Myke Forte Interview
We recently caught up with Birmingham based producer, beat-maker and visual artist Myke Forte, stalwart of the legendary Birmingham beat making collective Louis Den, his productions have featured on BBE, Eat Good, Louis Den and World Expo Records.
How did you first get into music?
I first got into music when my dad gave me an electric guitar (the strings were broken by the way) because a couple of his favourite musicians at the time were Jimmy Hendrix and Brian May. He loved Queen and thought he was a rockstar! From that point me and my younger sister would make up songs and pretend that we were in a band and I was playing the lead guitarist role. From there I got into MCing a little later and would rap and MC to jungle and Garage/House when I was about 13-14. I was pretty good, They used to called me Mickey D and later changed to Liquid MC. Years layer I found a passion for making beats after I messed with an application on the PS2 called Music Generator and Fluid.
Tell us a bit about your journey into producing and the key people, genres, artists, releases that have influenced you.
I left university during my second year of a Visual Communication degree once I found out I was going to be a father. I needed to find a job and support my girlfriend at the time. I thought that I could find a job for a while and decided to take up a new hobby as there was no space in my current home to paint, draw or create artwork so I decided to download a copy of reason 2.0 and start making beats. I grew up listening to Soul, Jazz, Drum & Bass and Hip Hop. I liked all types of music to be honest, anything that had a soulful vibe or mellow vibe to it I gravitated towards. I would say that Slum Village: Fantastic, Madlib: Shades of blue, Nas: Illmatic, Mos Def & Talib Kweli: Black Star, The Roots: Things Fall Apart Dillinger: Cyberton really influenced my musical style. There are so many though, if you asked me tomorrow it would be different!
Your style seems particularly difficult to categorize. How would you describe your sound?
I didn’t think it was, I always thought that people saw me as a hip hop producer until I looked back at some of my music. I don’t know how to categorise it but I would say I have a certain sound. Maybe I would say that my music is soulful?
My wife thinks its soulful; technical but smooth, haha!
Tell us about the music scene in the UK right now and what is happening in Birmingham.
I don’t know much about the scene in the UK, I feel out the loop sometimes, but I would say that the talent in the UK is being recognised and rightfully respected. There are so many super dope producers around, its an interesting time for music. Birmingham has had some really talented underground producers and Mc’s/Singers get noticed: C4, Preditah, Knox Brown, Lady Leeshur, Urban Monk, Kelakovski, Malik, Kosyne. Birmingham artists seem to be talking ownership of the music and investing time and money into turning it into something ready to be packaged as a finished product. I’m really happy too see that shift instead of everything being about London all the time.
You work with visuals as well as sound tell us a bit about how that works. Do you have any visual projects you are working on at the moment?
Well, I create most of the art work for my projects, if its not me then its a good friend of mine Daniel Isles Aka Dirty Robot. He’s an amazing illustrator and comic artist. A lot of my projects have an artistic element to them, whenever I combine art and sound I call the project “AudioPixel”. I’m working on a new project which will feature some very cool artwork and a soundtrack to accompany it, amongst other things. It features a panda travelling to space to find something. It will be very unique and very stylised.
What does 2017 hold for Myke Forte?
The main thing I want to achieve this year is to Release the “Cosmik Panda LP” and hold an exhibition of some art pieces that I have created. I also want to start my next project, which I’ve been planning for two years.