Finally got to sit down with Nine:Fifteen. The duo consists of Producer BlakeNine of Virginia and writer Bisquite Powerpoppin residing in Los Angels are about to release their second full length album “Shooting In The Dark”, on May 14th, 2013. Their style is dubbed “Full Moon Funk” and the LP is a nine-track album that examines modern music at its core.
1. First things first, can you tell us how you both met?
BlakeNine: I met Jaysonic aka JetSetJay from Time Machine during the summer of 2000 at an event in Washington DC. Jay and I had been working on some production together at the time. One evening I went to his house and was playing back a track I had been working on the MPC. A voice came from the living room, “that beat is dope!” or something along those lines. That was the track that Bisquite (then Comel_15) wrote for our first release, “Say What”. We put that out in the form of a 7inch July 2001.
2. How do you guys go about creating songs? Where do you start?
BlakeNine: For me it starts with the production. I create music, and from there hand it off to Bisquite.
Bisquite: I usually trying to bring out the vibe I’m feeling from the beat. Recently I been matching images to a beat and trying to express the emotions I think the image is trying to portray. It acts as a guide. It’s said a picture is worth a thousand words. I try to pick a few of those words out.
3. I really like your sound. Do you intentionally create with a particular sound in mind?
BlakeNine: Currently, not really. To be quite honest, I’m not really sure what is going through my mind when I produce these days. Mostly, whether or not I think Bis or if any of my mentors are going to like what I’m doing. I try to keep the listener in mind too. You know, what people are listening to these days, how I can put my own twist on it, and make it relevent to what’s happening currently in music. When I first started out, I’d say the intention of a “particular sound” was important to me. I made most of my music on an SP1200 until about 2007.
Bisquite: The approach I’m taking is largely experimental. That’s the beauty of working with
BlakeNine. We do something and see where it fits. Between “Electric Blanket” and “Shooting In The Dark” I think we hit a middle ground of the ideas we been dishing out. I’m also learning the more technical aspects of song including key signatures and vocal pitch. I feel as though all the experimentation is leading to our best most focused project yet.
4. What do you make your beats on and why?
BlakeNine: Logic Pro and whatever plugins, guitars, and any other musical instruments I can get my hands on. When I was working on putting out The Acorns “Dropping from the Trees” my friend that was mastering that project used Logic. It was my first introduction to computer production. After sitting in all of the mastering sessions, I saw what it could do and decided to make the transition from the Roland VS890 to Logic 7 pro for my DAW.
5. Who are some of your influences?
BlakeNine: Early influences include, Peanut Butter Wolf and Madlib. More recently, influences come from whatever I’m listening to at the time. These days, my musical preference isn’t so “one tracked”. I like to keep my mind and ears as open as possible. I’m all over the place right now. Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of Death Grips, Jai Paul, and Odd Future stuff. My friends, Micah Vellian, and Bisquite PowerPoppin inspire, motivate, influence me a lot too.
Bisquite: Living in California there’s this vibe of creative freedom. There are a lot of artists motivate me from DJ Mekalek to Ariel Pink. I hear an original artist and try to contribute something just as original.
6. How are you working to get your music to the people and what are you doing other artists aren’t?
BlakeNine: We’re working our social media avenues. I’ve sent over 800 emails to blogs. I would hope some of them will take the time to listen to our music. What we are doing differently? We promoted this release with a KickStarter campaign. We were actually successful raising the money to press Shooting in the Dark on vinyl. Very limited copies will be available through our website http://www.candlewaxrecrods.com. We’ve done some cool things recently, t-shirts, record / book tote bags, iPhone covers. I would like to get more creative with our promotion, however I feel like our fan base needs to grow more. That will allow us to take a few more creative risks with how we can reach more people.
7. While pursuing a music career, what have you learned that you wish you knew in the beginning?
BlakeNine: If this is what you want to do, then do it, a full commitment.
Bisquite: I’ve recently had the opportunity to study music theory. It’s given me the ability to really pick songs apart and understand what it is I’m trying to do with my songs. The “why do I like this” questions have been answered which allows me to build on my likes and dislikes.
8. What do you hope people get from your music?
BlakeNine: Listeners that take an open minded approach will enjoy our music. That’s all I can hope they take away from it. A sense that this is something fresh that they have discovered and can claim as their own. You know that feeling you get when you hear something new and interesting musically.
Bisquite: A lot of “whoa this is crazy”, hopefully leaving with a sense that they’re listening to something new.
9. What are you currently working on?
BlakeNine: I’m currently working on new production for up and coming projects, promoting “Shooting in the Dark” as much as possible, as well as working with Bisquite on refining our sound and how we can better present our music in the future.
Bisquite: Trying to get better on my instruments, finish the music theory program I started, new Nine:Fifteen music, shooting videos, working out, not being stress… Life.
Definitely check out Nine:Fifteen and their upcoming releases. I wish them much success for now and in the future.
-Jess @ recordplaystop