This is… King Britt is a decade retrospective to be released December 2005, seeking to answer the question, “who is the real King Britt?” Elusive as a chameleon, King Britt seamlessly flows from DJ, remixing, production while always maintaining a keen, fresh signature sound.
It is broken into two CDs: the Production CD, which includes his megahit, ‘Last Night a DJ Saved My Life’ under his brilliant Sylk130 incarnation, the soul-funky ‘Getting Into It’ and the classic ‘When the Funk Hits the Fan’. The second CD is the Remix CD including some of his history making Scuba remixes, starting with the outstanding ‘Tonight’ (King Britt Scuba Mix) produced by H Foundation in 2003. King Britt has had a rich history in music including his DJ carrier in 1992 when he became the wax poet for the Grammy-award-winning Digable Planets.
damn I’ve done a lot of serious music. U don’t realize it until its all laid out in front of u
What was the incentive to release this retrospective, ‘This is… King Britt’ at this time?
Well, we thought it was a good time to bring all my favorite pseudonyms and projects under one roof. Scuba, sylk130, etc… it is good for those who know maybe one album to see what else I do and how diverse the remixes are. V2 was perfect as they are doing retrospective albums on their favorite artists. So perfect timing!
You are known for merging the past with the future musically. How has creating the retrospective changed you approach to the future in your music?
It showed what I have done already, so now I can move on to more envelope-pushing sounds that I have always wanted to explore. I don’t want to backtrack.
What was your favorite part of creating ‘This is… King Britt’?
Listening to the end result and saying to myself, damn I’ve done a lot of serious music. U don’t realize it until its all laid out in front of u.
The album is a wondrous journey through your musical growth over the last decade. How have you grown as a person in heart and soul during that time?
Well, I am a father of a beautiful 11 year old daughter named Summer. To watch her grow allows me to grow and realize why I do what I do. To help shape the music of the future and continue what my parents laid down….musically I have grown as a producer, but most of all as an engineer….creating the sound I want and the environment to achieve those goals.
What are the tracks your parents laid down that you are continuing?
Just great soul music. Music with emotion and a message! Gamble and Huff!
You said you have grown most of all as an engineer, how so?
Well, last year, when the industry took a turn, I started mixing my own productions — bigger ones — and they started sounded great! So I really got into it but nothing beats my main man Jeff Chestak on the mix… but budgets have been low.
Did you have mentors that taught you?
I watch everyone i have worked with, take notes, read and all of us trade secrets. And I learned a lot from vinyl and how older records were mixed on hardly any equipment.
What is next for King Britt?
Just finished an amazing multimedia project on sister gertrude morgan, a famous painter/evangelist for the Rope a Dope label. I am moving more into performance art and politics.
Please give us a little overview of about the Sister Gertrude Morgan project! What were the multi forms of media involved in that project?
Sister G was an amazing African American painter who died in 1980. She was also an evangelist and recorded an album in the 70s. just her voice and tambourine. Andy from Rope a Dope got the rights to it and asked me to re do the entire album. The rest is history in the making
due to the American brainwashing techniques of playing the same shit over and over and not having a voice on radio hurts me. But the real heads know
Sister Gertrude was an Evangelist. What is the role of Evangelism in art and music?
Well we look at it as spreading a message of spirituality and awareness.
How do you hit that balance of flowing art from an Evangelistic or Spiritual source, yet be universal and not “preachy”?
It’s a fine line, but I think it’s the context you present it in and that’s what we r doing.
These days Evangelism is linked to President Bush and the war in the Mideast. Can spirituality be separated from politics?
Yes. It needs to be and people are starting to realize religion and spirituality r 2 separate sources.
You mentioned you are moving into politics, in what areas?
Just through music and visuals. A message of hope.
Will there be a time when art is just an experience, without having to be delineated between different aspects of that experience?
It’s on its way. Sources are becoming more condensed and you will be able to virtually experience anything in your own home!
How do you explain the decidedly International appeal of your music, coming from Philadelphia but being so popular in, for example, Japan and the UK?
It’s funny. I’m more popular in Europe and Japan than in my own home. I think that due to the American brainwashing techniques of playing the same shit over and over and not having a voice on radio hurts me. But the real heads know. There is a universal appeal to my sound because it comes from the heart and is very emotional.
What type of music do you love now, that you thought you would never like ten years ago?
Country — but only the older legends: Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Charlie Pride and I never thought I would like the Beatles but I love them now.
How is spinning to a roomful of people in an ecstatic trance induced solely by your music like a spiritual experience?
Because I am creating the atmosphere from combining the sounds that I love and I’m sending that to them, so when they feel this, the energy returns ten fold.
One more question (from my husband!): Who is playing the horns on the song ‘When the Funk Hit the Fan’ and where can we hear more of them?
Hahahaha. Sylk130 is a studio project, so on that track was Jaffar Barron, Stan Slotter and Norman Jeff Bradshaw. They all have solo records and Norman Jeff plays for Jill Scott now!