Phat Kat Interview

– How does it feel to be in Amsterdam again?
Again and again and again. I mean you know, it feels how it usually feels, I’m buzzin’ right now.

– This time it’s your own European Tour. Does that feel different?
I mean it feels a little different, but you know that’s what we do, so it’s all good. I love Amsterdam.

– Another Detroit hiphop artist, Detroit is definitely talented. Coming from the same place Slum, Dwele, J. Dilla and others hail from, how was growing up in the D for you?
How was it for Kat growin’ up in the D. Regular stuff, riding my bike, playing football, building clubhouses, just you know, regular stuff. Detroit is a funny place, it’s real clique-ish. You got different crews from different neighborhoods, it’s kinda crazy. But me, I really had carte blanche all around the city. I could go wherever I wanted to go. Detroit is a good place, cold as hell but you know, it’s a good city.

– Music wise, how did Phat Kat get into hiphop?
I got into hiphop, it was like 3 in the morning and I’m watching TV, Jay Leno, or no I think it was Johnny Carson, something was going off on TV and “The freaks come out at night” video came on TV, Whodini did that. And after I saw that, it was a wrap, I knew what I wanted to do. I mean way before then, but that was like a marquee moment, where I was like “whoa”.

– How did it go from there, how did you start rhyming? Or did you start doing something else first?
I used to always write. When I was in elementary school, I was in a creative writing class, I used to win awards for writing short stories. I just acquired that to the whole music thing, that’s where it all came from.

– Who did you hook up with for your first production? Did you do it yourself?
Nah, I actually linked up with Juan Atkins, the techno guy. He had a studio called Metroplex Studio’s and that’s the first place I went to, to record stuff.

– How did you link up with him, did you know him already?
No, I found it in the phonebook. I just called him. I used to look at all the backs of cd covers, just write them all down, I never sent anything but then I looked in the phonebook, found a studio and that’s how it started.

– That’s cool. So you recorded your first track there.
Yeah it was a song called “The Lyricist”.

– “The Lyricist”? Can we hear it?
Hahaha NO!

– Why not?
Hahaha, cause I don’t remember it. I don’t even have it.

– You don’t have it? I’m going to call Juan and see if he still has it.
That would be dope.

– So from that point on, you started doing your thing and people just heard your records?
No, I started doing little talent shows. Like, with the demo that I recorded, I started doing talent shows. It was crazy; I was winning all the talent shows I was going to. And I was thinking it might be something to this. So I started recording more and you know, it just turned into a career.

– You have worked with a lot of people, how did you get to that? Because you just told us how you started doing the talent shows and all, but how did you get up with these other artists?
Well we all really linked up at this spot called “The Rhythm Kitchen”, it was free hiphop shit. It was a Chinese food spot and they used to have open mics. And that’s where we all met up at. We started hanging out at Amp Fiddler’s crib, started recording and here we are.

– What got you to do “The undeniable LP”? Was that just a bunch of tracks that you recorded, put together? Or was it structurally recorded?
Basically, well, it wasn’t structurally recorded. “Carte Blanche” was structurally recorded. But the Undeniable, that album was pushed back so many times, when it came out, it was almost 4 years old, people don’t know that, but I’m letting you know. The album was almost 4 years old when it came out. I mean, it was cool, it did what it did, but that wasn’t really a true representation of myself.

– How did you get up with Barak Records?
Bawack? I mean Barak? Through Slum. And I wish I knew back then what I know now, cause I wouldn’t have done it. It’s a corny label.

– You are signed with Look Records now. How did you get up with them?
Yeah new label, new logo. Actually I got up with Look Records through Percee P. Him and DJ Design are cool and we were just having a conversation and it happened to come up. And Design was like “So Kat what are you doin’?” Gave him my number, we called and we talked and made it happen. It was just as simple like that.

– You released the single “Cold Steel” before you dropped your second album “Carte Blanche”, was that to hype the album? Cause people had been awaiting the album already.
Yeah it was just to build up the buzz. And “Cold Steel” was just the perfect set up song for the album, so that’s why we put that out. And then the album was supposed to come out in April but the pressing issues took time, there was a backorder on the press from Fatbeats, that’s why we pushed it back to May 8th. That’s why it came out 2 weeks later.

– Are you happy with how the album turned out?
Yeah I am real happy. I really started to pick up on it since I started touring and the video started to make a buzz.

– Did you tour for the album in the US before you came over here? How was the response to the album?
It’s not like it is over here. It was good, you know. But in Europe it’s a whole different thing. The appreciation for the music is far better.

– What is to you, the biggest difference, besides the appreciation?
As far as the fans, I mean its like night and day. Europe and the US is like night and day when it comes to music and the appreciation of the fans is different.

– What do you think caused that?
I would say the US is oversaturated with so much garbage and trash. It really gets filtered out when it comes over here. It’s not like y’all getting a lot of that garbage. I mean y’all not gonna accept the garbage that comes from over there, over here. It’s not manufactured over here.

– I know it’s only the third day of your tour, but how has the response to your show in Europe been so far?
Yeah we been to Copenhagen before we got here. All the shows are getting better and better. Last night was bananas.

-Is it different now, then when you came over here before?
Yeah, it seems like the fans, the people really know the stuff that I am doing now. It feels good when they can sing along the lyrics already. It feels good.

– What did you wanna express with “Carte Blanche”?
I just wanted to express my individuality. Show the world that there are still people out here that are thinking for themselves. Controlling their own destiny. That was the whole meaning of “Carte Blanche”. Being able to do what I wanna do, say what I wanna say, and have it projected in my music, to the world, the way I want it to be projected.

-Do you have a follow up already?
Actually yeah, I been working on “The Catacombs” already, that’s the name of the next album. It’s gonna be kind of dark. Cause the Catacombs is underground. I’m like an underground legend so to speak, so I just wanna bring the underground element to the main front. Hopefully that will change it up and bring back some balance into music cause there is no balance anymore.

– Now that you are saying that, about there being no balance in music nowadays, Detroit is coming up strong in hiphop. How does Phat Kat, coming from the D, feel about hiphop nowadays?
I feel real good about the way we project music now. As far as being from Detroit, myself, Slum, Black Milk, Royce, I mean we’re at the front now, and I am glad people are getting to see Detroit and the life, from us now. People are used to a certain style coming from Detroit, Detroit is a creative city, there are a lot of different genres of music coming from there.

– But not just talking about Detroit, the overall state of hiphop nowadays.
Hiphop is alive and well and it’s in Detroit right now. Hehe.

– You did a lot of collaborations. Do you have anything planned for your next album or other projects?
Actually, me and Elzhi got a project, The Cold Steel Project. Me and Illa J got a project we working on now. The new album….I got a lot of stuff up my sleeve I just don’t wanna leak it out.

– Just give me one. Someone you haven’t worked with yet.
I’ma branch out, you might see a Black Thought or a Talib. You might see one of them cats pop up on the album.

– Are you on CalTroit?
Yeah I’m on CalTroit. Me and Elzhi got a song on CalTroit. Hopefully it will make it cause I think Bishop Lamont was talking about using it for his album.

– Anything else besides music, that you got going on?
Yeah, I got a lot of stuff I am working on. I am working on a clothing line. Got a little acting poppin off. Just chillin’ really. Go home, finish up my crib, another flat screen somewhere haha. Just chillin’.

– Any collaborations with artists overseas?
I done so many collaborations with cats overseas. I done some stuff with cats from Spain, London, Paris. There’s a lot of artists I did stuff with over here. There’s a lot about to start coming out over here. Actually I did this song with a guy from Paris called DJ Brasco, he just released that 12 inch. I think Frank N Dank is on the other side.

– Is there anything else you wanna say to the fans out here?
Thank y’all for supporting the Phat Kat project. Keep supporting. I’m gonna keep making banging music. So let’s keep it movin’.