We had a chance to tap in with no.pulp recently, a dual-threat producer/graphic artist from Upstate NY. His standout project Lobster Tales features an interesting mix of instrumentals and features from Chuck N Lock, Jah-Monte Ogbon and Sekwence. This is a man on the rise, his crispy drums and minced up chops make for an interesting listen no matter the format.
RD: We understand this is your first interview, thanks for coming on. Can you give the listeners a bit of your background?
NP: I’m a producer/graphic artist from Upstate NY. Capital Region. I started making beats and doing graphics around the same time, about 7 years ago. Dropped a bunch of stuff on Soundcloud and Bandcamp pre 2015, took most of the tapes down and am currently getting back into sharing online more regularly.
RD: After a few instrumentals projects, you released a series of Koncept Jackson remixes. What is it about Koncept that inspired you to make that?
NP: I’ve been listening to Koncept’s music for awhile now. He was probably one of the first underground rappers I heard that is part of this lofi movement right now. I remember bumping his Operation Liv Lav tape frequently. I actually sent him some beats a few years ago but nothing really happened with it. The whole Richmond scene (Mutant Academy) is crazy they’re all killing it.
RD: Lobster Tales is the new album, featuring a few artists we know in Chuck N Lock and Sekwence, and a few new names. Can you break down the selection process for the guests, and how the vocal tracks came together?
NP: For the beats; me and Isaac LaRue went to high school together so I had to get a beat collab with him on there. I had never worked with oxela before but he sent me some fire loops and chops and it worked out. I got a few beats with KillerKane that were supposed to be on there too but they didn’t end up fitting with everything else (you might find them somewhere soon).
For the verses I had like 5 or so beats that I thought might work better with raps. I knew I was gonna have to get Sekwence on one but everything else kinda came up as I was working. I sent Jah Monte and Sekwence the same beats, they both picked different ones. Both tracks came out just how I wanted them too. Jah Monte was the first to send his back and it’s probably still my favorite. I sent Chuck N Lock a few but they ended up specifically asking for one beat I made in a beat battle. I think Vinyl Villain picked the sample. Shoutouts to him and Chuck N Lock they blessed that beat. Jay Plus came in at the end when I was finishing everything up. Jah Monte linked us and I sent him a few tracks off the album, he picked which one he wanted to go on and that’s that.
RD: How do you decide what stays instrumental, and what can get rapped on?
NP: I kind of let the rappers decide that in a way. Most of the tracks they put verses to were going to be on the album either way. It was just a matter of whether or not they wanted to rap on that specific beat.
RD: You designed the cover for Lobster Tales, what came first production or graphics design?
NP: When I first started really working on Lobster Tales I didn’t have a set release date or any time frame I was giving myself. I had about half of the tracks done then hit a rut where I wasn’t finding samples I liked and didn’t know what other beats I wanted for it. So I stopped making beats for it and focused just on the cover art. It’s a rendition of sorts on a Lobster Johnson comic book cover. Once I had the cover made it was a lot easier to finish off the rest of the album.
RD: Do you actively shop your beats?
NP: Kind of. I am 100% more keen to work with an artist who’s music I already know. I’d rather work like that then be sending beats to just anybody. That being said, hit me up on twitter or something if anyone wants to work, we’ll see what happens.
RD: Is your next move planned out as the latest project releases, or is it more of a case-by-case basis?
NP: I’m always making beats. Just about everyday. Same with graphics. Sometimes I make one and it inspires me to start a beat tape from it, sometimes I send them to some rappers, a lot of them I just sit on for awhile. My computers full right now, so I’ve been using strictly my SP and MPC then saving them on tapes to go back through at a later time and find the ones I think are worth exporting. HD Tapes is next up.
Editors Note: HD Tapes is out now on his bandcamp, link at the end of article.
RD: One emcee/one producer projects have become quite popular, is that something you could see yourself doing?
NP: Those are the best and most cohesive projects. Madvillainy, Return Of The Mac, Liquid Swords etc. Me and Paranom are working on one right now. I don’t want to give out to many details but let it be known we’ve been working on it for awhile now. Way before I even started Lobster Tales.
RD: If you could have any 5 talents on the next NP album, who would they be?
NP: Mach-Hommy, Mach-Hommy, Mach-Hommy, Mach-Hommy, Mach-Hommy.
Editors Note 2: Well played.
RD: Ultimate goal in both the visual and aural fields?
NP: Have both my beats and graphics get me to the point where I can support myself financially. Lately I’ve been really influenced by the work RUFF MERCY has done with animation loops and incorporating videos and animating into one. I bought Wacom tablet because of him. I’m trying to do more of that stuff as well as album covers, promotional graphics, etc.
Follow the man on twitter and IG @no.pulp