It’s been a while since I posted one of these and for that I apologies, but hopefully I can make up for it. This week we sit down with Professor Elemental one of the most prominent members of steam-punk hip-hop or “Chap Hop.” Never heard of Chap Hop? Then clearly you didn’t read my previous write up on him. However, it might be better to let the good Professor explain.
For our readers who are just meeting you, who is Proffesor Elemental?
I'm an explorer, inventor, animal manipulator, exotic dancer, tea lover and Hip Hop emcee.
What is Chap-Hop?
It's the world's smallest and most polite musical genre. Basically Hip Hop with a slight lemony twist- rap music served with gin and cucumber sandwiches. It's everso much fun.
Where do you get your beats?
Beats for the Professor come exclusively from Tom Caruana. He is the best Hip Hop producer in the country and constantly inspires me with his prolific output and excellent tea making skills.
Where are the inspiration for you songs come from?
Deep inside my ever fizzing brain. I read a lot of comics and listen to some very odd music, so that helps a bit.
You’ve worked with a few collaborators in your career. How do you think that effects the creative process?
Well, I made a decision only to work with people who I actually liked, so most times my collaborations are also excuses to hang out with people who's company I enjoy. Everyone has a very different approach. I tend to be enthusiastically slapdash for example, where as someone like Jon Clark (my partner in rapping in the group 'special school') is polished and meticulous- in a good collaboration you both learn a bit from each other.
Do you think your fan base is different from different musical genres?
Hmm, Well I guess so, a bit. I am lucky enough to be involved in the world of Steampunk, which is populated by a tribe of nerdy, committed, polite and funny folk- all of whom have been really nice to me over the years. I think the main difference is that I consider myself to be friends with nearly everyone who listens to my music, or at least and an acquaintance. That's why gigs are so much fun, we are all involved on an equal level.
What’s been your biggest change musically between "The Indifference Engine" and "Professor Elemental: Father Of Invention?"
Well, musically I wanted to keep the vibe pretty similar. There's nothing worse than a band with a successful album who then throw it all away to do their second album in a new style, thus alienating their audience. That said, this album is broader- with some more numbers to dance to, a little darkness and much more of the character and day to day life of the professor.
Are there some other Chap-Hop artists on the scene you enjoy?
No. Well, that;s not true actually. I was engaged in a rap beef with Mr B the gentleman rhymer, but he turned out to be a lovely fellow and I now thoroughly enjoy his tunes. That's really it for Chap Hop, there's only us in it! Plenty of good hip hop to recommend though: Homeboy Sandman, Dizraeli and the Small gods, Torae, King Porter Stomp and on and on...
Any new music in the works? (And when can we expect it?)
Tons and tons- there are three Hip Hop albums that i have worked on in collaboration due out in 2013 (with Crespo, The Menagerie and Mr Simmonds), plus there will be a collection of B-sides and remixes from 'father of invention' entitled 'the attic' and due out in the Summer. Beyond that, I have grand plans... you can hear the seed of them on the hidden track at the end of 'Father Of Invention'.
Gosh, it’s great to have interviews back! I’d like to thank Professor Elemental for taking the time to talk with us. Now all that’s left to do is end with a song. Here’s the 4th track off the Professor’s new album 'Father Of Invention.'
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