Catalyst is a New York rapper from the Bronx. Having both parents connected to the arts, when Catalyst needed to get out of a spiral of negativity he turned to music. Catalyst began to gain recognition in the Bronx as a well known battle rapper and went on to work street promotion for Def Jam, Sony and a brief stint at EMI Records. His debut album was then released via independent label In House Music Group LLC.
Catalyst has featured on several mixtapes by the likes of Lazy K, Supa Star Jay, DJ Woogie, DJ L Gee and more and has also performed at numerous showcases in New York. Hes a hard working individual, so check out what he had to say to us when Danielle caught up with him.
BHH: Hey Catalyst hows it going?
Catalyst: Everything is great right now, It’s Good to be back on your site and letting my international fan base know about some of the new music and projects Im releasing.
BHH: You have been working on numerous projects lately, tell us more about the new mix-tape?
Catalyst: Yea Ive definitely been working hard, my new “Shut Up & Listen” mixtape is some of my best work to date. I have a record called “Champagne Music” featuring The Notorious B.I.G., I have a real personal inspirational record called “No Regrets” featuring Levar Thomas. I Have a song with City Haze and Slick Watts. I got a co-sign from DJ Ames in the UK and also have two South African artists King Dezee and Ms Supa on my project so I tried to cover all angles.
BHH: I have to ask, the latest single Retire (the Game Diss) whats this all about?
Catalyst: (Laughing) Well that’s basically because I don’t like him (laughing). Nah Im joking, it’s actually interesting how that came about. It started when Game continued to send shots at Jay-Z and I noticed that Hov’s approach was just to ignore him, but me being from New York and knowing Jay-Z is at a place in his career now where he wouldn’t respond I decided to do it for him. It then leaked to some radio stations and was played at the under ground music awards in NY and the response was so positive that we decided to officially release it and let every one hear it. That was me going back to my battle rapper roots.
BHH: You have quite a strong social media presence, can you offer any tips to other artists out there on how you do it so well?
Catalyst: Well I definitely feel with the internet being so important to an artist career now, You have to constantly keep your viewers and fans attention. Always be creative, think outside the box and remember this is the “Entertainment” business. I have an online webshow, I have videos, a blog site, just every thing a fan or simply someone trying to find out who the hell is this guy can use (laughing).
BHH: What is your biggest accomplishment within music to date?
Catalyst: Wow I mean so many, but definitely Crooked I texting me and telling me I was nice (lyrically) after we did a song called “The Letter” for my sophomore album. Also working with Daron Jones from 112 that was big. I also think being the only New York artist to present an award at the 2010 Southern Entertainment Awards was big. It gave me a chance to talk to Trick Trick, Kia Shine and a few others backstage.
BHH: Who do you take influence from in both life and music?
Catalyst: Well The fact that Im still here alive and breathing is a privilege I never take lightly. After losing a good friend of mine named Dramadeus I really felt like when you leave this earth the only thing left behind is your accomplishments and that influenced me to make music that would be memorable.
BHH: You have your own online clothing store on http://whoiscatalyst.blogspot.com selling a range of merchandise, how did this come about? It really is your very own online fan store.
Catalyst: Yea it is, it actually started when I dropped my debut album “Perfect Timing” back in 2007 so some of the phrases on the shirts are my song titles and the album cover on the products.
BHH: Having established yourself as an artist on a mission to stardom you must have experienced some negative hurdles on your path?
Catalyst: Most definitely, I feel this is the one business where it will test you mentally, emotionally and spiritually. There is so many things that can make you want to quit or so many obstacles placed in your way that sometimes you question yourself if it’s even worth pursuing, but when a fan hits me up and tells me they love a song or when people acknowledge how far I have come that’s always motivation to keep going. It makes me want to prove non-believers wrong and kick open every door that was closed on me.
BHH: What are your current views on Hip-Hop music right now?
Catalyst: Right now I think hip hop needs more diversity. I think there are so many new talented artist that are not being heard and have no way to break through. The industry right now is so stuck in the position of force feeding us the same six or seven major artist that they forget having more of a variety is what made hip hop great, but I think it will be interesting to see how the internet and fans will continue to affect the major and indie labels in the future.
BHH: Whats next for Catalyst?
Catalyst: I certainly want every one to get my “Shut Up & Listen” Mixtape when it drops 25/4/11. It will be available free on Datpiff.com and a Bonus version on http://www.whoiscatalyst.bandcamp.com. Also look out for my new music video / short film “I’m Starvin” dropping 11/4/11 which features Oronde Baltimore and Fokis, directed by Vid Arroyo who worked on Busta Rhymes “Bass” video.
BHH: Where can your fans reach you?
Catalyst: You Can view all my videos @ http://www.youtube.com/whoiscatalyst. You can keep updated and follow me on Twitter @ http://www.twitter.com/Catty_Fan_Club. Listen / download my music @ http://www.whoiscatalyst.bandcamp.com or add me on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/inhousemusicgroup.
By: Danielle Fear
For British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.