For The Record - Skratch Zilla

by India Pougher

The Scene first introduced you to the sounds of Skratch Zilla in its season one video on local artist Godchild the Omen.  The North Carolina native is a local producer who started out creating beats for an artist in Jacksonville.  Since then he’s produced tracks and records like “Take It Easy” with Ill Conscious in 2010 and his LP “The Perfect Strangers” in 2011.  Recently he introduced the area to projects like “For The Record,” a hip hop showcase at the newly reopened Groove Record Shop in Norfolk.  We talked about this and more in our Q&A, which you can read below.

 

 

How would you describe your overall sound?

I would say my sound is a combination of jazz and soul with a bit of aggression. I'm a sample based producer so I tend to spend a lot of my time listening to those type of records.

Tell us how you got the name “Skratch Zilla.”

I got the name from an old friend of mine that I'm still cool with to this day. Some years back I called myself "Frum Skratch". We use to just sit and listen to my beats and he would scream "Skratch Zilla". "Zilla" coming from the old character "Godzilla". I kind of liked the name so I just stuck with it.

 

The Scene featured your music in our video on Godchild the Omen.  What are your thoughts on how your music compliments this artist and his work, and what are your overall thoughts on this artist?

I think my music and Spoken word in general goes hand and hand. The track used for the video was originally placed on an international instrumental album released by Sinoptic Music called "Pure Dopeness". When I made that track, I wanted it to tell a story with or without words, so it being used for the segment, especially a segment about a Spoken word artist was perfect.

 

How has the local area influenced you and your work as a musician?

I've come across a lot of artists: Emcees, producers, vocalists, poets, etc. I think as an artist you have to reach out to other's whether they have anything to do with your music or not. It just gives you a different perspective other than your own. I love to pick people's brain and try to understand their how they operate musically. It has allowed me to improve as a producer.

 

Who are your biggest influences as a musician?

I'll have to say that from as far back as I can remember to present day, Pete Rock is my biggest influence. The way he manages to blend multiple samples together is mind blowing. Back then I knew very little about sampling so I literally thought he was playing all the instruments. I have other influences but there are just too many to name. I'm pretty much influenced by 90s Hip Hop as a whole.

 

All-time favorite musicians, and why?

Pete Rock is my all time favorite for the reasons stated in my previous answer.

 

Tell us what you’re listening to right now and why.

Pete Rock, Kev Brown, Skyzoo, a lot of underground Hip Hop. I also tend listen to my own music a lot to see where I can improve and just for my enjoyment. I'm always record digging so I listen to a lot of vinyl so I can find breaks for my next beat.

 

Describe the craziest thing to ever happen while performing live.

I've performed live a while back I'll say as a hype man/producer more than anything else. Last year was the first time I've performed as one of the main attractions. A friend of mine and I run a beat showcase called "For The Record" at "The Groove Record Shop" located off of Granby Street. Nothing crazy really happened, I was just amazed at the fact that there were so many people from different demographics under one roof enjoying the music and each other's company. I always have a blast when we do these showcases. I get to meet so many different people I wouldn't normally encounter anywhere else.

 

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

"For The Record" is still going on, so if you're a producer, emcee, vocalist, poet, or a fan of old school vinyl and Hip Hop beats then come out. The showcase is free and we try to do them on Saturdays at "The Groove Record Shop". For updates follow @fortherecordshowcase or @thegrooverecordshop on Instagram.

 

You can hear more music from Skratch Zilla on SoundCloud and keep up with announcements and his work via Instagram.