One of my favorite producers goes by the name of Nottz. If you have never heard of him, I am sure you know at least one song he has produced. He has worked with names such as Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, J. Dilla and many more. If you love music, if you love Hip Hop, I guarantee you that you own an album that has production by Nottz on it. Recently he released his first solo album named “You Need This Music”. And indeed, you really do. The album is great and features some amazing artists on it. With the release of this album, I wanted to contribute in introducing Nottz to a wider audience. As busy as this creative man is, he found a hole in his schedule to answer a few questions for me. Thanks for that Nottz. 🙂
– Who is Nottz?
Nottz is a Norfolk VA. native, 1 man band & production half of the Rawkoncept brand who’s determined to keep real/ true Hip Hop alive 1 day at a time.
– When and why did you start producing?
I started producing when I was 14 or 15 yrs old. I got into music because of my dad & big bro’s. My dad was a big DJ out here in VA, back in the 70’s in which he had a lot of old records that I had a chance to get a hold of. My older bro ended up DJing as he got older from what he learned from my dad. After that, all three of my bro’s started dabbling with the beats. The two oldest of my bro’s met up with Darryl Sloan (who’s my manager), started teaming up & making music together. I started out rapping and being no one would give me beats not taking me serious, I started making my own. My bro’s & manager stopped while I kept going. This is where I ended up. I love my job!!
– What was in your opinion, your breakthrough moment?
The 1st 3 tracks on the E.L.E. LP was my break through moment.
– Having worked with some of the biggest names in the industry (J, Dilla, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West), how did that change you? As a person as well as an artist.
Just being around these folks changed my whole way of structuring music. I’ve learned how to really put a RECORD together instead of just rhyming & making beats. It’s a big difference between a beat maker & a producer, a rapper & an MC. Producers provide the canvas & MC’s paint the picture. Beat makers & rappers can’t. Dilla told me “Don’t change for nobody”, so I took that advice & ran with it. Busta’s work ethics are beyond this belief. Pure workaholic. It’s nothing watching & learning from folks who love doing what they love.
– As much production as you have done for big artists, a relatively big amount of people don’t know who you are, yet can sing along all songs. How do you feel about that?
Ha, it was cool when I was just the producer. No one knew the face but the music. Didn’t have to worry about folks coming up to everywhere I went. Free to roam the streets with no problems. But now, as a new artist I have to put my face out there more. Got it’s advantages & disadvantages.
– You have just released your first solo album “You need this music”. How did that project come about?
All of this wack shit played on the radio & TV made me put this record out. Music with no substance is constantly shoved in everyone’s face & people are open armed for it. My kids listen to the radio & watch video’s that I’m talking about. A majority of the records coming out, make it seem like your IQ level i dropping a few when you hear ’em. My manager pushed & pushed me to put out an LP and hearing the bullshit being played this year alone was the icing on the cake.
– How did you select artists for this project? Based on what criteria?
Well, everybody on the LP, I’ve worked with over the years. I kept in contact with them & didn’t have to chase them down to get involved with the project. The majority of them asked to be down with the LP. Everyone were just for the records they were on. I went off my feeling for the songs to pick folks.
– The album is incredible. Is this also a way for you to put your name out more, instead of staying in the credits in the booklets? Or is it purely about music for you?
Both. The more & more people see the name, the more people realize real Hip Hop is still around. The fans need it. The world needs it.
– You’re also rapping on the album. Can we expect Nottz to do this more in the future, or maybe as a featured MC on other projects?
Oh hell yeah, I’ll keep going if the wack shit keeps getting made & played or til my heart stops.
– What is your most memorable studio moment so far? (I am sure you have lots, just pick one)
Seeing Busta bounce from studio room to studio room (mixing & laying vocals) then take a quick break to perform at the Apollo, come back to the studio & work again. Wooooooooow!
– Having worked with so many artists already, who is on top of your list that you really have to have worked with within your career?
Busta Rhymes 1st for giving me my biiig break, then everybody I’ve kept in contact with. Too many to name.
– We all know Nottz don’t stop. He stays on the grind. What do you have cookin’ right now for the near future?
THE “Rawth” EP with me & Asher Roth, Rawkoncept artists (Stacy Epps, Derek 32zero, Truck North, Ced Hughes, Mykestro), my next LP, Busta Rhymes, Snoop, Joell Ortiz, Royce, etc. the list goes on.
– What would your ultimate accomplishment be, as a producer? (winning a grammy, having worked with a certain musician, etc)
Just getting my foot in the industry door was my biggest accomplishment. Having the chance to exploit my talents to the world. i’ll be here for awhile. Haha.
– What are the most important rules that Nottz lives by?
Stay in my own lane. Stay focused. Never let anyone control my creative flow.
– Last words, to the fans or in general?
Keep grinding & everything will work out if you let it. Oh & read more. Learn the business before getting into it.