I want to help artists I make great music with to get the exposure that they deserve. St Ivan is definitely one of them. So after doing with him this cool Independent Coolness episode, I decided to ask him some questions. So sit down with the king and check out his terrible answers ! Peace.
1) Peace St Ivan. Thanks for taking time to answer my questions. Please let our readers know who you are.
My name is St. Ivan [the Terrible] of the Byzantine Kings. Bronx, NYC native. Bred & Raised!
2) You recently were my Emcee Of The Week. What would be your definition of an emcee ?
First I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be called as such. It was a pleasure. A MC [emcee] to me is someone that has total control of his craft. Wordplay, creativity, concepts, stories, metaphors, lyrical agility, depth. Someone that covers every spectrum. A Mic Controller! A person that can Move the Crowd with his words. Someone that uses their voice to not only entertain, but also uses it as a tool and method of educating as well.
3) This makes sense to me ! Does it have an impact on the way you consider your own career and its evolution thru the years ?
Definitely. I don’t do the « Hollywood » thing and front on my age or try to conceal it. I’ve been doing this [professionally/seriously] for a little over two decades. And I’ve learned how to transition with the times and adjust myself [delivery and execution wise] lyrically where the younger generation wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. That’s a skill in itself.
4) And now in 2014 you’re featured on my show in France. Was it the first time on french air plays and what do you expect from such a move ?
Yeah. It’s a beautiful thing what music does right! It bridges a gap between people far and wide. This is the first time I’ve been featured on a show in France, but not my first time being featured internationally.
5) I put a lot of work in this show. What would be your advice to make it better ?
LOL, honestly, I don’t have no advice there. I think the show is great as is. There’s always room for improvement with anything we do, but that’s all a matter of « opinion » from one artist to another. You as the painter [artist] should always be your worse critic. So as far as that’s concerned, I think the show is dope…
6) Let’s get back to the music. You’re a producer too. And as a producer, I can say you got a very typical touch. How would you describe your style behind the machines and what are your production weapons of choice?
Well my weapons of choice are the classic Akai MPC 2000XL. I also use Fruity Loops, Reason, etc. I’m actually 1 [1/2] of a
production duo « Salt of the Earth »… My produciton partner is St. Mozart. He’s incredible! He’s a actual musician and does the majority of the instrumentation on a lot of the production. He can pretty much play anything! Piano, drums, horns, dude is a virtuoso! My style is more so that essence, boom bap, hard, raw sound. [St.] Mozart on the other hand is a bit more cleaner and has a R&B flare. But combined it’s incredible. His sampling game is ridiculous too. We make a good team.
7) That’s wassup. Macabeats recently told me he’s one of your producers. Let us know how it is to work with St Ivan as an emcee who’s dope on the beats too.
Yeah, shout Mac[abeats]. That’s my bro/comrade. We have a unique relationship [music wise]. The chemistry is excellent! He’s produced some major songs for me in the past. One in particular won the Underground Music Award for Song of the Year back in 2011. The UMA’s [Underground Music Awards] is a very prestigious award to receive that’s recognized nation wide in the states. The name of the song is « Guilty! » I have a video for it n youtube I know people will enjoy!
8) So what would be your ideal production roster for your next project ?
Ideal production roster. It’s strange for me. I’ve had conversations with a close associate of mine [Dready Kruger] and told him as a producer I rarely rock off my own production [as of recent]. I’ve opened myself up to rock off of other production from other producers. So for me, I will use some of my own. Some COOL FD heat would be nice [lol]. There’s another good dude out of Ohio named Device that got some heat. I like a lot of dudes that get busy. Some of the most recent heat I’ve heard been from Kyo-Itachi, D.R.U.G.S. beats, it all depends… If it’s hot, then it’s hot!
9) 2015 is coming. How will it be for you and the Biz Kings ?
We take things one day at a time. Everything we believe is in the hands of the Almighty GOD. When it’s time, it’s time. In the mean season we just work as we’re inspired.
10) Any last words ?
yeah, I want to thank you for the opportunity again for showing me and my team love! I wanna shout out the whole Byzantine Kings! St. Basil, St. Justinian, St. El Cid, St. P!, St. Mozart! The whole BLACK ICON Ent. St. George! And last but never least, the Almighty GOD, the creator, the Lord GOD! Rise Israel [Qam Yasharahla]!