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These days it’s hard to stand out and make a na in the music business, but when you are blesse ability to produce records, write songs and sin sit back and watch STIKMATIK put his Imprint o By Zara Nubheebucus
Stikmatik may be an unknown quantity to some, but his work behind the scenes (including production work for artists including Chipmunk, Wretch32, Wizzy Wow, Marvell, Frisco, Wiley, Skepta and Roll Deep, as well as labels including Sony UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music Denmark) has paved the way for major commercial success in 2012. Born and raised in Tottenham, North London to Mauritian parents (a teacher and a singer/ songwriter/producer) it didn’t take long for Stikmatik’s impressive talent to become recognised in the local grime scene. In 2004 Stikmatik caught his first big break, after being scouted and signed to Random Impulses up and coming record label Reignnessance Records. Fast forward to 2012 and this immensely talented young musician is now ready to dominate in the ranks of British music producers. Having signed a deal with newly launched management agency ECOE Management, Stikmatik is set to establish himself as one of the UK’s most exciting producers / songwriters, with the ‘Imprint EP’ serving as his long overdue, critically anticipated introduction. Stikmatik has proved his commercial abilities as a producer and songwriter, and has a solid track record of ‘kick starting’ many commercial artists careers (including current chart toppers Chipmunk and Wretch32)
Our girl Zara recently caught up with him and threw some normal and some really spontaneous questions at him. Here’s how they got on;
So Stikmatik, tell me how you got started? I started when I was 11, because since music has always been around in my family, my dad my siblings, I thought I really want to get in to this. I got introduced to my youth club Northumberland Park in Tottenham and they were really supportive. They got government funding and built a music suite, so we learnt how to use the computers. Since then I haven’t looked back, I’ve just been making beats and then I got into writing gradually, so that’s basically how it all kicked off.
Did your family encourage you, or did your dad get the savatte out? There were points where my mum and dad got the savatte out. They were supportive but yeah there were times when the savatte came out and they told me to keep the noise down. However they were mostly enthusiastic, until the night time that is, when I would pass my curfew, when that would happen they would zour moi.
Who else in your family is musically gifted, and I’m not talking about your mum’s Bhajan singing at home? Well I grew up to sunrise radio ‘as every Mauritian household does’ and mum would constantly be singing in the kitchen, however my dad is the main person who is musically.
ame for yourself ed with the ng, you can only on it;
talented. It was he who inspired me to get into music by keeping me up all night with his singing, LOL. Dad’s pursuit of his music career kept me focused on my music and what I could possibly achieve one day.
with my nails, but I always damaged my fingers so didn’t get to.
Who are your musical inspirations, I know Claudio has to be one of them?
Definitely. No when I get in the studio, If I walk in with 5 people, once we cross the line of the door I've walked in by myself, the 4 people get forgotten about. In the studio I go nuts, I’m just crazy in there, and if I'm not enjoying the music something's wrong.
Stikmatik - Obviously I have to say the one & only Michael Jackson (RIP, because his beats are crazy. And A.R Rahman because of how much he has done on the Asian scene and how he has fused Asian music with European. And my dad. But the main reason for me making music is to display the art and creativity trapped inside my head to the world.
What are your top tunes of all time?
It’s a guilty pleasure but I love, ‘Loving you’ by Minnie Ripperton, it’s an absolute heart cruncher every time I hear it. The only other song which is up there for me has to be ‘Smooth Criminal by ‘M.J’. I had the routine on point, but kept falling over trying to do the move where he leans over, you know which one I mean. The video was on repeat religiously.
What’s the most embarrassing song I might find on your iPod?
Most embarrassing song, ermmm Glee (Everyone laughs). What’s the song called.. Don’t stop believing. The worst thing is, I actually bought it on ITunes.
Who would you most like to do a collaboration with, dead or alive?
As a producer, Timberland but as an artist, I’d love to go into the studio with one of them crazy lyricists at the moment like Drake or Jay Z. Jay Z would be the ultimate collaboration of all time really.
If you wern’t in the music business, what would you be doing? Ermmm I don’t know. If my parents had their way I'd probably be some sort of Doctor, lawyer something along them lines.
Gateux Pimments or Samousa? Gateux Pimments definitely. Yep, all the way. Sunday morning when you wake up and smell that, wow.
Do you play any instruments, and I'm not talking on iPad or anything, I mean real instruments? I can, I can play the keyboard, piano.. ermm tubla, I got to grade 5 on the tubla, Sunday school harmonium. Only thing I wish I could play is the guitar, I always wanted to play
Are you one of those crazy people that when you get in the studio you just go wild?
What hidden talents do you have. Can you like bend your thumb backwards or put your head out of place or can you sing? I can sing. That’s my hidden talent. Some artist know that, some artist chose not to know that. I can sing but the Doctor told me I might not be able to for another 2 to 3 months. Other hidden talents, I can bend my thumb backwards, actually not backwards I can bend it inwards (Everyone around the table starts bending their thumbs backwards). I could probably click every bone in my body though.
What part of Mauritius are your family from? My mum is from Flacq, booop booop booop, and my dad’s from Flacq as well, big up Flacq, everyone in the MFDC, Moka Flacq District Council.
Is that where they met?
Yea I think they met at KFC in Flacq.
Ok, so if I was sitting in a bar, and I was by myself and I looked pretty lonely and you thought ok that girls kind of pretty, what would be your best chat-up line? Ohhh, there’s multiple ones, ermmm the best one.
Ok make it top 3...
No, not top 3, that’s going to make it look like I do it for a living. The best one whether the ladies like it or they don’t like it, but they always laugh for at least a few seconds is You walk up to the girl and go ‘Have you felt this before’, so then she’s going to say what do you mean have I felt this before. I say feel my jumper or my jacket or shirt whatever it is, they say yea and, I finish off with ‘Do you like that, that’s boyfriend material’. Then because they’ve waited so long for the punch line, they laugh anyway so that’s a good conversation starter.
Great, i’m going to watch out for that one hahaha. Who are your favourite bands, except for Glee, you have to forget about Glee for now? My favorite band, when we say band I’m talking about fully constructive band, I would say 2 door cinema club, The Holloways and The Beatles.
What about ABBA, everyone loves a bit of ABBA. Yea but ABBA’s not a band, they’re a group.
What else can we expect from you in the future? Since the release of ‘The Imprint’ we have been very busy planning our next steps forward. We have been on different time zones lately as we have been travelling quite frequently to the U.S where we have some prospects and various artists we are working with. I am glad to say that my music has been received very well and the interest just keeps growing. We’ve had the figures of the number of downloads so far and in which countries and in less than a month it has been downloaded more than 3,000 times and in over 10 different countries including Mauritius! 2012 see’s us working with the UK IMC winner ‘D. Walker’, AMA (Best newcomer) award winner ‘Jernade Miah’ & are good friends Chipmunk & Wretch 32 who need no introduction. As well as ‘The Goods’, Jordan Thomas, London Ivy and Wizzy Wow plus many more big artists which unfortunately cannot be disclosed at this time. Finally, look out for Nia V (Singer//Songwriter) who we are also currently working close with and should be in the public eye soon.
Ok this is the ‘Imprint’, what is the meaning of the Imprint and how did it come about? The Imprint, I need to break it down in 2 ways. First of all the Imprint started of as a project that we thought we would just try with all the electronic music, so we put it out there to symbolize re-touching the industry not just as a producer but as an independent artist as well. The second thing is we weren’t sure about the Imprint until our graphic designer came back with artwork and we said yea, the peace finger, the whole symbol represents peace, prosperity and just the way the graphic designer laid it out, it look like the Imprint, it looked like forensic DNA, so we said we’ll put that out to the industry.
Songwriter) who we are also currently working close with and
When you’re creating music, what are you thinking about?
Yea I’m doing the whole lot, Umba Laba, Leve, the whole nine, I’m on it.
Ok, I'm going to ask you some totally random questions now. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Ok, so what’s your favorite sega?
It’s tough, it depends on the situation. Sometimes artist come and say that they have an idea for something, can you make it happen. So then my main aim and focus is on shaping the sound of that record, generally when I'm creating music, I work on the basis where I'm trying to create something where everyone minute it’s going to F&@$! people up, like every minute it drops I want people to be thinking how is he doing this, so that’s my main focus, basically mind F&@$#*! people is the term I'd use.
Most embarrassing moment, we went out clubbing I thought I was tough enough, had one to many drinks, was about to give a girl the boyfriend material chat-up line and when I went to speak, I puked all over myself. She said she didn’t want to feel it no more. Has to be the most embarrassing moment.
Right, i’m going to ask this to every Mauritian starting with you, do you cream your knees and toes? I cream my knees and my toes because you can’t get away from the darkness, it don’t matter what you do, it’s genes.. it’s culture. The worst thing is when your wearing them dodo savattes and you got the dark joints, dark elbows, dark knees, you just cant get away from it, YOU’VE GOT TO CREAM.
Favorite sega song, it’s a tough one.
What sega would always come into your head? Bhai Aboo, Bhai Aboo is like the theme tune to birth, as soon as your born that’s it.
Stikmatik, it’s been an absolute pleasure catching up with you and from all of us at the Mauritian Club Magazine team, we wish you all the best for the present and future, make us proud! Thank you, It has been a pleasure. Big up to all my Mauritian brothers and sisters out there doing your thing. Keep believing in yourselves as a community, whilst always keeping your individuality.
As a child, can you think about that one time when you got them really bad beats from your parents? I got some which were so bad one time, my mum escaped criminal records because I didn’t tell. One time I went in the kitchen, I was running my mouth and I don’t know what I said and my mum actually took the lid off the pot and turned around in one swing and got me, it knocked me out, well she didn’t knock me out, I just played dead for safety. But then when my dad came home it got even worst, if I say anymore NCPCC are going to be on the phone to me.
Alright, last but not least, can you dance sega? Yeaaaaa, I’m out there, with enough Green Island then I’m out there. One hip, one knee, one foot.
What about the ‘Umba Laba’?
Here are the details to so you can keep up to date with every movement of this young talented Mauritian Producer/Singer/Song Writer; www.facebook.com/STIKMATIK Twitter.com/STIKMATIK www.soundcloud.com/STIKMATIK www.stikmatik.com
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MASTERCHEF 2012 WINNER REVEALED
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