G Devan Smith aka Skattershot is a musician from the Tacoma Washington underground hip hop scene. He agreed for an interview via email.
What is your artist name?
Why did you choose this particular name?
SKATTERSHOT: Originally, I was producing under the name Monti Rock, the Ultimate Bass Technician; it became harder to produce Bass Music while I had so many other Genres I wanted to do. That, and finding out after 20 years the artist using the name Monti Rock is still alive… meh, who knew? Besides, Skattershot describes me more: I shoot out different genres at ANY direction. Bwahahaha!
Where do you currently reside?
SKATTERSHOT: I currently live on the Eastside…specificly McKinley Hill, where it’s not a normal day if you don’t hear drama yellin’…
Who are your influences in music?
SKATTERSHOT: I have plenty of influences, from Drum’n’Bass pioneer Goldie, Bjork, Dj Magic Mike (the older stuff) to Ronnie Laws, Commodores, and even some classical like some of Chopin’s stuff and Ragtime/Blues/Jazz like Fats Waller, Bessie Smith, and Louis Jordan, not to mention some rock groups too, like Rush, Led Zepplin…
Describe the process of how you make a song start to finish?
SKATTERSHOT: How I make a song… it’s 50/50, depending with what genre I start with and the tempo. Then I think of a beat pattern and things just flow from there.
Flipside, depending if I’m designing new synth patches for a synth plugin (I got plenty! BWAHAHA). If something feels good it comes out from there. If I use pre-made loops (not made by myself) I would still do original things; if I use a synth loop, then I program the beats. If I use a beat loop, then I do the synth. But mostly I’m all “Original”
I use up to three programs: FL Studio, Cubase and an old program called Tunafish. That has practicaly NO latency when it comes to MIDI-tracking.
I bounce everything to 44.1 32 bit. It’s all about the resolution, not the sample size! Then when I’m ready to master I use Cubase.
Do you perform live?
SKATTERSHOT: As soon as I make enough cash to get some equipment, I’ll hit the scene…though I’ll acknowledge it’s gonna be rougher for me than other folks.
Are there any artists in the local area you follow?
SKATTERSHOT: I’ve been jamming Sic Ill’s Maedemic. Scott Elkins…though he’s from up north. I’ve tried to listen to other artists, but I get disappointed.
What do you think of northwest hip-hop and it’s chances to become a mainstream trend?
SKATTERSHOT: Honestly? Not good. I’m older, so I remember going to Lincoln when Criminal Nation was out; the one thing I don’t see much is unity. I know some artists have been going all over the Northwest, which is damn good. But it be even better when I can pick up the Stranger, for example, and see a spotlight on a Tacoma rapper. Or better yet, an MC (yeah, there’s a big difference).
Actually thinking about it… The worse you can do is be a trend. Because trends fade. Build community and don’t get into stupid beefs. And talk about outside the block. I’ve got friends–and myself– who are tired of hearing the same things. Be original.
Have you heard of Macklemore? What do you think about him?
SKATTERSHOT: I’ve heard of Macklemore, but I didn’t really hear a track of his until my son played it for me. What I think of him? I don’t know him. Did he ever do shows in Tacoma?
Do you have any projects out right now?
SKATTERSHOT: Actually, I do have projects out. As Monti Rock, I have an album (From Light to Dark: A Journey Into Basslands) and two EPs (Koncepts, Monti’s Theme). You can check iTunes and other stores worldwide. As Skattershot, my single Breasts is currently on CDBaby but hopefully in the other stores before too long. Another single will come out next month, an edited version of Always Here (Maybe) will come out next month. If I get some positive reviews (and Sales), then I will release Skattershot Vol. 1: In Yo Face!
Do you have any other interests other than music?
SKATTERSHOT: My other interests are mainly hanging with my son, and my girlfriend. My son is learning how to run sound at his church, and I’m going to give him my notes I took when I was going to the Art Institute, as well as teaching him how to produce. My other interest is keeping up with events and learning more about Black History.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
SKATTERSHOT: Five years from now, God willing, I’ll still be making music, whether I’m in a large house or in a cardboard box. Had to put it in the backburner when my son was born and when I was married. Now…I’ll do it until I die!
Do you have any shout-outs?
SKATTERSHOT: I like give a shout out to God, first and foremost. I wouldn’t be here–literally– if it weren’t for Him. My son, Jordan who I love more than my own life, who I’m doing all of this for. My babygirl Anna. And…
Everybody who had faith in me and my music by buying it, and telling other people about my music… even when I had my dark moments. All my friends and family who had fully supported my artistic endeavors by endorsing me on Linkedin and telling their real life friends. And telling me which songs were crap…true honesty. They have my eternal love and blessings.
Check Skattershot Online:
@Basslands on twitter
“SKATTERSHOT” INTERVIEW BY DEMETRIUS “SIC ILL” JACKSON