People probably know you best for your ‘Music Mystro’ EP/LP on Low Life. Where you happy with how that was received?
Mystro: Yeah for the most part I was, though I guess it could have gone further from the response I keep getting even now. The only thing I didn't like was how they tried to put out a CD version with extra tracks that had already been released and then call it an album, that was a bad representation of myself and cheating the consumer in my opinion, but hey, you live and you learn... right?
Can you break down what projects you’ve been involved with since then for the people who may not know?
Mystro: Well my last project was the 'F.D.T. EP' which I put out as a digital release on my own label Don't Bizznizz and I've done 2 mix-tapes 'Tip Of Da Mysberg' Vol.1&2, did a compilation LP called 'Diggi Down Unda' featuring producers, singers & rappers from Australia & New Zealand, featured on various LP's: Blak Twang's 'The Kick Off', Rodney P's 'The Future', P-Money's 'Magic City', Main Flow's 'Hiphopulation', Hilltop Hoods 'The Hard Road', Ty's 'Special Kind Of Fool', Colin Emmanuel aka Black Einstein's 'D'Illusions Of Grandeur' , probably a bunch of others I can't remember right now but we can add the 'Digmund Freud EP' to that now.
I first heard you on Kiss That Arse Goodnight which came out a long time ago. How has the scene changed since then?
Mystro: Haha I'm sure everybody knows how much it's changed because all the record shops have gone, there's not as many live Hip Hop nights as there used to be and the Internet is more or less as powerful as TV & radio now a days. My first single which you just mentioned came out at the end of 1999 so I've been around for just over ten years releasing material, many consider me to be a veteran but I'm not sure I'm worthy of that status yet considering I haven't released a proper debut LP but that's not for me to say I guess. The thing's I've noticed more so than the obvious regarding change is the attitudes in a lot of the people I've either worked with or have observed in the scene, before people were a lot younger and probably had less responsibilities so maybe it was easier to deal with then, where as now a lot of people have more bills to pay, family etc and this I guess doesn't make being an artist as fun as when all you had to worry about was making sure you got to the studio on time and had enough money for a draw with you. Also with the decline in music sales as well as mainstream interest in regular Hip Hop I guess a lot of people got ticked off with the scene and are fed up with it now. Not everybody though mind you, but that's the general vibe I get and I can't blame them but I still get enjoyment out of this so I can't see me giving up just yet, especially after learning how to unleash my inner Digmund Freud on the masses.
Low Life had a good run of great records but there was a lot of controversy surrounding the break down of the label, what was your experience of that?
Mystro: I saw a lot of shady stuff but wasn't clued up to it as I never got involved too heavy on the business side, a mistake I know not to make again, but often I hear things chatting to other people who were releasing material on the label and I'll be like "oh that's why so & so happened...I get it now"... in hindsight of course. For all the bad things I heard about the guy who owned the label from other people, I could never get involved because nothing had ever happened to me, or so I thought. But when I felt disrespected that was it for me, I realized all these people complaining about Low Life can't be crazy/wrong, and now I know for sure that he was a slimy, slippery snake who not only lied to artists who contributed to making the label what it was, but also the public who unknowingly supported his fake persona of an equality loving, righteous freedom fighter who claims to hate the cooperate world, but does the same thing as they would just on a smaller scale.
You've got to understand that the owner of Low Life was releasing material from some of the best the UK had to offer, was also pressing records for majority of the scene as a whole because he was an agent for a pressing plant, and was an artist/producer himself, so you think of the slimiest, most shadiest stuff you could do with all that power to make a bit a lot money and run off...and he probably did it. What's sad though is the number of innocent & work driven people this guy decided to rip off out of greed, from making sure other artists/labels pressings weren't as good as your labels stuff, to making the plant you used to work for become bankrupt, to up until now STILL owing all these artists you claim to 'respect' royalties & sales money since 2007. But as I said before, you live and you learn, the message on my new EP is "If it ain't life or death don't worry about it.." , what doesn't kill you should only make you stronger, this guy has run off to Australia as a loner with no friends just a resort in India, and we are still here and now have full control of our own destiny so it's up to us to make things right and the way they're supposed to be... if you don't believe me ask Digmund Freud, he always has on a "F Da Taxman" tee-shirt on under that suit.
Who are your favourite emcees out right now?
Mystro: Jargon, Crooked I, Ramson Badbonez, Elzhi, Black The Ripper, Homeboy Sandman, Loudmouth Melvin, Vado, Black Thought, Blu, Skandal & Stig Of The Dump.
Don’t Flop seems to divide opinion, what are your thoughts on it and would you ever enter?
Mystro: I think it's cool man, you know it's an evolution of what battling used to be about, not everybody is a great freestyle artist so coming off the top is harder for some than others, I don't consider myself a good freestyle rapper but I will if I have to, when I was doing it you had some written stuff but then you'd have to make up some stuff on the spot to add to the fire, so it's not that much of a difference apart from the whole research thing which is cool but for an observer who doesn't know who you are that could be baffling. I think it gives kids who may be technically great writers a chance to shine on the battle circuit even if they don't have freestyle skills as sharp as others. It's not far off from writing a diss track in my eyes. I've had the itch to do it but a few things I've scene have made me think maybe it's best to leave that to the new breed especially when I've got like 10 years history on me, it's kind of like a head start if I've never heard of you.
Who are you favourite producers to work with?
Mystro: I've enjoyed working with all the producers I've worked with but the guys I think have brought the best out of me so far are Black Einstein aka Colin Emmanuel, Alan Mawdsley & Yesking who are Rhys Adams & Mark Rae.
What record are you most proud of and why?
Mystro: Probably the 'F.D.T. EP' I did last year because I wrote it in about a month and it was around the time I nearly felt like packing it in but the release turned everything around and made me realize all I needed to do was continue releasing music I liked making, and not watch what other people think too much, I say this because many made me feel like there wasn't much space for regular Hip Hop anymore on radio etc but I've seen it a bit differently form my point of view and I guess the transition from feeling like that before and now a lot more positive has brought out the Digmund Freud in me, check the EP and you'll see what I mean I'm sure, hopefully it can bring out the Digmund Freud in all of us.
What’s your least favourite genre of music and why?
Mystro: Probably hard techno glitch house, I think that's what they call it right?... I don't know but it all sounds the same to me and I guess that's why I was never really a hardcore garage head, I liked drum n bass but then that got too noisy for me as well, I like some grime & and don't mind some Dub Step when I'm out gate-crashing parties so all in all I guess I don't mind hearing a synthetic sound but it's just that after a while it doesn't resonate well with the voices in my head. Don't blame me; blame the music I grew up on Mutha Luavz.