With two well respected instrumental releases earlier this year, talented and hardworking hip hop producer IV The Polymath has recently released a third instrumental project by the name of “Drum Machines Have No Soul.” The album was released at the end of July 2010 and is for NAME YOUR PRICE over on his bandcamp page. 10% of all proceeds goes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
IV brings a progressive hip hop sound fused with all the necessary ingredients, including jazz, soul and funk. Listeners can expect to be taken on a musical journey on each of his tracks. On top of his instrumental releases, IV has also produced for some talented MC’s including Jondis & Junclassic. With underground radio play and positive reviews, BC3 looks forward to hearing more dope music from IV in the future.
Go support IV and help the kids!
We got a chance to connect with IV and find out more about him and his upcoming projects. Once again SHOUT OUT TO IV for taking the time out to do this with us.
CHECK IT OUT:
BC3: Hey IV thanks for taking the time to sit down with us and chat for a few. Let the people know who you are and where you’re from before we jump into the questions.
IV: Thanks for the interview. My name is IV the Polymath & I’m 26 years old. I make music, eat plants, & collect records. I grew up in Saginaw, MI & Potsdam, NY, but I currently reside in Muncie, IN, USA.
BC3: Could you tell us where the name IV the Polymath comes from and what does it mean?
IV: Well my government name ends with the Roman numeral IV so that’s where that comes from, but I pronounce it “eye-vee” because I feel that it’s the artist’s job to inject people with musical dopeness, you know, to provide that escape. Polymath was added later on to describe a wide-range of knowledge both in & outside of music.
BC3: How long have you been making beats and what inspired you to start?
IV:Well I really didn’t start making beats until a couple of years ago. I started playing piano, drums & guitar at an early age & after playing in a lot of bands growing up, I really just wanted to do everything myself. I got tired of the lifestyle so I decided to go away to college & play basketball. I guess I was meant to do music, because after graduation I got hurt real bad & came right back to music.
BC3: What was your first piece of equipment and how did you feel when you completed your first beat?
IV: I used to mess with this cheap Yamaha keyboard my mom had that let you record up to 6 tracks. There was no quantizing, sampling, sequencing or anything like that, you just played for 5 minutes & then chose a different sound & played over the first layer & so on. When I realized I could make complete songs all by myself I didn’t really want to jam with anybody anymore haha.
BC3:We see that you are a hardworking guy, what do you like to do when you aren’t making music?
IV: Thanks for noticing! I’m actually pretty boring outside of music. I enjoy making vegan food, walking around outside, observing people, digging for records & I’m also wrapping up a master’s degree in Psychology this summer.
BC3:In the beats that we hear by you we hear some hip hop influences. Without getting too technical, how do you feel the role of producer has progressed from the early stages of hip hop to now?
IV: Well nowadays a lot of the time you see a rapper’s album with 10 different producers on it, whereas back in the day it would just be one. I think the music suffers from that, because people are more worried about individual songs than albums & building a catalogue. On the positive side, the instrumental album is gaining more acceptance & is a great way for producers to express themselves. Honestly I feel like music is in between where it was & where it’s going to be. It’s a really confusing, but exciting time to be making music.
BC3: Who are your influences and who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
IV: Grover Washington Jr., Pete Rock, Roy Ayers, Sonic Youth, Damu the Fudgemunk, Herbie Hancock, random people walking down the street, Roland Kirk, the Velvet Underground, 90’s Seattle music, Cymande, & everyone that I work with today. We all inspire each other& it’s dope. Jondis & Junclassic are like family to me – they both influence me in different ways. They’ll always have first dibs on any beat I create & I’ve got a dope record coming out with each of them in 2011.
As far as collaborations go, I’d like to start combining visual art with the music in new & innovative ways. Cory Peak from Sassbologna Records & I are brainstorming on it right now. His art is really dope – he did the cover for my last album “Never Sleep II.” I’d like to work with some female singers too& also Homeboy Sandman is dope to me.
BC3: What do you feel are your biggest challenges in this industry and do you have any advice for aspiring beat makers?
IV: I’d say balance. As an independent artist, you really have to do everything yourself. You might want to just make beats all day, but you’ve got to promote your projects, establish relationships, book shows, make phone calls, & the whole nine. For some people that takes the fun out of it, but it’s part of the game. I’d say to the aspiring beat makers to just look at what everybody else is doing & then do something completely different. Develop your own style & never share your secrets with anyone.
BC3: What goals do you have in relation to music?
IV: I’d like to have a respectable catalogue of vinyl when it’s all said & done. In the year 2050 or whatever, I want some kid to come up on my record while digging in the crates, bring it home, put it on & just bug out! I’d also like to be able to use music to raise awareness & money for certain causes while encouraging others do to the same. I want to continue to evolve, push the boundaries, inspire & eventually teach others.
BC3: Are there any upcoming projects to be on the lookout for?
IV: Definitely – I’m working out the details with Visceral View Entertainment for a possible vinyl release sometime before the year is up. It’s a project called “Push IVward” & is a little more cinematic than the other 2 albums. Junclassic & I are working on an UnderCurrent album for 2011 & Jondis & I are preparing an i.deals record as well. Also, the i.deals EP instrumentals will drop for free in a couple of weeks & as always, new vinyl mixes, random videos & live material will appear sporadically @ theonlyiv.blogspot.com.
BC3: At Beatcultur3 we’re all about the science of beatmaking, what is your science to beatmaking?
IV: Well my main instruments are the MPC 1000, a Technics turntable & a room full of wax. I also occasionally like to use keyboards, pianos, congas, & various other instruments. I usually pick a stack of 5 or 10 records & grab a couple of sounds off each one before doing anything else. I like sounds that are isolated like a guitar note, bass note, horn, etc. as opposed to samples where the whole band is playing. Instead of looping, I usually like to play out my own riffs & melodies with the sounds using the 16 levels function. A lot of times I get frustrated because people will say how dope a horn loop I used was when I played it out on the 16 levels! Not that there’s anything wrong with the traditional methods of sampling, I just like to challenge myself in a different way. All of the main melodies in the Drum Machines Have No Soul album are played out in 16 levels. I plan on doing some videos in the future to better explain what I’m trying to say.
Anyway, I usually like about 15-25 layers to a beat so I can play it live on the MPC. Whenever I record the final beat from the MP into the digital realm I play it out live using the track mutes. If I mess up then I have to start over meaning it can take hours just to record the beat after it’s finished. Some people think that’s cool & others think I’m buggin, but it gives the music a live feel & leaves room for improvisation. I enjoy the challenge.
BC3: Where can folks reach you for additional information?
IV: Theonlyiv.blogspot.com is the place to be!
BC3: Any shout outs? If so feel free too.
IV: Huge thanks to BEATCULTUR3 for the dope interview! What up to Jondis, Junclassic, my family, Jwho, Usha & Mel, Cory Peak & the Sassbologna fam, Diles & Visceral View (the future), & everyone who listens to my music. I really appreciate your support!