Two-piece Manchester based Hip Hop with influences such as - Task Force, Jehst, Braintax. Common, KonnyKon, The Roots, skinnyman, Ty, Kashmere, People Under The Stairs, Harry Love, Cappo, A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock, Souls Of Mischief, Group Home, Plan B Anyone Good etc. Scrabble on the raps and dweller on beats and production.
HipHopInformant: How long have you been involved in Hip-Hop and how did it all begin?
Dwel: I suppose it began shortly after we met each other in about 2002, we met at a 6th form college and I had just got into mixing tracks and beats, and one night I heard scrabble freestylin at a party we were at and I just said "we got to put some of this stuff down". We have been makin new material ever since. Never looked back.
HipHopInformant: Now I know you’re from up north but where are you from exactly and does that influence the way you rhyme?
Dwel: I am from Bolton and Scrabble is originally from Blackburn but is now living in salford. I’m not going to be one of those people who just chatters on about the amount of crime in the area because that’s got nothing to do with what we are about, although it definitely influences our lyrics in some respect due to past experiences, some good....some not so good. We don’t have fancy cars, big gold chains and shit so why rhyme about it? To us it’s more like a Vauxhall nova and 10 Lambert silver ha. No point bein fake, we just two normal northern lads makin hip hop. All there is to it.
HipHopInformant: How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard you before?
Dwel: I’m not sure that I can. As you said in your review, the CD is packed with all sorts of styles and it’s hard to define. That’s just the way we roll! Just listen to it yourselves and make your own minds up (and let me kno if u come up with a way of describin it.) For the time being, I would have to say Gritty Northern Soul!
Dwel: Believe it or not I don’t listen to as much new hip hop as I should (with always workin and writin our own stuff). I seem to be stuck listenin to early 90's hip hop (The Golden Years!). I do listen to mainstream hip hop when I get the chance but usually I’m surfin the more underground raw content.
HipHopInformant: What are your views on Hip-Hop in the UK and do you think that the U.S kind of fades the UK out a bit and why?
Dwel: I think hip hop in the UK has a reasonably strong underground following, and I fear that if it did receive global recognition then it might take something away from it. UK hip hop is unique and we don’t want a pendulum happenin to it. (Pendulum taking drum and bass into the mainstream and ruining it for everyone!).
Id say UK Hip Hop is so different to the US style and yeah the US does shine us out of the picture, but rightly they should as they were the originators so deserve mass credit. UK Hip Hop is more unique and relevant to ourselves, that’s why I could never not like it.
HipHopInformant: Now this was a little while back but, how was it being featured on Certified Banger On The Radar Volume 2 and how did it happen?
Dwel: I Post in a hip hop forum (www.ukhhf.co.uk) and I saw a thread about it there. Sent him a track and it got put on the CD just like that. The site always being updated and there is always somethin fresh goin on. Just received a promo for the Certified Banger Vol 3 the other day and Its soundin very tite. Going to have to keep pesterin him with new tracks 24/7!
HipHopInformant: Are there any artists that influence you and your music?
Dwel: Too many to mention and it’s not just hip hop influences, I have been exposed to classical, rock, funk, jazz etc over the years (having studied GCSE and A level Music and previously playing in Rock Bands in early teens). This has definitely given me a vision of the style of beat that I want to create and also the lyrics that we want to write. I’d say my favourite beats are by Pete Rock, he’s got a crazy gift where he makes a banger every time he makes a beat. I hope to acquire this skill over the years!!
HipHopInformant: Are there any artists you’d like to work with?
Dwel: Hell as long as people are good, I want to work with them. Just done a track with 777 called 'Its Time' and that turned out really well and its helped me to get my faith back in people (some people say they will collab and then you’ll never hear from them again), so it was nice to finally get someone who gets the job done. We said that we would really like to do a track with Dan Bull, That guys a lyrical genie!! I’m goin to have to start mytherin him for a collab.
HipHopInformant: How did the name Simple Samples come about?
Dwel: Simple Samples basically means that we like to keep the beats fresh and defined, not over complicating things, just good solid state hip hop which is then enforced by 'to the point' lyrics from both of us to make it complete. People often think that simple means rubbish, but in our opinion some of the best hip hop tracks have been somewhat simplistic. (For example, souls of mischief, a tribe called quest etc).
HipHopInformant: Tell us about the recent project you completed called Moonlight Vibes.
Dwel: Moonlight Vibes is an eclectic mixture of hip hop infused with interludes and all sorts of different styles of beats and rhymes. We really tried to include a bit of everything to the CD, so not to get pigeon holed in some hip hop sub genre. All in all we are really happy with how it sounds now and have put a lot of hard work into every aspect of it. It took us the best part of a year to write all the desired material, with a few cheeky add libs dotted around here and there, we like to think that it’s an interesting listen.
HipHopInformant: I just heard a beat that Dweller did called Wilderness (Check it out on Youtube its sick!) How did you get into producing and how long does it take you usually to make a beat?
Dwel: I have been producing music for about 8 years, but have been a drummer for even longer which has given me the ability to transfer what I learned on the drums onto the beats that I am making now. I’d say I don’t really have a typical time that I make a beat, every session is unique. I will often sit in my chair nodding my head to the same 4 bar loop for hours on end and if it still sounds good after half an hour of it on repeat then I take it I’m onto a winner!
I’ve always got my 'sample radar' turned on 24/7 because u just never know where a perfect sample will crop up.
HipHopInformant: Is there a big demand for Hip-Hop in the areas where you live and grew up?
Dwel: None what so ever around us locally, We have Mc's the plenty but are more your 'Blackout Crew' style rhymers, which we all know is a devastatingly long way away from well structured hip hop lyricism. The only place we can get to see anything worthwhile is in Manchester. Hip Hoperation seem to have got themselves sorted now which is usually a good do, so big up the hiphoperation guys!
HipHopInformant: Finally, what does the future hold for Simple Samples?
Dwel: We are currently talkin about makin a music vid for one of our tunes which is going to be shot by some friends in Leeds. Been writin some fresh material lately as the CD is now finished. No doubt it will be all appearing on a new Mixtape that we are doing this year, complete with some collaborations with other MCs and producers that we are friendly with. Goin to try and get a night sorted around Manc at some point & Just bought the domain 'simplesamples.co.uk the other week so remember to check it out for all latest updates and downloads!
HipHopInformant: One, more question the HipHopInformant did a review for the Moonlight Vibes Mixtape how did you find it?
Dwel: The review was a blessin mate! Cant think of words. Respect for takin the time out to write so much. We buzzed when we read it!