Ali Shaheed Muhammad took a minute to talk his new That’s My iSh jam jumping off this Friday as well as new projects and travels! Lots of awesomeness in store. Get more information about the party after the jump.
Giant Step: We are super excited to hear you at That’s My iSh this Friday! What can we expect to hear? What’s the vibe going to be like at the party?
Ali Shaheed Muhammad: I’m excited too. For too long, Manhattan has been the go to place for nightlife. I’m looking to shake things up with my That’s My iSh party and turn the focus towards Brooklyn. Expect to hear anything between Elton John and Lil John. We touching all genres, but with an emphasis on the good good, not radio good.
GS: What personal projects are you working on these days? When will the world get to hear them?
Ali Shaheed: My main personal projects right now are my second solo LP and my Artist, Ja Poet. I’m not done with the album, but I’m looking to release singles by the end of August. Ja Poet’s mixtape is one song from finished. We’re gonna release his mixtape in a month and then start recording his album.
GS: How about your production work? Who have you been working with and how is that all coming along?
Ali Shaheed: Doc Martin and I produced two songs for John Legend’s upcoming album. One of the songs is the title track. We had a good time putting that together. John, what can I say, he is an amazing singer and a wizard in the studio. I have great respect for his approach. I only wish more artist were as focused. Doc & I also worked on Alice Smith’s album. She’s flawless! I hate/love the way that she makes singing look so effortless (kids don’t try that at home unless you rehearse all day). In additions to Alice, we worked with The Weeknd. He’s a phenomenal singer, his voice and persona is it’s own atmosphere. He has made a huge impact already, and he’s just getting started. I’m looking forward to his next release. I also co-produced a song for a new artist signed to Boardwalk; her name is ZZ Ward. ZZ has a great voice and is an incredible singer/songwriter and performer. Her music is deeply rooted in blues. I had fun working with her and her team. I look forward to seeing her artistry come to life.
GS: How do you feel like your approach to music has changed/evolved over the years, particularly from Stereotypes to now?
Ali Shaheed: Evolution and change is a fabric of being human. My aim on a personal level is to grow and evolve, same with my music. I know more now than I did when I was recording Stereotypes. At that time the world had changed and I had a lot of vehement feelings which came out in the music. Also, it was the first time that I stepped up to the mic, and I made a huge conscious effort not to sample. This time, I’m a lot calmer. I am a much better instrumentalist, and I’m good with mixing it all up. Even though I have changed, my approach remains ever the same, & that is to not be repetitive.
GS: We know you’ve been on the road a lot, DJing and what not. Tell us about your travels.
Ali Shaheed: I love hitting the road to dj. It is a great way to get a pulse on what moves the people in every corner of the world. Recently, I was in Manila rocking with The Architect Afrika Bambaataa. The Filipino people are awesome. I saw performances from some of the hop-hop artists. Their passion was enormous, and based on their sound you would swear they were from Detroit. Rotterdam was live, Cologne was live, Nelson Canada was live. The people in Bulgaria were shy, but they had so much love it was dope. LA & San Fran always live and full of energy. Toronto, LA & NYC are my favorite places to dj. One of my highlights was rocking the 2012 Dilla party in LA with DJ Maseo (from De La Soul). Maseo brings a presence of love & laughter enough to fill Yankee Stadium. Touching the stage with him elevates my game and my spirits and the fact that we were there to rep Dilla made it euphoric.
GS: Anything else you want to give folks a heads up on or share?
Ali Shaheed: Nah, I think I have said enough. I just want to thank everyone for their love through the years and don’t be too shy to cross those bridges into Brooklyn, especially when a That’s My iSh party is jumping off. Peace.
Enter our contest to win tickets to That’s My Ish
That’s My Ish!
w/ J. Period and DJ Beetle
Friday, July 13, 2012
Tickets: $5 before 10PM, $10 after
The Dumbo Loft
155 Water St