists in the underground that made it a great album lyrically too.

Could you tell us more about the monologue in the intro? Was that sort of takin' responsibilities for the culture?

It's Vinnie Paz sampled from a lecture he did about Hiphop, so that was first of all paying my respects to him for including me on the AOTP album, and some words of truth about how some of the pioneers of Hiphop have been treated. They get their due props, but many haven't been compensated properly for the pioneer work they put in, and artists that came after them who aren't nearly as good make a lot more money, and blow up on the charts etc.

To some degree that's how it is with me in Norway as well. I'm one of the Hiphop pioneers here, and quite possibly the first DJ to scratch in this country, and I appreciate all the love and props I get, and there's plenty of it, so to all my friends in Norway much thanks!.. But at the same time I've seen artists who are younger, some I helped get in the game, having more commercial success than myself, and some even dissing me when they got to where they wanted and didn't need me anymore. So I do feel I've been used by some of the younger generation, and could've done better here commercialy had it not happened, but of course I'm not done yet! (laughs)

The intro, and the opening track is not so much a song featuring Melle Mel as it's a DJ track, remake, remix, mashup of all the Furious Five's classics with some Melle Mel verses connecting the dots, and one of my hardest beats. Mel is my alltime favorite MC, and I grew up on his music, so the intro, and opening track is my tribute to him, and the old school. All profits of this track I'm sending to him, and a certain % of the album sales I'm gonna donate to organizations that's putting in work every day to keep Hiphop alive, and who supports the old school pioneers. That's my way of saying thank you to them for giving me just about everything. Who I am today is because of Hiphop, and without the pioneers there would be no Hiphop.

The title Victory is a lot about the fight goin' on between Hiphop vs commercialized Rap. Hiphop will come out the winner in the end, and on a personal level I've been through a lot of beef, backstabbers, snakes trying to take advantage of me to gain for themselves, and they've had their success, so now it's my turn, and I will win in the end.

You succeeded again in gathering a tremendous list of guests. Please tell us how you got to hook up with some of those legends?

That's usually a lot of networkin', plus a little money, and hard work, but this time it was easy. I'd say most of it happened by accident as I ran into people online when I was really just hangin' out, and some of the artists ended up on my album because of good friends who had connects too. I would especially like to thank The Pizdamen, KHB, Awkword, and Mark Deez for the hookups. I'm working on the follow up to Victory already, and that's much because of them. I would also like to thank Craig G for the professional, and super fast work on the crazy dope verse he hooked me up with. Craig G is a legend, and it was an honor to work with him.

It's remarkable that producer's albums keeps gaining quality and exposure (think about the Snowgoons, DJ Spinna's effort, JS-1,…). What's the secret behind this success-formula?

First of all cause the producers are in charge. When you work with other artists it's usually a give and take situation, and as for me I usually let the artists have the last word cause it is after all their songs, and they should be happy about the final results, but on my albums I do what I wanna do to a certain degree, I mean I would never put no autotune on voices and stuff like that! (laughs). In general a producer's job is to know how to make sure that the final product is tight, and experienced producers knows how better than most artists themselves so when producers are in charge it's gonna sound better, it's gonna fit better, and so on. Competition is as always crazy too so we have to keep doing better to stay on top of our game. It's a friendly competition, and it's good for Hiphop as it keeps getting better because of it. Producer joints usually have a lot of featured artists too which means they appeal to people who are already fans of the artists, and might have people discovering the other artists because of it, so as for promotion producer albums are great too.

If you had the chance to record a 1 producer - 1 emcee album (cf. Marco polo and Torae)… What emcees would be in your top rank for that?

Kool G Rap, Chino XL, or Rakim when it comes to skills. Nas, Jay-Z, or 50 Cent when it comes to business, but I enjoy working with unknown artists just as much as long as they have skills, know how to make songs, and are good peoples. Chemistry is the most important. If you get along well with an artist, and have a similar vision on what music you wanna make that's always the best. If it's a legend or an unknown don't matter all that much then, and I've worked with a lot of big name cats so I don't work as hard to make that happen anymore, but am of course happy every time I can make music with the artists I've been a fan of since way back.

How did you get to hook up with Kool G Rap for the promo video for Victory?

That was all business through his management.

We spoke after the release of Untouchable and you was kinda telling me that you would retire and step back from the game. How come you went on and are now even announcing another record? Is it the virus, the addiction,… or...

It's the swineflu.(laughs) Nah man it's like probably my age you know. I just turned forty, and I always convince myself that I'm working on my last record as that makes me work harder to make better music, but also I don't wanna outstay my welcome. I feel it's better to quit while ahead like, the day I realize I can't make a better album than my last I will quit, and after the follow up to Victory I'll most likely quit actually, but I've said that so many times now I know it's starting to sound like that story with the boy yelling "Wolf..Wolf!", then when he doesn't yell the wolf really ate him (laughs), and I guess the same might happen with me, and I won't make no big announcement but just fade out when it's time.

You seem to be heavy on the networking sites lately. Have you experienced the value of it in the form of more-sales or (new) people getting to your music?

Definitely! I've been steady movin' more digital units for every album, and much thanks to Foundation Media for the extended versions, and Instrumental album releases too. I'm excited to see how Victory will do as I have a better promo strategy for this one than before, and a lot more people helping me out. More and more people seem to check for my music too which is great, but I will always make music for the fans of hardcore Hiphop. I appreciate the love I get from anyone not into Hiphop as well, but the heads, and keeping Hiphop alive and well, is most important to me.

What's up with Unkut Records? You gave us a hint, that you would be launching some artists… Can you tell us more about those projects?

Yes. Infinito 2017 and I have a new band called Next Universe, and I'm putting out our album titled Classic Regulations on Uncut early next year. That track from Victory is a taste of the sound on the album as it's spacey, jazzy Hiphop beats with intelligence and skills on the mic, and a more laidback approach than my producer albums. It's a great album. I just finished it up yesterday actually.

I've also signed an MC from Atlanta to Uncut, named Mark Deez. He's on Victory, and is a part of a crew named Grindhouse Gang who is Mark Deez, Powder, Dr. ILL, and Lord Lhus also known from The Snowgoons albums. Mark is one of the best MC's of the new generation of cats comin' up, and his album is gonna be crazy so watch out for that. There will be some tracks produced by me on it, but also outside producers from the US, and Norway, or that's the way it looks now. Whatever tracks is the best at the end of recording and mixing the album are the ones to be on it. It should drop in the summer of 2010.

I'm also working on a new EP with Maylay Sparks, and my follow up to Victory, so with some luck there's gonna be like 3-4 releases on Uncut next year, and maybe more.

Suppose you would have to introduce yourself to a Hiphop fan without you being able to let 'em hear your music. What references would you use to explain how you sound like?

That's a good question though. I guess I'd just give them one of my albums, and let the music speak, but since I can't (laughs), I guess hardcore underground Hiphop with an old school touch to it.

What's in your car stereo at this moment?

Don't have a car. I'm one of those environmentalist dudes you know who doesn't drive because there's enough pollution as is, but just as much I never could afford a license cause I'd been buying records..again! (laughs), but at the crib it's been mostly my own stuff lately, and when I don't work on music I listen to the classics I grew up with in the 80's, and House music. I usually get on the tables whenever I have some time and just freestyle mix music for hours. That's how I relax.

Tell the people why and where they should buy Victory...

Because it will change your life like Victory usually does. You can buy it online at Amazon, ITunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, etc.

Thanks for the interview!

Thank you. It's always a pleasure, and much thanks for all your support and help, the great reviews of my albums, and the artwork. Platform8470.com is fam to me, and you help a lot of artists out, and let people know about some great music they might not have known about if it wasn't for y'all. Respect.

 

POSTED 12|07|2009
conducted by wulf

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