Haka Beats is a producer from Ladbroke Grove in West London. He has recently dropped his Man On The Moon EP and has secured spots from some of the dopest in the UK game. In order to find out more, Nikhil Sharma caught up with him to find out about his background, his new EP and ask about who he wants to work with. Read on for more.
Britishhiphop.co.uk: What made you get involved with producing?
Haka Beats: I started playing the guitar when I was about 14 and started playing around with beat making on Acid / Fruity Loops. I started collecting records from a young age and i eventually got an MPC and began learning to sample. The first beat I made on it was used by Low-key (Poisonous Poets) and Logic (PDC) but I wasn’t producing tracks / records until recently.
Britishhiphop.co.uk: Who are your top three producers and why?
Haka Beats: Boyyyyyy… lol… The first ones that come to mind are Quincy Jones / Dre / Timbaland, but theres so many I wouldn’t know who the top 3 are tbh… My favourite beat makers are probably Dilla / Premo and Pete Rock, but again people like Rick Rubin / Kanye West / Large Professor are massive influences to me. My favourite producers in the UK atm are Jaisu / Jetsun and MWS. Jetsun co produced a couple of tracks on Man On The Moon actually.
Britishhiphop.co.uk: Where did the name Haka Beats come from?
Haka Beats: My arabic name is Hakeem and when my brother moved to New Zealand he started calling me Haka after the tribal rugby dance and it just stuck lol.
Britishhiphop.co.uk: How did you get interested in and start producing?
Haka Beats: I had a love / passion for old records growing up and had family friends like Lewis Parker and Harry Love (UK Producers) around me from a young age and naturally had an interest into how these records were made and the art of sampling etc.
Britishhiphop.co.uk: Tell me a bit about your new EP – Man on the Moon, what can listeners expect?
Haka Beats: Its taken me about 4 years to produce / release and I’m very proud of it. It’s a diverse mix of different styles of Hip Hop and features many of my favourite rappers to come out of the UK in the last 10-15 years.
Britishhiphop.co.uk: Are there any artists you’d like to work with?
Haka Beats: I’d love to work with Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and I’ve always wanted to work with Giggs but I haven’t had the opportunity to yet.
Britishhiphop.co.uk: Has your sound changed from “Underground Journeys” (Haka Beats debut album)?
Haka Beats: I’ve grown and learnt a lot since Underground Journeys and I cringe a bit listening to it now as it was thrown together and not mixed properly etc. but theres still some amazing tracks on there, especially ‘Makes Me Say’ and ‘N.A.M.E’ feat Non Applicable.
Britishhiphop.co.uk: Does the Hip-Hop in the UK get enough recognition? Overshadowed by the US?
Haka Beats: I think UK Hip Hop does get overlooked, but I can understand why. Grime is the UK’s most authentic form of Hip Hop and I’ve always been a big admirer of the grime scene. The Americans have always laughed at UK Hip Hop in the past and its been seen as middle class / backpacker rap. I’m glad to see Grime start to get the recognition it deserves in America, I wonder if it has the longevity / substance to last. Its great theres a platform to represent the working class / street culture and for them to express themselves and be creative.
Britishhiphop.co.uk: You’ve worked with some Hip-Hop heavyweights (So Solid Crew, Black Twang, Kyza) how was it working with these guys?
Haka Beats: Yeah man it was wicked, Kyza’s another close family friend so we’ve made quite a lot of music together. He was in my brothers class in school and lives around the corner from me. I’ve been a fan of Twang since I was young, his Rotton Club album was one of the first UK records I bought, so working with him was a humbling experience. Im sitting on some tracks I produced featuring some of my favourite rappers like Rodney P / Klashnekoff etc. but they didn’t make it on my EP. Hopefully you’ll hear them soon! I’ve worked with Swiss (So Solid) in the past but for ‘Keeping it Baking’ off my EP I didn’t have the chance to get in the studio with them this time.
Britishhiphop.co.uk: Any shout-outs?
Haka Beats: Yeah shout out to everyone who’s been supporting me / the EP and my boy Wuz at Downtown Soul Records.
By: Nikhil Sharma | http://hiphopinformant.blogspot.com