Artist and producer Hey!Zeus.i has been in the game longer than most. Starting out in the late 1990s he has released a string of underground hip hop project, signing with German label Project Mooncircle under his Obba Supa project.
He has recently had his latest project ‘I ain’t apart of this’ signed up to the mighty Par Excellence, which is run by the same management as Foreign Beggars.
Yo Mr Zeus, what’s good, it’s a been a minute but its great to hear new content – how did the hook up with Par Excellence come about?
Peace. yeah it has been a minute, and thanks I’m happy your ear holes are happy. Hooking up with Par Excellence means a lot – Having a massive respect for them man, I’ve seen Foreign Beggars (Par Ex is run by Orifice from FB) cause much savagery at Glastonbury, the club night Kung-fu and once in Prague. So to go from being in the crowd to holding their respect is a huge deal to me. Also the catalogue of Par Ex with guys like Kidkanevil and Strange U dropping stuff for them shows that they got good ears and after speaking to Kidkanevil and Strange U they had mucho goodness to say about them……..
The whole project has a very anti-establishment feel to it, what inspired you to go that direction?
Working with Kwesi has always been cool. its a very organic process that changes accordingly to whatever we are doing in music and life. many times ill go to the gas chambers and we will end up having a debate/convo on whatever. i like to think i get his direction of things and trust and believe in the man.
Which track were you most proud of, looking back at it retrospectively?Contradiction has been like six years in the making. I’ve rewrote it numerous times and recorded over different music. It used to be my open mic verse and was a go to when I was hosting Alex Nutt’s ‘Mixxed nutts’ radio show on rinse.fm.
You’re well rooted in music, both as a vocalist and as a producer – do you feel that your broad experience has given you greater depth of insight when creating new music?
Yeah I do think it has – there have been many times I’ve sent a beat to an emcee with an arrangement that may have basic changes in say the key, chord progression or even just what I’m chopping, and their vocals would never follow suit or they would approach it with the general 16 bar, 8 bar, 16 bar, 8 bar regardless of what the music is doing. Teknical Development gets it. So if I get a beat from Blue Daisy I’m bearing in mind the song as a whole not just getting down what i write when it comes to my delivery/concept/bars.
What do you feel the project says about you as an artist that you haven’t shown in your past output?
I’ve actually approached this with listeners in mind. Anyone who knows my instrumental projects or even the Obba Supa knows it goes in super deep with the conceptualising of tunes and at most times very avant-garde. I still feel like this project is different but I wanted to be a lot more direct with what I was saying and how.
Most of the time my favourite Nas tunes are the tunes where he sticks to a single idea e.g. ‘Rewind’, ‘One Mic’ etc so with ‘This or That’ and ‘Contradiction’ I wanted to use wordplay as the entertainment factor and then if you so desire you can dissect it line for line, but the whole songs can stand on their own and I believe the lyrics could too.
Any live shows coming up that your fans can you see you perform the project?
On August 18th I am gonna be doing the damn thing, at Birthdays in Dalston. Line up is looking solid, we got Kidkanevil, Blue Daisy, Strange U and a very special guest who is blowing up at the moment….and a couple more goodies. Hopefully i’ll be able to put together a tour at some point.
Which three artists would you love to work with, dead or alive, any genre?